She gave him a gift.
He doesn’t want to hear about it but he's compelled and forced to recognize that his hands heal...
Where does this gift come from?
Never mind, he accepts it…
• Filmography by François Dupeyron
• Interview with François Duperyon - Radio Campus
• Interview with Grégory Gadebois, Marie Payen, Philippe Rebbot and Yves Angelo
• Deleted scenes
119 min | DVD 9: DUAL LAYER / PAL | Format 2.35: 1 - Screen 16/9 compatible 4/3 | Color | Audio 5.1 Dolby Digital | GENERAL AUDIENCE
Gregory GADEBOIS - Frédi
Céline SALLETTE - Nina
Jean-Pierre DARROUSSIN - Frédi's father
Marie PAYEN - Josiane
Philippe REBBOT - Nanar
Marie PRATALI - Véra
Agathe DRONNE - The mother of the child in coma
Nathalie BOUTEFEU - The mother of the little child with leukemia
Stephan WOJTOWICZ - The bleeding man
Anthony PALIOTTI - Frédi and Nanar's friend
Directed and written by François DUPEYRON
Based on his novel Chacun pour soi, Dieu s’en fout by François DUPEYRON, Editions Léo SCHEER, 2009
Produced by Paulo BRANCO
Shot by Yves ANGELO
Editing: Dominique FAYSSE
Casting: Brigitte MOIDON
Costumes: Catherine BOUCHARD
Set Up: Bernard BRIDON
Sound: François MAUREL – Armelle MAHÉ
Assistant : Bastien BLUM
Production manager: Thierry CRETAGNE
A production ALFAMA FILMS
With the participation of the CENTRE NATIONAL DU CINÉMA ET DE L’IMAGE ANIMÉE, in association with COFINOVA 9
With the support of LA RÉGION PROVENCE-ALPES-CÔTE D’AZUR, in partnership with CNC
In coproduction with KINOLOGY
Coproducer: GRÉGOIRE MELIN
Distribution: ALFAMA FILMS
International sales: KINOLOGY
2013 MY SOUL HEALED BY YOU
2009 TRÉSOR - succeeded Claude BERRI after four days of shooting
2008 AIDE-TOI LE CIEL T’AIDERA
2003 MONSIEUR IBRAHIM ET LES FLEURS DU CORAN
2001 THE OFFICERS’ WARD
1999 C’EST QUOI LA VIE ?
1994 LA MACHINE, based on René BELLETO’s novel
1991 UN CŒUR QUI BAT
1988 STRANGE PLACE FOR AN ENCOUNTER
Scriptwriter of UTHE BRIDGE by Fred AUBURTIN (1998) and LE FILS PRÉFÉRÉ by Nicole GARCIA (1994)
2009 CONVERSATIONS À RECHLIN, booklet by François DUPEYRON, music by SCHUBERT, Robert SCHUMANN, Ernst Wilhelm WOLF, Comédie de Genève
2010 OÙ COURS-TU JULIETTE ?, Éditions Léo SCHEER
2009 CHACUN POUR SOI, DIEU S’EN FOUT, Éditions Léo SCHEER
2009 LE GRAND SOIR, Actes Sud (réédition Le Livre de poche)
2004 INGUÉLÉZI, Actes Sud
2002 JEAN QUI DORT, Fayard
2013 MMY SOUL HEALED BY YOU by François DUPEYRON
2013 POP REDEMPTION by Martin LE GALL
2012 REBOUND by Fabrice GOBERT and Frédéric MERMOUD, TV series, Canal +
2011 GOODBYE MOROCCO by Nadir MOKNECHE
2011 LOW PROFILE by Cécilia ROUAUD
2011 À MOI SEULE by Frédéric VIDEAU
2010 THE WOMEN IN THE FIFTH by Pawel PAWLIKOWSKI
2010 L’OEIL DE L’ASTRONOME by Stan NEUMANN
2010 LA LIGNE DROITE by Régis WARGNIER
2009 AN ORDINARY EXECUTION by Marc DUGAIN
2009 GAINSBOURG: A HEROIC LIFE by Joann SFAR
2009 ANGEL & TONY by Alix DELAPORTE – César 2012 - Most Promising Actor
