Obsessive Rhythms

Cadences obstinées

A film by Fanny Ardant

Starring Asia Argento, Nuno Lopes, Gérard Depardieu, Franco Nero

Margo a young woman gives up her bright future as a cellist for the love of a man. A man who has a contract to uphold and no time for love...

We each love in our own way and in our own time.

Release date

Available in



• Interview with Mathieu Amaric and Grégoire Hetzel for Cinézik
• The guests of Olivier Father: Mathieu Amalric
• Interview with Mathieu Amalric and John Simenon, directed by Pascale Deschamps for France 2


French, Italian and Portuguese


French and Portuguese

Disc features:

97 min | DVD 9 | Format 2.35: 1 - Screen 16/9 compatible 4/3 | Color | Audio Dolby Digital 5.1 | GENERAL AUDIENCE




Asia Argento - Margo

Nuno Lopes - Furio
Ricardo Pereira - Mattia
Gérard Depardieu - The Priest Villedieu
Franco Nero - Carmine
Tudor Istodor - Gabriel
Johan Leysen - Wladimir
Mika - Lucio, the pianist


Written and directed by Fanny ARDANT

Produced by Paulo BRANCO
Cinematographer: André SZANKOWSKI
Editor: Julia GREGORY
Art Direction: Isabel BRANCO
Sound: Sylvain MALBRANT, Nicolas MOREAU, RicardoLEAL, Melissa PETITJEAN
Original Music: Jean-Michel BERNARD
Production managers: Ana PINHÃO MOURA and Raoul PERUZZI

A co-production:
Alfama Films
France 3 Cinéma
Leopardo Filmes

With the participation of Canal + and France Télévisions
With the support CNC

Original Soundtrack published by Crystal Record

Fanny Ardant

After studying political science in Aix-en Provence, Fanny Ardant decided to focus on her true passion : acting on stage. François Truffaut gave her her first role in The Woman Next Door in 1981. Fanny then collaborated with many great directors: Alain Resnais, Costa Gavras, Michelangelo Antonioni or François Ozon. She shot in 2009 her first film as a director, Ashes and Blood, which was screened at the Cannes International Film Festival the same year.

Achievements of Fanny Ardant:

Feature film
2013 : Ashes and Blood - Official Selection at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival (Out of Competition)

Short film
2010 : Chimères Absentes - for the ONG Art for the World in cooperation with ONU

Director - theater
2008 : Veronique by André Messager
Musical Direction Jean-Christophe Spinosi – Théâtre du Châtelet

Asia Argento

Asia Argento starts acting at a very early age in her father’s horror movies. Already popular amongst Italian actresses, she quickly becomes internationally renown. She is starring in well-known directors projects ever since: Patrice Chereau’s Queen Margot  in 1994, Sofia Coppola’s Marie-Antoinette in 2006, Tony Gatlif’s Transylvania 2006 or Abel Ferrara’s Go Go Tales in 2007. She stars in both Italian and international features.

1989 : Palombella rossa by Nanni Moretti
1993 : Trauma by Dario Argento
1994 : La Reine Margot by Patrice Chéreau
1996 : Le Syndrome de Stendhal by Dario Argento
1998 : New Rose Hotel by Abel Ferrara
1998 : Le Fantôme de l’Opéra by Dario Argento
2000 : Scarlet Diva by Asia Argento
2002 : La Sirène rouge by Olivier Megaton
2002 : xXx by Rob Cohen
2004 : Le Livre de Jérémie by Asia Argento
2005 : Last Days by Gus Van Sant
2005 : Le Territoire des morts by George A. Romero
2006 : Marie Antoinette by Sofia Coppola
2006 : Transylvania by Tony Gatlif
2007 : Boarding Gate by Olivier Assayas
2007 : Go Go Tales by Abel Ferrara
2007 : Une vieille maîtresse by Catherine Breillat
2007 : La Troisième mère by Dario Argento
2008 : De la guerre by Bertrand Bonello
2009 : Diamant 13 by Gilles Béhat
2012 : Dracula 3D by Dario Argento
2012 : Do Not Disturb by Yvan Attal
2013 : Cadences obstinées by Fanny Ardant

Nuno Lopes

Former student of the Lisbon Theater and Film School, Nuno Lopes is awarded with the Golden Globe for the best performance in 2006 for his role in Alice from the Portuguese director Marco Martins. He stars in numerous films produced by Paulo Branco, notably in Lines of Wellington and in Operation Autumn.

2003 : Ma mère by Christophe Honoré
2005 : Alice by Marco Martins
2008 : Nuit de Chien by Werner Schroeter
2011 : Blood of my Blood by João Canijo
2012 : Lines of Wellington by Valeria Sarmiento
2012 : Operation Autumn by Bruno de Almeida
2013 : Cadences Obstinées by Fanny Ardant

Ricardo Pereira

Ricardo Pereira is a Portuguese actor most known for his part as Alberto de Magalhães in Raul Ruiz’s masterpiece Mysteries of Lisbon. He also plays in many Brasilian telenovelas.

2003 Sans Elle by Anna da Palma
2003 O Milagre Segundo Salomé by Mário Barroso
2010 Mysteries of Lisbon by Raùl Ruiz
2013 Cadences obstinées by Fanny Ardant

Gérard Depardieu

Discovered in Bertrand Blier’s Going Places in 1974, Depardieu is one of France’s most renowned actors and has been shooting ever since with the greatest directors of the XXth century: Resnais, Truffaut, Sautet, Bertolucci, Pialat... He embodied on screen many historical characters and heroes of the French literature like Jean de Florette, Rodin or Cyrano de Bergerac. His greatest roles are in Blier’s Tenue de Soirée, Truffaut’s The Last Metro or The Woman Next Door.

