Aurel launches into animation: “It’s an opportunity to give life and meaning to my drawings”

His quill is scratching – in the papers. His film moves – on the screen. Aurel, press cartoonist, enjoys caricaturing politicians, events, current affairs. Passed to the cinema, he tells in “Josep”, the adventure of Bartoli, Spanish anti-Franco artist confined in several concentration camps in France in 1939. Dispossessed of everything – except of his talent – Josep Bartoli went through one of the most difficult periods. blackest in history. Tracked down by the fascists, mistreated by the French gendarmes, escaped and recaptured by the garbage of Vichy, delivered to the Nazis, he managed to take off, and to take refuge later in Mexico, then in the USA. The film pays homage to him, but its particularity is to be… a cartoon. Format reserved for children? Not at all. We are not at Walt Disney, but in the river of an exemplary life – because Josep Bartoli did exist. How do you make an animated biopic? And why ? We put the questions to Aurel.

“Josep” trailer

How do you go from press cartoons to animated cinema?

One of my activities is drawn reportage. This is how I described the election of Obama, or the situation of the illegals. In 2011, I co-directed an animated short, “Black October”, but I had no particular artistic desire when it comes to cinema. Everything happened by chance encounters. It was at this time that I discovered Bartoli’s work… What brought me

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In Iran, a reality TV to decide whether or not to hang a young woman

For life, type 1. For death, type 2. Between two songs and two commercials, the handsome host invites viewers to choose between the release or hanging of a young woman. That evening, the night of the Zoroastrian festival of Yalda, where the winter solstice is celebrated by eating red-hearted fruits and reciting poems by Hafez, twenty million of them, glued to the small screen, to play the game. It looks like a satire on reality television, a parody of a popular trial, an ubiquitous version of “Bring the accused in”.

Well, no, the program which inspired “Yalda, the night of forgiveness” by Massoud Bakhshi (in theaters October 7) really exists. In Iran. This forgiveness, to save their lives, the repentant must obtain it directly from the mouths of relatives of victims, while viewers are called to give their opinion before the arrival, on the set, of a prosecutor, who records the final award. A show presented in the style of a variety show, but designed to raise the suspense and let believe that the people of the TV jurors are sovereign. If forgiveness wins, the sponsors will pay the victim’s family the heavy lifting “Blood price”.

READ ALSO> Sex, alcohol & the Islamic revolution: welcome to Tehran

Explode the ratings

Upset and even stunned that, in his country, television juggles life and death under the sun, Massoud Bakhshi has made a remarkable film, which in turn overwhelms and stuns us. In this cathodic camera, his camera flits between the set, the control room and the backstage of a program where the fate of Maryam, 22, is being played out, whom the police bring, handcuffed, to the studio. She accidentally killed her husband, Nasser, a 65-year-old publicist, with whom she was pregnant. After fifteen months in prison, sentenced to death, she can only escape if Mona, Nasser’s only daughter, grants her her pardon in public. To which, focused on its principles and its interests, it seems not to consent.

The confrontation of the two veiled young women is coupled with a class struggle: Maryam comes from a modest background, Mona is a rich heiress. Orchestrated by the producer, the revelations and the dramatic changes will disrupt the direct and explode the audience. If this suffocating film, masterfully directed, is so uplifting, it is because it casts an incandescent light on Iranian society, its Islamic law, its patriarchal traditions and its official television, where even morality is convoluted. with kitsch.

READ ALSO> Foucault in Iran: “He did not see women”

Published in “L’OBS” on October 1, 2020.


From “Citizen Kane” to “Maltese Falcon”: 13 great films seen by… Michel Audiard

We will never end, with Audiard. We recently discovered a few articles published in the most popular press by “Le P’tit Cycliste”, but at the Liberation the tone changed. The function too. Michel Audiard has become a film critic in the newspaper “l’Etoile du soir”. He is 25 years old, did not obtain his press card (but received a sanction of thirty months of suspension by the purification commission), and it is under the pseudonym of Jacques Potier that he signs chronicles collected today and commented on by Franck Lhomeau in “Each time an innocent person has the idea of ​​putting on a masterpiece, the cockroaches choir goes into a trance”, a book published by Joseph K.

