Saturday, February 18, 2006
"Rebecca Leffler, USA Press" and other stories...
I woke up on Friday morning, January 21, expecting the typical Friday ritual, namely another banal day at work followed by a night out on the town. Little did I know that the weekend ahead of me would be one of the best of my life…
While perusing the Unifrance website, I came across a news brief announcing the “7th Rendez-Vous with French Cinema.” Basically, from January 21 through 24, 2005, Unifrance welcomed leading buyers of French films (theatrical distributors and television buyers) and movie journalists from Europe and Quebec for this annual event in Paris. The January Rendez-Vous has now established itself as a key event on the French movie industry calendar, and this year, 350 distributors and television buyers (from 40 countries) and 110 journalists (from 20 countries) gathered in Paris. A Film Market, directed to buyers, was held in five private screening theaters in and around the Champs-Elysées, kicking off on the morning of Friday, January 21. The market program featured 34 new French films (that have never been screened at an international film market) and 38 recent French films. The 72 films showcased were screened in original version with English subtitles. Press meetings were held at the Park Hyatt hotel, offering European journalists the opportunity to interview directors and actors from French films scheduled for release in their respective countries in the first half of 2005. Among the highlights of this 7th Rendez-Vous was the interest shown in the event by the French authorities, with the European delegation received by the Minister of Culture and Communication, Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres, on Monday, January 24, at the Musée d'Orsay.
Though I am neither a buyer, a distributor nor an international journalist (or not yet at least), I figured it couldn’t hurt to try, so I left work early on Friday afternoon and headed to the Elysées Biarritz to check out the scene. I walked down the stairs of this swank business center just off the Champs-Elysées and entered the main headquarters of the Unifrance festival which was bustling with producers scurrying around publicizing their films and international buyers sitting at tables sipping their coffee and bargaining for distribution rights. The walls were covered with hundreds of posters advertising the various French films being screened over the weekend. On a long table near the entrance were catalogs featuring each distribution company’s film line-up for 2005 in addition to (free!) copies of international trade magazines such as Variety, Screen, Le Film Français and The Hollywood Reporter. The complimentary bar offered coffee, cocktails and gourmet snacks. I reflected back on the last few minutes: had I been hit by a truck crossing the Champs-Elysées and been sent to French movie nerd heaven? After pinching myself a few times and realizing that yes, I was indeed still alive, still mortal and now experiencing sharp pains in my arms from squeezing them to make sure I had not indeed been hit by a truck – or even a smart car – en route to the festival, I decided to inquire as to the possibility of participation in such a festival. I approached a man in a suit who looked important, explained my situation and asked him who was in charge of the event that I might talk to. As it turns out, this man was Marc Piton, Director of Unifrance (and currently my hero, keep reading for more on that…) who, after listening to my long spiel – “I’m a recent graduate of an American University and I have a grant to study French film, yada yada yada…” – merely responded “Follow me” and, about one minute later, handed me an official press pass that said, “Rebecca Leffler, USA, Press.” Some dream of chocolate fountains, mansions in the country, passionate love affairs and international fame; I, however, felt as if I had achieved my life’s mission and had finally been given the official (or semi-official at least) title of “Rebecca Leffler, USA, Press.” It has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it? “Rebecca Leffler, USA, Press.” “Hi, I’m Joe, nice to meet you. What’s your name?” “Rebecca Leffler, USA, Press.” “Do you, Rebecca Leffler, USA, Press vow to have and to hold in sickness and in health till death do you par-“ Okay, you get the idea. Anyhow, Monsieur Piton informed me that there would be a series of screenings throughout the next few days and that my press pass would allow me to see as many of them as I could. I’m not quite sure how I arrived back in my apartment that day. I think I flew.
