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[INTERVIEW] The team of EVERYTHING TO BE HAPPY

On the occasion of the presentation of EVERYTHING TO BE HAPPY (our critique HERE) in Bordeaux, we had the pleasure of meeting the film director Cyril Gelblat, accompanied by Manu Payet, who plays Antoine, and Aure Atika, and his sister Judith. A warm meeting under the sign of good mood, humor and enthusiasm, the image of the film.

We feel a lot of empathy for the character of Antoine, to the opposite of what it was in the novel by Xavier de Moulins “A blow to take,” which is the inspiration for your film, why this difference ?

– Cyril Gelblat : I am voluntarily removed from the book because I wanted to soften the ride of this father resigned, I wanted to create empathy immediately to Antoine, that the spectator does not judge and may even want to become her boyfriend. What interested me was to show the trajectory of Antoine and the obstacles he goes through to learn, build on it and become a better person. My ambition was to make a film as I like to see in a movie : a comedy of life, a film that is realistic, tender and melancholic, but without having a single tone. I wanted to ruptures of tone, and I recognize that it was a bit of a break-in-mouth, I was very afraid and I was to tight flow, because I do not support mediocrity. I tried to be subtle and legitimate at the time, and my challenge, it was to be fluid to allow for the acceptance of the viewer, and vary its pleasures.

– Manu Payet : I have not read the book, I wanted to create my Anthony with Cyril. Antoine has a double life : as much as it has the talent in his work and with his friends, as much as it is null and irresponsible as a husband and dad. I have made Antoine a character a little corny, and anachronistic, who thinks it is cool, with his little mustache. He managed 15 years ago and since it still a little stuck on Black Desire, The Ramones. It is hard to see them age, to accept to be the father. But in the end, at peace, it is clearly in the process of “déringardisation”.

You would have almost been able to add three points of suspension at the end of the title ?

– C. G: I‘ve thought of that ! The title EVERYTHING TO BE HAPPY is also ironic, it is a reflection on happiness, the cessation of dissatisfaction, which is a brake and not a motor. On the authorship, of course, that changes our priorities and forces us to do more we hide behind our certainties.

– Mr. P : We are all very proud of this film and the feedback from the public for the first give up of the face of the moist eyes and the bottom of the big smiles ! The emotion is palpable, thees people take time to gather their emotions and ask questions, this is the first time I see it!

The character of Judith does not exist in the book, can you tell us about that?

– C. G: I need it for my arc narrative of this sister with whom Antoine is not very far from him. There is a real potential for comedy with this character. Each will follow its own path, which will allow them to get closer.

Aure Atika : I’m an original creation ! The evolution of this character I liked, I like his side cash, swiss franc, and the meeting again with her brother.

Was it difficult to direct your own daughter in the film ?

– C. G : there was a certain apprehension, a responsibility, and the concern of Manu was legitimate. But direct Raphaële brought a lot to the film, which oozes out of my experience with my daughter. I offered him beautiful memories for later.

– Mr. P : to See the father and daughter together, it was a great breeding ground for observation, a bit like a driving range before going on the shelf. I was his “daddy’s cinema”.

– A. A : The players were more stressed than the kids !

What are your cinematic references that are likely to influence you ?

– C. G : My film refers to the independent cinema of the 70s and 80s, EVERYTHING TO BE HAPPY, it is a bit of a Kramer vs. Kramer revisited. I also love the movie and the point of view of The son of the Dardenne Brothers. With my chief decorator Philippe Figure it was a very scrupulous work on the interiors of the apartments in which live Antoine. One of its torque exogenous is very bourgeois, infantilizing, there is like a lion in a cage. It was found then this workshop export-import, a sort of Ali Baba’s cave for children, and happy mess in which it moves more freely with her daughters and reinstall its battery.

Manu and Aure, you are also directors, have you been tempted to intervene in the shooting ?

– A. A : On gave our opinion and our point of view on the characters but we were well directed.

– Mr. P: no, not really, we had worked out the characters before turning. And then on a shoot, this is the team that matters, it is not the actors on one side, the director and the technicians of the other. I liked to be an actor in the film. I have worked my role very seriously, I work without pretension my acting with my coach Julie Vilmont. She always tells me that one becomes a good actor when we achieve the seriousness with which children play. As in the scene with the telephone game to the President ! This is important to me is to give the best of myself at the time I shot the movie. It is still exhilarating and even quite a contrast to my years in high school to be able to replay from the battery, kiss pretty girls and have a nice sister ! I have a true passion for directing actors, it is a race that I love ! I am going to perform a comedy, but I would not play in it because it is complicated to do both on a film.

Interview by Sylvie-Noelle

EVERYTHING TO BE HAPPY, the CRITICAL

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