Insights from talented Filmmakers

Guillaume Levil

“You have to understand the story, but in fact you understand it with your own energy.

That is to say that you see the film you want, not the film the director wants.”

 

Guillaume Levil_par_Tallarico_Florent

Guillaume Levil

INT. STUDIO – DAY

Daylight touches vivid paintings hanging on the white wall. The French director and screenwriter GUILLAUME Levil (30something) shows us the portrait of a woman’s body in bright colors. He’s the painter. Guillaume has been awarded by many Festivals, among which the European Independent Film Festival, for his short film Un tour de cheville (The Anklet). Previously he had won numerous international festivals with his feature film Une lettre ne s’écrit pas (You can’t write a letter), released in Theatres in France.

 

INTERVIEWER

Guillaume, you are living a successful period. Could you tell us a bit about your adventure with Cinema and your recent success?

 

GUILLAUME

I started with Cinema by stealing my dad’s camera: I made my first film about a hamster who wanted to kill a mutant hoover. Great film!

(laughing)

About the recent success: every work’s got its own life: we just make them and let them go trough their paths. So it depends on the destiny of the film: sometimes people like what we do.

 

INTERVIEWER

In your film The Anklet the protagonist is far from being a hero. What does this story mean to you?

 

GUILLAUME

“The Anklet” is about love. In fact, even if I speak about violence, or hamsters, or I don’t know what else, I only speak about love, it’s the only thing existing on earth. But this time I wanted to show the link between this great love and the cowardice of men. This link is quite difficult to define, that was my challenge. Yes, the protagonist has got a human brain, he’s a man, no hero at all. He’s real, like you and me. We all are cowards.

 

INTERVIEWER

A human touch in a cruel story. How did you draw your choices about the story design?

 

GUILLAUME

As I wanted to focus on the link between love and cowardice, it was important to cut the story in two pieces. The first one would be lighter and fun; the second is dark. It’s the eternal problem in human life: sometimes we laugh, sometimes we cry for the same element of life. Nevertheless the situation is just the same, only our point of view has changed. When I write, I always think about this point of view.

 

INTERVIEWER

The film is rich in symbolism. Like when animals suddenly appear on screen without the audience seeing them coming.

(nodding ironically)

Come on, tell us what happened.

 

Affiche_Un_tour_de_cheville

The Anklet – Poster

 

GUILLAUME

In the script there was only one dog. I saw twelve dogs and I wasn’t able to choose! So now there are three dogs and a little pig.

(sighing and smiling)

That’s life. It was a fun part of the movie, almost comedy. Those animals could render the softer weight of the scene to any audience, no matter the specific cultural background. It’s universal.

 

INTERVIEWER

Was the anklet itself a symbol of slavery? The protagonist gave it to his lover.

 

GUILLAUME

Love is a jail, indeed. Maybe a very beautiful one, but still a jail. I’m not saying it’s bad: sometimes in life we need a prison. And we just try to make it a good place.

 

INTERVIEWER

Cinematography is impressive and effective. Which technologies did you use?

 

GUILLAUME

We’re so lucky today with these wonderful cameras. I chose a Red Scarlet, but the most important thing is that I could count on a wonderful Director of Photography, Alexis Doaré. He obtained those colors I wanted. People working on the film helped so much. A film is not only the director’s film. A work belongs to the director just like it belongs to any other specialist in the crew.

 

INTERVIEWER

Sounds good! Hey, talking about Cinema at a broader level. Which are the films that inspired you the most? Were they a source of inspiration for this movie?

 

GUILLAUME

I don’t like hard reality in film, I like poetry. When I was little little little (literal, Ed.), I saw “La Femme du boulanger”, a french film made in the south of the Country by Marcel Pagnol, in black and white. It was love at first sight, totally. I like when characters speak like in dreams. Like in Capra’s films. Or in italian films from the 50’s. My favorite is “Miracolo a Milano”, a masterpiece! I believe that when you see a film, you have to understand the story. But in fact you understand it with your own energy, that is to say that you see the film you want, and not the film the director wants.

 

INTERVIEWER

Now an honest question about Festivals: how important is it for an indie filmmaker to participate in a Film festival and why?

 

GUILLAUME

It’s like if you asked me: is it important that your baby walks one day? (Interviewer himself is laughing here, Ed.) So yes, it’s important, the only way for a film to walk, speak and make love is to be screened in festivals. Please don’t let us die.

 

INTERVIEWER

We at The Indie Shots agree and say it loud. Long live Indie Cinema! What now? Are you marketing your film and working on other projects?

 

GUILLAUME

The Anklet was bought by french TV and it was screened at several festivals. Now I’m trying to collect budget for another feature. But you know, I’m writing now and I’ll be writing during all of my life, we’ll see. I’m just a craftsman.

 

INTERVIEWER

So thank you for sharing a bit of your craft with us, Guillaume. The Indie Shots is supporting craftsmen like you.

 

 

www.guillaumelevil.fr

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Santa Fe Independent Film FestivalUSA - Santa Fe, NMOctober 19-23July 1st (Late). August 1st (Final)
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