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LOCARNO 2021 Cineasti del presente

Émilie Aussel • Directora de L’été l’éternité

"En mis películas, me gusta pensar que los paisajes experimentan las mismas cosas que los personajes"


- La directora francesa nos habla de su primer largometraje, un himno poético a la adolescencia que pone en escena una juventud a flor de piel, a la vez fuerte y atormentada

Émilie Aussel • Directora de L’été l’éternité

Este artículo está disponible en inglés.

Produced by Marseille-based firm Shellac and selected for the Locarno Film Festival’s Cineasti del Presente competition, Our Eternal Summer [+lee también:
entrevista: Émilie Aussel
ficha de la película
dazzles for its freshness but also for the brutality of the traumatic event which changes the protagonist’s life forever. Its director Émilie Aussel spoke passionately about her personal approach to film, her artistic references and her love for the city of Marseille which characterises all her films.

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Cineuropa: How did you go about working with your young actors to achieve such intimacy and spontaneity?
Émilie Aussel
: I managed the casting myself, which consisted of several sessions, and which lasted a number of months. The audition process itself involves a very intimate encounter with the actors. Sometimes I choose very young people because they have similar life experience to the characters in the film. The distinctive thing about this film is the fact that I’d written a screenplay which we didn’t end up finding funding for in the way that we’d hoped, but we decided to make it anyway. This unexpected change inevitably led to various changes, notably of a geographic nature. I’d always shot my short films in Marseille, but this feature wasn’t originally intended to be set in this city. We ended up relocating it to Marseille, where I live, a city which I love and which I’ve filmed a lot. It involved a mix of street casting, adverts, word of mouth, and we did it all in situ with a young woman helping me. Once we’d found these young people, I re-wrote the script with them, I redeveloped all of these characters with them; we told the same story but with youngsters who weren’t in any way similar to those imagined for the initial project. Getting back to the actors, we spend a lot of time rehearsing, we work intensely on improvisation to bring them closer to their characters and to forge bonds between them. There’s always an exchange in terms of their private lives, the hurdles they might have overcome in their lives and which I’m also familiar with, which help me to replenish the story and the film’s more fictional moments. When we reach the shooting stage, we’re all ready, because we’ve spent a lot of time together. The actors receive their script one week before shooting, but they actually already know it by heart. My work revolves a lot around memory, around the dialogues, which are half written but which can then be reinvented. I like to confront people/characters with somewhat documentarian situations but involving specific storylines. That’s why the film spends a lot of time treading the line between something highly naturalistic and something far more constructed and fictional.

What is fascinating in your film is precisely that mix between reality and fiction, the natural and the unreal. What is your relationship with documentary cinema?
I studied fine arts at Le Fresnoy and then I started to make cinematic films in Marseille. I made four short films, each of which homed in on groups of young people. I often drew inspiration from the personalities of young people whom I chose to borrow from for these characters. As for the writing, I really like to travel back and forth between fictional characters and real people. Maybe this helps me to avoid getting too fixed an idea of what I think young people are all about.

What’s especially beautiful and powerful in your film is the intimate relationship which unfolds between the landscape and your characters, an almost painterly relationship. How do you work to achieve this effect and to create this bond? What are your references?
I’ve always been drawn to romantic or impressionist painting. I like to think of my films as paintings of feelings, to combine landscapes and characters. In all of my films, I like to tell myself that the landscapes feel the same things as the characters. I try to find links between these two worlds. In terms of my film references, there’s obviously Antonioni and Gus Van Sant. In the field of photography, I can speak of Wolfgang Tillmans, and in painting, Peter Doig. For me, the landscape and changes in light are just as important as the characters. I grew up in the South of France and I think that a lot of my imagination developed from there. I grew up with a certain light; the Mediterranean Sea wasn’t far away, there was a lot of nature and sky. The sea is present in all my films.

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(Traducción del francés)

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