2008 SISTERS by Eléonore FAUCHER
2007 MUSÉE HAUT, MUSÉE BAS by Jean-Michel RIBES
2007 GO FAST by Olivier VAN HOOFSTADT
2007 THE LAST DEADLY MISSION by Olivier MARCHAL
2007 FRONTIERS OF THE DAWN by Philippe GARREL
2006 WAITING FOR SOMEONE by Jérôme BONNELL
2006 THE LAST GANG by Ariel ZEITOUN
2005 TRÈS BIEN, MERCI by Emmanuelle CUAU
2004 LES YEUX CLAIRS by Jérôme BONNELL
2004 GREY SOULS by Yves ANGELO
2004 L’ÉCOLE POUR TOUS by Eric ROCHANT
2003 LE CHIGNON D’OLGA by Jérôme BONNELL
2002 HAVE MERCY ON US ALL by Régis WARGNIER
2013 LA FEMME DE RIO by Emma LUCHINI & Nicolas REY
2013 MY SOUL HEALED BY YOU by François DUPEYRON
2012 REBOUND by Fabrice GOBERT and Frédéric MERMOUD, TV series, Canal +
2012 A CASTLE IN ITALY by Valéria BRUNI-TEDESCHI
2012 CAPITAL by Costa GAVRAS
2011 RUST AND BONES by Jacques AUDIARD
2010 HOUSE OF TOLERANCE by Bertrand BONELLO
2010 THE NIGHT CLERK by Raphaël JACOULOT
2010 A BURNING HOT SUMMER by Philippe GARREL
2010 ICI-BAS by Jean-Pierre DENIS
2009 HEREAFTER by Clint EASTWOOD
2008 LA GRANDE VIE by Emmanuel SALINGER
2007 THE GREAT ALIBI by Pascal BONITZER
2007 ROOM OF DEATH by Alfred LOT
2005 MMURDERERS by Patrick GRANDPERRET
2006 LE PRESSENTIMENT - Louis-Delluc Prize for first film
Actor - Selective filmography:
2013 MY SOUL HEALED BY YOU GUÉRIE by François DUPEYRON
2013 FOLIES BERGÈRES by Marc FITOUSSI
2013 LE COEUR DES HOMMES 3 by Marc ESPOSITO
2013 FANNY by Daniel AUTEUIL
2013 MARIUS by Daniel AUTEUIL
2013 RENDEZ VOUS À KIRUNA by Anna NOVION
2012 CALM AT SEA by Volker SCHLÖNDORFF
2011 THE SNOW OF KILIMANDJARO by Robert GUEDIGUIAN
2011 EARLY ONE MORNING by Jean-Marc MOUTOUT
2011 THE WELL DIGGER’S DAUGHTER by Daniel AUTEUIL
2011 LE HAVRE by Aki KAURISMAKI
2010 HOLIDAY by Guillaume NICLOUX
2008 ARMY OF CRIME by Robert GUÉDIGUIAN
2007 LE VOYAGE AUX PYRÉNÉES by Arnaud and Jean-Marie LARRIEU
2007 LADY JANE by Robert GUÉDIGUIAN
2001 A PRIVATE AFFAIR by Guillaume NICLOUX
1999 TOMORROW’S ANOTHER DAY by Jeanne LABRUNE
1999 THE TOWN IS QUIET by Robert GUÉDIGUIAN
1999 CHARGE! by Robert GUÉDIGUIAN
1998 C’EST QUOI LA VIE ? by François DUPEYRON
1998 QUI PLUME LA LUNE ? by Christine CARRIERE
1996 FAMILY RESSEMBLANCE by Cédric KLAPISCH
2013 ÉTATS DE FEMMES by Katia LEWKOWICZ
2013 MY SOUL HEALED BY YOU by François DUPEYRON
2013 LULU FEMME NUE by Solveig ANSPACH
2011 À MOI SEULE by Frédéric VIDEAU
2010 UNE EXECUTION ORDINAIRE by Marc DUGAIN
2008 GO FAST by Olivier VAN HOOFSTADT
2006 BLAME IT ON FIDEL bye Julie GAVRAS
2003 INGUÉLÉZI by François DUPEYRON
1998 NOS VIES HEUREUSES by Jacques MAILLOT
1997 L’INCONNU DE STRASBOURG by Valeria SARMIENTO
San Sebástian Film Festival
Official Selection - Out of Competition
Except Trésor that you’ve finalized instead of Claude Berri after his death, why so much time between your last personal film, With a Little Help from Myself and My soul healed by you?
