The Possibility of an Island

La Possibilité d’une île

Paru le La Lettre AFC n°179 Autres formats

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This film by Michel Houellebecq, I’ve done here, or more precisely, we have two (like) because I was pregnant.
I knew Michel since shooting a short film, our first collaboration, and it was long expected, at least in the spirit of Michel, that there would be a long time. The way to achieve it was difficult ...

Then there was this book and its adaptation by the author himself.
Considering my condition, I agree to the preparation and part of filming, and Eric Guichard replace me for the transition to studio half of shooting.
While the film is set in Spain and Lanzarote, including the studio. My collaboration was to turn most of the field and a few scenes in Benidorm.
Well, good ...

Shooting with Houellebecq is not so simple, or rather it is a very different from a conventional shoot. Michel, as a writer, accustomed to working alone and have very little experience of filming, he developed the short film its own way of working.

Benoît Magimel and Michel Houellebecq - on the filming of <i>The Possibility of an Island</i><br class='manualbr' />Photo © Eric Guichard
Benoît Magimel and Michel Houellebecq
on the filming of The Possibility of an Island
Photo © Eric Guichard

Many tracking, we filming many sets, I proposed ideas plans, he climbed on these locating his computer at night, returning to try again another time, went back looking for a film language. Obviously, the short preparation time a little limiting its research.

He wanted to find itself and would have liked to take much more time, like when you write a book, he hates improvisation, refuses to turn the plan, at the time, it would seem unnecessary, even to Contrechamps the principal actor for example. As if it saw and did not need to be seen. But it also has an exceptional intelligence, speed of understanding, thinking out of the ordinary, a very special personality, is a charming man, very reserved about his work on his approach, which did not want to part of its questions, which speaks only when it’s absolutely necessary.
A very special then.

Benoît Magimel - <i>The Possibility of an Island</i><br class='manualbr' />Photo © Eric Guichard
Benoît Magimel
The Possibility of an Island
Photo © Eric Guichard

We move a little in the dark, actors included, which has not always been easy.
Then there was the intervention of Eric Guichard, it must talk about himself. I have had my baby. I met Michael at the end of filming, exhausted, frustrated at the lack of time to shoot, apparently not ready to repeat the experience.
Then silence.

A day Mathilde, from lightning, for I’m proposing that we viewed the whole assembly, it can begin to calibrate a first copy. I call Michel and offered to come and go even alone, being me, shooting. Ravi, it is, I propose to call me to tell me how it was spent, not new. He did his trick or almost alone, I had to see once a copy. The continuity of filming in a way.
I came to see the film almost finished, the calibration was correct, I think the special effects, it is also almost alone who is busy (effects made in Germany), all not so bad... the film rather special... to see...