A summer like this: how to film sex without judgment – Actus Ciné

A summer like this how to film sex without judgment

With “A summer like that”, Denis Côté is interested in female sexuality without false modesty or prejudice. Meeting with a director who dares.

AlloCiné: How was born A summer like this ?

Denis Cote : The spark was a book written by a New York historian. The book dates from 2002. She questions the definitions and perceptions of the word “nymphomaniac” through the ages. It fascinated me. The sequel was a fairly conventional writing adventure around a few female characters. There was something of a challenge too. The times are what they are and I am a straight white male. The adventure was risky but I wanted something very soft, benevolent, delicate, but ultimately very ambiguous too.

The film slowly infuses the viewer and leaves a lasting mark…

I notice that under the projections, the applause is… bewildered. It is not a film that is given easily. I don’t think you immediately allow yourself to like the film. Then, yes, I heard a lot that the film remains in the lead, three, four, five days later. I take that as a compliment of course.

The films which recount the therapies almost all follow a marked outline. Your film blows everything up.

You could say that. Simply because this therapy does not interest me and does not exist for me. It’s a very playful excuse to watch people live, far from any overly narrative considerations. The film has no timeline or dramatic pivots. It is very horizontal. If I had decided that therapy was important, that these women must be “cured” of something, I would have started on the basis that I seek to gently denounce. Imagine the same film which would highlight that these women are sick, that their sexuality is problematic and deviant. I wouldn’t want to see this movie. I want to see a film that says “leave us alone, we are beautiful (and beautiful) in our contradictions and our weaknesses”.

Why this title?

He absolutely does not let anyone guess which film awaits us. I wanted something very Rohmerian or Rivettian. A sort of Pandora’s box. What are we going to see there? Bourgeois drama? A very light comedy of manners? I like. Also, what will these women remember from their summer? Maybe nothing, maybe a lot. This is A summer like this.

How did you approach the shooting of the scenes which flirt with the limit?

We had a very nice shoot. Without difficulty or ounce of discomfort. It’s all about communication and preparation. The people I film are first and foremost friends. We joke and communicate a lot together before shooting. It gives you confidence and it lightens everything. It’s very rare that I choose an actor or actress who has to show up at 8 a.m. one morning to do their scene and then say goodbye.

The strength of the film also comes from its performers? Where are these actresses from?

Yes, the cast is wonderful and generous. I fell in love with the tragic face ofAnne Ratte-Polle. She learned French for the film. It was my third collaboration with Larissa Corriveau and it won’t be the last. For Aude Matthew (Geisha), I wanted someone we’ve never seen. It was his first feature film. Laure Giappiconi is French, unknown to us, already very comfortable performing and directing erotic short films. She helped me a lot to get comfortable with the subject. And of course Samir Guesmi, for his presence, his unique voice. It’s definitely a casting that seems strange or out of nowhere.

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