Last December, I decided to enjoy the festive season, to stop everything and to retire. Then, a night, I talked about it to a very good friend of mine - who I’ve quoted at the very beginning of the film by the way. As he saw I wasn’t joking, he left… and he came back three minutes later telling me that he had scheduled an appointment at midnight –the same night - with Paulo Branco, of whom I only knew the name. So I met Paulo and I told him my story: he immediately said he was interested in working with me and that we’ll make the film with the money we’ll have at our disposal.
Since when did you have the project to make a film of your book published by Léo Scheer?
I published the novel five or six years ago. But you believe you’re writing something, and then it’s another thing that comes to light and escapes you. Today, I’m in a situation in which, as long as I haven’t create, I don’t try to know. It’s only when I’m done that I start to understand what I’ve made: it’s the editing that forces me to see and see again the movie.
When I started the script, I only had one idea: the story of a guy who has a gift. First, I spent three days saying no to anything that was coming up, until the day when, at 5 pm, I decided to stop everything and return to a novelistic form, without having structured anything formerly. So I decided to write a novel, without any restrictions, integrating every idea that was popping into my mind.
That’s how the book Every man for himself, God doesn’t give a damn (Chacun pour soi, Dieu s’en fout in French) was born. I realized that the one and only subject was myself and the father/son relationship. In my first short-film, I hung my father. My parents were working the land and fifteen years later, in C’est quoi la vie? I shot a farm in which my father was hanging himself again. It was Jean-Pierre Darroussin who had this part, like in My soul healed by you, only this time it’s the opposite: the mother disappears and drifts the father and the son apart.
During the casting, I received some people in Frejus, where the film was shot and I was telling these nonprofessionals that the story was about a guy that nobody notices, not until his healer gift arises. As if it was the look on others’ faces that made him change. By going from the novel to the film, I’ve principally cut down for duration reasons.
How did you choose Gregory Gadebois for the leading role?
I always knew I’d need a fantastic actor to play the hemorrhage scene, but I wasn’t thinking of him at first. One night, I woke up and I visualized this sequence with Gregory, who was watching, in the character’s way, Fredi. And then, a bit like when one sees its life flashing by when dying, I reviewed all the scenes of the script and realized Gregory matched every one of them. The next morning, I called the producer I was working with at the time, and I told him that my character was him, Gregory Gadebois – who I already knew from seeing him in plays at the theater and with whom my producer already had the opportunity to work with.
Your three principal actresses – Celine Sallette, Marie Payen and Nathalie Boutefeu – all share a disturbing resemblance. Why these choices?
It’s unconscious, but it doesn’t only come from me. I already knew Marie Payen for having directed her in Ingelezi. Then, I chose Celine Salette since the very beginning, by common consent with my cast director Brigitte Moidon. By contrast, Nathalie Boutefeu came quite later on. Actually, it was a short part for which I had made some tryouts in Frejus with some local women. I was really willing to work prior to the shooting with the people from there. This experience taught me a lot. I had cut the scene of this character - maybe too much because there was something that wasn’t working. Until the moment I auditioned a woman who gave me the desire to develop this part. But, as a result, paradoxically, it became quite complicated for a nonprofessional to play it. It’s Brigitte Moidon who finally mentioned Nathalie Boutefeu’s name, who accepted despite the briefness of the part.
