"I wanted to talk about the adventure of brotherhood"
by Domenico La Porta
- Cineuropa met the director of Welcome to Argentina, who presented his first feature at the Les Arcs European Film Festival
Welcome to Argentina [+see also:
interview: Edouard Deluc
film profile] is Edouard Deluc’s first feature film. While attending the Festival du Cinéma Européen des Arcs (Les Arcs European Film Festival), the French director told us about this simple and moving road movie, an invitation to hit the Argentinean roads.
Cineuropa: What was your initial motivation for this film?
Edouard Deluc: I wanted to talk about adventure and brotherhood, or more precisely about the adventure of brotherhood. This was the starting-point for the development of the short movie, which had already been considered as a feature film well before it was shot. ¿Donde esta Kim Basinger? was easier to make, though both I myself and the producer already had a feature film in mind from the beginning. So the making of Welcome to Argentina was very easy.
Strategically, did your short movie facilitate or speed up the production of Welcome to Argentina?
It was not a strategy, but in my case, it was necessary. Before the short film, there was something rather tenuous about my writing that could have raised doubts in the mind of a producer. I needed to prove that I did not need an outlandishly dramatic plot to tell this story in a way that would be interesting. The success of ¿Donde esta Kim Basinger? changed the reading of my script, which should be seen as a start or an array of possibilities rather than as an end in itself, as if, after the screenplay, there were no more movie to be made.
Do you admit to any influences during your writing or the shooting?
There are links between Welcome to Argentina and Fill’er up with Super by Alain Cavalier, an influence that brought us all together even as regards the method. We met with the actors each week to talk about the script and rewrite it. We also wrote together on the set. This process, which I had discovered with Cavalier, was of immediate interest to me. Then, there are unconscious references. I love the movies of Alexander Payne and his approach to comedy, his way of diving into the human aspects of the material. Welcome to Argentina is also somewhat similar to Sideways because the characters drive through the vineyards. Images like these remain...
The film seems to have been written for Philippe Rebbot, an actor who was also in the short movie...
Yes, that's true. I have one goal in life, which is to work towards revealing this amazing actor. I am very touched by Philippe Rebbot’s fantasy, his poetry and his relationship with the world. I wrote (the movie) for him and his character reflects my own big brother. I built the story around my relationship with my brother. Philippe stimulates my imagination and I knew he was perfect to play the role of my brother. As for Nicolas Duvauchelle, I found him very moving in Eager Bodies, which is one of my Top 20 films. Since that movie, I have followed his career and I felt he would be perfect opposite Philippe to create the relationship I wanted between my two characters.
Why did you decide to make things more complicated for yourself by shooting your first film in Argentina?
It wasn't about making things more complicated. The film was born there. I am very fond of the country and I needed this mixture of languages. There was something holding me in Argentina and I had to appease it by making this film. Beyond the constraints – economic issues, unions -, this country has been a gift from the gods; my imagination and motivation were increased tenfold. There was no way I could see myself making a film in Paris. In the end, I was remarkably lucky!
How did you get on with Herman Dune for the music?
Their music was already there during the writing process. They were like ghosts hovering over the work. I had used one of their pieces in my short film and I knew that they had enjoyed ¿Donde esta Kim Basinger? very much. Two months before the filming of Welcome to Argentina, I sent them my screenplay. They had never worked on a film, but they were keen to do so. In just one month, I had an original soundtrack that corresponded almost exactly to what I was expecting. My producer had never seen anything that was so self-evident. We were made for each other.