AFC’s Conversations

Cinematographer Charlotte Bruus Christensen discusses her work on Thomas Vinterberg’s “The Hunt”

Charlotte Bruus Christensen is a Danish cinematographer who completed her studies in England. Upon returning to her native country, she began to work on a number of short films, one of which got her recognized by Thomas Vinterberg who hired her to do his film Submarino in 2009.
Since then, she has signed her name on two other films, Hunky Dory by Welsh director Marc Evans, and Min bedste fende by Danish director Oliver Ussing. Then, Thomas Vinterberg provided her the opportunity to earn her first selection at Cannes with The Hunt.

Interview with Didier Diaz, President of The Studios de Paris
By Eric Guichard, AFC, Jean-Noël Ferragut, AFC, and Vincent Jeannot, AFC

Because of the importance to us as cinematographers of the opening of a new place where cinema is made, without further ado, on the eve of The Studios de Paris’ inauguration in September, we went to meet with Didier Diaz, who is their current director. After giving us a tour of the Cité du Cinéma and the studios themselves, Didier sat down to converse with us.

Cinematographer Caroline Champetier, AFC, discusses her work on "Holy Motors" by Léos Carax

Caroline Champetier, AFC, has worked alongside Jean-Luc Godard, Claude Lanzmann, Benoît Jacquot, Jacques Doillon, Amos Gitai, Arnaud Desplechin and Xavier Beauvois, to name a few. It was thanks to the success of Of Gods and Men (Des hommes et des dieux) that she won the César award for Best Cinematography in 2001. Her work has been frequently selected for competition in the Cannes Film Festival (The Sentinel, Don’t Forget You’re Going to Die, The School of Flesh, H Story, Tokyo, Of Gods and Men), she is back this year with Holy Motors, the first new feature-length film by Léos Carax in eleven years. This film reprises ten characters, including the character invented during their 2008 collaboration on the Merde segment from the skit-based film Tokyo, also directed by Michel Gondry and Bong Joon Ho).

Cinematographer Darius Khondji, AFC, ASC, discusses his work on "Love" by Michael Haneke

Since his beginnings as a director of photography in the early 1990’s alongside Jean-Pierre Jeunet and FJ Hossang, Darius Khondji, AFC, ASC, has developed an international reputation through his work on films by some of the greatest directors on both sides of the Atlantic. His impressive filmography includes David Fincher’s Seven, Roman Polanski’s The Ninth Gate, Wong Kar-wai’s My Blueberry Nights, or Midnight in Paris by Woody Allen. Today, he is competing in the 65th Cannes Film Festival with his film Love, directed by Michael Haneke.
This is his second film with this great director, following Funny Games in 2007.

Cinematographer JF Hensgens AFC, SBC talks about his collaboration on Joachim Lafosse’s last movie “A perdre la raison”

Jean François Hensgens SBC, who joined the AFC in 2010, began his career as First AC on the Dardenne’s brothers movies La Promesse, Rosetta and Le Fils. He was then assisting Alain Marcoen SBC, long time cinematographer of the famous directors.
He photographed his first movie in 2004: Fratricide a film by Yelmas Arslan and then started his collaboration with Olivier Van Hoofstad on the 2 movies: Dikkenek and Go Fast.
Later he shot Banlieue 13-Ultimatum by Patrick Alessandrin, Tête de Turc by Pascal Elbé, Cat Run and Darktide by John Stockwell.
Joachim Lafosse’s last script is based on a real tragic story: a mother of five, killed her children by cutting their throat. This horrible story shocked whole Belgium five years ago.
For this drama, Emilie Dequenne ( Rosetta in the Dardenne’s film) and the partners from Le Prophète , Jacques Audiard’s actors , Niels Arestrup and Tahar Rahim joined the casting.

Cinematographer Benoît Delhomme, AFC, discusses his work on Jon Hillcoat’s "Lawless"

After working on Wilde Salome directed by Al Pacino, which was screened at the last Venice Film Festival, Benoît Delhomme, AFC, continues his career in the USA by filming Lawless. Following The Proposition in 2005, this is his second collaboration with Australian director John Hillcoat and his fellow countryman Nick Cave, singer and screenwriter.
This film has one of the most prestigious casts of any presented at the 65th Cannes Film Festival (Guy Pearce, Shia LaBeouf, Tom Hardy, Jessica Chastain, Mia Wasikowska et Gary Oldman). (F. R.)