This cast is also a bet on the future…
Working with this new generation of actors is absolutely amazing for people like me because they’re young, talented and they’ve understood everything - without necessarily expressing it like me. They are a bit like two or three years-old children who instinctively know how to dial on a phone or type on a computer. With them, it’s immediate. Whereas it took me thirty years to get there. They are full of life and creativity so we have to avoid putting them in restricted boxes. We are here to help them by giving them a simple liberty, which means a well-written text and a background in order to make things come easily.
There is a major scene, at the end of your film, in which the male character is struck by an epileptic fit. How did you direct this?
We almost shot everything in chronological order but everything was already in the script. When the last two weeks arrived, during which Celine Sallette was playing, we decided with Yves Angelo – my lifelong lad – that we’ll start another movie. But, in fact, we kept on shooting exactly in the same way. The editing started quite early, like I’m used to, and I watched a first end-to-end about ten days after the end of the shooting. While watching the film for the first time with Yves Angelo and the 1st assistant director, we discovered that all those stories were quite shattered. But suddenly Celine arrives and you have the impression that everything is built for this very precise moment. When I hear some film-makers claiming « It is exactly the movie I wanted to do » I don’t believe it. There’s a moment when it slips out of your hands and it can’t be otherwise. The words lie, except when there is a truth that is told behind, including in the most formatted films.
How do you proceed in your work?
I start working with the actors, without taking into account the text. If, on occasions, they need to ask me some questions, it should concern technique or understanding. Otherwise, it’s only anguish and listening to it means exposing you to feed this feeling. However it needs to be identified.
It reminds me of a seminar by the psychiatrist Jean Oury, during which a schizophrenic rolled up his sleeves to uncover his arms full of watches and asked “What time is it ?”. Answering this kind of questions means crashing into complications. However, we can’t act like we didn’t hear anything. The anguish of the actor is the same. There are some people who are made to do this job and others not. But as soon as one needs to think about it, better change job.
When I shoot, I start by a first implementation of the actors on the set. I always try to begin without preconceived ideas and let them free. I only watch them when they have found their marks – that is when I see that the body is in place to say the thing in this space. It’s only then that we decide how we’re going to shoot. With me the style is always only determined the first or second day of shooting. Then the form is determined mainly without me knowing, but still from my choices. On My soul healed by you, the idea of shooting with sequence-shots seemed coherent to me.
Which role, in these arrangements, took your Cinematographer, Yves Angelo, who is also a director?
In the credits, I don’t put “Cinematography by…” but “Filmed by…”. It’s a discussion between two directors with him. I don’t speak to a cinematographer. It’s our story. Once I have proceeded to the first implementation with the actors, Yves takes the camera and starts to film, without me having to adjust the light or knowing what he is exactly going to do. Like me when I write. He’s fabulous, so I let him do and it’s often from this very precise moment that we all find our marks. He has this freedom, whereas he’s certainly much more cerebral than I am. For me a film should be only made of feelings and I try to give as less space as possible to thoughts. I really have trouble to put the camera on a pedestal, because in my mind it’s dead. Now, Yves loves to center with the camera on his shoulder: it allows him to do some things which would be impossible for a steadycamer for example, because the machinery is too heavy. He always tries to adapt to the position of the actor’s body, which is fundamental in my eyes. When Yves filmed Celine Sallette drinking for example, he even felt into a trance comparable to the ones the cineaste and ethnologist Jean Rouch has filmed in Africa.
Why does Fredi, your main character, prefers to hang around rather than use the gift his mother has transmitted him?
Because I sail on paradoxes – that’s what I do. Fredi becomes a healer, but it’s the others – the women more precisely – who will heal him. He needs the body, a body: a prostitute, a sister-friend, a womanchild destroying herself, and with whom he falls in love… a body to gather his own which is falling into pieces. “It isn’t enough to be born, you need to start again every day” says his friend Nanar in the film. There is some magic in these words. Claude Lévi-Strauss wrote that “We are all magic in a kind of way. But this idea that the human being, which is part of Nature, can at the same time, by its moves, by its speech, make a deed comparable to Nature itself, wasn’t a crazy idea, an absurd idea, it was an idea that seemed comprehensible to me”. In the movie it’s a woman that comes to see Fredi and says “you have a gift, heal me.” He answers “Ok, sit down”. We could say that that’s it, the movie… but as I told you, the subject is me! And when I think I’m telling a story, but it’s another who’s being told.
