Les entretiens de Camerimage

Conversation with Stéphane Fontaine, AFC, about his work on "Paris Memories" by Alice Winocour

In Paris Memories, Virginie Efira plays Mia, a victim of the 13 November 2015 attacks, who returns to Paris three months after the attack and attempts to recover her memories of the event. With sincerity and humility, the film paints the portrait of a young woman and a city, both of whom are trying to rebuild after the trauma. After having been presented at the Directors’ Fortnight at Cannes, the film was presented at Camerimage, in the Contemporary World selection. On that occasion, Margot Cavret met with Stéphane Fontaine, AFC, cinematographer on this film, to discuss his first project with director Alice Winocour.

Cinematographer Mandy Walker, ACS, ASC, discusses her work on "Elvis", by Baz Luhrmann

Nominated for the Golden Frog award in the main competition, Elvis is also the opportunity for Camerimage to present the film’s director Baz Luhrmann with the “Special Award for Outstanding Director”. For his second cooperation with cinematographer Mandy Walker, ACS, ASC, (his fourth if one includes two commercials made for Chanel), the director returns to the musical genre, which had punctuated the start of his career. Whether he’s adapting a novel (The Great Gatsby), a play (Romeo + Juliet) or relying on historical events (Australia), Baz Luhrmann has always known how to tell stories within his unique, caressing and sensitive universe. Elvis is no exception to the rule: much more than a simple biopic, the film is a true exploration of mid-20th-century America in constant tension “between the show and the biz”, according to the words of Baz Luhrmann, through a character whom the director tries to strip of his iconic status, in order to render to him his humanity and his sensitivity. (MC)

Cinematographer Sturla Brandth Grøvlen, DFF, talks about his work on Gunnar Vikene’s "War Sailor"
"Journey to the End of Hell" by François Reumont

War films without soldiers are few and far between. Yet, this is what Norwegian Gunnar Vikene opted to do on his impressive film Kriegsseileren, which was screened in official competition for the Golden Frog for Best Cinematography 2022. Its narrative arc is evocative of Michael Cimino’s Deer Hunter (although it would have been entirely fitting for it to have adopted Cimino’s film’s French title: Journey to the End of Hell), this film whose title means “war sailor” is a film full of nuances in which destiny, friendship and survival combine to provide powerful dramatic fuel. Danish cinematographer Sturla Brandth Grøvlen, (Rams, 2015, winner of the Silver Frog) shot this epic yet very intimate story... (FR)

Edu Grau, ASC, AEC, and Shane Ainsworth talk about the technical challenge of shooting Lykke Li music video "5D", by Theo Lindquist
"I Follow You", by François Reumont

Every year, the Camerimage festival honors music video cinematography during its big gala screening on Wednesday afternoon. This is the flagship event of our annual gathering, bringing together all the festival-goers and offering a unique window on the past year’s most innovative films. Amongst the contenders for the 2022 Golden Frog award for Best music video are director Theo Lindquist and cinematographer Edu Grau, who brought to life singer Lykke Li’s song “5D”. This astonishing cyclical ballet is well-attuned to the song’s melancholy mood. (FR)

Tommy Maddox-Upshaw, ASC, speaks about his cinematography on series "The Man Who Fell To Earth", by Alex Kurtzman
"The interstellar migrant", by François Reumont

Extending rather than recreating the cult film by Nicholas Roeg, The Man who Fell to Earth – in which David Bowie plays an alien on Earth looking for a way to save his own planet – the eponymous TV series is a readaptation of the original novel that introduces a good dose of modernity. The impeccable British actor of Nigerian origin Chiwetel Ejiofor (Dirty Pretty Things, 12 Years a Slave...) lends his features to the visitor from another galaxy, while Noémie Harris (the mother in the film Moonlight) plays the Earthling who will be forced to accompany him on his mission. The screenplay by Alex Kurtzman and Jenny Lumet of course seizes the opportunity to show the social reality of present-day America, like an echo of the science-fiction short story that centers the theme of the foreigner.
Tommy Maddox-Upshaw ASC is the mind behind the images. He discusses with us the challenges involved in filming this series, a Spanish-British coproduction, which has been broadcast since April 2022 on Showtime. (FR)

John Christian Rosenlund, FNF, speaks about the challenges of shooting "The Emigrants", by Erik Poppe
A historical saga in natural light

In making the decision to produce a new adaptation of the greatest classic of Swedish literature, Norwegian filmmaker Erik Poppe (Utoya: July 22) had his work cut out for him. Because Jan Troell already made a screen adaptation in 1971 starring Max Von Sydow and Liv Ullman, then the two most famous Swedish and international film stars, it’s not an easy thing to make a contemporary remake… However, when you watch the film, you have to admit they’ve done a pretty good job in proposing a modern version of a classic tale in which the currently relevant themes of migration, women’s rights, and religion infuse each scene. John Christian Rosenlund, FNF, was in charge of the lighting on this saga, with an often-minimalistic staging.

Kate McCullough, ISC, explains her choices for the photography of Colm Bairéad’s "The Quiet Girl"
As good as gold

Selected in the “Director’s debut” competition, The Quiet Girl, by Colm Bairéad, is a drama set in rural Ireland in the 1980s, which depicts the life of a young girl whose troubled parents send her to spend the summer with a couple of cousins. This film plays a lot on the unspoken and on a false appearance of distance to better reveal the many secrets at the heart of the story. This very touching portrait of early adolescence is played by the young Catherine Clinch, who radiates talent on screen. It is also the second Gaelic-language film for the Irish director of photography Kate McCullough; the first was the very beautiful Arracht, by Tom Sullivan (at Camerimage in 2020). Note that Kate also has a special link with Poland, since she attended the Łódź film school... (FR)

Director of photography Matthias Helldoppler speaks about the shooting of music video "Other Side”, by Rupert Höller
The Kinetics of Tree Trunks

A good music video is often based on a director’s idea. For “Other Side”, the title of the Austrian electronic music duo Camo & Crooked, director Rupert Höller decided to portray the strange adventure of a young woman aboard her motorhome, which she has parked at the edge of the forest.
In this music video, the lighting plays the same role as an actor in the scenography, offering some quiet fantastic nocturnal atmospheres. Austrian cinematographer Matthias Helldoppler tells us about his method for creating these plays of light... (FR)

Peter Zeitlinger, BVK, ASC, speaks about "L’angelo dei muri" ("The Angel in the Wall"), by Lorenzo Bianchini
"Space and Time" by François Reumont

Set almost exclusively in a dilapidated and dark apartment, Lorenzo Bianchini’s L’angelo dei muri (The Angel in the Wall) is a strange story mixing present and past, featuring a lonely old man threatened with eviction and new tenants. The result is particularly evocative of, both in its form and its staging, The others, by Alejandro Amenabar (2001). Austrian cinematographer Peter Zeitlinger was behind the camera on this film with few shots a very decisive choreography between actors and camera. A staging of space above all. (FR)

Michał Dymek, PSC, speaks about the shooting of "EO", by Jerzy Skolimowski
"Cinema and chance", by François Reumont

A tribute to Robert Bresson’s Au hasard Balthazar, EO, by Jerzy Skolimowski, took everyone by surprise on the first day of competition at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival. At the end of the Fortnight, he won a deserved award from the jury and gave a hilarious speech in which the 84-year-old director thanked his equine actors. To mark the occasion of the screening of this film at Camerimage this year, the film’s cinematographer, Michał Dymek, aged 32, sat down with us to discuss this extraordinary collaboration situated between a road movie, a visual poem and an animal fable. (FR)