After setting fire to Cannes, the first opus of the remarkable director Lola Quivoron, arrives in the cinema. A real slap in the face, Rodeo is a film not to be missed, led by Julie Ledru, a stunning young actress. We have met them.
At Cannes in May 2022, the film had the effect of a bomb, embarking festival-goers in its new world, its frantic staging and the lives of its passionate and diehard heroes. At the controls and headlining this favorite film, Lola Quivoron a director with a firm grip and Julie Ledru, incandescent revelation. We have met them. Time was running out because they were both expected to present their punchy film to festival-goers.
AN ENVIRONMENTESAID AND FORBIDDEN
She is smiling, generous and available despite the tight timing, but when asked about her beginnings, actress Julie Ledru goes straight to the point: what defines her best and has always been her passion for motorcycling. .
“I come from 95, I studied gastronomic catering but it was not what I liked. So I did temporary work. I had been passionate about motorcycles since I was very young, from the day I saw a photo of my mother on a cross country bike. She told me and my brother about outings with her boyfriend at the time. It made us dream.
One day, my brother’s father gave him his own motorcycle and we tried it together. At the edge of the Oise, we learned to shift gears. We adapted, we rode a lot in the forest. Until the day when I got bored of these same circuits of which I knew the slightest pebble, the slightest hole.
It was then thanks to social networks and more precisely to Instagram that the young woman discovered the so-called cross bitumen activity.
“I was interested in the practice until the day I said to myself that I had to go see it with my own eyes. They told me that I was crazy, that it was dangerous because it there are a lot of people on the same line. You don’t know this environment, we are used to being among ourselvesI was told.
They let me go, so I went back alone. This incredible happiness to be on a single line, on my two wheels, to feel someone brushing against me, the other touching the ground with his hand. And me in the middle of this bubble, this whirlwind. I had a revelation and I never left the bitumen.”
There was a surprise to see a girl arrive alone, move where the internet told me to do. That was brave enough!
In the same way as the extremist and inflamed heroine that she embodies in RodeoJulie Ledru then infiltrates the very masculine milieu of urban rodeo and tries to make a place for herself there, which is not easy:
“There was astonishment to see a girl arrive alone, load her motorbike alone in her trunk, move where the internet told me to. It was quite brave, I’ve often been told. But with my insurance I replied: “Who’s going to snatch me there, it’s a joke, I’m a good man. If we have to fight, we’ll fight.” My motorcycle, I humanized it, it took care of my stockings, when I had stockings. Julia, my character in Rodeo, it’s me Julie but the Julie from before. Recklessness, youth, bullshit!”
And the executive too? “It’s true that my heroine is not broken, is not binary. Lola worked on a decasement, a non-gender. It’s super interesting because today’s woman needs to know that if she’s wearing sweatpants or has hair under her arms, we don’t care as long as she’s fine when we speak. Lola and I have worked on her freedom to be.”
A PHYSICAL STAGE CLOSE TO THE BODIES “DECASES”
This freedom of the undetermined, we owe it to the above named Lola and her convictions.
“It’s a film about the gaze”, she confided to us in turn, delighted to be there and available to continue the conversation later if for lack of time we have not finished it. “My film fights against the different types of stereotypes. The character of Julia is always referred to strong assignments, stigmata. West Indian, woman etc. It was important to me to introduce this so-called foreign body into this environment rather masculine.”
There is a philosophy of life in bike life, we live for the bike. There is a very strong relationship to life and death.
Lola is Lola Quivoron, the strong filmmaker behind Rodéo, who offers us with her first feature film in a fierce style, a forbidden incursion into a new environment, that of “bike-life” which she knows very well for having explored it since 2015, with in particular a short film, a clip and a medium-length film.
“There is a philosophy of life in bike life, we live for the bike. There is a very strong relationship to life and death in this environment. The film adopts certain contours of the fantastic in relation to this theme. There is a poetic aspect, of the spectacular, of the practice with his figures made on the edge of the razor.
We are talking about a practice that has grown in working-class neighborhoods. The film also addresses this, but not head-on. They are alternative families that are being built in a place where real families are perhaps destroyed or decaying.”
A family staged here, to whom the director from the Fémis gave complete freedom to compose, with the strength of her cast of non-professionals, very embodied.
ONE SCENARIO CHIFFONNE FOR THE BENEFIT OF AN ASSIMIL HISTORYEE THEN IMPROVISEE
“La Fémis is a real laboratory for creating things, learning the trade. There is a physical aspect that I like a lot in cinema, it is to be there, to watch. I put very little distance between the actors, acting and my gaze. I am very close to them. The more concrete, physical it is, the more I am there. I really like the close-up because we are able to read the soul of our characters.
For me, the cinema is there to create a link, where there was not necessarily one. I work with energies and I don’t like to talk about directing actors, which is a term that refers to the issues of power specific to the world of cinema and its system. The power to look is a power, there’s no denying that, but you can also move things.”
On her set, she prefers to define herself as a guide for the actors, to whom she has not necessarily given the script, “a document that should be thrown in the trash when filming because it is like a map for a team sailing on the sea. There is someone who holds the rudder and catalysesenergy and which at the same time stays the course. So Julie had read it, Antonia Buresi who is my partner in life, who participated in the writing and plays Ophélie, had read it too. The riders have never read it.”
Lola was able to crumple the script telling us that it was up to us
For Lola Quivoron, the work is done before filming, with each actor becoming responsible for their character. “He has the embodied experience of the fictional character he met during the preparation trajectories. I told the story long, wide, across and once the actor understood the stakes, became impregnated with it, on the set he must reconvene the moments of improvisation during the preparation.”
“We were able to improvise”, also rejoices Julie Ledru. “We had a text but upstream we worked on a lot of things like anger. My character’s is very intense and we had to accept his emotions,” does she complete. “Thanks to these weeks of preparation, Lola was able to arrive on the set of the film and crumple the script symbolically by telling us that we knew the story and that it was up to us to play.”
“Energy catalyst, always in motion”, Lola Quivoron did not “never sitting on the set, always standing, galloping,” and it shows. Testifies to this the very physical and committed style of Rodéo, an explosive film close to the bodies of its powerful characters. A film anchored in its environment full of noise and fury, which can only ignite the cinemas in this new school year and which should not be missed.