We discover a joyful beater, who mocks the cinematographic heroism of resistance fighters on the screen, gets enthusiastic about Orson Welles, casts Jean Gabin, adores “the Quiet Father”, has fun at the Cannes Film Festival, sees in Raimu “The most robust actor of our time”. He is sometimes wrong (he shoots “the Maltese Falcon” and “Stormy Weather”), assassinates Edward G. Robinson – actor of Jewish origin – in “Insurance on death” (“Sloth and oily monkey”), appreciates John Ford, describes “the Great Illusion” as a masterpiece, and “the Raven” as a film “Beautiful and healthy”. The pen is lively, the tone acerbic, the reading of these chronicles fascinating. The funny thing, my friends, is that Audiard, on several occasions, criticizes one of the big faults of French cinema (according to him) &

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“Billie”, “Heroes never die”, “Heartbeat” … Films to see (or not) this week

♥♥♥ Billie

British documentary, by James Erskine (1h32).

“Billie” trailer

It’s a tearsome story – and tears come. That incredible voice, that pain of living, that woman’s face, and that song, “Strange Fruit”, which tells of the atrocious lynchings of the Deep South, everything squeezes your throat. Billie Holliday, in this magnificent documentary by James Erskine, returns, thanks to a film miracle. First, there are the images of the singer, her eyes closed, her mouth violently red, in lost clubs, chic bars, smoky clubs. Here is Billie Holliday in a black dress, the child of violence, the occasional prostitute, the junkie devoured by dope, the wonderful artist obsessed with music, to whom she gives her shattered soul. Listen to this dark sweetness accompanied by the velvet of Lester Young’s sax, listen and watch what is rising from this woman, this lava of grief, this melody that tears the night apart from Jim Crow. “Lady Sings the Blues” is the title of her 1956 album. Nobody sings, will sing the blues like her…

Then there is the odyssey of the film itself. This one is based on the documents of an American journalist, Linda Lipnack Kuehl, who, for ten years, gathered all the possible documents on Billie Holliday. In the 1970s, the investigator interviews Charlie Mingus, Sarah Vaughan, Count Basie, school friends, cell mates, cops, and keeps all these recordings on tape, puts them in notebooks. The goal: to write a biography. The ace ! The book will never see the light of day. On February 6, 1978, Linda Kuehl was defenestrated from the third floor in Washington. Murder, accident? The city, then, is the capital of crime. The cops are filing the case under “suicide”, period. Cassettes, manuscripts, notebooks, everything is put away in the cupboard. Forty years later, director James Erskine comes across this manna from a collector: two hundred hours of interviews and a manuscript. Result: a titanic job to sort the set with the help of Myra, Linda’s sister. The two stories, that of Billie and that of Linda, are intertwined. Billie Holliday’s latest pics – “The trees of the South bear a strange fruit / Blood on the leaves, blood on the roots / Black bodies sway in the breeze of the South” – are absolutely unforgettable. We are in June 1959, she is the shadow of herself, she is going to die, she is 44 years old.

Francois Forestier

♥ Heroes never die

Franco-Belgian-Bosnian drama, by Aude-Léa Rapin, with Adèle Haenel, Jonathan Couzinié, Antonia Buresi (1h25).

“Heroes Never Die” Trailer

Since a type crossed in the street took him for a Bosnian who died on August 21, 1983, the day of his birth, Joachim (Jonathan Couzinié) is convinced to be the reincarnation. He follows in his footsteps in Sarajevo, accompanied by his friend Alice (Adèle Haenel), documentary filmmaker, and his camera. If one guesses too well the ambition of the young director, who confronts young Parisians without history with the survivors of a country still scarred by the war, one never knows on which foot her film dances as she fails to interweave the false documentary, the real history of the natives and the psychodrama of the protagonists, by turns laughable and pathetic. Even the effervescent Adèle Haenel seems to be wondering what she is doing there.

Nicolas schaller

♥♥ A beating heart

Israeli comedy-drama, by Keren Ben Rafael, with Judith Chemla, Arieh Worthalter, Noémie Lvovsky (1h30).

Trailer “A beating heart”

She, Julie, is in Paris. Him, Yuval, in Tel Aviv. Love story long distance, therefore. At the beginning, thanks to WhatsApp and Zoom, everything is fine, the passion is there. Then, as the days go by, things deteriorate. Good idea of ​​theater, poor idea of ​​cinema: the initial situation repeats itself, and the director, Keren Ben Rafael (“Virgins”), feels the problem. The drama progresses towards disenchantment, jealousy sets in, and the characters, who communicate only by videoconference, slide towards a blues due to the circumstances. If the bet, despite everything, is won, it is thanks to the actors, who literally carry the film.

