Carmen Jaquier’s Thunder enters into post-production
- Following a two-month film shoot in 2020, the Genevan director’s first feature has now entered into the post-production phase
A former student of HEAD in Geneva and of ECAL in Lausanne where she studied film direction (to Bachelor level) and writing (to Master level) respectively, Carmen Jaquier has just finished editing her first feature film Thunder [+see also:
interview: Carmen Jaquier
film profile], which is now entering into the post-production phase, an essential stage of the creative process which should come to an end at the close of the autumn.
The film was shot between August and September 2020 in Switzerland’s mountainous Binn Valley region (Upper Valais), which sits 1,200 metres above sea level. As Carmen Jaquier explained to the Swiss daily newspaper Le Temps, filming wasn’t too heavily impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, largely thanks to the fact that it unfolded in a remote region of Switzerland and was helmed by a team who lived in near total isolation.
Thunder is the first feature film to have commenced shooting during the pandemic. The movie is produced by Flavia Zanon on behalf of Genevan production house Close Up, in co-production with RTS (Swiss Radio and Television). The film also enjoyed support from the Federal Office of Culture, Cineforum and the Suissimage Grant for women directors.
Thunder is set in the summer of 1900. Its seventeen-year-old protagonist Elisabeth (Lilith Grasmung) is getting ready to take her vows after spending five years in a convent, when the sudden, violent death of her older sister forces her to return to the family home. Elisabeth will find herself faced once again with the life of toil she’d previously left behind her. But this time round, she’s no longer a child and the mysteries surrounding her sister’s death lead her to think about her life and to lay claim to the passions she thought she’d left behind. From up high, on the mountain, she will try to re-connect with the joy and innocence of childhood in the company of three boys who have since become men. The cast is composed of young actress Lilith Grasmung, alongside Noah Watzlawick, Benjamin Python and Mermoz Melchior, while Elisabeth’s parents are played by François Revaclier and Bernese actress Sabine Timoteo (awarded the Swiss Film Prize in 2008 for Love, Money, Love by Philip Gröning). Jaquier confessed to Le Temps to having been inspired by the discovery of notebooks belonging to her grandmother, which detailed the latter’s childhood in the Valais region at the beginning of the 20th century. These memoirs gave Carmen Jaquier the urge to make a period film. She also insists on having been heavily inspired by Pier Paolo Pasolini’s The Gospel According to Matthew for the overall atmosphere of her movie.
(Translated from French)
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