Why were you interested in the mourning period and in using it to start Pouvez-vous boiter?
My grandfather had died shortly before I started shooting this film. Pouvez-vous boiter ? is a very personal film, I even used some of my home videos I made of my grandfather.
How did you get into the idea of the mother hiring an actor to replace the dead husband (and father)?
When my grandfather died, my mother intended to sell his house and it shuttered the ground under my feet. I wanted to shoot something there for the last time. Something very simple. About mourning, about a house. At that time I was very interested in role playing in cinema, and that’s how the idea came. It wasn’t that simple though.
Your characters daily lives seem to lack of vitality and thrill, why did you want to picture that effect and how did you put it into the picture composition?
They have a monotone life, indeed. They two women are absorbed in the house, they are almost vegetative. But not entirely. They have their memories, they can’t get over the death of the man. They had noone else than him. That’s why they need a substitute. The pictures are actually still lifes with still women.
You also explore the line between real and role. Are you interested in questionning smoke screens, masks, hypocrisy, in human relationships?
I would say I am examining the roles we give each other. I find that so fascinating and horrifying.
Any cinematic coups de cœur in the past year you’d like to tell us about?
Cristi Puiu: Sieranevada, Andrew Dominik: One More Time with Feeling. And Todd Haynes’ Carol. I am a fan of Saul Leiter, who greatly inspired the film’s framing, colors and textures.
If you’ve already been to the Clermont-Ferrand, could you share with us an anecdote or story from the festival. If not, what are your expectations for this edition?
I haven’t been there yet. I wish everyone a great festival season.