I woke up bright and early on Saturday morning and headed to the Elysées Biarritz for my first screening. I was handed a press kit for the film I was about to see – Le Dernier Jour directed by Rodolphe Marconi – and then asked for my business card. I laughed and informed the distributor that, though it may have ostensibly appeared as such, I was not yet “a real person” and thus, did not have any business cards. Le Dernier Jour, which had been released in Paris theatres just a few weeks earlier, features incredible performances by young actors Gaspard Ulliel (also the star of the recent trans-Atlantic success story à la Jean-Pierre Jeunet, A Very Long Engagement) and Nicole Garcia. The film was slow and artistic, bordering on the surreal. It begins with a pre-credits close-up of a young man (Ulliel) banging his head through a window. The film ends with the same image, but the scene is given new meaning after watching the 110 minutes of the story. In fact, it’s one of those movies that you want to watch again after knowing the ending. The film focuses on a young man, Simon, who meets a young girl on a train on his way home for vacation and brings her home with him. While staying with Simon, Louise not only grows closer to her new friend, but also discovers the harsh realities and secrets hidden within this seemingly average family. Simon and Louise spend a lot of time with Simon’s childhood friend Mathieu and the trio form a very strange relationship similar to Bertolucci’s The Dreamers or the sexually awkward US hit Cruel Intentions. The film is intriguing because it leaves many questions unanswered. The spectator is never shown how Louise manages to get herself invited to Simon’s home after their brief meeting on the train, nor does Marcioni give any details about Simon and Mathieu’s relationship before Louise’s arrival. Were they gay lovers? What does Simon mean when he tells Mathieu in one scene that “things aren’t like they were before”? Yet the performances by these young talents are so incredible that the answers to these questions become obsolete and the spectator is drawn in to this web of family secrets and puerile intimacies.
After the morning screening, I headed to the Park Hyatt hotel where I had read all of the press interviews for the weekend were being conducted. My press pass allowed me to have access to the 2nd floor, and, once there, I spoke with the Director of International Press at Unifrance and asked her if it would be possible for me to interview any of the directors or talent present. She informed me that the interviews were primarily one-on-one but that I was welcome to participate in a round-table discussion with François Ozon later that afternoon. Thus, after treating myself to a nice lunch and some shopping at the Galeries Lafayette, I returned to the Park Hyatt hotel. I was a bit early for the interview, so I relaxed in the “Hospitality Suite” for the press. I indulged in the complimentary pastries and tea and spoke with journalists from all over the world. After telling them that I was an aspiring cinema journalist, one of the Swedish reporters told me: “Don’t be a film journalist. There are no jobs, no places.” So apparently, the unemployment boat has sailed to other nations as well. Soon, I joined about 10 other journalists (hailing from Holland, Germany, Canada, Belgium and other countries) and headed down the hall, passing a private Christian Dior showroom show may I add, to a small room as we waited for Ozon to arrive. A few minutes later, he walked past me, smiled, then sat down on a coach facing us all. The press conference was meant to examine Ozon’s latest film, 5x2, which, if you recall, was the first film I saw after landing on French soil in October. Unfortunately, since many of the journalists didn’t speak French, we learned that the interview would be conducted in English. Ozon speaks very good English but it is still not his native tongue, so I gathered that much of what he wanted to say was lost in translation. One of the reporters asked Ozon if he had written the script in chronological order or if he had written the scenes in the order they appeared, namely from backwards to forwards. Ozon explained that he actually wrote the script and filmed the scenes in chronological order, but then restructured the film to create the theatrical version.
I then left the Park Hyatt Hotel (hoping to one day return as either a valued guest or famous international reporter) and went back to the Champs-Elysées for a screening of Tout Pour Plaire, which was definitely one of my favourite films of the weekend. Before the screening, two of the three lead actresses, Anne Parillaud and Mathilde Seigner (Judith Godrèche was absent unfortunately, she is one of my favourite French actresses!) went on stage to greet the audience. Anne Parillaud began and talked about what a great experience it was to work with “a first time director” (Cécile Telerman) “because it’s really like a first screen. To share that with a director is something very exciting and very strong. There was a very good osmosis between the characters.” Mathilde Seigner, always the comedienne, spoke in French and explained that she was not nearly as articulate as her co-star and simple said of the film, “Dormez pas!” (“Don’t fall asleep!”) Then, she took her seat (right in front of me may I add!) and the film began.
Tout Pour Plaire is, to be pithy, the French movie version of “Sex & the City.” Only these women are much more classy and don’t parade around in their lingerie while typing on their apple computers à la Sara Jessica Parker. Though hilarious at some points, the film is also quite moving and any woman between the ages of 18 and 78 can identify with the main characters (I’ll admit I even cried!) Juliette, Florence and Marie are childhood friends. Marie (Judith Godrèche of L’Auberge Espagnole and the more recent Tu Vas Rire Mais Je Te Quitte… fame) is a doctor married to Pierre, a struggling artist who is funny and likable but lounges around all day and neglects household chores. Florence is married to a good-looking, successful businessman who seems to always be too busy to give her any love or affection. Florence works in a publicity agency and is verbally abused by her volatile boss. Juliette is a lawyer who is unlucky in love and whose clients refuse to pay her, landing her in serious debt. At thirty-five, these three women must decide who they want to be and must face the harsh realities of growing older. Juliette, Florence and Marie, though hardly perfect, are much stronger, less desperate than their “Sex & The City” alter egos back in the United States. Like the “Sex & The City” gals, Telerman’s protagonists learn that they don’t need men to be happy as long as they have each other, yet the film inevitably finishes with a happy ending and these female frogs do find their princes.
Some of my favourite lines (translated into English so clearly not as funny as they are in their original language, but still nevertheless amusing):
“No news. Maybe he’s dead.” (the only reasonable explanation for a man not to call, obviously.)
“In all my years of commuting, I’ve never met anyone.” (on Florence meeting a good-looking man on the subway one day)
Juliette’s cell phone answering machine: “Hello, you don’t have any new messages.”
Juliette (to the woman’s voice on the machine): “Salope!”
“Those who don’t cheat, can’t. You know, paraplegics, etc…” (on the loyalty of French married men)
“It’s like love and the police, we need it some day.”
“In a pig, nothing’s wasted
On Saturday night, I attended the Gala screening of Claude Berri’s latest film, L’Un Reste…L’Autre Part (One Stays, the Other Leaves). Before the film, everyone gathered in the main hallway for hors d’oeuvres and cocktails. I was sipping champagne and talking to international journalists, when I ran into the Director of Unifrance who couldn’t believe that not only has I taken advantage of the press pass he’d given me and seen myriad films, but that I had taken it upon myself to just show up at the Gala screening that night, not to mention find my way to the Park Hyatt hotel and interview François Ozon. As I was talking to him, I noticed out of the corner of my eye that Daniel Auteil (France’s most famous actor, after Gérard Depardieu) was standing about three feet away engaged in conversation with Claude Berri (one of France’s most famous directors), Miou Miou (another famous French actress) and a few other men wearing suits who I didn’t recognize but decided that they must be very important.
Once in the theatre, Berri, Auteuil and Miou Miou headed to the stage to greet the guests. Berri began in English, warning the audience that “I’m better in French.” He continued, addressing the international buyers: “This movie is only shown in France, Belgium and Switzerland. For the rest of the world, it’s free!” Daniel Auteil followed and addressed the audience in Italian – “Buena Sera Tutti” – and then, in French, responded to Berri’s commentary, saying: “Moi aussi, je suis libre. Je suis prêt à venir essayer des jeunes metteurs en scène, des vieux aussi…” (Me too, I’m free. I’m ready to come and try young filmmakers, old ones too…) Despite mediocre reviews from French critics, I really enjoyed this film.
Based on Claude Berri’s real life, L’Un Reste, L’Autre Part is a tragicomedy that follows two Paris art dealers as they, like most French men these days, juggle their wives and mistresses. The film begins as Daniel, a 20th-century furniture and architecture specialist played by Daniel Auteuil, is celebrating his 16 years of marriage to his second wife with his 15-year-old son, Cedric, his dear friend Alain (Pierre Arditi) and his wife Fanny (Nathalie Baye). The phone rings and the happy mood turns abruptly somber as Daniel learns that his son Julien (Nicolas Lebovici), is in intensive care following a motorcycle accident. Soon thereafter, Daniel meets Judith and must decide whether or not to pursue a love affair while his son suffers in the hospital. Meanwhile, Alain, an African antiquities dealer, is in way over his head with his gallery assistant, Farida (Aissa Maiga), a feisty Senegalese knockout less than half his age. Devoted to wife Fanny and their teen daughter, Alain is having more and more trouble placating Farida, who wants him all to herself. Arditi’s pathetically comic Alain counterbalances Auteuil’s tragic Daniel and his interactions with the two women in his life, not to mention his caustic sister-in-law, provide humorous moments throughout the film. In my opinion, Auteil gives one of his best performances as a man trying to deal with his son’s accident. In the incipient scene when Auteil learns his son has been in a motorcycle accident, he cries out and says nothing else, but his facial expressions make it clear what has just occurred. In another scene, when Auteil learns, also by phone, that his son may never walk again, he begins to cry and creates one of the most emotional scenes I have seen in a film recently. I find it hard to believe that French critics gave the film such bad reviews; I thought it was one of the best French films I’ve seen all year! I mean it is only January, but you get the idea…
Sunday was far less exciting than the day before, but nonetheless I did see four French films in a row. My morning screening was extremely disappointing. In fact, I don’t think I’ve enjoyed a film less since that documentary on rare duck breeding I watched on National Geographic when I was eight. This gratingly self-reflexive film mixes real video footage of the movie’s director, Laeticia Masson, with a fictional re-telling starring Elsa Zylberstein as Masson.
