They will make you love space, haute couture and math. Focus on three biopics to discover on the Netflix platform.
FIRST MAN – THE FIRST MAN ON THE MOON (2018)
First Man – The First Man on the Moon is a biopic about American astronaut Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon. Bringing together the intimate and the epic, the feature film, taken from the book by James R. Hansen, Armstrong’s biographer, marks director Damien Chazelle’s reunion with actor Ryan Gosling just two years after the musical La The Land.
The intense and captivating film looks at Neil Armstrong’s preparation, phelote considered “a little distracted” by his superiors in 1961, until this historic day of July 21, 1969. For eight years, the American undergoes increasingly difficult training, courageously assuming all the risks of a journey into the total unknown. Bruised by personal trials that leave indelible traces, Armstrong tries to be a loving husband to a woman who had married him with the hope of a normal life.
To describe his approach which combines the immensity of space with the prosaic dimension of everyday life, Damien Chazelle uses the expression “the kitchen and the moon”. “I chose to shoot this film as a witness would, spying on both space missions and the most intimate moments of the Armstrong family.”, says the American filmmaker.
“I hope this approach highlights the heartbreaks, the hopes, the joys and the sacrifices made in the name of what has been one of the most famous issues in history: walking on the moon.”. And Damien Chazelle to add: “Ryan talked about “Lthe kitchen and the moon“, and it became the formula I used to describe the film to all the heads of departments, technicians and actors of this film “.
For producer Marty Bowen, “LDamien’s goal was to make it as visceral as possible and to achieve this the film had to be as “analog” as possible. The main challenge of this film – and this is what was really exhilarating – was to wonder how we were going to be able to install the public with us in this cockpit, how we were going to make them experience this extraordinary event intimately. “
AN EXCEPTIONAL MAN (2002)
The feature film A Man of Exception, partly fictional, is based on the life of the American mathematician John Forbes Nash Jr., famous for his economic theory of games. For him, fluctuations in financial markets can be calculated very precisely.
Engaged in the middle of the Cold War in order to decipher possible Russian coded messages in the press, John Forbes Nash Jr. lived his mission too intensely and was interned after a few years, suffering from paranoid schizophrenia. In 1994, he won the prestigious Nobel Prize in economics.
It is the New Zealand actor Russell Crowe, then just crowned with the success of Gladiator, who plays the character of John Forbes Nash Jr. in front of Ron Howard’s camera. This biopic will be the winner of the Oscars 2002 with four major awards: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay for Akiva Goldsman and Best Supporting Actress for Jennifer Connelly.
Note that Russell Crowe had the privilege of being able to meet the real John Forbes Nash Jr. during the shootings, when the famous mathematician went to the sets of Ron Howard’s film. Likewise, Jennifer Connelly, who plays Alicia Nash, wife of John Forbes Nash Jr., was able to meet her model during filming.
YVES SAINT-LAURENT (2014)
Yves Saint Laurent is a biopic dedicated to the famous French couturier. The feature film tells the story of the man who, in 1957, at just 21 years old, was called upon to take charge of the destinies of the prestigious haute couture house founded by Christian Dior, recently deceased.
During his first triumphal parade, he meets Pierre Bergé, an encounter who will turn his life upside down. Lovers and business partners, the two men joined forces three years later to create the Yves Saint Laurent company. Despite his obsessions and inner demons, Yves Saint Laurent is preparing to revolutionize the world of fashion with his modern and iconoclastic approach.
Enthused by Jalil Lespert’s project and especially by the performance of Pierre Niney in the role of YSL, Pierre Bergé, the couturier’s companion, authorized the film crews to shoot in places that made the couple’s privacy: the two men’s apartment at 5, Avenue Marceau, the stylist’s studio or the Majorelle Garden in Marrakech where Saint-Laurent imagined his collections. “Without Pierre’s agreement, I would not have made this film. (…) I needed to feel Pierre’s presence, to have access to precise information that only he could give me”, indicates the director.
To best stick to the character of Yves Saint Laurent, Pierre Niney literally immersed himself in the man, integrating videos and interviews of the designer into his iPod in order to familiarize himself with his voice until he adopted it. The actor even learned to draw like Saint Laurent thanks to the help of Audrey Secnazi, who worked with the designer. Finally, let us note that for the needs of the shooting, Pierre Niney had the honor to wear the glasses that the famous couturier wore during his lifetime.