“I wrote a thriller for Jean Gabin” | EUROtoday

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Sscreenwriter and director expensive to the French public, from The log At Code has modified with out forgetting the unimaginable litany of scripts co-written together with his father, Gérard Oury, for the latter's legendary comedies (The Great Mop, Madness of Grandeur, The Adventures of Rabbi Jacob…) or with different filmmakers (The occasion, Queen Margot, The Marmots…), Danièle Thompson is simply as keen on police thrillers.

However, she by no means wrote any – properly… virtually, as she confided to Point Pop – however she nonetheless responded with out being requested to the decision from the organizers of the Reims Polar Festival, to chair the jury of the 4e modifying.

Express assembly, between two screenings, with a fantastic woman of French cinema who provides us a treasured reminiscence and likewise reminds us that, regardless of the present quite deleterious local weather for the police, our imaginations at all times must imagine in tales the place the cops should not essentially portrayed as scoundrels to the core.

Point : You had been already president of the jury in 2015 on the Beaune International Crime Film Festival, once more this 12 months at Reims Polar: what if I requested you to call your favourite titles within the style?

Danièle Thompson: My God… I'm telling you this out of order, it's okay Jail by Claude Miller (whom I knew properly because of my father, they had been very associates), Melville's thrillers, Devilish by Clouzot, Melody within the basement de Verneuil, Claude Chabrol (to whom Reims Polar pays homage this 12 months!), the Scorsese, Usual Suspects, French Connection, Three Days of the Condor even when the latter leans extra in direction of the spy movie… Ah, after which I adore it The deadly Weapon. This is an ideal instance of a fantastic in style movie with hero cops, as quickly because it comes on TV, I can't assist however watch it once more.

I believe that cinema additionally does academic work, it influences at its personal stage the concept that we’ve of cops.

Why have you ever by no means ventured into this sort of story, both as a screenwriter or as a director?

Well… I wrote a thriller within the Nineteen Seventies, however it by no means acquired made. It was a script co-signed with a Marseille trial lawyer who wrote thrillers himself and the topic associated to the character of Barthélemy, referred to as “Mémé”, Guérini, a really nice chef within the Marseille neighborhood. [ex-résistant, condamné à 20 ans de prison en 1969 pour complicité d’assassinat, mort en 1982, NDLR]. Jean Gabin was to play Mémé Guérini, he gave us his settlement throughout a lunch… Michel Berny, future director of the collection Breakfast included, was to direct the movie, he then had the wind in his sails and he had additionally participated within the writing. We had been prepared, it was going to be a fantastic journey.

And then Gabin died, which put an instantaneous finish to the undertaking. But I at all times stored the script. Subsequently, in actual fact, I by no means touched on the style as such, however the phrase thriller mixes a lot with different classes, such because the thriller, the journey movie, the detective movie, the comedy… It all will get blended up a bit. Take The Adventures of Rabbi Jacobokay, it's a comedy, however there may be suspense, violence, gunshots, deaths… Queen Margotadditionally it is a movie of nice violence with components of suspense.

Still: aside from just a few notable exceptions like The Night of the twelfth or the movies ofOlivier Marchalcurrent French cinema neglects the pure and laborious thriller…

Yes, I used to be going to cite you The Night of the twelfth, which is a little bit marvel. Or Anatomy of a fall, which is as a lot a thriller, an investigation, as a trial movie and a research of morals. It might very properly have been screened at Reims Polar. But it's true that the thriller has been swallowed up quite a bit by tv, with many collection and TV movies which have been very properly made for thirty years and are appreciated by the French.

Olivier Marchal additionally works quite a bit for tv. I don't suppose there may be any purpose to be pessimistic concerning the style in France, there has at all times been a convention of nice thrillers in our nation, by way of Melville, Clouzot, Claude Miller when he made Jail And Deadly Hike. I additionally consider North Bac by Jimenez, which is a really good final instance that involves thoughts. And we're going to see our first French movie in competitors this night. The tricolor polar nonetheless breathes!

I’ve the sensation that, in present detective movies, the viewer is disadvantaged of the correct to have an sincere hero cop, just like the Belmondo of the good period.

In Reims Polar, director Andrew Davis (The fugitive) instructed us this week that, in keeping with him, the persistent mistrust of American public opinion in direction of federal establishments and the forces of order, notably since September 11 after which the Black Lives Matter motion, was additionally, maybe, the reason for the rarefaction of Hollywood tales with cop or particular agent heroes. Edo you agree with this evaluation?

Interesting… Maybe… Well, the rotten cop has at all times existed in cinematographic mythology, even earlier than Crooked cops which I like (properly, a comedy too!). But it's true that tales the place the cops are heroes are likely to fade away and it's a disgrace as a result of I believe that cinema additionally does academic work, it influences at its stage the concept that we makes cops. Just as in comedy, the spectator now not has the correct to naivety, which was a present of artists like Chaplin or Louis de Funès, I’ve the sensation that in present detective movies, the spectator is disadvantaged of the correct to have an sincere hero cop, just like the Belmondo of the good period. A man with out worry and with out reproach.

We systematically dig into the issues of the characters, we make them fragile individuals with a complete bunch of private issues… and that considerably undermines the heroic aspect of this job, which can also be a hero's job, it have to be stated. Obviously the occupation is topic to abuse. Obviously, while you see the pictures of George Floyd on the bottom within the United States, it’s a disaster for all of the police around the globe. Nevertheless: it’s a occupation for which I’ve a variety of admiration.

Today there may be the violence of social networks and a sure imaginative and prescient of them within the cinema which, successfully, extinguishes this wonderful aspect that sure cops from one other period might have had.

When we had been ready for the Gare de l'Est prepare in Paris to come back to Reims, a bomb risk was triggered due to forgotten baggage. Cops got here with their canines to test, whereas we waited quietly on the sidelines. If ever one thing had been to blow up, it will nonetheless be for his or her faces first. However, at the moment there may be the violence of social networks and a sure imaginative and prescient of them within the cinema which, successfully, extinguishes this wonderful aspect that sure cops from one other period might have had. Outside of fiction too, we typically want protecting heroes.

Are you actually positive you don't need to make one your self, a thriller? What should you introduced out your previous script for Gabin?

Ah, ah, sure, why not! The concept for the state of affairs was excellent in any case.

A ultimate phrase unrelated to the cops: virtually a 12 months after its broadcast, what evaluation do you draw out of your mini-series bardotwhose audiences skilled a spectacular drop after a superb begin?

This story annoys me a little bit as a result of the press appears to say that it was a disappointment, when it didn't go unhealthy in any respect. There was in actual fact a drop in viewers numbers after beginning at 3 million viewers, however nothing disgraceful, the channel was very joyful. We've had nice evaluations, together with in Point. There had been a variety of replay views, and it additionally did very properly on Netflix, which has been broadcasting it since final August.

Foreign gross sales are additionally doing properly, so I don't really feel like a failure. But I don't suppose there can be a sequel. Because of the Covid disaster, this undertaking monopolized 5 years of my life, I need to transfer on to one thing else!

Comments collected on 4e Reims Polar Festival.