Eté avec Olga et sa énorme brioche des cheveux (que?)

Rohmer-ing the edges of the French new wave with JEROME BONNELL, the director of Le Chignon D’O/ga. Words: Tom Dawson

be summer holidays in a sleepy. provincial

l’rench town. .-\ young man. Julien. hangs out

with his childhood friend Alice. and in time he finds himself drawn to a beautiful girl who works in a bookshop. She wears her hair styled into a chignon ~ a knot. basically. The premise for Jerome Bonnell‘s debut feature. which he made at the age of just 23. seems to belong to the naturalistic cinema of the veteran liric Rohmer. But Bonnell confesses that ‘Rohmei' was not at all a conscious influence on my film. I am surprised by how many journalists have compared it to Rohmer. I think that‘s because of the title. which is reminiscent of (lane‘s Knee. and because it's set during summertime. l was actually much more influenced by 'l'ruffaut. who in turn was influenced by Becker and Renoir. Lu Rog/v (In Jen is one of my favourite ever films ~ it's a film about human weaknesses. which is generous. tender and funny.‘

Having studied filmmaking at the l'niversity of Saint-Denis in Paris. and making a trio of low-budget shorts. Bonnell began writing the screenplay to I.(' ('lii'gnun ITO/git. yet admits that initially 'l didn't know what story I was going to tell. The first idea that came to mind was the link between the two characters Alice . ' and .lulien. who grew up together and who stay ed very close. I also wanted to pay a homage to one of my favourite films. (‘harlie ('liaplin’s 'l‘lu' ('in'uv. A long time after this I realised that l was dealing with the subject of a family who was grieving.‘

Julien‘s mother. it transpires. has passed away. and the bereaved family members are struggling to come to terms with their loss: the father. a children's writer. finds no satisfaction in his work. the sister is confused about her sexual desires. while .lulien himself has abandoned playing the piano. What's impressive about

Bonnell‘s direction is that he treats his themes of grief

24 THE LIST ioni.‘ 0.“.

‘People who are grieving don't necessarfl feelbad

and obsession with a lightness of touch. ’l’eople who are grieving don't necessarily feel bad all the time] he points otit. "l’heir suffering continues with everyday life. (ioing back to my favourite directors like 'l‘ruffaut and Renoir. they made films that were simultaneously light and tragic.‘

I.c (’lii'giimi (WU/cu is set in August. a period during which fiance traditionally slitits down. and Bonnell filmed in that month in a town between Orleans and (‘hartres. ‘I wanted to show a place in l-‘rance. where there aren't lots of holiday—tiiakers and tourists. It's about (ill miles south of Paris. and during the summer. the streets are empty. 'l'liere's a buy feeling and an atmosphere of nonchalance. which reflects the feelings of the character at this moment in his life. because Julien is aimless. It's as though time has stopped.'

The young director decided to forgo the scry ices of a casting agent for Le (‘lii'gnmi l)'()/eu. and instead took the trouble of meeting actors individually. and talking to them about the film. It was a time-consuming process. yet it allowed Bonnell ‘to get to know actors before I auditioned them. I don‘t like the way directors take advantage of their power and dominate an audition. And I was lucky because I'd already worked with Natalie Boutefeu. who plays Alice. on one of my short filmsf

Boutefeu will star in Bonnell‘s second feature alongside l.ars Rttdolph tlli'n'knit'ivli'r Ilm'nmnit'vl. in a film to be set half in l-‘rance and half in (iermany. although funding problems may delay the shoot until spring. So what did Bonnell learn most from his evperiences on l.<' ('lii'eiimi D'U/gu'.’ '.-\s a director you have to trust your tinconsciotis and your intuition. You spend all your time thinking when you make a film. but you have to accept that so many things can't be controlled.‘

al the

Le Chignon D’Olga opens at the GFT, Glasgow on Fri 17 Oct. See review.


New Japanese comedy Ping Pong

AKllith )HI Ni V. .lAi ’ANl til (Liiiriiiii it. .i f‘a’fluhia i.'t of “‘1' Nikki 'iilllft to iltilllf.‘ (itll (if .J.iti.‘iri ‘lt trio,- !.i‘.‘. if?‘.'.' ~.i:.‘iit. it t.1;iitr,<>ii i ii .‘il ()(it .it il‘." l iiiiilitiiifa; l (lil‘l)ll'(_]ll .iiitt Hi‘tflft .lfitl't‘llfitff» (l min ,iigiiw: ti) ‘itl‘Jiili tiitr (ltllfftitllilt' tt)‘,fi of tin.» futitlid‘. iiit rtiiiimf,’ (lftllltél. l’i/ig f’tfllt). {lfitl ESL-iiiiii

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THE TRIPTYCH FILM Competition finalists' work will be screened at the Filmhouse on Wed 5 Nov, 8pm. Three teams. containing six of the country‘s most promising new filmmakers, have produced films with the theme of ‘Access All Areas’. All films were shot at this year's excellent Triptych festival. May the best man (it is all men) win. MORE (3M Al MINI E It M fifl't'lfiffllf; (;()llttfi() til; ttit: Now ltiroiit: fitiii season it; on now (ll tii‘: ( i tlllll)lll(}ll tiiitii ltit: -'. No.1itiai.iir;oiiitiiit;tiovimthtiit: l’).'t:|()." ()ffm; illl‘, if; (t lt'lf‘,‘ ’)[)l)t’)i'illl‘i".,‘ to 8H: (l‘f/(llfl '~.‘.’l.'lfl|lt(} him»; from flit: countries (lllff to j’hli tiii; l M iii inti‘t‘. liit: filiiit, wont/ii: ()r,r,‘/r/e:rit'. which '.‘/(,ft tlit: Nos: Director}; Award (ii i owl". l"i‘.:.'ll(lii’i.'léll l’ilfll f (ESIIVHI and i“. ’i‘rf/Jlljffll (if) ‘ti low key (grout. f,‘:t.'.~:t:ti Hill) I ()/.'i Him {lfl'l /'/i':i_(;/;r)//:i; (iiirl (Jo/x] / lands. '1‘;‘;';iit/:tlli/tiioifimiiii Fiiiti lestrxzil (if. {t 'tioiizi fitlt: Jewel from at: unexpected now!!! Also took an for the iQtii l r‘:".’;li i iiiii l‘:‘iii.’€il that kicks off iii l)()ill Clit‘fl. or: in [N01

FINALLY, AN APOLOGY FOR some bum information in last week’s Rough Cuts: the Guild is in fact 74 years old. The reference to 57 years was that it was the EFG which started the EIFF 57 years ago. Confused? You will be . . .