Official Selection 2022
Jacques Meilleurat

ÉTOILES
STARS

France / 2022 / Color / 71’
World Premiere

Jacques Meilleurat
“You’re 15-22 years old, you want to sing in a musical, sign up to ozu.com”. A young man shouts this announcement into a megaphone and stars fall on the streets of the city. About fifteen young people, mostly girls, and a handful of boys, go through the casting process. They stop in front of Jacques Meilleurat’s camera to sing a song a cappella or accompanied by a guitar or ukulele. Stars is the continuation of their performances, cruelly captured in the summer light. It’s simple and moving, carried by the humble gift of these faces and voices risking everything in the raw, pure present moment of their singing. Yet, since the author of Leaning Against the Wall (Grand Prix of the French Competition, FID 2021) is anything but naive, the film is far from being that simple or innocent. Sometimes a synth accompaniment comes out of nowhere in addition to the directly recorded sound. So the film’s casting spells the beginning of the musical to come and, as in all musicals, the lyrics of the songs speak volumes about and for those who sing them. As the singers often exchange confidences with the young man doing the casting, each sequence becomes a portrait and the film is the portrait of a generation, of diverse, working-class young people in a town in the South West. The youth of today also sings songs of yesterday and what emerges in this gap is the self-portrait of a tormented filmmaker, in love with the people he films but rebelling against his time. Gloom intermittently veils the brilliance of the performances – personal or family woes, lives destined for instability, the shadow cast by Covid on the existence of these people and the film. By having Les Mots Bleus sung and heard four times, there is no doubt that Meilleurat is paying homage to its author, Christophe, who died during the editing and to whom Stars seems to be implicitly dedicated. (Cyril Neyrat)

Technical sheet

Original version : french
Subtitles : english
Script : Jacques Meilleurat
Photography : Jacques Meilleurat
Editing : Jacques Meilleurat
Sound : Jacques Meilleurat
Production & distribution : Jacques Meilleurat (Association Cinq Films).
Filmography : Mon adorée, 2022
Appuyé au mur, 2021
En désordre, 2019
Éléphant, 1981

INTERVIEW WITH THE DIRECTOR

Director

Jacques Meilleurat - France

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