Bertrand Tavernier: “I wanted to retranscribe the inner truth of the narrative”

Bertrand Tavernier

The entire crew of La Princesse de Montpensier, the new feature film by the director, Bertrand Tavernier, answered questions from journalists this morning. Here are some extracts from the press conference.

Bertrand Tavernier on the feminist edge to his film:
This woman’s fate really moved me. I wanted to understand and defend her. This may have given the film a bit of a feminist slant. As we read her work, we became horrified at the way in which women of that time were treated.This film clearly tells their story.
Gaspard Ulliel, on the original text of Madame de La Fayette:
I was struck by the beauty of this text. When I read it out, the words rolled off my tongue, even though I found it a bit crude and raw in places.  That’s why it was important to depart from it a bit and bring it up to date.
Bertrand Tavernier on how to adapt a short-story to the big screen:
Adapting a short-story doesn’t involve the same process as for a novel, especially when there are no dialogues, as was the case here. I made every effort to find the inner truth of the narrative, to keep to the twists and turns of the storyline and the feelings, and to go in search of emotions.
Philippe Sarde, on the film’s music:
It was a challenge to compose because, in this genre of film, the music is very important indeed. We had to be very careful not to make the film feel old or weigh it down.  To avoid falling into that trap, I focused on developing the love story theme.
Comments recorded by B.P.