F. F.

It missed

The woman who ran away

South Korean drama, by Hong Sang-soo, with Kim Min-hee, Seo Young-hwa, Saebyuk Kim (1h17).

Trailer “The woman who ran away”

Her husband left on a business trip, Gamhee took the opportunity to visit three of her friends. Their reunion is systematically turned upside down by the irruption of a man. As delicate as the work that Hong Sang-soo builds with his muse and companion Kim Min-hee, at the rate of two feature films per year on average, one can legitimately wonder if his hyperproductiveness would not begin to be damaging to him.

Silver Bear for Best Director at the last Berlin Film Festival, the South Korean Rohmer signs films like others take out their dogs, the habit sometimes eclipsing the need for action. At least, this is the impression that this umpteenth variation leaves on the couple and the relationships between men and women, where people discuss and give less and less desire to listen to them.

N. S.

♥♥ The Moral Order

Portuguese drama, by Mário Barroso, with Maria de Medeiros, Marcello Urgeghe, João Pedro Mamede (1h41).

Trailer “The Moral Order”

Disregarded by his own and shunned by his class, the bourgeoisie of the early twentiethe century, Maria Adelaide is a freed woman. By fleeing with a young socialist driver over twenty years her junior, she completes her emancipation, but precipitates the tragedy. Director of photography for Manoel de Oliveira, Mário Barroso signs a somewhat rigid aesthetic staging. But the interpretation of Maria de Medeiros, an actress too rare and always masterful, gives the film a lyrical and melancholy breath.

Xavier Leherpeur

♥♥ Kajillionaire

American comedy, by Miranda July, with Evan Rachel Wood, Debra Winger, Richard Jenkins (1h45).

“Kajillionaire” trailer

Adventures and misadventures of a trio of little crooks, really shabby but super picturesque. Father, Robert, mom, Theresa, and daughter, Old Dolio, steal stuff from post office lockers, live in rotten old offices, fear earthquakes in LA, adopt Melanie, another scoundrel, and survive thanks to the system D. Miranda July, singer, artist, novelist, director, knows how to create funny sketches, but does the addition of these make a film? It’s rambling, charming, whimsical, and we can already imagine the TV series. For movie lovers a bit crazy.

F. F.

♥♥♥ Josep

French cartoon, by Aurel (1h14).

“Josep” trailer

The war in Spain in cartoons. But these drawings are due to Aurel, political cartoonist of the “World” and the “Canard enchaîné”. The style therefore has nothing to do with Disney or the Pixar comics. Everything is sketched in line, old-fashioned, which adds to the tragic odyssey of the hero, Josep Bartoli, anti-Franco artist interned in the French camps in 1939. The Nazis arrive, Josep fled to Mexico… This biopic inspired by The authentic events are poignant, and the anger at the outrageous treatment that the French Republic has inflicted on the refugees is not extinguished. The pencil is a weapon to kill fascists, the film vividly demonstrates it.

F. F.

♥♥ A country that stands wise

French documentary, by David Dufresne (1h26).

Trailer “A Country That Keeps Wise”

In this documentary, the filmmaker is not content to make end to end images of violence, police and others, which punctuated the demonstrations of “yellow vests”. He makes them comment by those who were the actors or witnesses. This citizen and salutary film, which campaigns for freedom of expression, decrypts information in an edifying and fascinating way. Only small regret: that we have to wait until the end of the film to see the names and functions of the speakers registered …

X. L.

♥♥ Autonomous

French documentary, by François Bégaudeau (1h50).

“Autonomous” trailer

In Mayenne, François Bégaudeau sets out to meet people who have freed themselves from the system, living off barter or mutual aid. The testimonies of the members of an associative café and of organic farmers organized in communities are juxtaposed with sequences of observation and dialogue with dowsers, a magnetizer or a survivalist too radical to be honest. Because Bégaudeau is smart. He sowed traps in his documentary and has fun, to desecrate the naive utopia of the good savage and of the exclusive return to nature, of the viewer’s credulity. Which wonders if he is in front of an ersatz of the show “Strip Tease” or a committed report Cyril Dion way. Nothing very revolutionary except that, in this way, it makes concrete and united companies all the more relevant.

N. S.

It comes out

♥♥♥ The Three Days of the Condor

American thriller, by Sydney Pollack, with Robert Redford, Faye Dunaway, Max von Sydow (1975, 1h57).

