The Press in Cannes | An exceptional welcome for Charlotte Le Bon

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(Cannes) Charlotte Le Bon is the only Quebecer to present a film in selection at the Cannes Film Festival this year. and son falcon lakevery nice initiatory story, intimate and poetic, had an exceptional reception at the Directors’ Fortnight.

Posted May 22

Marc Cassivi

Marc Cassivi
The Press

The Théâtre Croisette, which has 845 seats, was sold out on Sunday evening for the world premiere of the very first feature film by the Quebec actress, who is making a career after more than a decade in France.

His team, which includes the young Sara Montpetit and Joseph Engel in the main roles, was applauded for a long time by the festival-goers and other spectators of the Fortnight, members of the general public rather than of the film industry, a particularity of the parallel sections.

“It’s a kind of consecration to be selected for Cannes! “says Charlotte Le Bon a few hours earlier, when I met her on the very chic Terrasse Albane, located just above the Théâtre Croisette. The stars’ nightclub, which overlooks the bay of Cannes, becomes a place for meetings and interviews during the day.

The 35-year-old filmmaker was all the more delighted with this selection as the general delegate of the Directors’ Fortnight, Paolo Moretti, chose her film when he did not know her at all. His star status in France, after being revealed by the Canal+ channel, did not influence the decision.

falcon lake, which does not yet have a theatrical release date in Quebec, focuses on the emotional upbringing and first love affairs of a 13-year-old Frenchman (Engel). When Bastien’s family comes to spend a few days of vacation in a chalet by the lake where his Quebec mother (Monia Chokri) grew up with her childhood friend (Karine Gonthier-Hyndman), he instantly falls under the spell of Chloe.


Monia Chokri and Charlotte Le Bon on the set of falcon lakelast august

The 16-year-old, who is a little eccentric and believes her own ghost stories, is immediately irritated by the boy’s intrusion into her life (they share the same bedroom), but takes a liking to him. Bastien. Is it the affection of a big sister for a little brother? Chloe hangs out with 18-19 year old boys, drinks, smokes and is fascinated by death. Bastien, he is hatched fascinated by Chloé.

Produced in particular by French actors and directors Dany Boon and Jalil Lespert, for whom Charlotte Le Bon played in Yves Saint Laurent, falcon lake deals with the first times, the little jealousies and the humiliations of the thankless age. Charlotte Le Bon’s production is particularly neat and subtle, with splendid shadow play on the faces and silhouettes, particular care given to the soundtrack and an enigmatic ending that stays in your mind for a long time.

“It’s the first film I’ve produced that isn’t mine,” says Jalil Lespert, who had already met by chance at Albane. It was Lespert who offered his friend to read the graphic novel A sisterby Bastien Vives, whose falcon lake is a three free adaptation. The Quebecer appropriated the story and transposed it from the sea in Brittany to the Laurentian lake.

“It was also reassuring to shoot in a place that I know perfectly, she says, where I grew up when I was a teenager and where I spent all my summers. There is a kind of ambivalence in the Quebec landscapes that I really like. In summer, we feel that nature consumes all the snow. It’s lush, nature is in full power, just like those teenagers who experience their first impulses, those first emotions. At the same time, the waters of the lakes are black, you can’t see the depths, there is a very small death hovering! I find the lakes more mysterious than the sea.”

On the placid lake where his story is set, in the dense and disturbing forest that surrounds it, one apprehends the drama at any moment. Filming took place in the aptly named village of Gore, in the Lachute region. “The film is in the shadows. I wasn’t expecting that because I experienced this shoot almost like a vacation”, remarks the young Joseph Engel, discovered by Charlotte Le Bon in a film by Louis Garrel, The crusade.

The filmmaker had not, on the other hand, seen Sara Montpetit play the main role of Marie Chapdelaine, by Sébastien Pilote, when she chose her to play Chloé. The young actress was apprehensive when she read the graphic novel that inspired the film, particularly because of the “stereotypical images of women, which are quite raw,” he says. “I was reassured by reading Charlotte’s script, which is really different from the comics. »

Charlotte Le Bon readily admitted that the first versions of her screenplay were “quite scholarly” and lacked originality. “I was thrown out by SODEC! It was brutal! she laughs, referring to the many notes in the second version of the script, which inspired her to create a more singular work.

It was only when I started to inject a bit of the strange into it and the fascination I have for ghosts, for the backworld, for all this melancholy side, between two worlds, that we have found with my collaborator François Choquet, who is a co-screenwriter, the identity of the film. I started to have fun, to have more ideas, and that’s when we got funding from SODEC!

Charlotte LeBon

An ambiguous game of seduction is at the heart of falcon lakewhich is one of those eligible for the Caméra d’or, awarded to the best first feature film at the Cannes Film Festival, all sections combined.

“Bastien has one foot in childhood and one foot in adolescence, and Chloé has one foot in adolescence and one foot in adulthood,” says Charlotte Le Bon. They meet in this small junction between the two. She has an ascendancy over him that she doesn’t necessarily have with guys who are older than her. She plays with him, the handle a little, but he realizes that he may be funnier and smarter than she thinks. »

“Teenagers are cruel,” she adds. All my memories of adolescence are cruel. I’ve been through so many betrayals. I liked – and that’s what I put of myself in the character – that Chloé was at the same time a little frightened by the sexual urges of men who are older than her, who look at her in a sex »

The masculine perspective, omnipresent in cinema, an inspiration for the self-taught filmmaker, who is presenting her first short film at Cannes, Hotel Judith, as part of the Adami talents program in 2018, to make a first feature film. “I admit that the fact of being an actress and sometimes being confronted with the visions of directors that I didn’t like, of experiencing disappointments, frustration too, perhaps gave me the little boost I final sending and the courage to go there and tell me that I was able to do it. »

It is mainly men who have directed her to the cinema since her beginnings, recalls the actress, who is also a painter, photographer and illustrator. “It’s a trivial thing to say, the more they had preconceptions, they had clichéd ideas of femininity. It was important to me that my female character not be in the feminine archetypes of the little dress or the little skirt. On the contrary, it is bizarre, it is dark. I identified much more with a character like that. I wrote a character that I would have liked to play at Sara’s age. »

It was somehow Quebec Sunday in Cannes. In addition to falcon lake, the actors Théodore Pellerin and Vassili Schneider presented films on the Croisette. The first at the Directors’ Fortnight in one of the main roles of Continental Drift (to the south), by Lionel Baier (whose director of photography is Quebecer Josée Deshaies). The second in a secondary role of almond treesby Valeria Bruni Tedeschi, one of the most inspiring films in the official competition so far.

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