37°2 in the morning: The censors don’t make love

37°2 in the morning: The censors don't make love

Arte pays tribute to Jean-Jacques Beineix, who died on January 13.

Exceptionally, Arte will broadcast a film this Saturday evening. What’s more, a film prohibited for children under 16 when it was released in cinemas in 1985. 37°2 in the morning was an important work for First, who had defended him at the time, then who met Jean Jacques Beineix during the launch of Premiere Classics, at the end of 2017. For the first issue, the filmmaker, who has just passed away at the age of 75, returned to the creation of this sulphurous love story between Beatrice Dalle and Jean-Hugues Anglade, for Denis Parent. Here is an extract from this long file to be found on newsstands: below, we only publish the part devoted to the filming of 37°2 in the morning.

Jean-Jacques Beineix, death of an intractable

It’s a happy shoot. Thirteen weeks in the south-west of France, during the Indian summer of 1985. Happy yes, but with a few claps of thunder in a serene sky. Jean-Hugues Anglade, nostalgic, will tell that “what happened around the film was also in the film”. Thus the anger of the Dalle who turns out to be a capricious diva even before being a star. Beineix has avid realization. He’s not just near the camera, he’s sometimes in it. He often fits and demands a lot. He takes maniacal care to coordinate everything and gives very precise instructions to his heads of post. One of the strengths of the film will also be its visual power. The light of course, the very warm and sometimes saturated one that Jean-François Robin the operator works on. But also the colorist power. The filmmaker constantly wants to match idea with appearance. Betty is a paradox: the eccentric female harms the lover. A character brilliantly defined by an astonishing sentence from Djian, which will be used in voiceover and by the voice of Zorg from the first minutes of the film: “She reminded me of a strange flower, with translucent antennae and a purple leatherette heart…”

But Beatrice is reluctant, more Betty than ever, and does not say yes to everything. This is how, not only does she refuse the famous pink shorts that she must wear during the filming of a sequence, but also that, as a challenge, she burns them. What she does not know is that the costume designer, a professional in the profession, has planned two others, fitting. It is therefore the showdown between the predator and its creature. During the scene where Betty, in the midst of a fit of rage, throws everything that comes to hand out of the window, the actress systematically targets her director.

Obviously Beineix turned wide, as always. The intoxication of the peaks. When assembling, you have to cut in the mass. This makes victims, those lost in the ellipses: Simon de la Brosse and Dominique Pinon. But they will have their chance, twenty years later, at the time of the long version. And then the filmmaker, by dint of tightening, brings down all
the first part, that of the meeting. It begins with the love scene, which will dry out the lips of the first spectators. An introduction, if I dare say, risky but which gives the temperature of the fi lm. The actors are naked before speaking. They give each other pleasure. Obviously the ban at least 16 years old falls. Censors don’t make love.

Three things to know about… 37°2 in the morning

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