1974 Les Valseuses by Bertrand Blier
1987 Camille Claudel by Bruno Nuytten
1993 Germinal by Claude Berri
1995 Le Hussard sur le toit by Jean-Paul Rappeneau
2004 36 Quai des Orfèvres by Olivier Marchal
2010 La Tête en friche by Jean Becker
2011 Le grand soir by Benoît Délépine et Gustave Kervern
2013 Cadences obstinées by Fanny Ardant

Fanny Ardant

Interview with the director

How did the idea for the film come to you?

It started with a quote of Marguerite Duras “To await love, is love itself.”… that which exists yet lies beyond belief, the space that lies between an ideal and reality. A musician’s life torn between all or nothing. I thought of a cellist..

Obsessive Rhythms depicts two connected yet opposing stories, in the same vein as a set of stairs we go up and down: the building of a hotel and love’s destruction. Is that the tale you sought to tell?

Love is broken down as the hotel is built up. Furio becomes more involved in his work as Margo fades into the depths of her broken heart. For Margo and Furio love is based on different foundation, just as the foundations of the hotel are not in line with building codes. Margo expects love to be fiery, not tepid. In expecting love to be everything, it crumbles. She gave herself wholly to love. She sacrificed her music for love hoping it would in turn fulfill her. She struggles to come to terms with its day-to-day banality. Tormented by the feeling of having lost everything, Margo misses what life has to offer.

Does that mean that being an artist and love are incompatible?

Art is not a labour and love is not routine. Art takes over where love leaves off, and sometimes they overlap. While art and love are not sworn enemies, they are foes that feed off of each other. Margo seeks out the boundary between the two. For her, playing the cello (albeit for a very minor occasion) is a way of not entirely letting herself go. She learns from art and from its windy paths things she did not learn from love.

She says, “I loved. I am loved no more.”

Yes. It is the feeling of loss. Forsaken, she falls into an abyss. Another character in the film says to her, “I would rather destroy things than become complacent with ugliness”. Here she realises this is also how she sees things. She can at last put words to her own experiences. She can bring about an end.

Furio (Nuno Lopes) says, “You’re making a spectacle of yourself. People think you’re mad!” Is she mad? Or more a woman who is pushing boundaries, breaking taboos?

No. Margo is not mad. She is always tempted by the desire to burn that which is sacred. There are those in life who are quiet and thankful for what life brings, then there are those who long to burn and be burned by it.

She is also a woman trying to find her place in a man’s world…

In a world that is different. She likes animosity, confrontation. Confrontation allows us to better define ourselves. We are forced to understand things, because if we don’t we will lose them.

"Obsessive Rhythms" is also a film about betraying one’s own ideals – ideals that come from ones youth. Margo’s music teacher says to her that she has given up on her calling and her career.

Margo believed in love. She gave up her music, and she bears this like a deep self-inflicted wound. Her character is mirrored my Carmine (Franco Nero), the man involved in shady, even illicit activities – whose childhood dream of a career in politics never came to be. He gave up everything and instead buried himself in cynicism and hustling.

Furio, tries to maintain his integrity, but in vain…

In his desire to make it through life he fights for all that is good. Unlike the others, he has no ideals – he is pragmatic. Despite his well-meaning nature he makes compromises that don’t serve him well.

Each, in their own way, must pay for their decisions.

Everything comes at a price. Whatever we may chose. It’s the tale of The Dog and the Wolf (ed. Fable by de La Fontaine).

How were the actors chosen for their roles?

“The land belongs to those who works it”, whether it be for the cinema or the theatre, an actor who says “yes” to any given role will always be the right actor. I love accents. Words have a different sound; sentences, a different rhythm.

The Italian, Portuguese, Dutch, and Romanian characters are only passing through the city that remains nameless. The only Frenchmen always there is priest Villedieu.

Asia Argento is very animalistic…

Margo is a tormented woman, but not a victim. Her being provocative is just her way of keeping her head above water, despite her ever-present slippery footing. She is almost infuriating at first, then suddenly disarming.

She and you are very similar… the voice… the way you move…

You think so? (smiles)

Let’s talk about Gérard Depardieu…

He turned up, just like that, one night during winter. He played the role of the priest as if he were a guardian angel who listens, understands without passing judgment, and is patient.

Let’s now talk about your directing choices. It is a very pictorial film.

I often wanted the characters to be alone in the frame with nothing else. Like how there is no one to talk to when you feel alone. I wanted closed doors, bare walls. I didn’t want to show the sky.

I wanted a ghostlike town, one that doesn’t really exist.

Music plays a major part.

Jean-Michel Bernard composed a theme, then made countless variations. The cello, played by Wieder Atherton, is only heard when Margo is a cellist – the accomplished musician who continues to be so, despite no longer having an audience to listen.

And there’s also the song by Luigi Tenco ‘ho capito che it amo’. It’s a love song that serves the dual role of both a talisman and a premonition.

It’s also a film that relies on metaphors.

True. The restoration process of the fresco teaches Margo how things from the past can be salvaged, even rewritten.

Why ‘Obsessive Rhythms’ for a title?

The rhythms of work, the rhythms in music, the rhythms of the heart.

News about Obsessive Rhythms


FANNY ARDANT is the guest of honour of the ARRAS FILM FESTIVAL from the 5th till the 14th of November

Press review

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24 heures à Moscou avec Fanny Ardant


Matériel à télécharger

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