“The Original Image”, on Ciné+ Club: from Marco Bellocchio to Joachim Trier, filmmakers look back on the genesis of their first film


Where do the filmmakers come from? And where do filmmakers make their films? Modestly, subtly, the series of documentaries by Pierre-Henri Gibert exposes the labyrinth of answers that those concerned provide to these questions. In 2018, a first series gave the floor to Olivier Assayas, Xavier Dolan, David Lynch, Michel Ocelot and Lars von Trier. This time, it is Marco Bellocchio, Agnès Jaoui, Naomi Kawase, Cédric Klapisch and Joachim Trier who look back on their birth in cinema, through the memory of their first feature film.

Each time, we find this mysterious alloy of intimate history and aesthetic impulse, shaped by family and historical circumstances. Naomi Kawase recalls her childhood tormented by doubt about her parentage, to which she opposes a steely resolution. Without blinking, the Japanese director recounts how she isolated from the rest of the team the beginner actress who played the leading role in Suzaku , her first fiction feature film (1997), so that the actress would wither away on the screen. more convincing way.

On the other side of the world, in Oslo, Joachim Trier recalls a childhood nourished by cinema by parents who practiced it as a profession, but also the memory of a grandfather himself a director consumed by failure.

Metamorphoses of the profession

His first film, New Deal (2006), is also the moment of the creation of a troupe which brings together the screenwriter Eskil Vogt and the actor Anders Danielsen Lie, a group which is still operational to this day. The series is thus an opportunity to sketch the metamorphoses of the profession of cinema author, in its methods, its relationships with institutions and money.

The interest that we will find in each film is of course closely correlated to that which we have in the work of its protagonist. Because Marco Bellocchio began to build his own in 1965, with Fists in Pockets , and it continues to grow sixty years later, the film dedicated to the author of Buongiorno, notte (2003) immediately impressive by its scale. But also by the fever that takes over Bellocchio when telling the genesis and birth of Fists in Pockets (available for Mubi subscribers and on demand on VoD platforms).

Common thread

The octogenarian seems gripped by very old emotions, dominated by the memory of a schizophrenic brother whose violent presence in the family home left scars that are just waiting to be reopened. Pierre-Henri Gibert’s editing compares Bellocchio’s memories and the fictional plans they nourished. As in the other films in the series, the documentarian moves further in time to try to find the common thread that runs between the first and the last (to date) of the author’s films.

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