The first is, since August 26, on the poster of Tenet, the first American blockbuster released in theaters since the end of confinement. A date on which the second should initially have been illustrated in Wes Anderson’s The French Dispatch, which was then postponed to October 14 and then indefinitely. And it is for the same film that Clémence Poésy and Félix Moati landed on the boards of the 46th American Film Festival of Deauville: Resistance, biopic dedicated to the mime Marcel Marceau (played by Jesse Eisenberg) and to the children he saved of the Nazis during World War II. The opportunity to discuss, in addition to the feature film, the current situation and the reopening of cinemas.
How do you feel about this return to cinemas, in which “Resistance” participates thanks to the Deauville Festival, one of the first to be held since deconfinement?
Felix Moati : I went to see Tenet, precisely. And the room was full. But after these films are world events, we now have to see how it will react with smaller films, more fragile films. You have to see who wants to meet in a space. Everyone is more or less afraid, and mainly the cinema audience who are, mainly in France, retirees. But I tend to believe that we have been predicting the end of theaters for years, and that there is a desire for theaters. There is a desire for this collective experience.
We have the impression that with every decade something happens that is supposed to mark the end of cinema, and ultimately not.
Félix Moati: Yes that’s it. Well, after that, opera more or less disappeared, although it was a very popular art at one time. Cinema may not be eternal, but there is a desire for collective space.
Clémence Poésy : There is a redistribution of cards at the moment, with the platforms producing …
Félix Moati: Who are overkill.
Clémence Poésy : There is something undeniable, and today we discover films by great directors on Netflix, at the same time as we go to the cinema. Or instead of going. But that doesn’t seem incompatible to me. As long as everything stays in place and there is a choice, and that choice grows, so much the better. The important thing is to preserve the life of more fragile films, because we knew that Tenet… Well, no. It’s still a good surprise that people want to go see Tenet (laughs) And to return there apparently. But what will happen for a more fragile economy? And festivals are essential in supporting these films, so it’s great to see that happening again.
There is a redistribution of cards at the moment, with the platforms producing
We even realized that rooms and platforms are complementary.
Clémence Poésy : Completely. And as long as it is, it’s great. It is even a freedom, for some authors, to do things that they could not do otherwise. It offers a lot of possibilities, and we’ll see what happens and if it stays that way. But festivals do not all have the same policy with regard to films which may or may not include a selection. I find it nice that Venice and Deauville are leaving a little bit, that we don’t have our legs cut off right away.
There was talk of “Tenet”, and its success was indeed a good surprise: despite the expectation it aroused, nothing said that so many people would see it in theaters in its first week.
Clémence Poésy : Yes quite. But it is a film that is made to be seen in the cinema. It’s done by a cinema lover, for cinemas, for a collective experience, which continues afterwards because people discuss it, try to understand and for some come back to it. There is something very playful and very joyful in this desire he had to release the film, when it was not necessarily obvious, and to encourage people to return with him to this other world, which is something …
Félix Moati: Who obsesses him!
Clémence Poésy : He saves the world from the Russians and the crisis (laughs) And the operators by the way.
And that can reassure the studios and the exhibitors, who were worried.
Clémence Poésy : Maybe yes, but there is the fact that he is all alone and that he can stay longer. Everything is weird.
Félix Moati: We don’t really know anything. We do not know at all what will happen.
Clémence Poésy : Yes. All of a sudden, in November, are we going to start over? We all walk a little on eggshells.
Interview by Maximilien Pierrette in Deauville on September 9, 2020
“Resistance” does not yet have a release date in France: