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A scene observed but never used


Storing memories
Jean-Claude Carrière Film-maker
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J’ai beaucoup  des carnets de notes où je colle des photos, des dessins, des croquis, des petits mots entendus ici ou là, quelques fois des bribes des souvenirs de rêves. Tout ce que nous savons, nous allons perdre, tout ce qui va s’effacer dans les heures qui suivent. C’est un moyen de retenir un peu, ce qui a été un moment de notre vie, du travail de notre esprit, de nos sens quelques fois, de nos rêves même à notre insu. De temps en temps, alors là c’est systématique, je reviens à ces notes qui quelques fois sont des notes qui ont 20, 30, 40 ans quelque fois d’existence pour retrouver, pas forcément un moment de vie, mais quelque chose qui peut se glisser dans le travail d’aujourd’hui. C’est-à-dire, que-ce que dans une action dan le métro que j’ai repéré́ il y a 25 ans et le scenario que j’écris aujourd’hui, est-ce qu’il y a une communication possible. Est-ce qu’il y a… ce pari fou, qui est, je prends ceci et je prends cela, je les mets ensemble et il y a une scène qui va en surgir. Ça, c’est un véritable exercice mais qui la plupart du temps se termine d’une manière positive, se termine par quelque chose que je peux écrire aujourd’hui. C’est une de mes manière de travailler, je ne suis pas le seul, beaucoup de gens font ça.

I have lots of notebooks where I glue pictures, cartoons, doodles, some words picked up here or there, sometimes a fragment of a dream. All that we know, we will lose; it will be deleted a few hours later. It is a way to remember what went on in a time of our life, about how our brain worked, about our senses sometimes, about our dreams – sometimes even without realising it. From time to time, across the board, I go back to those notes, which sometimes date back 20, 30 or 40 years, to find maybe not a part of life, but something that I can use in my work today.  I mean, maybe it is possible to find links between something that took place in the metro 25 years ago and the screenplay I am writing today.  It is a gamble to take this and that and to put them together so that a scene will come out of it. That is a real exercise which most often ends up well, with something I can now write. It is one of my ways of working and I am not alone, many people use it.

French screenwriter Jean-Claude Carrière (1931-2021) began his association with films aged 24 when he was selected by Jacques Tati to write for him. This early experience led to further contact with other film-makers, including Luis Buñuel with whom Carrière collaborated for many years. He wrote screenplays for films including Belle de Jour, The Discreet Charms of the Bourgeoisie, Tin Drum and Danton.

Listeners: Andrzej Wolski

Film director and documentary maker, Andrzej Wolski has made around 40 films since 1982 for French television, the BBC, TVP and other TV networks. He specializes in portraits and in historical films. Films that he has directed or written the screenplay for include Kultura, which he co-directed with Agnieszka Holland, and KOR which presents the history of the Worker’s Defence Committee as told by its members. Andrzej Wolski has received many awards for his work, including the UNESCO Grand Prix at the Festival du Film d’Art.

Tags: Dreams, memories, screenplay, scrapbook, journal

Duration: 1 minute, 19 seconds

Date story recorded: January 2010

Date story went live: 18 October 2010