Last week, La Vie Nous Appartient screened at the 24th China Golden Rooster Film Festival taking place in Jilin this year. Director Alex K. Lee visited the festival and brought back some snapshots – impressions from the exquisit opening ceremony to encounters with audiences: (more…)
Archive for the ‘From the director’ Category
Being able to present one’s movie at film festivals to an international audience is always a highlight, and our visit last week of the BUFF Film Festival in Malmö, Sweden, only confirmed these sentiments. We saw amazing movies and met filmmakers from all over the world, from as close as our native Austria to as far away as Australia. (more…)
And quite incredibly, after all this planning and preparing, the shoot is suddenly over, completely on schedule despite the many problems that typically plague a film set – ranging from differing weather conditions, too many airplanes flying overhead, delays, and as always, not having enough people, time, and money. And yet we didn’t have to take a single extra shooting day that had been held in reserve; call it luck or exquisite planning, the weather conditions, for the most part, were perfect. A dramatic scene? We had stormy weather. A calm scene? The clouds cleared although the forecast had predicted rain. It came to the point where we started to joke why we had even brought a wind machine with us – compared to what Mother Nature gave us, the wind machine was a small ventilator at best.
At this point, I would like to thank everyone for their great work and efforts; without you all, this film would not have been possible!
Five highly talented actors came to Vienna after a long audition process: Jack B. Anderson, Hollie Sullivan, Mayuna Hasebe, Florent Arnoult and Alix Bénézech. When they arrived in Vienna in the evening, they were starving, so we took them to dinner to get a first impression. The actors were slightly guarded and, which made them most adorable, keen to please.
In the course of the next day, these actors who should actually be competitors became close friends. The audition was not a question about their talent, not even about their type since each one was completely different; it was more about who fit to whom, and whose chemistry had the strongest impact.
At the end of the day, I asked Florent and Alix to improvise two of the casting scenes in French. I used this very first scene for all casting rounds since I found it to be a good first test of whether the candidates had any kind if understanding of the required timing and rhythm to keep the scene interesting, whether they understood the progression of the characters, and finally, whether they could let themselves go when their emotions are supposed to spill over completely.
In many instances of the preliminary round, most of the candidates failed already the first aspect: they turned the scene into a long theater piece with dramatic pauses where there aren’t supposed to be any. The second test was where Sarah screams out the truth about her life, and here too, most of the candidates failed. Alix did an extremely interesting interpretation when pushed by Florent, one that nobody had thought of, opening herself up so much that it took her the rest of the evening to calm down again.
The second scene is a tragic-comical one where Philip basically gives insight about his own twisted views on the matter of suicide, plus implying that he is a virgin and would like not to die as one. Enjoy!
It was a difficult decision to select the right couple after having gone through the casting process – 5 came to Vienna via London, 2 via Paris, one from Graz; 2 more Skandinavia who got cast via Skype (they were stuck in New York City). The problem was that they were all so different. No two were remotely the same, and each one brought different things to the table, which had to be weighed.
In the end, my choice fell on ALIX BÉNÉZECH for the role of Sarah:
For the role of Philip, I selected FLORENT ARNOULT:
As you may have noticed, they are both French. But wait!, you may cry out, isn’t this film supposed to be shot in English? Wouldn’t it be strange to have two actors with the same accent? Pas du tout. Because we are shooting in French.
Both did very well in the English casting; however, when it came to the French casting .. c’etait superb, simplement lá, adding nuances that nobody else thought of and came up with.
C’était une décision difficile de choisir le bon couple parmi les acteurs participants au casting à Vienne – il y en avait cinq venant de Londres, deux de Paris, un de Graz et encore deux scandinaves qui y participaient sur Skype (ils étaient coincés à l’aéroport de New York). Le difficulté était qu’ils étaient tous tellement différents. Pas un(e) seul(e) ressemblait à l’autre, et chacun(e) apportait quelque chose d’unique au jeu qu’il fallait prendre en considération.
À la fin j’ai choisit ALIX BÉNÉZECH pour le rôle de Sarah.
Et pour le rôle de Philippe c’est FLORENT ARNOULT.
Comme vous avez probablement remarqué, tous les deux acteurs sont français. Mais attend!, vous vous demandez peut-être, ce film n’est-il pas censé être réaliser en anglais? Ne serait-il pas bizarre d’avoir deux acteurs avec le même accent? Pas du tout! Puisqu’on va le tourner en français!
Enfin, les deux étaient très bien en anglais aussi, mais quand ils jouaient en français – ça alors était superbe. C’est là, en jouant en français, où ils peuvent apporter des nuances en plus auxquelles personne ne s’attendait.