Un Certain Regard | Update : 13.02.18 . 5:59 PM

Mathieu Amalric's Reveries about Barbara

Film still of Barbara

Film still of Barbara © RR

He thinks of his film as a melody, a barque… Opening the 2017 edition of Un Certain Regard with Barbara, Mathieu Amalric evokes the legendary singer in a veil of mystery, that of "the birth of a song, like the moment of falling in love with a woman… (but which woman?)". For his third film from behind the camera to be screened in the Official Selection (after Tournée (On Tour) in 2010 and La Chambre Bleue (The Blue Room) in 2014), the director/actor takes a turn towards a tormented and poetic vision… 

In the title role: Jeanne Balibar, Barbara as imagined by Mathieu Amalric. Or rather, the actress who plays and merges with the iconic Barbara in Mathieu Amalric's film. We are never quite sure, as the filmmaker, who also portrays the director in the film, enjoys playing with the codes and shaping his characters: "Let us be in the music, let Vincent Peirani be a real accordionist, and let us immerse ourselves in the situations, the travel arrangements, the shimmering reflections, the emotional problems to the point where we don't know any longer who is playing whom."


And for the filmmaker to offer, on the fly, a beautiful image of the set: "Jeanne Balibar resting, lying under the pianos, sheltered, as if under a tent, resonating with the instrument, with Barbara's harmonies". A film shoot that taught Mathieu Amalric "to remain in the immediate sensation to better dissimulate the form", all the while thinking without interruption of Alain Resnais: "because he immediately reminds you that everything, absolutely everything is possible".


Mathieu Amalric is also present in the Out of Competition category as an actor in Arnaud Desplechin's Les Fantômes d’Ismaël (Ismael's Ghosts), the opening film of the 70th edition.  


Written by Charlotte Pavard

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Un Certain Regard



FRANCE - 2017



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