I Always Dreamed of Being a Gangster

J’ai toujours rêvé d’être un gangster

Paru le La Lettre AFC n°174 Autres formats

[English] [français]

This is my second collaboration with Samuel Benchetrit, after Janis & John. The first collaboration was in color Scope, and this one is in 1.37 black and white. Big stretch !

I Always Dreamed of Being a Gangster, is a very original film in its narrative, its mise en scène, and also as a script (it won the best screenplay award at Sundance)

With Samuel, nothing is ever left to chance, everything is controlled, but he has this wonderful ability to breathe life into the shoot at the very last minute.

With this director, shots are never simple, he knows exactly what he wants, and though he is very demanding (what luck !), he is always in an extraordinarily good mood when you work with him.

Anna Mougladis

We took the 5222 (Kodak black and white ISO 200 pushed for night to 400) to its limits with huge differences in contrast (glaring backgrounds, neons, white tablecloths, marked shadows). With very visible grain, highlights that bleed (the 5222 stock is an old technology), and shots that take a good long time, this film really makes me think of photochemical cinematography.

The cafeteria, the film’s principal set, caught fire during shooting, which forced us to stop. The insurance companies, after a two-month interruption, gave us the green light to go back to work. Only the exterior had been affected and there was unfortunately scaffolding securing the premises. As a result, all the exteriors had to be faked. Duboi took care of recreating the exterior from photos taken of the parts that had not burned (tiles, walls, and so on.). The result is simply incredible (see the last Steadicam shot of the cafeteria).

For the purposes of distribution, some prints are printed on black and white stock, and all the others in color (for financial reasons). The film was shot with a 1.66 gate and a 1.37 matte was added to the interpositive (there are no longer any theatres equipped with 1.37 lenses).

I Always Dreamed of Being a Gangster is one of my favorite films.

Translations by Benjamin and Kim B