An aperitif with Guillaume Nicloux: “I have a passion for characters who move towards chaos, but chaos which leads to redemption”


When he was young, Guillaume Nicloux loved roller coasters and fairground attractions. It got through to him. But the excitement of risk is still there. Around twenty films, eight novels (all written in the space of two years, from 1996 to 1998) and seven years of analysis – two, then three, then four sessions per week – have not dried up the inspiration from the director who signed In the Skin of Blanche Houellebecq , a political-philosophical pochade, a sort of sequel to The Kidnapping of Michel Houellebecq (2014) and Thalasso (2019), where Gardin the comedian and Michel the writer find themselves in Guadeloupe, handcuffed to each other to for better and for worse, by this supporter of stepping aside, one foot in the system, the other on the margins.

” Ah good ? I feel like I’ve always been “out there”. I have never voted for the Caesars. I don’t call journalists – whom I don’t know anyway – and I have – apart from Gaspar Noé – very few director friends. I always had this maverick profile. Which is not a will. I just feel like I’m where I was put. At first this disconcerted me… Probably the fault of how it all happened. Too fast ? Too early ? »

When we find him in front of a half, bundled up in his firecracker green down jacket, at L’Archi Bar, a harbor where he is accustomed to in the Temple district of Paris, this son of nowhere, and especially not of schools, looks like a sphynx, straight bust, drawn features, hair slicked back – “I still have the impression of smiling. » It is his eyes that betray him, where there is a fire that he strives to calm. “Have you seen what a peaceful place it is here? , he slips, pointing to the bar, the photos behind the bar, the small, no-show room. I like this timeless side. No music. Just close the door to the street. It’s a bit like the Café de la Mairie in Melun, which, for once, was more lively, where we heard the biggest bullshit. The place of wonder. »

“More dangerous things”

Childhood in Melun, then. The father worked in statistics at Wagons-Lits, worked briefly at Hachette and for a while at Kodak, the mother in a bank. The Seine-et-Marne version of the social elevator. The previous generation worked on the farms of Brie. Until the age of 6, the child is raised by his maternal grandmother. His voice becomes more hollow when he talks about his “festive parents, the liberated 1970s” . An only child, he sometimes, even when he is older, stays alone in the evening. The child experiences cinema early. “At 9 years old, the death of Bambi’s mother is something! » Especially if the following year we watch Freaks , by Tod Browning, or the Lon Chaney cycles at Claude-Jean Philippe’s “Ciné-club” on television. “I then lack attention, so I gradually turn to more dangerous things. » As a teenager, he sang in a punk band, Les Suppositoires. He went to school until 3rd grade despite repeating two years, only to end up being forced into a BEP in accounting, which he followed as a forced visitor. “It was at that moment, very late, that I began to take an interest in literature,” explains the man who reveals this extensive and plural knowledge specific to autodidacts.

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