Cinematographer Yves Cape, AFC, SBC, speaks about his work on "Hors Satan" directed by Bruno Dumont
64th Cannes Film Festival, Un Certain Regard

Yves Cape studied at the INSAS film school in Brussels. After having started out as an assistant he made his debut as DoP on short films in the 90’s. His encounter with Alain Berliner on the short film Rose (1993) led to the signing for the photography of the successful feature Ma vie en rose.
Since then his filmography has included films in France (Persécution by Patrice Chéreau, White material by Claire Denis) and abroad (Le Gardien des buffles in Vietnam, L’amore inperfetto in Italy or In Gods Hands in the US). A close collaborator of director Bruno Dumont he is at his side for the fourth time at this years Cannes Film Festival with the film Hors Satan.

Cinematographer Alain Marcoen, SBC, speaks about his work on "Le Gamin au vélo (The Kid with a Bike)" directed by Jean-Pierre et Luc Dardenne
64th Cannes Film Festival, Competition

Alain Marcoen, SBC, studied at the IAD Brussels, but not being very attracted to the pressures a camera assistant has to face, he preferred to start out as a lighting technician. Getting some work on documentaries and drama, he met Jean-Claude Riga for whom he started to operate.
Being from Liège, he quickly got accustomed to shooting films that deal with the social problems of large steel city. In collaboration with operator Benoît Dervaux, another long time crew member of the Dardenne brothers, they signed for the photography of all their films since La Promesse.

Cinematographer Glynn Speeckaert, SBC, speaks about his work on "La Source des femmes (The Source)" directed by Radu Mihaileanu
64th Cannes Film Festival, Competition

After having worked his way up as a lighting technician, Glynn Speeckaert divided his career as a DoP on feature films and numerous international commercials. Based for some time now in the US , he has a filmography of English, German or French films. After having replaced Yorick Le Saux to shoot A l’origine for Xavier Giannoli, it is Radu Mihaileanu who calls upon his talents this time to shoot La Source des femmes (The Source), his second film in the official competition at Cannes.

Interview with cinematographer Christophe Beaucarne, AFC, SBC, about the film "On Tour" by Mathieu Amalric
In competition at Cannes 2010

For the past twenty years, Christophe Beaucarne has been working on features steadily, collaborating with many directors, including Bruno Podalydès, Cedric Klapish, Arnaud and Jean-Marie Larrieu, Jaco Van Dormael... So it was fitting to see his cinematography credit on not one but two films at Cannes this year: Outside the Law, by Rachid Bouchareb and On Tour, by Mathieu Amalric.

Interview with director of photography Laurent Brunet, AFC, about the film "A Screaming Man" by Mahamat-Saleh Haroun
Official Selection, 2010 Cannes Film Festival

Laurent Brunet, who has photographed all of Raphael Nadjari’s films (including Tehilim, selected at Cannes in 2007), has a lot of experience filming abroad. But he didn’t know Africa, which he discovered while collaborating for the first time with Mahamat-Saleh Haroun, the only African to compete at Cannes 2010, with his fourth feature film, A Screaming Man. The original title was A Screaming Man is not a Dancing Bear a quote from The Notebook, Returning Home by the poet Aimé Césaire.

The White Ribbon
Interview with cinematographer Christian Berger, AAC

During the last Cannes Festival, the AFC published a series of interviews on its website of cinematographers with films in one of the selections.
On the occasion of the first screenings of The White Ribbon by Michael Haneke, the Palme d’Or winner for the Festival’s 62nd edition, we published an interview with the Austrian cinematographer Christian Berger, AAC, where he discusses his work on the film, and a lighting system that he helped develop.

Interview with Yves Cape, AFC, SBC
About his work on "Persecution" by Patrice Chereau and "White Material" by Claire Denis

Eric Guichard: Yves Cape, hello. Two films that you’ve photographed were in competition at the 2009 Venice Film Festival. Let’s talk about both films, but perhaps we can begin by talking about the one by Patrice Chereau.

You spoke to me about doing tests with the Red, but you ended up shooting in 35 mm. When did you decide to do these tests in Red and why the final choice of 35 mm?
}}Yves Cape: During one of my first encounters with Patrice Chereau, he discussed the possibility of making a film in HD without being specific. He wanted to know if I was up for it. Without hesitation, my answer was yes. Once it was established that I was doing the film, Patrice told me his idea: he had documented one of his plays with the Red and had been surprised by the quality. He wanted to explore that option to see what it could bring from an aesthetic and an economic standpoint.

Outside the AFC: "The Secret of the Grain", an interview with DoP Lubomir Bakchev
by Eric Guichard, AFC

At the last Cannes Film Festival we started a series of interviews with directors of photography who were not members of the AFC.

I had the pleasure of meeting Lubomir Bakchev at the special screening, organized jointly with the CST, of A Secret by Claude Miller, photographed by Gérard de Battista.

I knew that the release of The Secret of the Grain (La Graine et le mulet) by Abdellatif Kechiche was imminent and I asked Lubomir to see a preview. I then suggested to Lubomir that we extend our conversation with the present interview.

If I had one wish to make for the AFC, it is that interviews, like the one of Gérard de Battista by Wilfrid Sempé, become a means of strengthening relationships and kinship between members, and of reinforcing that most important subject for the future of our association: the image of a film.

Enjoy the interview. Eric Guichard

A Digital Original: "A Secret", an interview with Gérard de Battista, AFC
by Wilfrid Sempé, AFC

On November 7th, 2007 at the Espace Cardin, Paris 8th, the AFC and CST organized an event entitled “From Digital to 35mm” based around Claude Miller’s film, A Secret. A discussion with the film’s director of photography, Gérard de Battista followed the screening. Wilfrid Sempé wished to continue this discussion by talking with Gérard who “went digital” once again on a Claude Miller film.

Cinematographer Josée Deshaies talks about his work on "Avant que j’oublie" ("Before I Forget") and "La Question humaine" ("The Human Question")
Interview by François Reumont

Josée Deshaies is a Quebecker. Having studied Art History in Italy, she started training in Montreal as a second assistant cameraman, before photographing documentaries and short films. Through her encounter with Bertrand Bonello, she switched to full length with Quelque chose d’organique (Something Organic) in 1998. Since then, she has photographed such films as Royal Bonbon by Charles Najman, Cache cache by Yves Caumon, Les Invisibles by Thierry Jousse as well as Bertrand Bonello’s Tiresia and Le Pornographe (The Pornographer). Two of the films selected for this year’s edition of the Director’s fortnight were photographed by Deshaies: Avant que j’oublie (Before I Forget) by Jacques Nolot and La Question humaine (The Human Question) by Nicolas Klotz. (FR)

Cinematographer Céline Bozon talks about his work on "La France" and "Un homme perdu" ("A Lost Man")
interview by François Reumont

Upon graduating from the Femis in 1999, Celine Bozon made her debut with Jean-Paul Civeyrac on Fantômes, a low-budget film freely shot on video with a tiny crew. The result, feature film Fantômes, was given a theatrical release. Then came Le Doux amour des hommes (Man’s Gentle Love) and Toutes ces belles promesses (All the Fine Promises). At the same time, she shot medium-length Mods with her brother Serge Bozon, then two films by Tony Gatlif (Exils (Exiles) and Transylvania). In 2007, two of the films she photographed were selected in the Quinzaine des réalisateurs: her brother’s second feature La France and Lebanese Danielle Arbid’s Un homme perdu (A Lost Man).

Tom Stern, ASC, talks about his work with Clint Eastwood

Having worked for over 20 years as a gaffer to the greatest American cinematographers of the 1970s (Bruce Surtees, Owen Roiszman, Haskell Wexler, Conrad Hall…), then 46-year-old Tom Stern started a new career as a cinematographer on Clint Eastwood’s Blood Work. His faithful collaborator since 1981 Honkytonk Man, he has photographed all of the star’s films since 2002 and subsequently won several international awards.
Four years after Mystic River, Tom Stern returns to Cannes as foreman of the CST jury.