“Three Days of the Condor” trailer

I never understood why James Grady’s (excellent) book is called “Six Days of the Condor” and why the film wasted three days. I put the question to Sydney Pollack, the director. He no longer knew himself (question of budget, surely). But never mind: this is one of Pollack’s best films, one of the best spy films of the time, and one of Robert Redford’s best films. Sydney Pollack finds the rhythm, credibility and atmosphere of this techno-thriller, released at a time when the Watergate scandal was contributing to the general paranoid mood. Not aged a bit.

F. F.


“The pain of existing has made Billie Holiday a great artist”

“Billie” is a tearsome story – and tears come. This incredible voice, this pain of living, this woman’s face, and this song, “Strange Fruit”, which tells about black bodies hanging from trees, everything squeezes your throat. Billie Holiday, in this magnificent documentary by James Erskine, returns, thanks to a film miracle.

First, there are the photos of this singer, her eyes closed, her mouth violently red, in lost clubs, chic bars, smoky clubs. Then there is the odyssey of the film itself. This is based on documents collected by an American journalist, Linda Lipnack Kuehl, who, for ten years, collated everything that was possible on Billie Holiday.

In the 1970s, the investigator interviews Charlie Mingus, Sarah Vaughan, Count Basie, school friends, cell mates, cops. The goal: to write a biography. The ace ! The book will never see the light of day. On February 6, 1978, Linda Kuehl was defenestrated from the third floor. His recordings, his manuscripts, his contacts, everything is put in the closet.

Forty years later, director James Erskine comes across this manna from a collector: 200 hours of interviews and a manuscript. Result: a work of Titan, a moving film. The last images of Billie Holiday, singing a funeral blues, are absolutely unforgettable. We are in June 1959, she is the shadow of herself, she is going to die, she is 44 years old. Here is the story of a

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Barbet Schroeder: “Trump is in the permanent self-portrait”

His life is a novel. Born in Iran, raised in Colombia and in Paris, Barbet Schroeder accompanied the New Wave in its beginnings, he produced Eric Rohmer and Jacques Rivette, signed with “More”, shot in Ibiza to music by Pink Floyd, an emblematic film of the hippie generation before going into exile for twenty years in Hollywood where he led – excuse a little – Meryl Streep, Nicolas Cage, Mickey Rourke, Glenn Close or Ryan Gosling. Also documentary filmmaker, he made speak the Ugandan dictator Idi Amin Dada and the lawyer of terror, Jacques Vergès, filmed in the streets of Medellin in the hands of the cartel. At 79 years old, and at the height of his meter 90, this great Swiss has not finished roaming.

The American Film Festival honors you, the most stateless filmmaker there is.

My basic culture is American cinema. I knew all of Howard Hawks’ films before knowing any Shakespeare play or Mozart opera. My meeting with Eric Rohmer was made a lot around the films of Hawks, these comedies that are not. I liked his irony, the documentary aspect, the subtlety of the characters, the economy of the narrative.

46th Deauville Festival: America without the Americans

Yet your interest in the subject of evil makes you more of an heir to Fritz Lang.

We could cite others, the theme of evil is everywhere. Except in the vast majority of American cinema: there are good guys, bad guys and we have to punish the bad guys.

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Roman Polanski retains his place at the General Assembly of the Caesar despite the controversies

Roman Polanski is therefore on the list of 182 new representatives of the General Assembly of the Academy of Caesar, revealed Monday, September 14, in the branch “achievement”. Still targeted by accusations of rape and sexual assault of twelve women, including several minors, he had provoked heated controversy at the 45th Caesar ceremony last February, which he and his team refused to attend. Two weeks later, the management of the Academy announced his collective resignation.

French cinema facing the Haenel and Polanski cases: “The silences will be more and more guilty”

In reaction to the controversies that plague the Academy of Caesar, the institution wanted to heal its image last July. She had notably communicated on her intention to overhaul the General Assembly in favor of “full parity”, which is accused of promoting mutuality.

Charlotte Lewis accused Roman Polanski: “They said I was a prostitute, a liar”

Terzian and Langmann also on the list

The promise of parity is partly respected (there are indeed 8 women for 8 men in the interpretation branch, even if on the production side, there are 8 directors for 13 men).

Some names, however, are already cringe. Alain Terzian, who is criticized for having encouraged the lack of diversity in the committee, is still present on the list of representatives. This is also the case of Roman Polanski, at the center of the scandal of the last ceremony. Also at his side, producer Thomas Langmann, convicted of harassment in 2019.

Caesar: how House Terzian fell

These personalities have one thing in common: they are all three considered historical members of the Association for the Promotion of Cinema, as indicated by the asterisk next to their surname on the list. They were therefore not elected, but automatically renewed thanks to this status.

