completion a dramatic debut Lost paradisedirector Eve Deboise returns with a romantic comedy titled A little lesson in love, dwill be in theaters starting this Wednesday. It all starts with a one-time encounter between Julie and Mathieu, two characters who are completely lost, lost in Paris whose path is linked to an even more confused teenager, who is rescued before dawn ( read our review). The director Eve Deboise spoke to us about her film, the art of comedy and temporality.
The film takes place in Paris today, the dialogues are very modern and yet there is something timeless. How do you think about the aesthetics of this film?
For this film, I went back to the beginning of writing a short film that I thought about a few years ago and where the two completely sad characters met. I don’t know how this need arose to link their journey with the appearance of the girl who risked her life and had to be rescued before dawn. This character manages and builds the flow of the two main characters to save him and at the same time he reveals what they have planned for him, their own worries, their own troubles. As always in my work, I like to create characters that can be transferred from one era to another. The resulting aesthetic naturally led me to create a world that was a fantasy and went through many seasons. I want to anchor the film in today’s world, if it depicts youth and the world of teenagers today, but I also want the two main characters to be out of place, to develop into a eternal universe. Perhaps also the fact of filming in suburbs and the ageless and sometimes unpopulated sets, may even bring about this feeling of temporal confusion.
The two main characters are somewhat “out of place”, but “ageless” and “eternal”, how and why?
I want them to be two characters who already have enough time to live through enough experiences so they can be a bit broken and take their breath away from the young characters, especially this teenager they met in the road. As he struggles with his first passions and research, it is through him that they transform their first experiences so intensely and so enthusiastically, that they find a kind of youthful desire and ability. to fall beloved. They are two timeless individuals who rediscover different stages of life, dragging with them their flight times, as well as their difficult experiences, each on different registers. Overall, the different age groups that crossed us was a question that was important to me, really. I think we are made of layers of age. We accumulate more or less depending on the experiences we go through. There are teenagers who look like they’re 50 based on what they’ve been through. The main characters are here at a significant age for them, made up of many age strata where they have a hard time finding themselves.
Paris is almost a movie character, despite the characters from it, what place does the town play in this street movie?
I wanted to integrate Paris into the film. I was born in this city, as well as in the suburb where I now live. I love the beautiful space it is sometimes a bit deserted, with this side there is no human land some situations in which we live, we live, we breathe, we love. In the film, we see two parts of the capital, which, in part, promotes an anonymity that can be brutal, imposing but also very enveloping because you can get lost there and experience things that others don’t know about. . I want to work around an encounter with the urban world.
We learn a lot about the two main characters in the course of the story, sometimes very strange things that lead to laughter, how do you work the writing?
This story starts from a desire to laugh, to take dramatic things as a starting point, to get rid of the anxiety and state of mind that leads to very funny situations, which we have built and constructed. also. Julie’s character has many facets and I was asked to be very careful so that we can understand her consistency. It reveals itself slowly and it’s like a character stripping. When you write a dramatic story, attention is paid to subtexts, silences, all that needs to be taken unspoken. What’s so much fun about writing a comedy is that you can play with words. And so that the characters are fully engaged and can’t be too complicated, especially if they have a good dose of fantasy and invention like the female character in the story.
How do you direct Laetitia Dosch to give her this light, this innovation that we find in Julie’s character?
I had to find the right tone for the comedy I was looking for. What I like about Laetitia is this thing that crosses her sometimes, with strong and evocative poetry. The challenge is to catch it, play it and sometimes go through it loudly, because the project is so well written and we have to keep something rhythmic. Julie’s character needs a lot of work from us because she has so many different parts and, like in the movie, she has to oscillate between sadness and laughter, providing this dose of joy.
At the beginning of the film, there is a serious accusation, there is this suspicion that out of love a student is in danger of committing suicide for the main male character… How do you treat him?
The current context means that we can change our perspective on these questions. Not so long ago, there were things that were considered natural and whose hardness was not as measured as it is today. This is the case in Julie’s confession scene, about what happened to her in the locker room at a party. I like to treat these moments in life with a light, a sense of humor, but really their presence is important in the story. I don’t want to downplay the feelings or the situations that lead the characters to be what they are.
Do you have any romantic comedy references or images in mind for this film?
American comedies from the 1930s to the 1950s have always been a renewed joy for me and this journey of town characters like a little musical fugue is definitely inspired by its great masters. New-York-Miami (1934) by Frank Capra and Jacques Demy with highly styled stories are very important influences on my work.
What are your future projects?
There are two tracks I am working on right now. An atypical love story and a comedy. I want to go into these two zones, check out these two parts that I really like in this kind of repetition of romantic comedy. Little lesson in love. I want to go back there with an attitude that is out of season and more rooted in today’s world.
Visuals: © Tangui Bidou