Lunch with Le Marcheur

Meeting with...

An interview with Frédéric Hainaut, director of Le Marcheur

la mouche cf How many types of drawings did you use in all? How much did you do on paper?
The lines were drawn on a Cintiq-style graphics tablet and the color was done on typing paper with brush, écoline, felt-tipped pen and pencil. I wanted to use ordinary paper, nothing fancy, something that we’d use to scribble notes on. I found some used paper for the first colorings which caused transparency problems during scanning. So, I ended up using unused blank sheets. One of my main graphics goals was to give the impression that the drawing was spontaneous, urgent, drawn on the spot and completed without any fuss, without virtuosity. I went with a rhythm of 8, 12, and on rare occasion 25 images per second using loops as often as possible. It’s better to emphasize intentions over technique.

la mouche cf What was it that interested you in the poultry factory?

The subject of the poultry factory came from a drawing I made without any specific objective in mind. It was of a man in uniform leaning over holding the feet of a struggling chicken. On social networks, you can read the accounts of workers in the poultry sector, the horrible conditions in which the chickens are raised, which led to a obvious parallel with the angry protestors.

la mouche cf How did you come up with the idea of the character that decides to give up everything? Did you imagine him with friends, with parents?
I worked for a few years in psychiatry, at a cultural site. The people who visited the site generally lived alone, excluded from the public sphere, left behind, abnormal. Nearby, some angry protesters had set up camp and a few of the people that frequented our organization went to visit with them. It wasn’t the cause that interested them, it was the need to meet others to break their solitude. They found comfort in the contact with these protesters, and were assimilated in their struggles, oppressed, but committed. I found the encounter between these two worlds touching, and this served as the engine for my film.

la mouche cf In your opinion, is he marching or is he wandering?
Wandering, of course. For me, this is the main theme of the film. Seek, lose oneself, wander around…

la mouche cf What was it that interested you in the fact that his words and emotions remained in a cage?
It is the situation that most of us are faced with today. People keep their problems inside, become hardened, suffer pain, constraints, even existence, and no longer find any meaning left in their work, their families, their futures. The feelings are so negative that they lead to sickness.

la mouche cf Do you have a particular interest in the subject of burn out and do you have any plans to make any films in the future that address this theme?
It’s not the burn out that interests me, it is the suffering of others and how they live with it. Following two trips to the Congo, I want to make a film about suffering and variations around the theme of suffering, which I observed and is great in the lives of the people there. During these voyages, children and adults called us over to tell us the stories of the suffering in their lives.

la mouche cf What sort of freedom would you say the short format allows?
The freedom to think, the freedom to act. No storyboard, moving forward shot after shot in a disorderly fashion. I worked for the most part alone, and the people who collaborated on the sound and the graphics also benefited from my trust and were given a lot of artistic freedom. I was supported in my approach by my producer, whose concern was that the story was understood.

Le Marcheur is being shown in International Competition I6.

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