This privilege quickly aroused strong reactions, including from members of the General Assembly. In a video on Twitter, the actor and director Eric Metayer, also present in the script branch, spoke in favor of the departure of some members.

“I warn my comrades who were elected like me that we will ask, from the first General Assembly, to change the statutes so that the historical members are elected like the others. And that members who have nothing to do with it go away. “

In the same tone, many Internet users are surprised and denounce the presence of Roman Polanski on the list of representatives of the institution.

Caesar 2020 begins with anti-Polanski protests



46th Deauville Festival: America without the Americans

The Americans, this year, were unable to land in Normandy because of the viral occupant. The stars confined to their homes, the studios balking at the expense, the 46e The Deauville American Film Festival took place between French people and in collaboration with those of Cannes and Annecy (dedicated to animation): the latter could not take place physically in May and June, some films of their selection 2020 were presented on the Normandy coast.

Among the Cannes label holders, we were able to see “les Deux Alfred” (in theaters on January 13), a tasty comedy by and with Bruno Podalydès, on our fate ofhomo algorithmus, slaves to the new world of work, uberisation and modern gadgets. A cousin of “Erase History” less responsive, lighter, poetic and warm, with Denis Podalydès and Sandrine Kiberlain as well. Happiness !

Vincent Lacoste and Bruno Podalydès make (American) films

We will not say the same of Maïwenn’s new ego trip, “DNA” (in theaters October 28), where she stages herself in a self-fictional role. Shaken up by the death of her grandfather, the actress director of “Polisse” reconnects with her origins, probes her Algerian roots and the place of cultural heritage with the sagacity of a mail attendant for readers of women’s magazines. For lack of a look at the subject, Maïwenn reduces it to a succession of family shouts (his trademark), commonplaces on the management of mourning, plans

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Albert Dupontel: “I would rather be against me than for me”

Albert Dupontel’s cinema has not changed, it is the world around that has worsened. Fourteen years ago, in “Locked Out”, a policeman threw himself into a river, leaving a note of apology: “Sorry, I can’t take it anymore. “ Today, in his latest film, two desperate people commit suicide in the face of a horde of cops by throwing around: “Goodbye idiots!” “ For a quarter of a century that he has staged himself in high-powered entertainment, the actor-director has imposed a tone, cartoony and squeaky and has forged a unique place in French cinema. That of a maverick, reluctant to the golds of the trade, who has been able to open his universe to an increasingly large audience without denying his rebellious spirit, angry at the established order and its absurdities. Voluble and uncompromising, this chronically dissatisfied welcomes us to his HQ, a large and disused mansion in the 17the Parisian district, listed as a historical monument – whose very advantageous rental conditions in 2017 were the subject of a wave of controversy – which serves as a production office, filming studio and editing room.

How did you come up with the idea of ​​orchestrating the meeting between a woman, Suze, condemned by illness, who seeks to meet her child born under X, a lonely geek who loses his job and misses his suicide, and a blind man who has cop phobia?

A bit like in “Neuf Mois ferme”, where I put in scene an austere, rigid and rigorous judge who is discovered in

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Joan Micklin Silver, the forgotten Hollywood

Discovering the films of Joan Micklin Silver is all the more pleasing as we did not even know his name before the Festival Lumière de Lyon, whose 12e edition has just ended, does not pay tribute to her as part of her Permanent History of Women Filmmakers. How could we have missed this director when she shot with actors that we love (Jeff Goldblum, Mark Ruffalo) and that she is part of a tradition of comedy of manners and Jewish humor which, from Woody Allen to Judd Apatow, is particularly popular with us? Even in “50 Years of American Cinema”, the reference dictionary of Bertrand Tavernier and Jean-Pierre Coursodon, his name is mentioned only briefly.

The journey of this daughter of Russian immigrants is symptomatic of the lack of consideration with which female directors were treated, even in the 1970s. In the United States, the era was in New Hollywood, this new golden age initiated by a generation of young prodigies, the Scorsese, Friedkin, Spielberg, Lucas, Coppola, whose relations of friendship and competition fostered artistic emulation. Among them, not a woman.

And if Barbara Loden made an impression on film buffs in 1970 with “Wanda”, we can regret that she did not continue on her momentum – that she was then married to Elia Kazan did not change anything in the affair – before die prematurely.

“I would have liked to be able to clone my spouse”

“Feature films are already very expensive to produce and distribute, and th

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