In need of money, after her latest script is rejected as “abysmal” by real-life producer Alain Sarde (okay, this scene was actually pretty funny, I’ll admit), Masson (Elsa Zylberstein) reluctantly agrees to film friend Christine Angot’s (also played by Zylberstein) autobiographical novel, “Why Brazil?”, about a love affair. The movie then immediately turns into the recently banalized film-about-a-filmmaker-conflicted-about-making-a-film. It’s Adaptation for the art-house crowd, but instead of Nicolas Cage and Meryl Streep, there’s a highly extraneous reflection on Jewish identity , the quest for love and the need to find a family. Real-life cameos by actors Francis Huster, Daniel Auteuil and diva Ludmila Mikael provide slightly entertaining scenes, but the film is, in general, boring, long and overly introspective. Masson describes her intentions towards the beginning of the film as creating a cinematic moment where “c’est le livre qui adapte le film et il n’est pas le film qui adapte le livre.” (“it’s the book that adapts the film and not the film that adapts the book.”) This is the kind of self-indulgent surrealist garbage that defines Pourquoi Pas le Brésil?
On that note, I went to see La Petite Chartreuse. The screening took place in a “secret” (well, it had been kept secret from me until that point anyway) projection room downstairs in Planet Hollywood and the turnout was the largest I’d seen for any of the previous screenings. I saw a Belgian critic next to me filling in his star ratings on a spreadsheet that listed all of the films coming out in Belgium in the next month. La Petite Chartreuse tells the story of Etienne Vollard, a bookseller with a mountain climbing hobby and gifted with an atypical memory. He lives a primarily solitary existence until the day that he runs over little Eva by mistake with his van. Etienne spends his time caring for Eva while her mother, unable to take care of her, spends time working night jobs. The French certainly have a knack for making emotionally evocative films about ordinary people who do extraordinary things. This film reminded me of a more budget version of the 2000 Occupation period drama, Monsieur Batignole, starring Gérard Jugnot. Bertille Noel-Bruneau is a charming Eva and Olivier Gourmet delivers a nearly perfect performance as a man ridden with guilt. The cinematography is incredible; the mountains of province become a lead character in the film. In fact, it is the scenes without any dialogue that are perhaps the most powerful. In one scene, Etienne blows on his hand and opens it slowly until Eva does the same, marking a tacit agreement of trust and companionship between the two protagonists. The film was beautiful and hauntingly powerful with the exception of a terrible performance by Eva’s mother, played by Marie-Josée Croze. Croze gives such a lacklustre performance that she nearly ruins an otherwise wonderful movie. Although, I did wish that the myth of the mountains was elaborated a bit more. The end is typically French, i.e. the spectator leaves the theater asking questions, but, in general I think this is a very good movie, though a bit slow at times.
My next screening was L’Ex-Femme de Ma Vie, which I was really looking forward to. I’d seen the myriad advertisements for the film all over the city, not to mention the fact that I absolutely adore Thierry L’Hermitte and have found most of Josiane Balasko’s films quite funny. However, this film was definitely the worst I saw all weekend. (Congratulations Laeticia Masson, Josiane Balasko has inherited the title of “The worst French movie of the Year.”) The French have a word to describe this: “NULLE!” The acting was terrible; the casting director might just as well have hired a beggar from the streets with a pillow in her stomach to replace the not-at-all-funny-in-any-language Karine Viard and I wonder if Thierry L’Hermitte has been having suicidal thoughts lately because films like this are sure to terminate his career. The premise had potential – a pulp fiction writer (L’Hermitte) is about to get married to PR chick Ariane when his ex-wife shows up, barefoot and pregnant – but fails miserably in the delivery. The humor is forced and the film drags on and on; every time I thought (read: hoped!) the film was finally ending, the plot skipped around and the story continued. Luckily, however, the film did eventually come to an end (as did any prior affections I had for Thierry L’Hermitte) and I hurried down the Avenue Hoche to catch the afternoon screening of Dans Tes Rêves, a film that I had heard nothing about, but, being that the description said it was about rap stars and was released by StudioCanal, I decided it sounded like the perfect follow-up to the past two hours of my life I had wasted watching the poorest excuse for French humor I have ever seen. Dans Tes Rêves turned out to be one of the best films – if not the best – I saw all weekend.
