Call Me Savage and its unique island

Jean-Paul Rappeneau © DR

Cannes Classics takes us to the tropical islands of South America, by projecting a film made in 1975 by Jean-Paul Rappeneau, Le Sauvage (Call Me Savage)*. A lot of skill was involved in creating an island which was not on the map, for the purposes of this feature film.

Jean-Paul Rappeneau treated himself to a wonderful casting, with Catherine Deneuve and Yves Montand interpreting the main characters. He had already worked with Catherine Deneuve 10 years beforehand, on his first feature film as director, entitled La Vie de Château (Chateau Life).
Le Sauvage (Call Me Savage) was warmly welcomed when it was first released, and was nominated 4 times at the Academy Awards, including the categories for best director and best actress. At the heart of the story is a desert island where Martin lives, having gone there to escape the stress of Paris. His peaceful life ends when Nelly appears on what is his special beach.
The sequences shot on this island show the two actors on the seashore, surrounded by palm trees spotted in the Bahamas by Max Douy, the set designer. Jean-Paul Rappeneau and him had decided to create the location themselves, using various tricks. So, the jungle and mountains were filmed in Venezuela, the bird’s eye view of the island is actually one of the Virgin Islands north of Porto Rico and the one to be seen from the boat is none other than Port-Cros, off the coast of Hyères in the south of France.





The film will be projected at 5p.m., in the salle du Soixantième.

*Version restored by Studio Canal and the Cinémathèque française