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Philippe Garrel's cinematographic techniques

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Philippe Garrel
Raoul Coutard Film-maker
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So I'm going to tell you about Philippe Garrel. It's a production company that called me one day. A production company that I didn't know very well, well I had heard about it, but which was called Why Not. And they called me saying- Could you come by the office? We would like to introduce you to a film director called Philippe Garrel. And to my great shame, I had never heard of him. Even though it was someone who'd made thirty films? That's it. So Philippe Garrel, I mean when you talk about him, if you talk to the general public, you say- I've made a film with Philippe Garrel, first of all the general public doesn't know who makes the film, they know it's Gabin or Depardieu but they don't know it's so-and-so or so-and-so. Or if, when they're complicated names like Schoendoerffer, they say it's a- But otherwise, they don't know. So if you talk to the general public, they don't know who it is. If you speak to film buffs, some don't know who it is. But on the other hand, so you say to them- But how can you not know who it is? What, he's done 35 films. And then eventually- So on the other hand there are others who when you tell them- Ah! You made a film with Philippe Garrel, they jump for joy they're so happy that you made a film with such a character. So I didn't know who he was so I arrived I didn't have any, lets say no metaphysical problems. We were introduced. And meanwhile I had asked around to know if he had two or three types of films.
Alors je vais vous raconter, parce que Philippe Garrel c'est une production qui m'a téléphoné un jour- Une production que je connaissais pas très bien, enfin j'en avais entendu parler mais qui était Why Not. Et ils m'ont téléphoné en me disant- Est-ce que vous pourriez passer au bureau, on voudrait vous présenter un metteur en scène qui s'appelle Philippe Garrel. Et alors à ma grande honte, je n'avais jamais entendu parler de lui. Alors que c'était quelqu'un qui avait fait trente films ? Voilà. Alors Philippe Garrel, je veux dire quand on en parle aux gens, si on en parle au grand public, on dit- Tiens je fais un film avec Philippe Garrel, déjà le grand public il ne sait pas qui est-ce qui fait les films, ils savent que c'est Gabin ou que c'est Depardieu mais ils ne savent pas que c'est untel ou untel. Ou si, quand c'est des noms compliqués comme Schoendoerffer, ils disent c'est un-Bon. Mais autrement, ils ne savent pas. Bon alors si on en parle au grand public, ils ne savent pas qui c'est. Si on en parle à des cinéphiles, il y en a qui ne savent pas qui c'est. Mais par contre, alors on leur dit- Mais comment tu sais pas qui c'est ? Nom de Dieu, il a fait 35 films- Et puis finalement- Alors par contre y en a d'autres quand on leur dit- Ah ! tu fais un film avec Garrel, ils se roulent par terre tellement ils sont contents qu'on fasse un film avec ce personnage. Bon moi je le connaissais pas donc je suis arrivé j'avais pas de, disons pas de problème métaphysique. On me l'a présenté. Et puis entre temps je m'étais renseigné pour savoir s'il y avait deux-trois types de films.

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: 1 minute, 40 seconds

Date story recorded: October 2004

Date story went live: 24 January 2008