Dans Tes Rêves focuses on Ixe, a young boy who spends his time trying to balance school, his girlfriend, his friends, his demanding mother and his dream of becoming a famous rap star. His posse of friends do everything they can to help Ixe achieve his dream, but it is Ixe himself who must overcome his inner demons and distance himself from his father, who became a bum and eventually died in a drunken stupor. I apologize for yet another comparison, but Dans Tes Rêves is the 8 Mile of the French hip hop world. Yet the film attempts to destroy the stereotypes associated with hip-hop youth street culture and presents characters who avoid drugs, gratuitous sex and “gangsta” fights. The premise had the potential to be a cheesy “reach for your dreams” adolescent angst flick, but instead delivers an entertaining and expressive story thanks to a strong ensemble cast and an intelligent script. Firmine Richard is stunning as usual in the role of Ixe’s mother, and Vincent Elbaz gives another witty performance as the scheming Ben. Edouard Montoute is also wonderful in the role of Keuj, owner of a barber shop and Ixe’s “business manager” who dreams of a better life for his family and is confident in Ixe’s abilities to rise above his past and succeed. The soundtrack is incredible and features more clean-cut hip-hop songs with catchy beats, not to mention the impressive dancing scenes spread throughout the production. The film is ostensibly the typical teen drama – a boy with a dream, his posse of friends, his enemy (fellow rapper Gun whose golden teeth and big muscles may cause spectators to mistake him for a clone of 50 Cent) – but the story is sincere and the performances stellar. While this film will most likely appeal to the French youth, I doubt that it will ever make it across the Atlantic to U.S. theatres. It’s target audience – I’d say the average American youth aged 11-25 – would never see a film with subtitles, and a film about a young rapper probably isn’t exactly the type of intellectually stimulating fare the American cosmopolitan art house crowd is expecting. When I met Edouard Montoute later that night, he told me that he “expects great things” from the film. I couldn’t agree with him more!
Monday, January 24th, was perhaps the best day of my life (not including my 21st birthday spent at the Toronto Film Festival or the day I got into Dartmouth or… okay, so maybe it wasn’t the best but it is certainly up there on my “days I’d like to relive” list.) I took the day off from work – marking a commemorative day in my life, i.e. the first time I had ever “called in sick” after never missing a day of school, class at Dartmouth or work day purely because I had something else I preferred to be doing – and went to two morning screenings. Mensonges et Trahisons et Plus si Affinités… (in English: “The Story of My Life”, which, may I add is not at all a direct translation of the French title, the system used to create English titles of French films is quite the enigma in my opinion, but we’ll get into that later…) stars Edouard Baer as Raphael, a ghost writer in his mid-thirties who has created a life for himself writing about famous people’s lives and never getting any credit for it. On day, Raphael’s boss assigns him to write the biography of “dumb jock” Kevin (the always hilarious Clovis Cornillac), a famous soccer star. As it turns out, Kevin is dating the Claire, Raphael’s old college crush (who he gave up on after he hit a boar on the way to a wedding… yes I’m not lying, there is a scene in which the two of them hit a boar then drag it back into the trunk of the car until the boar comes to life, attacks the car, forcing the police to come and shoot hundreds of bullets into Raphael’s father’s car which he had borrowed to impress Clare. If you haven’t followed so far, don’t worry, this film requires far less thinking than it may appear, but, trust me, this scene will be the best cinematic moment involving a boar and a transportation vehicle that you have ever seen.) This love triangle – made a love square thanks to Raphael’s current live-in girlfriend, Muriel (Marie-José Croze who is much better in this than in La Petite Chartreuse but still fails to convince me of any trace of acting talent) – makes for a hilarious romp through the life of these modern thirtysomethings and they search for meaning in their lives. Raphael’s bickering sidekicks, neo-hippie Jeff and yuppie Max, provide constant laughs in their quest to make sense of the crazy world around them.
