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“There is no moral question”

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Benoît Jacquot • Director


- VENICE 2014: 3 Hearts, the latest film by French director Benoît Jacquot, is in the running for the Golden Lion at the 71st Venice Film Festival

Benoît Jacquot  • Director

3 Hearts [+see also:
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interview: Benoît Jacquot
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, the latest film by French director Benoît Jacquot, is a romantic tragedy that boasts characters played by Benoît Poelvoorde, Chiara Mastroianni, Charlotte Gainsbourg and Catherine Deneuve. The film is in the running for the Golden Lion at the 71st Venice Film Festival, and Cineuropa took the opportunity to note down some of its director's remarks.

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How did you choose your actors?
The actresses were delighted to be working together. As soon as the cast was announced, there was a chemistry there. They shared a common desire. Charlotte was a little bit afraid of not being able to compete with the closeness that exists between Chiara Mastroianni and her real-life and on-screen mother, but Catherine Deneuve has already played Charlotte's mother on film. I'm convinced that a relationship has to be moulded by circumstances instead of you moulding the circumstances yourself. I'm not at all convinced by any closeness that is created by shaping it yourself. It's there right from the start. At first glance, Benoît Poelvoorde is not a natural-born charmer, but the actresses find him very charming, and I don't see why it would have been any different for the characters they play. He plays Marc perfectly. He embodies that inner nervousness that becomes apparent through the little details and that can eat away at a man.

Do you think the film raises a moral question?
It's the story of people who are unable to break free from their romantic connections. They are not morally unrestrained. There is no moral question; there is only a romantic problem. I don't think that people fall in love by thinking about it. Afterwards, you can come down to earth with a bang... That feeling of love at first sight can either destroy your heart or resuscitate it. The brain has nothing to do with it. If it does ever step in, it generally makes things even worse.

Why did you choose to make such a romantic, and almost ridiculous, ending? The random nature of it brings to mind the fortuitous initial encounter...
We started to write the screenplay starting from the end and worked backwards. Everything else followed on from that. Because of this, the ending does not seem ridiculous to me at all. On the contrary, it was the ending that gave me the direction for the film. A story like this one could be brought to an end in lots of different ways, even through the use of comedy. I really like happy endings, but this film didn't call for one. It was a conscious decision. We could have made a different one.

Why did you choose to have such a solemn musical score for a love story?
That kind of music is used in suspense films, and it is very prominent. I don't much like concealment, generally speaking. It's a love story, but it's also a tragedy. The music verges on the dramatic side of things, even when it is the more romantic feelings that are being shown on screen. At any rate, the initial impetus of the movie is a tragic one.

(Translated from French)

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