Did you choose the color blue in relation to the Hindu pantheon, or did it come later during the writing of the script?
The color blue was there from the very beginning. It’s a color we love, a color that reminds us of our travels and that evokes in us a gentle strength. But how blue is seen varies depending on the culture and the context, and we like this freedom of interpretation. The Hindu pantheon followed from our choice of blue as well as from our encounter with a group of Tamil dancers from the neighborhood.
How did you come up with the idea to evoke the disease of social anxiety?
As in our previous films, we began by spending time in the neighborhood that was to be the setting for the film: Émile Dubois and the Maladrerie in Aubervilliers. The association Approche.s! invited us in residence in the neighborhood, it was winter, and we felt a kind of melancholy between these rather grey walls. We wanted to retranscribe this feeling and address the solitude felt in urban environments. Solitude upon solitude, stacked one on top of the other in these huge blocks of concrete. But above all we wanted to say that these solitary individuals side by side are like so many poems that touch without ever knowing each other, and which sometimes meet, and that is where the beauty arises. That is the direction of the film, from confinement towards the exterior, towards a multi-colored dance.
What interested you about the birds and the dog?
We love having animals in our films. We saw that in the neighborhood, there was a tree filled with multi-colored parakeets, which had perhaps escaped from an apartment where they may have felt too confined. As for the dog, when we met Michel Pichon, who plays Émile in the film, he was walking his dog in the neighborhood. A big wolfhound with blue eyes. We crossed his path every day, and that’s how we became friends. Animals have a magical effect on a film set, they bring a certain gentleness and help create connections between people. That is the effect that Émile’s dog had too once he was painted blue. He is a sort of avatar that creates a bond between the son, Soraya, the dancers and in the end, the father, Émile.
Do you believe that love can give you wings?
Love, dance, blue words, of course. For us, in any case, it makes us fly.
What interested you in the father-son relationship, and do you foresee making other films that address this theme?
Family relationships, it’s a vast subject that we are concerned about daily, and which in film moves us greatly. We love the films of Kore Eda for the subtlety with which he stages these strong yet tormented connections. In the feature-length film we are working on, the parent/child relationship is a central theme, and we also address the family as an entity that is built and that exists beyond the bonds of blood. Housing projects are areas full of these connections between neighbors. It is also this collective force that we were trying to highlight in Chien bleu.
Are there any particular freedoms that the short film format allows you?
Every short film helps us learn more about our work. With this third film, we employed inhabitants from the neighborhood to act in addition to a young professional actor, Rod Paradot. We wanted to write more scenes with dialog. We saw some rich exchanges. We learned a lot, sometimes from our mistakes, from reinventing during the shooting, even during editing. The short film format allows us to tell stories in a rather spontaneous way. And then little by little, we built a team, with Victor Seguin as the director of photography who handles the camera for all our films, Daniel Darmon who has always been our editor. There were new encounters too, always powerful, and every time our exchanges become more refined as we move forward together to make the right choices, to find the right colors.