Patrice Leconte in Malta
Last week, we were honoured to welcome in Malta the French film director Patrice Leconte. Amongst visits and meetings, he kindly joined us for events where he shared with the audience his knowledge, sense of humour and many anecdotes.
Here is a look back at this major French cinema event in Malta.
About Patrice Leconte
Patrice Leconte is a famous filmmaker but he is also a multifaceted artist.
At the beginning of his career, Patrice Leconte used to create short films, advertisements and comic strips
Later, he tried his hands and met success at what he always wanted to do, that is directing full-length feature films. The saga of three films “French Fried Vacation” (“Les Bronzés” in French) became very popular in France. Patrice Leconte was awarded, among numerous awards & nominations, the Cesar for Best Film and Best Director for the movie Ridicule in 1997.
The filmography of Patrice Leconte is very diverse. He directed comedy films, such as “French Fried Vacation”, “Les Bronzés” in French, but also drama (“The man on the train”, “Monsieur Hire”), period films (“Ridicule”, “A promise”) and a documentary (“Dogora – Ouvrons les yeux”, about Cambodia).
Apart from cinema, Patrice Leconte also directed the animation film “The Suicide shop”, an adaptation of the novel from Jean Teulé. He also produced several plays and wrote a number of novels.
Thursday 11th November
This Masterclass was held at the Spazju Kreattiv Cinema. This was the perfect opportunity to learn more about the cinematographic secrets of the French film director.
For this Masterclass, Patrice Leconte decided to analyse two scenes from his films:
The Hairdresser’s Husband (Le Mari de la coiffeuse)
Starring the French actor Jean Rochefort and the Italian actress Anna Galiena.
Antoine has always been attracted to a specific kind of woman: his hairdresser. As a kid, he promised himself to marry a hairdresser one day. As an adult, he begins a passionate relationship with a hairdresser. He finally made his dream come true and marries her.
Intimate Strangers (Confidences trop intimes)
Starring French actors Sandrine Bonnaire and Fabrice Luchini.
Anna goes to her first appointment with a psychanalyst. Because she is very anxious, she opens the wrong office door and starts telling her deepest secrets to a tax consultant. William, the tax consultant, is too shy to point her mistake. He keeps receiving her in his office to listen to her most intimate thoughts.
During the Masterclass, Patrice Leconte explained to the audience his choice of camera angle. As an example, he chose the scene of “Intimate Strangers” when the camera is held on the shoulder to accentuate the agitation of the character of Anna when she opens the wrong door.
However, Patrice Leconte tries to avoid a camera angle that mimics one of a pedestrian. He highlighted how significant lights and colours can be for a film director. Funnily, he also highlighted the frequent appearance of cigarettes on screen. In addition, Patrice Leconte revealed that he did not create a storyboard beforehand, except for scenes that include stunts.
L’homme du train, Johnny Johnny et Q&A
Thursday 11th November
This special evening was brought to you by the Alliance Française de Malte-Méditerranée as part of the European Film Festival in collaboration with EUNIC Malta Cluster. Before the screening at Spazju Kreattiv Cinema, both film directors presented their movie. “Johnny Johnny” and “The Man on the Train” had one main common feature: the famous French singer and actor Johnny Hallyday.
Patrice Leconte was given the pride of place to present his film. Alongside him was the director Angélique Muller who showed the audience her autobiographical short film.
The Man on the Train (L’homme du train)
Starring French actors Johnny Hallyday and Jean Rochefort.
An armed bank robber arrives to a quiet French town for his next job. As he starts scouting beforehand, he meets a retired French teacher. They quickly become friends despite having two opposite personalities. The old French teacher dreams of a wild life filled with action as he fights against a heart disease. The bank robber in the contrary, takes pleasure in discovering the daily routine of a retiree.
Laura is a teenager living with her mom. She visits her father during the summer holidays in Corsica. Her father, Pietro, is a Johnny Hallyday impersonator who enjoys a bohemian lifestyle. One night, as Laura meets her new friends at the bar, her father is here to give a Johnny Hallyday concert. Because she is ashamed of his career choice, she stops her father’s show and humiliates him in front of her friends.
Thanks to the common feature of Johnny Hallyday in both films, the directors were asked very interesting questions by the public and our guest Kenneth Scicluna, cinema professor at the University of Malta and MCAST (Malta College for Arts, Science and Technology), who also offered us wise questions and analysis to think over.
During the Q&A, Angélique Muller dove into the highly symbolic use of Johnny Hallyday’s music in her short movie.
By her side, Patrice Leconte shared with the public many anecdotes including one with the singer and actor Johnny Hallyday. He explained that in spite of his fame in France and in the world, Johnny Hallyday got very emotional when at a festival he was applauded for his actor’s performance.
Patrice Leconte’s Birthday
Friday 12th November
The film director’s stay in Malta occurred on the date of his birthday. For this occasion, Her Excellency Mrs Agnès Von Der Mühll, the French Ambassador in Malta, organised a reception at her residence. Patrice Leconte shared with a group of friendly guests many behind the scenes anecdotes. He then enjoyed his birthday candles and delicious cake in a hearty atmosphere. The Alliance Française de Malte-Méditerranée surprised him with a small selection of Maltese souvenirs.
At the end of his stay, the team of the Alliance Française lead the film director and his wife to the island of Gozo for a sunny visit.
French Fried Vacation 2 (Les Bronzés font du ski)
Sunday 14th Novembre
For the last night of Patrice Leconte in Malta, he presented his cult comedy French Fried Vacation 2. Shot more than 40 years ago, this movie is now a cult comedy in French cinema. Because this movie has been broadcasted on television many times, a screening in theatre was definitely a unique event for most of the public! This movie did not fail to make the public roar with laughter once more.
A French friend group reunites for ski vacation in the Alps. As they go on with their winter activities, they get to know each other’s problems. Having practice skiing, they decide to go off-piste skiing by helicopter. This expedition put their friendship at risk as they face many adventures.
Patrice Leconte’s stay in Malta including the corresponding cinema events were brought to you by the Alliance Française de Malte-Méditerranée with the support of the French Embassy in Malta. The screening at Spazju Kreattiv Cinema were part of the first European Film Festival in Malta organised by EUNIC Malta Cluster. The Last screening also closed the European Arthouse Cinema Day, organised by Spazju Kreattiv Cinema.