Going where no one else dares: the director and cast of Q

Writer/director Laurent Bouhnik and actresses Hélène Zimmer and Léticia Belliccini were in London recently for the Raindance Film Festival and the UK premiere of the controversial new film Q. We took some time with them in-between screenings to discuss the audience reaction to the film and the importance of freedom of expression in cinema.

 

 

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MADEMOISELLE CHAMBON Interview with  Stéphane Brizé

Q: How did you discover the novel by Eric Holder upon which MADEMOISELLE CHAMBON is based?

A: I read Eric Holder’s book in 1999 and it really touched me. In particular it was the story between these two simple, pure and honest human beings but especially the silences which the author gave to his narration. It was as if Eric Holder had told me : this is what you should be able to shoot : the power of silence.

Q: Did you see its cinematic potential upon your first reading or did the idea need to gestate within you?

A: To be honest, when I discovered that book I knew at the time that as a man and as a director, I wasn’t mature enough to tackle this adaptation. Since then I had time to make several movies, see many others and to ask myself some questions. As for the man, life did its job…

 

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Landmark Letter by Susanne Bier IN A BETTER WORLD

LANDMARK LETTER by Susanne Bier

"For me, just getting to attend the Oscars made me feel like a princess for a night.  I don’t think you realize how big it is for a small country like Denmark to be nominated for an Oscar.  It’s really, really big. So you feel there really is a pretty big responsibility on you, which I think is different from being nominated in the other categories, which don’t have the national pride aspect attached to them. It’s a kind of redemption that we can tell stories that really matter to the world.  Now having won the Oscar means a lot for the film.  It means a stamp of quality for a movie which is a Danish film, which is almost unknown and now has suddenly become known in a different way.

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Davy Rothbart

My cell phone crows with an odd, frazzled ring when someone shows up as PRIVATE CALLER, and the only two people who ever pop up on my phone like that are Nicole, a woman in Texas I had an intense phone-sex relationship with for a couple of years, and Steve Buscemi, the actor, who I'm working with on a writing project. I made the mistake of explaining this to Buscemi once, and now, whenever he calls, he breathes heavily into my ear and lays on a scratchy whisper: "Hey big boy, what are you wearing?"

So earlier this week, when my phone flashed PRIVATE CALLER, I figured it was either Nicole or Buscemi, but it was actually my 93-year-old grandmother, known as Mimi, calling from her brand-new assisted-care living facility in Philly to congratulate me—she'd heard from my cousins that a movie called Easier With Practice, based on a real-life experience of mine, was opening in theaters this weekend. "What's the storyline, dear?" she asked sweetly.

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EASIER WITH PRACTICE

When I first read "What Are You Wearing?", the GQ article I based my first feature Easier with Practice off of, I knew what struck me about it right away. I wanted to do a serious, uncomfortable and strange phone sex scene and do it without compromise. What I ended up with is certainly the most complex scene in the film, and one that affected nearly every step of making the film. However, it is the scene I am the most proud of in the movie and the one that I think reflects my original intentions of making the film the strongest.

Writing - Writing this scene was certainly one of the most challenging aspects for me. I'm an incredibly shy and relatively private person, so sitting down and writing some nasty sex talk certainly didn't come easily to me. I remember I was writing in a small 'office' which was really a retired copy closet in a friend’s office. It had no windows and no one was ever in there with me. I remember knowing I had hit the right notes in the scene when I looked over my shoulder, embarrassed to make sure no one was reading it, even though I knew no one was there. That was the exact vibe I wanted to bring to screen... I shouldn't be watching this, but I am.

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