Michel Seydoux & Laurent Charbonnier tell us the story of a 210-year-old oak tree and its inhabitants. An adventure film to see at the cinema with the family. At the cinema this Wednesday, February 23.
Directed by Michel Seydoux and Laurent Charbonnier, Le Chêne is a true animal tale of adventure to discover as a family. The feature film, whose star is a majestic 210-year-old oak tree, follows the inhabitants of the tree: squirrels, balanins, jays, ants or even field mice… Throughout the film, the viewer discovers the life that teems within the tree.
Thanks to a careful staging and music (by Cyrille Aufort) that accompanies the action, the spectator is totally caught up and crosses the seasons alongside the animals. From the terrible storm that almost engulfed the burrow of the field mice, to the attack of the snake that tried to devour the chicks of the jays, to the assault of a falcon, the spectator is immersed in the heart of the action.
Because yes there is action and a lot of life around this oak tree! What we thought was a peaceful and calm place is actually a place where terrible dramas are played out: chases, floods, attacks, thefts…
The stories that are tied around this tree make it possible to discover our biodiversity from a new point of view and to raise awareness among the viewer. A kind of “fnaturalist courtyard window“as the filmmakers call it.
This unique way of showing nature was born from the meeting between Laurent Charbonnier, author-director to whom we owe the films Les Animaux Amoureux and Chambord in particular, and Michel Seydoux, a seasoned film producer who is co-directing his first film here. .
They explain:Both of us have a special sensitivity for Nature. In addition to the aesthetic desire that guides this project, it is essentially the ethical desire to raise awareness of the safeguarding of our natural heritage that unites us. The sensory and poetic world of the king of the trees is an ideal vector and so close to us to tell stories, touching, lively and intelligible, as are all the great stories of cinema.“The film is co-written with Michel Fessler, screenwriter on La Marche de l’Empereur and Terre des Ours.
A 10-year-old project that required the latest technologies
It took the duo ten years to develop this idea and lead to a major project. “This is about taking a documentary subject and telling it with the narrative and technical know-how of feature-length fiction films. (…)
The immense richness of the universe of this great plant allows us to tell stories that touch the viewer, from the smallest to the largest. Whatever its origin or ecological awareness, the goal is to be surprised by the action, the image and the history of this oak tree.
The fears, the joys, the inter- and intra-specific relationships that are woven in the plant world of this oak tree are transmitted to the spectators with the desire to immerse themselves in the gaze of our heroes. We see instead of the field mouse which risks being crushed by the legs of the boar. We do aerobatics like the jay. We would almost be wet by the rain from the storm…“
And to stage all these stories, the latest audiovisual technologies were used: 360-degree virtual cameras, machinery, special effects… Laurent Charbonnier specifies “We have also innovated with the creation of innovative macro-videographic studios and modified standardized technical equipment, to meet the microscopic world and the heart of the living.“
Presented out of competition at the last Berlin Festival, Le Chêne can be seen in cinemas with children from 6 years old.
The original end credits song composed and performed by Tim Dup