Jean-François Stévenin, the author of three cult feature films, certainly knows how to make an entrance: Laurent Achard opens this portrait devoted to him as part of the mythical series Cinéastes de Notre Temps with an expectant wait. Behind the camera, in the Manet mirror on the wall of the café where the actor-director is due to arrive, we can see all the fans who have come to listen to him today. When the hero eventually turns up, almost like Johnny Halliday, his entrance into the frame is also that of the actor he was, in his own films and those of Truffaut, Rivette, Godard, Mazuy and many others.
Achard does not focus on Stévenin at work; rather than asking questions about the films he’s made, he chooses to bring up an unfinished project with the widow of Louis-Ferdinand Céline. Most of the conversation involves the friendship between Stévenin and this woman – a fresco of an unlikely but committed friendship that’s undoubtedly linked to the substance of his other films. But it’s also a way for Achard to avoid yet another discourse on the existing films, and, on the contrary, make this unknown film exist through discourse. Jean-François Stévenin – Simples Messieurs also becomes a document about a filmmaker who expresses and directs himself, bringing to life through words and gestures what could not be made a reality in images. (N.L.)
- Other gems
Jean-François Stévenin – Simple Men
- Other gems
France / 2020 / Color / HD / 59’
Original version : French.
Script : Laurent Achard.
Photography : David Grinberg.
Sound : Philippe Grivel.
Editing : Thomas Glaser.
Casting : Jean-François Stévenin.
Production and distribution : La Traverse (Gaël Teicher).
INTERVIEW WITH THE DIRECTOR
France / 2019 / Color and B&W / Stereo / 57’
Original version : French. Cinematography: Diane Veyrat, Laurent Fénart. Editing : Janine Waeber. Music: Sara Oswald, Virgil Van Ginneken. Sound : Diane Veyrat. Production : Zadig Productions (Dominique Gibrail), Caravel Production (Caroline Velan). Distribution : Caravel Production (Caroline Velan). INTERVIEW WITH THE DIRECTOR
Switzerland / 2019 / Color / HD, Dolby Digital / 60’
Original version : French. Subtitles : English. Script : Sergio da Costa, Maya Kosa. Photography : Sergio da Costa. Editing : Sergio da Costa, Maya Kosa, Gabriel Gonzalez. Sound : Xavier Lavorel. Casting : Antonin Ivanidze, Paul Sauteur, Emilie Bréthaut. Production : Close Up Films (Joëlle Bertossa & Flavia Zanon). Distribution : Close Up Films (Flavia Zanon). INTERVIEW WITH THE DIRECTORS
Canada / 2019 / Color / 4K / 35’
Original version : English. Subtitles : French. Photography : Iris Ng, Claire Harvey. Editing : Annie MacDonell, Maïder Fortuné. Sound: Julia Wittman, Polina Teif. Casting : Fiona Reid, Madelyne Beckles, Deragh Campbell. Production : Annie MacDonell, Maïder Fortuné. Distribution : Annie MacDonell, Maïder Fortuné. INTERVIEW WITH THE DIRECTOR
United-States / 1981 / Color / 16 mm Blow up to 35 mm / 90’
Original version : English. Photography : Lech Kowalsi, Rufus Standefer, Ron Zimmermann, Joe Sutherland, Jared Fitzgerald, Raifi Ferrucci, Peter Chapman. Editing : Val Kuklowsky, Lech Kowalski. Sound : Ron Yoshida, Doug Jackson, David King, Marshall Grupp, Athan Gigiakos. Music : Sex Pistols, X-Ray Spex, Generation X, Iggy Pop, The Dead Boys, clash, Augustus Pablo, Terry and the Idiots, Sham 69, The Rich Kids. Production : Extinkt Films. Distribution : Revolt Cinema (Odile Allard).
France / 2019 / Color / HDV, Stereo / 13’
Original version: French. Subtitles: English. Screenplay, Cinematography, Editing: Joachim Gatti, Gaël Marsaud. Sound: Jean-Baptiste Leroux, Alexandre Frigoult. Cast: Stéphanie Béghain. Production and distribution: Dekadrage (Stephanos Mangriotis).INTERVIEW WITH THE DIRECTORS