[interview] Jean-Pierre Jeunet

On the occasion of the release of his future film, on October 28, Jean-Pierre Jeunet was present at the headquarters of the Warner to answer our questions.

The most famous of French directors, to which we must assign Delicatessen, Le Fabuleux Destin D’amélie Poulain, The City Of Lost Children (nothing here !) is income, during a Master class exclusive organized by Allociné yesterday evening, about his career, his future projects, but mainly on his next film : Micmacs A Tire Larigot with Dany Boon, André Dussollier and Jean-Pierre Marielle , among others.

Here are the main questions that have been posed :

– Why have you chosen Dany Boon in the lead role ?

At the start it had to be Jamel Debbouze. I had always promised that I would write something for him and I do. So, I had integrated her disability to the scenario by making it skip on a mine at the beginning. Jamel was very therefore, very enthusiastic and two months of turning roughly, he told me that for personal reasons he was in a period where he had no desire to work, and as you have noticed, since he has done nothing. I preferred it to be honest and it happens and rather than working with someone who was going backwards. I am, therefore, to find at two months of shooting with a film stopped, so I thought of Dany Boon as I had a little head, I made him read the script and he initially refused seeing that it was written for Jamel. There, I played the poker game of my life, and telling him that he was right and that he would probably not play it anyway. But I asked him if he wanted to look at the trials, he had nothing to lose since it would not be in the film regardless of what happens. The same evening, he called me to tell me that he did it.

– You have an aesthetic that is very particular, would you be willing to change it, if a story request or, on the contrary, build your stories based on this universe ?

Life Of Pie (one of the projects was unfortunately not successful) was going to be very different since I had the sea, the child and the ocean, this huge force that I had never tackled. The first part is happening in India so yes I was ready to change. For Micmacs A Tire Larigot, I went back to the Paris that I knew, now the next film that I will do, I’ll go over things aesthetically different.

– When you make the movie, when you write it or realize it, you have “third eye” with you or you are really alone in the development of the film ?

Usually at the end, we read the script. There was not so much done because there was a kind of emergency, but I do it for example when the film is finished, it shows the first installation to do a test like in the us. The only difference is that americans take into account anything said by the public, then that I am not taking into account any : for example, the voice-over narration in Amelie Poulain I held to keep it like it or not because I claimed. But if twenty people say that they don’t understand a scene, we try with my editor to see where his bell and fix the problem. It is very useful and here we made three tests to the mi’kmaq and little by little, step by step, we approach something that everyone understands, more or less, without trying to please everyone. If people don’t like a scene that I love it, so much the worse for them.

– About Harry Potter, what is it that prompted you to refuse its realisation ? And by projecting it into the future, what would it have looked like by Jean-Pierre Jeunet ?

The answer is in your question : its would have looked like to Harry Potter by Jean-Pierre Jeunet. Because the look was already established, I’m not able to change, it warned me that the author was behind and that she had somewhat of a right of veto, which is normal. So, I think that on Alien I had more freedom because the rule of the game was different, I was told ” you takes so that you bring original ideas, because we believe that it is less risky than take a risk “. With Harry Potter, I would have been obliged to comply with the rule of the game which was ultra-tagged. They were looking for just a good technician to shoot it well and solve all the problems of special effects which are very numerous in this kind of movie. It was a true work of the technician, a bit like for a pub, but for two years. That is why I did not have envi, the idea, the concept, was already there, everything was practically already done so, it was not from me. Make the first Harry Potter, that his would have been very interesting !

– What are the French filmmakers today that you admire, that you respect, and what is the French film that you expect the most ?

I really like Jacques Audiard, some directors who are a little bit my family as Matthieu Kassovitz, Kounen… and I love Agnes Jaoui , which operates in a completely different genre and, worse, from time to time a Lecomte, a Cornaud. But often, we love more of the movies that directors scenes : Scorsese, which I love, I don’t like all of his films. I love Gaspard Noé also. Then, it is frankly crazy, it has a little too much and took of plants, there are not two like him. But it takes people like it to be a little quirky. He is very creative, as soon Alone Against All, I stood and admired it a lot. After that, the film I’m anticipating the most this is without doubt A Prophet ofAudiard.

– Your films are playing a lot with the melody of the words, you are looking for a lot of expressions are fairly typical, and therefore, in the case of exports to foreign countries, is that its causing problems ?

To the dialogues of Remington including, its going to be a real concern. I’m curious how it will translate to the international. It is a dilemma that we sometimes have with Guillaume Laurent : it happens to me sometimes to tell him that it is untranslatable abroad and thus trying to find another formula. There is a real problem with the French cinema abroad. It’s a bit like asian cinema and african in France, without being pejorative. There are real limits that we feel when we travel. Now, I choose to play in French because it is my language, my language with which I can amuse myself. My great reference, it is Jacques Prévert. Everything comes out of that, it inspires me constantly. The biggest compliment that I have made, that is to say thatAmélie was a ” carnet de Prévert with the technologies of today.” So so what if the films lose 20% to 25% to the translation abroad. But there is not any es words, there is also a visual aspect very important in my films.

– Is that on the shoots you leave room for improvisation ?

It is Scorsese who said something very true : “improvisation, it is in repetition, this is not on the platters, it’s too late on the sets “. It sometimes happens that certain actors are really great as Yolande Moreau do, but it’s still very rare, there is no real improvisation.

– Is that mi’kmaq is a nod to Mission Impossible ?

It is a blink of an eye claimed full ! Not the movies but the series. It was my favorite series, I am nourished, I’ve thought about writing, we did not pitch stuff precisely, but there are always memories that kept coming back.

– Concerning the aesthetics of your films, and when is it decided ? Before, after, during ?

We made a mistake in making The City Of Lost Children, it was the look in the head before the story. With Marc Caro, you could see the look of the port, the shape of the boats, the clothes of the characters… and there’s a moment where we said it is necessary to write a story. Big mistake ! The most important thing is always the story, the emotion, what it all will be clear…

– After having made the tour of Paris, have you thought, like Woody Allen, to do the same kind of film in different places ?

Surely for a next, yes. I truly believe you have made the tour of Paris. Now I’m going to have trouble finding things that I like because I need to love everything that I film. I will be unable to make Mesrine , for example, because these enfoi*** dealt legs eph and I have a horror of legs of eph ! For a future film, I can’t tell you with any certainty where this will happen but I really like San Fransisco, Chicago is not bad either.

– To conclude, is this-that Boon would not be the new Bourvil ?

It is true that there are similarities between Dany and Bourvil , and in the mi’kmaq in particular, there are two plans that are perfectly references. In the film, there is also an hommage asserted by Charlie Chaplin.

Okay, that’s it for the main questions, I hope that reading you has been enjoyable. Thanks again to Allociné for organizing this Master class specifically for the Club 300

You can find the Teasers of the Micmacs A Tire Larigot by clicking on the image just below.

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