General vs. President

In sound editing of episode 3 of Panic in Space, my existential webseries of the future. I haven't mentioned it here yet, but it's coming: the editing and 3D sets are done until episode 10. I'm doing the final assembly when I have an hour here and there.

General Éral (me) on a morning after a bender.
Lalao Phan Vax Xua as President of the Union.

The slogan: "The future sucks. But where else to go?"

When do we have the right to swear, for fuck's sake?

At some point, I'll still have to get my fucking movies on my fucking website.

Because you see: I'm a director. So I make fucking movies.

And to promote those fucking movies, I have a fucking website.

And it still doesn't seem aberrant to me to want to put my fucking movies on my fucking website but - for some reason that I really don't give a shit about explaining - I can't do it, for fuck's sake.

I'm aware that the previous passage may sound a bit vulgar.

But actually, it's not. That's because you're not familiar with the rules that govern when one is allowed to swear and when one is not.

For example, I'm allowed to talk about "my fucking movies" because:

Rule #1:You're allowed to swear when you're talking about your own work.

I would never say that about your work. I wouldn't allow myself. Unless it's objectively crap, in which case the following rule applies:

Rule #2: It's okay to swear when talking about other people's work if it's objectively crap.

This is a slippery slope, you might say. After all, how do you know if a work is objectively crappy? How do we know it's not a personal judgment? Simple: call me and I'll tell you. (Spoiler: 99% of everything is crap.)

Same thing: I'm allowed to talk about "my fucking site" because:

Rule #3: We're allowed to swear about technology when it doesn't work.

But we have to be careful because:

Rule #4: It is wrong to swear at nature.

For example, it is wrong to insult an infant, a tree or a puppy. On the other hand, I am allowed to say that the seagull that shat on me the day before yesterday is an asshole because:

Rule #5: It's okay to swear at nature when it shits on you.

Besides, I don't consider "asshole" to be inherently a bad word. To me, an asshole is someone who is neither you nor me when we're talking together. So when you talk about me in my absence, I don't mind if you say:

"Did you read the other asshole's blog? That's some serious shit."

And so, under the rules stated above, you will agree with me that there is absolutely nothing vulgar about the above sentence. Especially if shit on you - which I do.

I Wish I Had Been Jeff Bezos

Going to see the plays of my actor buddies when I was in acting school disgusted me with broke theater, or even theater altogether. Now, I either go to the Comédie Française to see classics, or screw it: I watch Netflix.

So it was more to spend an evening with buddies that I went along for the ride to see Arthur Viadieu's I Wish I Were Jeff Bezos at the Théâtre de Belleville, with my pal Bob Levasseur. I wasn't expecting much. And it lasted an hour and a half.

It became my favorite play in the whole world.

Everything: the subject, the writing, the direction, the acting of all the actors. I didn't want it to stop. I laughed, I was touched, I learned. It restores confidence in creation. Well done friends.

So don't miss them while they are in Belleville.

EDIT: You missed them the first time around? They’re back in Belleville in oct’23!!

Weekend Atmosphere

New rule: when I'm in a hurry, I'll post pictures from the last few days even if they're not inherently interesting. Trouville, as usual.

Bank and waterfront
The Sun at the End of the Boards
Brewery atmosphere

I'm reminded of this quote I often pull out to young creators to relieve them of anxiety when they're starting out (not sure if it helps, but for me, it's reassuring):

"Your first 10,000 photos are your worst photos."
- Henri Cartier-Bresson

Shooting UNESCO Campus

It's been a long time since we worked with UNESCO. Yesterday Campus XXL with 600 students who came to see a preview of the film Whale Nation, by Jean-Albert Lièvre, with the film crew, Jean Dujardin and experts from the Ocean.

Screening of Whale Nation at UNESCO
Interviews in UNESCO hall

Shooting of the day with ChezFilms and Caroline Le Hello as the all-around camera operator.

The Child with the Whale

It's becoming a tradition to post a containment drawing when I'm in a hurry. I'd like to tell you that I've worked so hard during this time that I have enough content to post for the next five years... but no. I've also done a lot of nothing.

This is a mock-up. I had started the final drawing but it never saw the light of day:

Child to Whale

PS: How did I not think of this before? It's not containment drawings! It's Coron'Art!"

Confession - Czeslaw Milosz

As is often the case, I bought this book by chance because I opened it in the middle and one sentence caught my eye. In this case (from memory):"You wouldn't have envied the tenor in the camel-hair coat if you had guessed his fear and known how he was going to die." Then I let fifteen years pass. Two days ago I stumbled upon it again and read the first poem that enchanted me:

My Lord, I loved strawberry jam
And the dark sweetness of a woman’s body.
Also well-chilled vodka, herring in olive oil,
Scents, of cinnamon, of cloves.
So what kind of prophet am I? Why should the spirit
Have visited such a man? Many others
Were justly called, and trustworthy.
Who would have trusted me? For they saw
How I empty glasses, throw myself on food,
And glance greedily at the waitress’s neck.
Flawed and aware of it. Desiring greatness,
Able to recognise greatness wherever it is,
And yet not quite, only in part, clairvoyant,
I knew what was left for smaller men like me:
A feast of brief hopes, a rally of the proud,
A tournament of hunchbacks, literature.

-- Czeslaw Milosz, A Confession, 1986

Nothing more to day (Not Cherrful but Beautiful)

Of course, you've known about this song for ages. Because you guys are cool.

But did you know that Dan Klein, the lead singer of The Frightnrs, died of Charcot's disease? I think it's something to listen to a song knowing that:

  1. The singer passed away before his first album was released,
  2. He knew he was going to die when he recorded the song,
  3. We're all going to die.

So yes: it's reggae. But New York reggae, I'm told.

And when you hear the first notes of his sinuous and melancholic voice, I think that, like me, you will be conquered:

Till Then, by The Frightnrs

Sunday Evening Light

End of the weekend. I've got a little extra time, I'm heading back to Paris tomorrow morning.

Quai de Trouville-sur-mer

In addition to some paperwork for ChezFilms, I've finally found the ending to "The Stagemaster," the English-language feature film I finished writing .... so long ago. At least five years. I found the right ending: the one that makes sense and sheds a new, beautiful, coherent light on the characters. So that now, I can't help but repeat "it couldn't have ended any other way."

I've also moved forward with a new medium-length film project that I'm very excited about. As soon as I walk down the street, I dive right back into it and the scenes come by themselves. At no point do I need to think about it intellectually - which is the main enemy of screenwriters, if you know my opinions on the subject.

I've also made progress on "When the Gondolier Dies," my novel. I'm on the last chapter and it's progressing more and more slowly as I get to the end.

Lost and Found: Kramatorsk

So I'm summarizing:

In 1980, a building is finished being built in Kramatorsk, Ukraine. The following year, an 18-year-old woman living in apartment #85 dies suddenly. Two years later, it is her 16-year-old brother who dies. Then the mother. Despite these serial deaths - all of them from leukemia - the residents are not more worried than that. Doctors think it's "bad heredity."

A new family moves in. This time, it's the son who dies of lightning leukemia. The father decides to investigate.

The result of the investigation (hold on to your hat):

In 1970, a highly radioactive cesium capsule that was part of a radiation counter is misplaced in Karansky's quarry. The fruitless search is abandoned after a week. The stones extracted from the quarry are used for the construction of the building 7 Mariyi Pryimachenk street. The radioactive capsule is found in the wall separating the #85 and #52 appartments, right next to the children's bed.

Four dead, seventeen irradiated.

Why am I talking about this? Because a radioactive capsule was just lost on a road somewhere in Australia. If you happen to be driving by...