Has the opportunity to the private screening of FAR FROM MEN held on Monday, December 17, 2014 by Pathé, we have been able to discover with dozens of bloggers, the film by David Oelhoffen. The team was present for a small Master Class following the screening. The director David Oelhoffen and the two main actors Reda Kateb and Viggo Mortensen are thus all income on their vision of the film and the shooting is sometimes complicated in natural settings.
In FAR FROM MEN, the nature is very present. How did you feel in the middle of this scene ?
– David Oelhoffen : I stayed four months in. It is a decoration really awesome in which you feel very small.
– Reda Kateb : In fact the nature is a character in the same way that we do. Especially compared to the spiritual system that there are around Daru and Mohamed (the two heroes). They have different religions, but with the nature of the spiritual becomes practical.
– Viggo Mortensen : David has focused on the wide shots. It is beautiful to see these characters in the distance in these landscapes.
– R. K. : at a time you did not know even any more where was the camera.
– D.O. : No one knew not where you were ! (laughter) I said that it is them who have done everything and I find that you recognize their approach to one or another even when they are just points in the landscape.
Where have you turned ?
– D. O. : It has had to turn to Morocco and not by Algeria for reasons of logistics. Unfortunately this side of the Atlas mountains of algeria is inaccessible.
What were the disadvantages of this shooting in the middle of nature ?
– D. O. : The light. The real boss of the shoot it was the sun. We were forced to run often to get the right light. It is always subject to the weather conditions but it offers good surprises. For example the fog, that you can’t reproduce as well in digital effect. As soon as we saw it fell it ran in all directions in order not to miss it.
How did you prepare for the shoot ?
– D. O. : there has been a lot of discussion on the scenes and to work the language.
– V. M. : I have begun the Arabic about 8 months before, with a friend. And with Reda, we had a coach to work each word.
– R. K. : We were talking a lot about it, to see if when he speaks to me in French I must answer him in Arabic and vice versa.
And compared to the new, The Host Albert Camus, which is from the movie ?
– D. O. : We talked often on the work of Camus. Were exchanged between us on his letters, or sometimes pictures.
Did you already have all the plans in your head ?
– D. O. : there are plans which are coming on the moment. We sometimes did things in a chaotic way because we worked as a function of time and the natural light. Suddenly one can see a light accurate, or the moon which appears just where it should be. It is adapted to this kind of things.
How the sound has been worked on ?
– D. O. : In reading the news and I saw elements of western, such as moving the prisoner from one place to another. Nick Cave and Warren Ellis have already made music that stuck very well with this universe. But mostly I didn’t want that the music starts to remember that it is in Algeria in the 1950s.
How the actors have been chosen ?
– R. K. : David and I met a long time ago. It was for an entirely different project, but I only glued not to the role. I have however made a week of boxing for him, but it did clearly not (laughs). He has had to wait for the right film just.
– D. O. : For Viggo, the character is the foot black French. It is interesting because he can not find shelter within a group, it does not belong to any nationality in a certain way. For me it was not a French actor. In the light in Captain Alatriste where he speaks Spanish I say it is a pity that he does not speak French. I had to be the only one to not be aware that, in fact, he speaks French, until my producer showed me a video of him imitating a hockey player canadian French.
”The film is not ideological because it is from the point of view of the victims of history”
There is not a lot of dialogue eventually.
– R. K. : sometimes We can rely on the dialogue, but it’s a dangerous thing to say that if we learned our text everything going to be okay. This may be comfortable, but this is not what you are looking for. The fewer the words, the more they become important. The act of taking the word or the leave is in itself a powerful act. We spend the emotions, and the speeches by the body, it was almost a choreography of gesture.
– D. O. : To me when a look can make unnecessary a dialogue I’m interested. They even skip dialogues during the shooting because it was more natural.
The film evokes the Algerian war, a subject that remains sensitive, which can still today receive a home a little heated. Is this something that you apprehend ?
– D. O. : The controversy this is not what you are looking for. The film is not ideological because it takes place from the point of view of the victims of History. The characters do not take over the reins of the story but gets it in the face. They try to do their best with their moral code. And the film shows that it is difficult to do at best even when it is to do good. For me, it’s about something other than the war of Algeria. Of course it can cause controversy, I hope not but if it should happen to me, I feel very right in my boots.
– V. M. : For me David is not a political film, but human and universal. There is no ideological posturing. We also had the chance to show the film at the Festival of Algiers, Marrakech, soon to be in France, it has sold the movie in Israel, the Middle East, and it has not generated any controversy.
Where are the children in the class ? (In the film Daru is a teacher)
– D. O. : It has taken children of the villages. They have had a special relationship with us and Viggo, whom they called master, even outside of the scenes. It all happened very naturally. When the children cry at the end, I did not said to cry nor to the wizards of the abuse (laughs). It was the last day of filming for them and they have them same situation.
The closing scene is of an intensity that is crazy. Have you kept to the end ? And how are the actors preparing for a scene with so much emotion ?
– D. O. : It often turns out in disorder. With the position of the sun we sometimes had to shoot the last shot of a scene before the first. So we made a work of gymnastics to have the best possible light. And this scene was actually shot in the middle of shooting.
– V. M. : With Reda, we knew that it was a very important scene but the duty of the comedian is to be quiet and do the scene like all the others. All the same it was a beautiful moment.
Viggo, having toured with Peter Jackson, it looks like you have sought roles more raw and you away from the Lord of the rings. Is this a voluntary choice ?
– V. M. : I’m looking for the stories that I love, the films that I would like to see. And I agree when it seems to be a good opportunity. I don’t think the nationality of the director or the budget. That there are 300 million or 50 million, it has a camera, finally I hope… (laughs). The actors are there and we must build our character.
You are fluent in many languages. Between the arab, the Russian, and the elvish that is what has been the most complicated ?
– V. M. : The Russian. Some sounds were very hard. Arabic also on some words but I have had the opportunity to go to Algeria and to work long before. As for The Promises of the shadow was not shot in Russia. Speaking Spanish also can be helped.
Reda, you are seeing more, what are your next projects ?
– R. K. : I hope that we will do a nice release with FAR FROM MEN I really like a lot. For the rest I’m trying to surprise me, to make films that I would like to see and not to repeat the same. In the year there will be in particular The air Resistance of Fred Ribald and The Talus of Briggite Sy with Leïla Bekhti on the life of the author Albertine Sarrazin. And then in this time I have the chance to be able to make my own short film which I’m editing.