Resnais shoots Les herbes folles
by Fabien Lemercier
10/03/2008 - For the past week, Alain Resnais has been back in his favourite shooting location, the Arpajon Studios near Paris, working on his new film, French/Italian co-production Les herbes folles (“Wild Reeds”, formerly known as L’incident).
As expected, the director has put together a distinguished cast that includes his usual collaborators Sabine Azéma and André Dussollier (who are making their ninth and seventh feature with Resnais respectively) as well as Michel Vuillermoz (Private Fears in Public Places [trailer]) and newcomers to Resnais’ films: Emmanuelle Devos, Anne Consigny and Mathieu Amalric.
For the first time in his career, Resnais – who co-wrote the screenplay with Laurent Herbiet – has adapted a novel for the big screen. Les herbes folles is based on Christian Gailly’s L’incident and retraces the encounter between a dentist and amateur pilot (Azéma) whose bag is snatched and its contents thrown across a car park, and a solitary man with a troubled past (Dussollier) who retrieves her wallet.
The unlikely chance meeting of these two characters leads to a certain romantic dithering that unfolds in eight phases, corresponding to the rules of flying, and in particular the safety procedures before take-off.
Produced by Jean-Louis Livi for F comme Films, Les herbes folles is being made on a budget of €11.1m. This includes pre-sales and co-production support from France 2 Cinéma, a 10% co-production investment from Italy’s BIM Distribuzione, €600,000 from Eurimages, €560,000 from the Ile-de-France region, a pre-sale from Canal + and a €380,000 advance on receipts from the National Centre for Cinematography (CNC).
The shoot is set to last 67 days and the film is being lensed by the talented Éric Gautier (who worked on recent titles Summer Hours and Into the Wild).
(Translated from French)