Further to A Prophet, which was awarded the Grand Prix at Cannes in 2009, Jacques Audiard brings us his sixth film, De rouille et d’os (Rust and Bone), a very free adaptation of two short stories by Craig Davidson.
Theme import 17.05.12 . 00:00 AM | Update : 13.02.18 . 1:01 PM
Life in the Flesh
The film’s title, Rust and Bone, refers to the taste of blood in the mouth when, upon a blow to the face, the lips are crushed against the teeth. It is also the title of a collection of short stories by the Canadian writer and amateur boxer, Craig Davidson, which went down a storm when it was first published back in 2005. It is easy to see why Jacques Audiard was so keen to base a film on it: Davidson’s prose is precise and carnal. It conjures up images, a brutality tempered by harmony, a darkness broken by frequent recourse to the absurd or to irony. And, above all, Davidson delivers characters who lead “Life in the Flesh” (the title of one of his short stories); outcasts who fight against the fate befalling them.
Some people find it paradoxical that Jacques Audiard’s unique and highly personal filmography includes only one original screenplay: Read My Lips. All of his other films are drawn from books, films or existing screenplays: See How They Fall is an adaptation of Teri White’s book, Triangle; A Self-Made Hero was based on a novel of the same name by Jean-François Deniau; The Beat That My Heart Skipped is a remake of the film, Fingers, directed by James Toback; and for A Prophet, Jacques Audiard and Thomas Bidegain (who also helped to pen Rust and Bone) reappropriated a screenplay by Nicolas Peufaillit and Abdel Raouf Dafri.
Jacques Audiard works by drawing on existing stories and reshaping them to make them his own. For his latest film, the Director drew inspiration from two of Davidson’s short stories in particular, Rust and Bone, and Rocket Ride, skilfully reinventing the storyline and characters to create his own melodrama. Neither Stephanie (Marion Cotillard) nor Ali (Matthias Schoenaerts) exist in Davidson’s book in which the accident involving killer whales happens to a young man. Jacques Audiard has been heard to say that each new film of his is born “against” the one that came before it. After A Prophet, the Director clearly sought to focus this time on light, air, women and emotions.
B. de M.
The film will be screened at the Grand Théâtre Lumière Thursday 17 May at 3pm and 7.30pm.