To read also our review of the movie THIS FEELING OF The SUMMER.
On the occasion of the presentation of THE FEELING OF The SUMMER at the Festival International du Film indépendant de Bordeaux last October, we met with the director Mikhaël Hers, just before he gets the Grand Prize of the Jury-of-Competition Feature Film and the special Mention Prize of the Syndicat Français de la Critique de Cinema. We had spoken with sincerity and humility of his intentions in the film.
Why this interest in the work on grief ?
Mikhaël Hers : I didn’t want to make a film based on the consideration related to the grief, but I wanted to treat the theme of disappearance, of absence. We approach the heart of things by the periphery with the passing of time. I’m trying to do something that looks like me, essential, but without ostentation. It is my way of digging a furrow, a form of continuity. These are without doubt my obsessions : the mourning, the passing of time, the envy of filming locations, the music. I wanted to make a film light despite it all, and this is the paradox of the summer, we feel even more the absence.
Have you read the work on the mourning of psychiatrists Elisabeth Kübler-Ross and Christophe Fauré ?
Mr. H : No, I have not worked on the issue of grief. I’m not documented, I tried not to over-theorize things. I preferred to dealt with the grief as a posture, and intuitive manner. But maybe I’m going to read these books now.
What are you interested in filming cities (Berlin, Paris, New-York) ?
Mr. H : What touches me, what are the characters in urban, proximity to forest parks. I’m always looking for the same kind of places in cities that I loved. This gives a form of unity to the film, with the park, such as red thread. We shot it in these three cities, in that order, and we had to each time the printing of change of movie and start a new one.
For what reasons have you shot the film in 16 mm and in part in English ?
Mr. H : Turn 16 mm is used the material, it makes it more grainy, more alive. As for the language, it is not so much culture that matters to me, but the characters within the countries. I like to film people as they are.
Tell us about Anders Danielsen Lie and the other actors with whom you have a habit of turning.
Mr. H : Anders is an actor who likes to look at. It has a side a little opaque, angular, in contrast. About Dounia Sichov and Thibault Vinçon, I like to see aging actors, and to continue the adventure and the work from film to film with them. But I also need to meet new people. These two dimensions are important to me.
Have you been tempted to make these two solitudes a couple ?
Mr. H : Never, even if the ambiguity was present, in spite of myself. I didn’t feel like it, I wish them other things.
It is important for you to film the characters while they exercise their profession ?
Mr. H : The business participates in the incarnation of the characters. What motivates me is to make a imaginary. For Sasha, I had very little time. She doesn’t speak, but it was a nice idea to do it exist by concrete things, of the gestures in his manual work. For Zoe, who works in the hotel, I wanted to give an atmosphere, an impression.
That would mean for you to win a prize at the FIFIB ?
Mr. H : Have a price that would make me happy, but this is not important, it concerns me quite a bit, this notion of competition, I don’t make movies for it.
Interview by Sylvie-Noelle
• Original title : This feeling of the summer
+ Interview with Mikhael Hers
• Achievement : Mikhaël Hers
• Scenario : Mikhaël Hers, Mariette Desert
• Main actors : Anders Danielsen Lie, Judith Chemla, Feodor Atkine
• Country of origin : France
• Released : 17 February 2016
• Duration : 1h46min
• Distributor : Pyramide Distribution
• Synopsis : in The middle of the summer, Sasha, age 30, died suddenly. While they know each other a little, her companion Lawrence and his sister Zoe are getting closer. They share as they can of the sentence and the weight of the absence, between Berlin, Paris and New York. Three summers, three cities, the time of their return to the light, driven by the memory of one they loved.