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The boss's brother

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From chemistry to photography
Raoul Coutard Film-maker
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Bon, après quand j'ai grandi disons ça m'est toujours pas venu de faire du cinéma, j'avais envie d'être chimiste. D'ailleurs il y a beaucoup de choses qui faisaient que je ne pouvais pas avoir envie de faire du cinéma, parce que quand on regarde les gens qui font du cinéma ou des métiers d'art, ils se vantent tous d'être des cancres, d'avoir eu des profs de merde. Moi j'étais très content de ma scolarité, j'ai eu des profs formidables. D'abord pour le français j'avais le nec plus ultra, c'était Bled, Gloton, Tardy, j'ai eu des profs qui étaient quand même très- Très conviviaux je trouve. Bon c'est vrai qu'ils étaient plus- Très sévères, bon mais c'est pas un truc qui m'a beaucoup gêné. Et en même temps j'étais quand même relativement un bon élève. Ce qui fait que quand je suis arrivé à un moment donné des choix, je me suis dit- Bon bah je vais essayer de rentrer à l'école de chimie, j'ai passé le concours, j'ai été reçu. Et puis j'avais passé d'autres concours en même temps, au cas où comme on ne savait pas, ils mettaient du temps pour avoir les résultats, en autre recours je pensais travailler dans l'imprimerie et j'ai donc passé le concours de l'école Estienne. Et puis comme j'aimais bien aussi bricoler, j'ai passé le concours pour rentrer à l'école Boule. C'est pour dire que j'avais rien de commun avec le cinoche. Tu avais passé ton baccalauréat ? Oui, oui. J'avais pas passé le bac parce que j'étais au collège et au collège on passait pas le bac à cette époque-là. Mais disons bon- Alors j'ai été reçu à l'école de chimie mais pour des questions de fric j'ai pas pu y aller et à ce moment-là, d'un seul coup, j'ai pas été reçu à Boule, au concours, par contre j'ai été reçu à l'école Estienne. Je ne sais pas pourquoi, brusquement, j'avais plus envie d'être à l'imprimerie et je me suis tourné vers la photographie. Bon. Mais toujours la photographie pour faire de la photographie, pas-

So, later on, when I grew up, it still didn't occur to me to work in film, I wanted to be a chemist. In fact, there were a lot of things which prevented me from wanting to work in film, because when we look at people in film or in the arts, they all boast of having been dunces, of having had bad teachers. I was very happy with my schooling, I had fantastic teachers. First of all, in French I had the best of the best, it was Bled, Gloton, Tardi, I had teachers who were quite... who I thought were very friendly. Well, it's true that they were more... very strict, but that wasn't something that really bothered me. And at the same time I was a relatively good student. Which means that when the time came to make choices, I thought, well I'm going to try getting into the chemistry school, I took the entry exam, I got accepted. And I had also taken other exams at the same time, in case we didn't know, it took time to get the results. As a last resort, I thought about working in printing so I took the Estienne School entry exam. And because I also liked doing odd jobs, I took the Boule School entry exam. This is to say that I had nothing to do with cinema.

[Q] Had you passed your baccalaureate?

Yes, Yes. I hadn't taken my baccalaureate because I was in secondary school and at the time we didn't take the bac in secondary school. But let's say that... So I got into the chemistry school but because of money issues I wasn't able to go and at that point, suddenly, I didn't get into Boule, I didn't pass the exam, whereas I got into the Estienne School. And I don't know why, suddenly, I didn't want to go into printing anymore and moved towards photography. So. But photography for photography's sake, not...

French cinematographer, Raoul Coutard (1924-2016) was twice nominated for the César Award for best cinematography which he won in 1978 for 'Le Crabe-tambour'. He made over 75 films and documentaries, including 'À Bout de Souffle', Le Mépris' and 'Band à Part'. He was the most acclaimed French cinematographer of his generation and one of the key figures of the New Wave.

Listeners: Bernard Cohn

Bernard Cohn est un réalisateur et écrivain français, ayant réalisé cinq film ainsi que de nombreux reportages et séries télévisées. En tant qu'assistant réalisateur, il a travaillé avec plusieurs grands cinéastes, notamment Luis Buñuel, François Truffaut, Otto Preminger et Woody Allen. Il fut membre fondateur du ciné-club Ciné-Qua-Non et a participé à la rédaction et traduction en anglais, de plusieurs ouvrages sur le cinéma.

Benard Cohn is a French filmmaker and writer, who has directed five films as well as numerous documentaries and television series. As an assistant director, he worked with many important filmmakers, including Luis Buñuel, François Jacob, Otto Preminger and Woody Allen. He was a founding member of the Ciné-Qua-Non cinema club and has acted as editor and translator for various publications on the world of cinema.

Duration: 2 minutes, 15 seconds

Date story recorded: October 2004

Date story went live: 24 January 2008