An étoile graces the Tribeca Film Festival red carpet

Jérôme Bonnell and Emmanuelle Devos discuss Just A Sigh.

by Anne-Katrin Titze

Jérôme Bonnell and Emmanuelle Devos. Picture by Anne-Katrin Titze.
Jérôme Bonnell and Emmanuelle Devos. Picture by Anne-Katrin Titze. Photo: Anne-Katrin Titze

Emmanuelle Devos, the brilliant star of Jérôme Bonnell's intriguing Just A Sigh (Le Temps De L'Aventure) graced the red carpet with her director for their Tribeca Film Festival premiere at the SVA Theatre in Chelsea last night. Yasujiro Ozu turns into Hitchcock's Spellbound, Stage Fright, and "why not" Strangers On A Train - to how important it is to Devos to choose the proper clothes.

Anne-Katrin Titze: There are a lot of characters in your film who don't make an appearance but are very important for the story. Was is clear to you who wouldn't show up? You trick the audience's curiosity.

Jérôme Bonnell: Because I think cinema is to hide, before it is to show things.

AKT: I was thinking of Ozu in this context. The fiances whom we never see, etc.

JB: I never thought of him but thank you so much.

AKT: Any filmmakers you did think about, who inspired you?

JB: The list is too long. Maybe Hitchcock more than any other filmmaker.

AKT: Strangers On A Train?

JB: Why not? Or movies like Stage Fright or Spellbound. I wanted to film the birth of a desire - between two people who don't know each other. And I wanted to create a degree of suspense that would surpass the situation itself. So thrillers are what inspired me the most, rather than recounting the idea of a love story.

AKT: Why specifically Spellbound and Stage Fright? These are unusual choices in this context.

Emmanuelle Devos. Picture by Anne-Katrin Titze.
Emmanuelle Devos. Picture by Anne-Katrin Titze. Photo: Anne-Katrin Titze

JB: Because I know them very well and they are the best Hitchcock movies. They are very strong love stories also, but they are both thrillers. But I never work thinking of any directors. If I look at films it's not to inspire myself directly, it's rather to stimulate my dreams.

Emmanuelle Devos plays Alix, a theater actress who makes a quick journey between performances in Calais to hop on a train to Paris. On board she meets Doug (Gabriel Byrne), a perplexing Englishman who takes her on a trip down a different track.

Anne-Katrin Titze: You have a beautiful audition scene in the film. Did anything similar ever happen to you in real life?

Emmanuelle Devos: Yes! All actors go through horrible, sometimes humiliating auditions. I didn't have to search very far in my memory.

AKT: It's a very funny scene. What did you think when you first read that your character would be stalking a man at a funeral?

ED: I didn't laugh. But surprised at the awkward feeling Alix has running into that stranger at the funeral. And the shame.

AKT: I liked what you were wearing in the film.

ED: The skirt was made for the film. And the jacket is vintage Chloé. It was really important to properly choose the clothes because the film takes place on one day and I wear them all the time. It really had to be carefully chosen.

Tribeca Film Festival screenings: Sunday, April 21, 10:00pm, CCC - 5; Thursday, April 25, 10:00pm, CCC - 5; Sunday, April 28, 2:30pm, AMC Loews Village 7-3

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