Breakfast with Jour & Nuit
Where did you get the idea for Jour & Nuit?
Reading Virginia Woolf’s novel Night and Day, which, on the surface hasn’t got much to do with my story but which, more deeply, talks about frustrated desires and the difficulty of adapting to social conventions and the expectations of others and those we impose on ourselves.
Why were you interested in the social relations among these characters and their awkwardness in communicating?
In retrospect, I think what interested me most was that the viewer should have empathy and that the characters didn’t really have much. I wanted the connections to be made outside them. That they’re not able to take hold of the situation to create “connections”. It’s a bit like them looking at themselves with a magnifying glass, grasping a few distorted details about each of them but never getting a view of the whole. They have no distance from their situation nor from themselves.
Why did you choose a restaurant for their conversation?
I was looking for an impersonal place where the characters get together to satisfy a primal need – in this case, eating. Some people manage better than others. Not much happens around the table, and the complexity comes from very basic things like eating, desiring, talking. Maybe that was a way of seeing the narration in a more expressionistic and organic way; the story, if you can call it a story, is told through their mouths, their hands, eyes, butts, breasts…
Why were you interested in including foreign languages and/or cultures?
Just like I don’t try to tell stories, strictly speaking, in my films, I also want the characters not to understand each other directly through language. It’s a pretty naive way of putting your finger on a certain raw humanity.
What do you think the future holds for short films?
In my humble opinion, I think the short film form has a great future ahead of it!
If we were to go back into lockdown, what cultural or artistic delights would you recommend to alleviate our boredom?
I’d really like to be optimistic, but in order for culture to take on breadth, it always has to be put in perspective with reality. It’s all the back and forth between reality and fiction that gives depth to what we read, watch and listen to. Since that ability to put things in perspective was considerably diminished by the lockdown, I’m afraid we’ll have to get used to boredom.