And what would a weekend of French films be without a visit from Gérard Depardieu? Je Préfère Qu’on Reste Amis stars Depardieu as Serge, a wedding crasher (he brings a fake gift of a raclette maker an pretends to be a distant cousin of every groom) and father (or lack thereof) whose playboy ways prevent him from finding the true love he is searching for. Serge befriends Claude (Jean-Paul Rouve) at a wedding and gives him the confidence he needs to succeed on his quest for female companionship. The two men try everything from dating counsellors to the apparently common French practice of “speed dating” where each man and each woman is given about 30 seconds to reveal everything about him or herself. In France, being single is a fate worse than death so the desperate meet at restaurants to try to fall in love in record time, making for some hilarious film sequences. Serge also convinces Claude to join a dating service where each participant is given a celebrity pseudonym; the joke eventually grows tiresome by the end of the film but I must admit it was quite funny to see Claude, a lanky, nerdy and awkward man introduce himself as Johnny Depp in a group meeting as other misfits chimed in with “Hello, I’m Jean-Claude Van Damme,” “I’m Brad Pitt”, etc. The plot is a bit contrived, but Depardieu and Rouve deliver solid – albeit typical – performances. The scenes featuring Claude in New York are very funny, especially when he takes a sip of his American coffee and is forced to spit it out. I think this film is the epitome of the somewhat funny French comedy being produced in France these days, and I have no doubt that it will do well at the French box office, although the typically French humor may not translate across the Atlantic.
Monday night was the icing on the cake. Unifrance sponsored a closing night ceremony and extended invitations to only a select group of international buyers and journalists, French film stars and filmmakers, and the French Minister of Culture. I somehow managed to get myself an invitation and I arrived at the Musée d’Orsay Monday night for a private party. We were greeted by flutists playing delicate classic music as we walked through the great hall of this train station-turned-world famous art museum. We went upstairs to look at the Impressionist exhibit and I stood in front of Monet paintings as a Harp player played live in the background. It was surreal. Not to mention the fact that I was surrounded by interesting intellectuals from all over the world who were all there to celebrate French cinema. We went downstairs for cocktails and I sipped champagne and nibbled on hors d’oeuvres catered by Lenôtre as I listened to Ronald Donnedieu de Vabres, the French Minister of Culture, talk about the success of French film abroad and the importance of Unifrance in promoting French culture through the 7th art. Anyone who is anyone in the French film world was there that evening. I walked past Laura Smet, perhaps France’s most famous young actress and bumped into Jean Pierre Darrousin, who has starred in myriad French movies I have seen. I then approached Gérard Jugnot and told him that his feature film Monsieur Batignole had been such a tremendous influence on my work and that I wrote over fifty pages of my honors thesis on the character he played in that film. He was very friendly and appeared to be interested in what I was doing (although, he is a wonderful actor so you never know!) Meeting Gérard Jugnot was definitely one of the highlights of the evening. I also met a bunch of other young directors, including David Lanzmann who is the nephew of Claude Lanzmann (director of the famous French 9-hour Holocaust documentary, Shoah). The stars of the recent hit Les Brodeuses were all present and were celebrating their recent nomination for a number of César awards. The stars of L’Un Reste, L’Autre Part were all there, and I spoke with Edouard Montoute, one of the stars of Dans Tes Rêves and told him how much I’d enjoyed his film. Then, I was mistaken for a young French actress and when a photographer asked me who my agent was, I responded: “Dominique Besnehard” (who, by the way, is the most famous French agent in Paris and represents all of the big stars). He thought this was funny so put about 10 pictures of me online, which, as it turns out, someone in my office was perusing the next day and alerted everyone in my office, thereby blowing the cover on my “sick day.” Here are a few of the (not at all flattering but highly entertaining) pics:
I was in French movie nerd heaven. Unfortunately, like all fairy tales, mine had to end and I walked out of the d’Orsay museum and back to planet earth where I remained until that Wednesday when I had lunch with Cédric Klapisch…