Festival 2021
Antoni Collot

JOJO

France / 2021 / 90’
World Premiere

Antoni Collot
In the opening shot, a father is lying in bed and asks his son, “Jojo, have you learned your poetry?” Jojo is Georges Bataille as a child. Antoni Collot has set himself the seemingly impossible challenge of inventing the childhood of the author of Le bleu du ciel. In a similar vein to the radiant Paul est Mort (FID 2018), he rises to the challenge by cobbling together a three-storey anachronism that takes the film away from classic biographical narratives. The first storey does not seek portray the young Bataille or imagine what the future writer might have been, but watches a contemporary child live, studying his experiences from the point of view of Bataille’s way of thinking, of his vision of the world. The childhood scenes thus freed from any form of prefiguration of the man to come, are the stations of a lesson in things: Jojo catches crayfish, builds a cabin, makes a big bonfire, discovers the paintings of Hieronymus Bosch… On the second floor, the editing short-circuits times and ages: as a counterpoint to the immediate present of childhood, moments in the lives of Jojo, his father Joseph and his housekeeper Pernette, Collot adds the sound of the intermittent flow of a radio interview between Bataille and a journalist. On the third floor of this anachronistic rocket, the filmmaker embodies Joseph Bataille, the father blinded and paralysed by syphilis, putting in his mouth the ideas and words of the future writer. Hideous Jojo, lewd and unholy – but loving and loved… It’s as though Bataille, like us marvelling in the child’s joy and intelligence, was trying to rediscover what and who he had been, the sovereignty of his experiences. “Experience should never seek authority elsewhere than in itself”. For the duration of a sequence, the radio becomes a ghost at the sleeping child’s bedside, to borrow from the writer the maxim of the film itself, the formidable ease with which he was able to free himself from the pitfalls of biopics and the fatigue of the guardians of the temple of the Bataille doctrine – until, like Jojo, we lose ourselves in the stars.
(Cyril Neyrat)

Technical sheet

Original Version : French.
Subtitles : English.
Script : Antoni Collot.
Photography : Antoni Collot.
Editing : Antoni Collot.
Sound : Antoni Collot.
Casting : Attila Meste de Segonzac, Romane Charbonnel, Antoni Collot, Nicolas Bouyssi.
Production : Antoni Collot (Ses yeux de fougère Films).
Filmography : Paul est mort, 2018. La Cheville, 2018. Des sables dessinés, 2008.

INTERVIEW WITH THE DIRECTOR

Director

Antoni Collot

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