At the romantic film festival, screens vibrate with the entire palette of emotions

In the hall of the Grand Hotel, luxurious, stunning, similar to the description given by Marcel Proust in his “Research” in 1918, guests of the 36th romantic film festival talked about cinema, of course, but also about love. After all, this is the place… “The feeling of love remains the most powerful source in cinema”, confirms Sylvie Testud, who is well versed in the subject. The actress, who is a member of this year’s jury, admitted this while sucking on her strawberry diabolo: endless shopgirl, she never resented her happiness in the face of a great romance, like “Out of Africa” or “On the road to Madison”, and rarely resists a romantic comedy. However, in Cabourg, more sweet love relationships are no longer allowed. Suzel Pietri, the festival’s general delegate, had enough of the sentimentality. He now wants to open up this event, which he launched in 1983, to other forms of relationships. “The directors have a mediumistic power, he breathes as he navigates from one guest to another. They know how to show us what will happen in the future society.»

We’ve actually seen movies with love stories that change life forms.

So how do we love each other on the big screen in 2022? “A lot of love stories have already been told,” commented Stéphane De Groodt, also a member of the jury. But they can be enlightened by new music, new looks. Some of them are endless, like “César et Rosalie”, by Claude Sautet, which was screened at the opening of this 36th edition. Even if the love triangle composed in 1972 by Romy Schneider, Yves Montand and Sami Frey is far from “trouples”, this three-way relationship is in our 21st century. “This week, we really saw films with love stories that change life forms”, confirmed Sylvie Testud, attracted to “The Albanian Virgin”, by Bujar Alimani, at the competition. “Society has not yet received what is not in what it is supposed to be, analyzes Stéphane De Groodt. Therefore, cinema can help move the lines.»

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Sitting on the terrace, Félix Moati, Rebecca Marder and Judith Chemla talk under the watchful eye of Michel Leclerc, the director who showed them “Les goûts et les couleurs” (now in theaters). What cinematographic love stories mark them the most? “West Side Story” for one, “The Woman Next Door” or “Annie Hall” for others. “When I was about 10 years old, I had my first emotions when I saw the boy in Emir Kusturica’s‘ Time of the Gypsies ’”, recalls Rebecca Marder, who mimicked her childhood joy. In “Tastes and Colors”, he falls in love with an old woman, whom he idolizes, before ending up in the arms of a man, the beneficiary of the former. “I think you have to see it beyond the genres, the actress corrected. She loves two people, too. Plus, it’s not because she’s with a guy that she finds her way around. a normal heterosexuality. Michel Leclerc affirms: “This is not a central question of the film, because in the end it is no longer a topic …”

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The fairy tale is enough! Now the women are leading the dance

With its programming, Cabourg proves that women allow themselves to be in other theatrical representations today. Like “Mi iubita, my love” (in theaters July 27), directed and starring Noémie Merlant: Jeanne, who never wanted to get married, left Romania to celebrate her bachelor party and allowed herself to be seduced to a man ten years his younger brother, for a summer. “Marriage, says the actress-director, is still a convention for many women. For me it is. Since childhood, conditioned by fairy tales, it is believed that it is the only possible happiness. Then, sometimes, we realize that it is not our dream, but what society has imposed on us. On the beach at the Grand Hôtel, Noémie Merlant shows off a unique partnership with Gimi-Nicolae Covaci, one of her actors. He continues: “In most films, older men force their desires on younger women. There, I just reversed the age ratio, because it was the same young man who took the first step; but, afterwards, there is a real dialogue between the two. With Gimi, we wanted to ask for permission. »

The #MeToo wave is forcing French cinema to reflect on itself

Some films have a fun distortion of old standards. In “You only want me”, by Claire Simon, Swann Arlaud features Yann Andréa, the last lover of Marguerite Duras, a tortured homosexual under the influence of this genius writer, thirty -eight years old. “There is almost asexual love between them, analyzes the actor. And then it is rare, in the cinema, that someone expresses so much about his weaknesses.” Les jeunes amants “, by Carine Tardieu, resonates also in it: a 71-year-old woman (Fanny Ardant) and a 45-year-old man (Melvil Poupaud) meet fifteen years after their first meeting and fall in love.A romance as evidence.

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We need women like Adèle Haenel

Something has changed in the world of cinema. Everyone knows it, everyone talks about it. The #MeToo wave that swept away from Hollywood forced the hexagonal seventh art, which believes itself to be preserved, to reflect on itself. Other initiatives mark the spirits. Like recently actress Adèle Haenel who, after filing a complaint against Christophe Ruggia for sexual assault, decided not to work with the so-called established directors, but with Céline Sciamma only or beginner artists. “She has this courage and I’m very impressed,” applauded Noémie Merlant, who she co -starred with in “Portrait of the young girl on fire”. “She wants to hear things that are hard to hear. Yes, sometimes it has to be radicalism.” An opinion shared by Sylvie Testud: “She went through painful trials, so I understand her. We need women. like him. I thank him for the next generation and for my daughter. “Will he agree to shoot for Roman Polanski, who against Adèle Haenel resisted? “I wish I had the strength to refuse,” Testud replied. Fanny Ardant didn’t ask herself the question: she will be appearing in “The Palace”, the Franco-Polish director’s next film.

Read also. In the Match archives – Fanny Ardant, her first Match date

On this last day of the festival, the actress of “Vivement dimanche! »Makes a unique look: puffy dress, endless legs, long gloves, sunglasses and scarf tied around the head. Glamor from another era. Accompanied by Pascal Elbé, he poses for the Paris Match, unchanging, unobtrusive, while outside the Grand Hotel a scene of disaster plays out. A storm arose, frightening beachgoers who thought it was July. Municipal police decided to immediately evacuate the Marcel-Proust promenade, where the red carpet literally flew. The same surge of panic pushed actors, actresses and celebrities into the lobby.

Only Sylvie Testud, who was very good in a big green dress with a train, calmed her down: she was amazed at a beautiful little lamb, adorned with a large red bow. The animal, which is to provide outdoor entertainment, must also take shelter in the hotel, where he hugs it, touches it, kisses it, under the gentle gaze of reporters and other guests. This is probably the most beautiful love story of this romantic film festival.

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