Desplechin is returning for the sixth time to the Official Selection of the Festival de Cannes with Jimmy P (Psychotherapy of a Plains Indian), an adaptation of a study done in 1951 by the French ethnopsychiatrist Georges Devereux.
With Amalric as Devereux and Benicio Del Toro as Jimmy Picard, Arnaud Desplechin imagines a face to face encounter to transpose the book by Georges Devereux, Psychotherapy of a Plains Indian.
For this Franco-American odyssey of identity, Desplechin decided to film in English, as he had done before with Esther Kahn (video below), a reflection on the profession of an actress filmed in London.
This time, the director set up his camera in America, and more precisely Detroit (Michigan). He had been dreaming of adapting this story for over twenty years.
For the sake of authenticity, Desplechin went to film in the very locations where Devereux had lived. As a pioneer of ethnopsychiatry, this French-Polish intellectual, whose unusual work overlapped with several disciplines including anthropology and sociology, was considered as an eccentric within the scientific community. As an immigrant to the United States, he said he had neither country nor borders.
Psychoanalysis is a favourite theme in Desplechin's work. Sometimes it is runs in the background of the troubled stream of filial relations. Sometimes it is handled in a jeering tone, especially in Kings and Queens, and sometimes earnestly, as it is in this literary adaptation. For Arnaud Desplechin, Devereux's work is the only document that completely transcribes a psychoanalytical treatment and that is at the same time suitable for adaptation because of its theatrical quality.
Like the book, the film is ultimately the story of friendships: the friendship between Georges Devereux and Jimmy Piccard, but also the friendship we know exists between Mathieu Amalric and Arnaud Desplechin.
Saturday 18 May / Grand Théâtre Lumière / 3:30 – 7 pm
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