Lunch with La Ducasse
We sense that behind the story of teenagers flirting, what’s at stake in your film is the opportunity to question certain stereotypes and to provoke a discussion. What audience would you like to reach with your short film?
I do not have any particular audience in mind that I’d like to reach more than another. However, I really want to speak about people that we rarely see in cinema. I also want to defend women. But audience, that, right now, is a question that I haven’t really asked myself. In fact, I want to speak about a world and situations that I know very well and that concern me, but I don’t ask myself the question about which audience; I’m thinking about everyone! The film addresses day to day sexism (the man driving by in his car who calls out to the young girls, for example.)
We understand your desire to draw attention to these types of acts which for a long time were rarely addressed in film, or not addressed at all. Can you tell us more about this aspect of the film?
Of course. I wanted to show that men are brutes, that they are at ease saying nasty things… and this is done simply through short scenes that don’t move the scenario along (such as the man who drives by the girls) but they paint the scene and are a glimpse of the world we live in. It’s also about giving women some victories, for example, when Shana wins the rifle shooting and, without wanting to, humiliates Jordan. In this film, this is still low key, but I’d like to go further in this direction.
In your previous short film, Jouons, you address teenager sentimental and sexual education. Does it seem necessary to you to portray the recent evolution in man/woman relationships?
(You saw Jouons??! Ha ha!)
I don’t know if it’s necessary but, in any case, it obsesses me — knowing what ways young people are evolving and how that influences their rapport with others; analyzing our sexual/love education and understanding why we act in a certain way. Our cultural/media/social environment influences our relationships with others and it interests me greatly to try to create a link between all of that in film. In all the scenarios that I have written, I’m looking at adolescence and the passage into adulthood. I find that adolescence is an unhappy period and this transition, this evolution, this passage, this understanding of the world and our future is extremely interesting. Teenagers are sincere, spontaneous and wild and when they reach adulthood, it’s finished.
In La Ducasse, Shana is an easy-going adolescent who doesn’t hesitate to approach the boy she likes directly. He, however, is not able to accept this budding relationship. What do you want to say by the difference in their attitudes?
What I want to say is that Shana is full of love, full of dreams, that she attaches herself very quickly to Jordan because he represents a way out to her, a way out of her town that she hates. She sees this possibility in him. Jordan couldn’t care less. He’s there on vacation at his backwoods cousins. It amuses him that she’s flirting with him, but he’s not interested in her any more than that.>
How did your work with the actors go? How did you approach the underlying theme of your film with them which consists of refreshing the image of girls in film but also the man-woman relationship?
We didn’t talk to the actors a lot about the differences, or the man/woman relationship, etc. We talked about growing up in the country, being bored. They don’t have the same experience I had as a teenager, but they understood. That was the most important thing for me, that they understand this life, why they’re going to go a bit crazy during this day in La Ducasse, why Shana is going to attach herself so strongly to Jordan.
Would you say that the short film format has given you any particular freedom?
No, the short film format didn’t give me any freedom; beyond that I don’t have any point of comparison other than self-productions. But what I can tell you is that fairly often people have asked me to renounce projects with an uncommon point of view and I’ve had to fight to adhere to my choices.