Why did you choose the title My soul healed by you for your film?
3 titles came to my mind: the novel’s one Every man for himself, God doesn’t give a damn, the first script’s title Give me a body and this verse by Baudelaire. The 3 titles worked, but the poet tells something more than words, just as the film tells something more than the story: it tells love.
« My soul healed by you
By your clear light and color,
Explosion of heat
In my dark Siberia! »
("Afternoon Song" by Charles Baudelaire)
Why did you put here and there briefdreamlike sequences in black and white?
Because everything started for me by a dream. There are some people who do some gymnastics every morning. Me, I write down my dreams! Our life is made of them. If I’d listen to myself, there would be more of these in the film and every sequence would be introduced by a dream. Since 1988, on my notebooks, I wrote down between six and seven thousand dreams. Usually, there is only one or two days a week that I can’t remember the dream I made the night before.
That’s what I tried to transcribe in the novel, and then in the film, even if I initially abandoned the idea in the script’s first version, because it’s really difficult to say things with cinema that can only be told through the narrative. That’s where the idea of these brief oniric moments in black&white came from.
Your use of music in the film is really special. How did you chose it?
The second time I saw Paulo Branco, I explained to him that I didn’t need a script, neither hair-dressers, make-up, machinists nor decorators… But that, on the other hand, I needed a casting director and some dressers, because it’s important for the actors. I also told him that I wanted to work upstream with an assistant and when he asked me about the music, I answered: “My hand will choose…” - which means that I was decided to let myself be guided by the music that would impose itself. I had already lived this with Inguelezi: I used to wander in music-stores and I listen to CDs guided by chance.
In Frejus, I had immediately sympathized with the owner of the movie-theatre Vox, Jean-Marie Charvet, who advised me for locations and who introduced me to some other people. He also is a real music-lover and he’s working for a local radio station, Mosaïque FM. One day I was at his place and he made me listen to a disc from Nina Hagen. At the end of the shooting he told me: “Your film, it’s Lorelei!”. At first, I struggled to find when to use this song, but then it ended up naturally at its place. The song evokes two dates: 1968 for the symbol and 1981… because the song was created two years later.
It’s through the same Jean-Marie, who also organizes some cine-concerts in his theatre, that I met Roman Reg. This artist from Frejus came to see me, with a guitar instead of CDs, and interpreted me his songs on the beach in the middle of the winter.
The third artist is Vanupié, an artist that sings in the Parisian metro who’s releasing an album this October. They both accepted to follow me, even if I warned them that I hadn’t a cent. They both have this thing in common: both French, but sing in English.
How did you decide to use those songs?
That is the editor’s art, Dominique Faysse - except for Nina Hagen. The two singers have different voices and intonations, so she juggled to share out the music pieces in the best way she could.
At the end of the film, Nina Hagen’s voice makes inaudible Celine Sallette’s long monolog. Why did you adopt this audacious stance?
The editor called me one day to tell that there was a terrible storage of dark and strong scenes. As I’d rather not see what she was telling me about, we settled everything on the phone. It’s always more difficult to cut then to add. When we arrived at this precise scene you’re referring to, she told me that it was too long and quite heavy. This shot lasted 7 minutes 45 seconds, so long that the camera’s ventilator switched on, because of its heat. Dominique Faysse suggested me to shorten it, and that’s when I told her to add Nina Hagen’s song on it. Twenty minutes later, she called me back to confirm it was really working. All of a sudden, this music was bringing together the two characters.
What’s fabulous is that this job gave me the freedom to trust – not my ideas because there are always some new ones showing up – but to trust everything I feel. My soul healed by you has strengthen my belief that cinema is vital for me, like it has always been my whole life.
Interviewed by Jean-Philippe Guérand
July 10th 2013 in Paris