Thirty years after It happened near you, he signs his return to the cinema with a masterful documentary in the form of a singular self-portrait. Meet
With And I love to fury, you sign a singular self-portrait where you tell your story by mixing amateur film images of fellows – which you have been collecting for years – and your personal archives. How did the idea for this film come to you in your head?
Andre Bonzel: And I love to fury arises from my lifelong passion for these amateur films, exciting cinematographic objects where people film their own lives. Over time, it almost became an addiction that I satisfied by going to get new ones, first at flea markets and garage sales, then on sales sites.
But when and how did you decide to tell your story through these amateur films?
It was my wife Anna, who has to put up with my invasive film reels, who was the first to encourage me. So I made a little demo reel that I showed to my friend Benoît Poelvoorde who pushed me to go after this idea. Inevitably, at the beginning, I wondered who my life was going to be able to interest apart from my relatives. But Anna and Benoît’s encouragement made my reluctance disappear.
To these amateur films, you mix images that you yourself have filmed for years, how do you manage to harmonize everything to make a film?
I first create the arc of the story and I decide very early that I will accompany them with my voice-over. I wrote this film with the idea of a feel good film and to show that whatever difficulties were encountered – and I had my share! – life is worth living. Humor is for me the engine of And I love to fury. Then, once this spine has been drawn, I will grope around to find or unearth the extracts from amateur films that correspond to what I want to tell. And I understand that it’s better to try to find matches instead of literally illustrating things
ET J’AIME A LA FUREUR: A DOCUMENTARY OF INCREDIBLE EMOTIONAL POWER [CRITIQUE]
You have to have a crazy memory to remember in detail the equipment you had…
Logical because, in my eyes, And I love to fury is also a film about memory. There are plenty of images that I’m sure I’ve seen and never found. And unlike things that I necessarily just imagined or dreamed of having seen.
When do you know you’ve finished editing?
I first worked alone to arrive at a first version of 2h30 that I mentioned. Then a first editor joined me, Svetlana Vaynblat. We worked for many weeks, we incorporated Benjamin’s music until we realized that we were going in circles. Then the Covid forced us to stop. And when we were able to resume, Svetlana was committed to another film, so I called on another editor, Thomas Marchand, who had the advantage of having a totally new eye on the project. Afterwards, you have to know how to let go of the thing, decide yourself to stop. Because throughout the editing, I continued to discover amateur films that I necessarily wanted to add. But fortunately for me, the selection at Cannes, in the Cannes Classics section, last July, gave us a course and deadlines to meet.
How did you feel coming back to Cannes last July 29 years after the presentation on the Croisette of It happened close to you ?
It was obviously moving… We were also on the Venice Film Festival’s shortlist and when we had to choose, I didn’t hesitate for a second! For the first time, I had good accreditation and was able to go see other films! (laughs) I spent so many Cannes struggling and trying in vain to meet people. You really don’t have to have an ego on the spot
29 years have passed between It happened close to you and And I love to fury. Do you have any projects on fire so as not to leave so much time before your third?
I have two projects. One that has been close to my heart for years: The Black Marquis, a period film with the codes of thriller and slasher in the heart of the 18th century. And a trashy little movie that I’m going to make in a hurry, too bad to have a TV in the financing, Pussy fart ! And I love to fury obviously gave me new energy. It is a love letter to the cinema and I perceive that it was rather well received. It brings me to see that people appropriate the film as if it told, although speaking of me, part of their own story.