France (Milwaukee Premiere)
Running Time: 10 minutes
Screening Time: Saturday, Sept 10 at 6:30PM
Screening Time: Saturday, Sept 10 at 6:30PM
Nathan is joined by his daughter Camille by the racetracks. He hopes that by betting on the race, he will be able to afford the school of her dreams. But when Nathan discovers that Camille is admitted in an other school far away, the race takes a whole other turn.
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Question : What is the origin of your story ?
Answer: Before writing and directing « As de Trèfle », I wrote a feature film called « The Centaur » which takes place in the same arena: the world of horse racing, racetracks, passionate gamblers. At the end of the writing of the feature film, I had the feeling that it was necessary to show the cinematographic potential of the film and of this very specific universe. I also felt the need to be confronted with the difficulties associated with filming on a racetrack. Filming horses requires a lot of preparation and thought. There are very strict safety instructions on a racetrack. Everything must therefore be meticulously prepared and thought out.
Question : Why such a special interest in racetracks ?
Answer : In my opinion, cinema has shown very little interest in this universe. Apart from Kubrick's film, « the Killing », the racecourse is almost only used as a secondary setting. The players, the racing world are approached as an anecdotal, secondary representation. Yet it is a particularly captivating place. On a cinematic level, nothing is more beautiful and visual than a horse jumping an obstacle at full speed. Also because it relates to gambling, it is a subject that interests me a lot. Gambling, when it comes to money, is very often seen in cinema or in literature from a moral angle. It is presented as a corruption of society. It then becomes synonymous with perversion (dependence, cheating, unproductiveness, etc.). Yet gambling can be just the opposite. It is synonymous with hope, pleasure, intelligence. This is especially true for horse racing bets.
Question: Was it a complex shooting ?
Answer : Convinced that an important part of the credibility of the film is based on the races, we decided to put the capture at the heart of the device so that « As de Trèfle » is the most successful, the most accurate in its representation. It is a radical but necessary choice in order to render as faithfully as possible the spirit of a race and the power that emerges from it. The race fits naturally into the narrative of the film. The images of horses running at full speed and jumping obstacles are cinematically arresting.
A third of the filming was thus devoted to capturing races. 6 cameras and a team of cameramen were mobilized to be as close as possible to the track and the obstacles. This allowed us to record more than 6 hours of rush.
Question : What were the staging choices for this part ?
Answer : The horse race is narratively perceived from the point of view of Nathan and Camille, therefore from the point of view of the bleachers. However, as we progress through the film, we get closer and closer to the horses in order to illustrate the immense tension that overwhelms the protagonists. The crash of hooves on the track and the ardor of horses soon take over. We are closer to the race, we are now strictly speaking immersed in the race. This helps to illustrate Nathan's confusion and Camille's excitement. Fast pace, nervous cut editing, handheld camera, sound saturation, the staging of « As de Trèfle » is at the service of the issues that the protagonists undergo. Because ultimately, the main challenge of the film is to try to film a form of vertigo...
Question : Tell us about the relationship between father and daughter ?
Answer : In the characters of Camille and Nathan there is something that we will find in all parents/children. It is a mixture of both annoyance, misunderstanding and love. Being a father is difficult, being a child is just as difficult. Relationships are complex on both sides. What interested me was to show this complexity of the relationship between them. It was also important to me at the end that the two characters somehow find common ground to build something new between them. I found it interesting and hopeful. Nathan is a failing father. But a loving father who tries to do the best he can. When he understands that his daughter is going to move away from him, he panics. He realizes that he will have to face loneliness for the first time in his life. It terrifies him. Camille on her side is angry with her father. She has been feeling trapped for a long time. I was extremely lucky that Thierry Hancisse from La Comédie Française agreed to play the role of Nathan. His performance as well as that of his playing partner, Félicie Robert, are very accurate.
Question : What are your future projects ?
Answer : I am working with Jean-Baptiste Jouy, the producer of « As de Trèfle », on two other projects, a feature film and a series. We work together on the development of both projects in parallel.