The director of ‘Bon Voyage’ and ‘Cyrano de Bergerac’ returns after a decade with this comedy-drama that premieres on Friday, June 17.
Jean-Paul Rappeneau returns to the big screen with Great families (June 17), a Dramatic comedy full of unexpected twists and starring fellow director and actor Mathieu Amalric. The film, set in provincial France and inspired by true stories, have autobiographical dyes. The French director not only tells with humor the entanglements of a complex and large family in the Ambray region, but also makes us reflect on family values, changes over time and the importance that small decisions can have.
The long tells how French businessman Jérôme Varenne (Amalric) returns from Shanghai to Paris for a business meeting and ends up in the town of Ambray, trying not to sell the house where he spent his childhood. However, this return to the place where he grew up not only means seeing familiar faces again, but also you will live a series of small but intense experiences that will change your life. SensaCine has spoken with Jean-Paul Rappeneau and this is what he told us.
How does it feel to return to the big screen with the premiere of Great families?
That lap is precisely what the movie is about. It is about the story of a return, of the return of this person who went to China and who ends up returning to his land. In my case, the last movie I made was Have a nice trip 11 years ago and, between that and now, there was another project that in the end did not go ahead because it was very expensive, it had financing problems and, much to my regret, I had to abandon it. I had a pretty bad time, but I thought I just had to do something cheaper, simpler and that in the end it also means my return: Rappeneau’s return to the French cinema … the return home.
Where did the initial idea that gives life to this new film come from?
It is an idea that I had in mind for a long time, the story of someone who returns for a few hours to the land where he was born and who sees how in the end that return changes his life. I also wanted to tell a little about what that more traditional France, provincial France, is like and how it has changed. It represents a place where I lived until I was 17, until I went to Paris to try to be a film director, and it is about seeing through the film if that provincial France that I left still exists.
Why did you choose Mathieu Amalric to play Jérôme?
I chose him precisely because he was also a film director. He is an actor, but also a director, and that’s why I chose him. I love the movies he’s made as a director, and I love it as an actor too.
It seems that Jérôme is not aware that every little decision he makes could change his life. Has something similar happened to you in your life?
I am a person who is constantly on the go and I would say that I have rarely or rarely had a project that really knew clearly how I was going to carry it out. In fact, in my personal life more than in my professional life, I never knew how things were going to evolve. I have been surprised many times by the twists and turns that life took.
I understand that you always use the same working method and that you always look for precision in the dialogues. Have the actors adapted to your way of working?
It is true that, at first, actors may be concerned about this. My cinema is a talking cinema, in which there is a lot of talk, and I work a lot with the dialogues before shooting the film. I write them and then I invite a colleague of mine named Jean-Claude Carrière to read them as well; It is a very long and intense preparatory work, and I do not stop until I really get the result I want. That is why I do not want that work to be changed, which has taken me so long to do. It is true that changes can arise … If a new idea gives a new color to a scene, you have to take advantage of it. It would be crazy not to. In fact, sometimes it is the actors who bring something new, but I have to say that it is rare. But I’m not stubborn either and I like good surprises.
The perfection in the dialogue is very important to you, but also the movement in the scenes and the corporal expression. Have there been any particularly difficult scenes?
No the truth. I always work a lot with dialogue, with the eraser technique: this yes, this no … In the end I remove a lot, and what remains is just what I need. Dialogues are nothing if there is no movement. It is the moving words that shape the actors’ choreography.
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Jean-Paul Rappeneau (‘Great Families’): “I have been surprised many times by the twists and turns that life took” – Movie News