with “Christophe…definitely”, the blue words float on the Croisette

SPECIAL PROJECTION — Accomplices of her return to the stage in 2002, Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster and Ange Leccia sign a poetic and fragmented documentary about the singer of “Aline”. Story of an enchanted projection on a beach in Cannes.

“Christophe would love to have his film shown under a starry sky,” says director Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster. A still gentle breeze rises from the sea, spectators, lying on the sun loungers, buried their feet in the sand. « The cinema on the beach, which suits him, adds Ange Leccia, contemporary artist who co-signs the documentary about the late singer of Lost paradise. We couldn’t lock him up somewhere, he would feel right here, with the distant horizons and city lights.” They don’t believe so well. Just before midnight, Wednesday, May 25th, as the crowd allowed itself to be conquered by a sweet melancholy, Christophe sang the blue words in a foam of white lights, the diffused flicker of the images makes his silhouette vibrate, a halo in his pale mane transports him away from the canvas. Vertically from the beach, points of light outline the silhouette of Elvis, the idol, against the Cannes sky. Inside Christophe definitelywe hear him humming it’s ok momthe music is repeated on the beach next door where we celebrate the « King » with the biopic of Baz Luhrmann. Ghosts have fun with it. Funny place for a meeting. « Tdo you see what i mean? »

Christophe sometimes came to Cannes during the festival. He only frequented the Croisette late at night, settling into the shadows of salons to give interviews at odd hours. A journalist from Release had waited for him like this until three in the morning, the year he played when I was a singer by Xavier Giannoli, the filmmaker whose education he had quietly educated. “I spent my life with him, said the filmmaker lost illusions. He showed me movies, made me breathe the smell of film, taught me how to turn, how to deal with it, and I ended up falling asleep under his piano…”

The beach cinema in Cannes.

LR photo for Télérama

The soaring and wavering (as if the earth is tilting) documentary dedicated to him begins with a cinephile’s dream. Christophe, filmed on stage as a Nosferatu beamed with interior lights, intones a list of films that have punctuated his life, those that come to mind, a poetic inventory recited with ceremony: « Breathless, 2001, Blue velvet, Crash, Les Valseuses, Baise moi, Psychose, Zero driving… » he could have added elephant man that he has seen a thousand times, bloody arenas with the beautiful Linda Darnell, gray gardens of the Maysles brothers, Sunset Avenue, Death in Venice, La Dolce Vita of which he kept one of the last subtitled copies of his smuggler’s collection: “Christophe gave me a taste of a strange cinephilia, no blinks, said Giannoli again. We didn’t talk much about movies, but he taught me a way to watch them. He lived with them. he put a death in venice for example, and let it run for three weeks. He watched endlessly, composed in his small studio, and the film continued as background music. He wrote songs that extended what he saw on screen. »

Indecisive conversations, poetic fragments

At the end of the festival, the spectators gathered on the beach were slowly contaminated by the sweet madness of the character. Directors of the films that lit up the screen behind him during his sumptuous return to Olympia in 2002 after an absence of more than twenty-five years, Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster and Ange Leccia delved into the intimacy of the backstage and captured the little geniuses who wove the journey. of the singer. The camera shakes and staggers in corridors of saturated colors, the conversations are indecisive, poetic fragments, impressions without logic: “I’m not feeling well, I’m picking up stuff, that’s why we hear ambulances, like in Doar of jealousyIt’s an Ettore scola movie, have you seen it? » – “I know a boy named Canelle. »

Sometimes he gets annoyed, he wants the words on his teleprompter, in red, not in purple, he could never remember the words to his songs

Sometimes he gets annoyed, he wants the words on his teleprompter, in red, not in purple, he could never remember the words to his songs

LR photo for Télérama

He bites his nails, it almost looks like he’s biting his own blood. Sometimes he gets angry, he wants the words on the teleprompter, in red not purple, he could never remember the words to his songs. He makes syrups in fig jam jars. He even cuts out formal clothes that he won’t wear. “My mother was a seamstress, did you know that? The behind-the-scenes turmoil is reminiscent of the small museum he kept in his apartment on Boulevard Montparnasse, records, photos, figurines, pin-ups, jukeboxes glowing in the night. Before entering the stage, he organizes his bric-a-brac, he piles up the paintings and the signs that it is not known where they will find their place. “The inspiration of the moment, you know what I mean. »

The filmmakers take long walks with him during rehearsals, examining his tense face, his bullying gestures as he smoothes his hair, flicks his mane back, remembering each of his hesitations as a moment of grace (” And the most beautiful things in the background are always in suspension… »). Little by little, the film escapes the work sessions, the verses are extended into songs, these find their balance and are freed in the depths of the concert. The filmmakers never abandon their artistic, blurry, overexposed style and night scenes that paint the dandy as a vampire in the night.

The melodies float on the Croisette where the curious gather in love groups. “In my pink silk coat, I walk sullenly, the twilight is grand…” Lost paradise forever on the Croisette. Projection is a wonderful time. The spectators then resume Aline with one voice (“I had drawn in the sand / Your sweet face that smiled at me”) in a giant karaoke organized by Arte. Christophe returned to his other life as a popular singer. We let ourselves be taken to another place. We don’t know what life will be able to find such a free documentary in theaters or on small screens. Looks like it was made for tonight. Christophe would no doubt like to burn it later. For the beauty of the gesture. ” Do you know what I mean? »

The melodies float on the Croisette where the curious gather in love groups.

The melodies float on the Croisette where the curious gather in love groups. “In my pink silk coat, I walk sullenly, the twilight is grand…”

LR photo for Télérama

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