Diastema: “I imagined Le Monde d’hier as a genre film, between Greek tragedy and Gothic tale”

With Le Monde d’hier, Diasteme signs a political thriller where the President of the Republic must find a way to counter a Russian plot aimed at propelling the extreme right to power. Meet

How is born yesterday’s world in your mind?

Diastema: I have been passionate about politics for almost 30 years. But I didn’t think I would come back to the subject of the extreme right after realizing A French. Except that these ideas have never stopped growing since and that this subject has therefore never ceased to haunt my mind. Afterwards, you had to find an idea to make a film, not a leaflet. And this idea was that of a scenario built around the simple principle of “What if?” “. A race against time where a President of the Republic has three days to prevent the extreme right from gaining power, as she risks succeeding following a scandal that is about to swing a Russian news site between the two rounds of the election. A political thriller that I immediately wanted to approach as a genre thread, between Greek tragedy and Gothic tale

The music by Valentine Duteil contributes greatly to this. Why did you call on her, who is composing her first soundtrack here for the cinema?

This is one of my great prides! Valentine is a cellist, arranger. She has worked for years with Alex Beaupain and she had already written the music for one of my plays. For yesterday’s world, I went to see her and asked her to write me a concerto for string quartet. And I find the result sumptuous. She understood both the lyricism and the mood of genre film music that I was looking for by making it something very personal. yesterday’s world is a film that needed music to accompany its very romantic side.

Why did you call on the journalist duo Gérard Davet and Fabrice Lhomme, recent authors of traitor and nothingness on Emmanuel Macron, to support you in writing?

If I follow politics closely, I obviously do not know everything on the subject, in particular on the gray areas of power which are by definition hidden. I could have gone to question politicians but I knew that they would never tell me what I wanted to know. I needed precise connoisseurs of these mysteries who would be ready to share some of their knowledge with me. But I had met Gérard and Fabrice after A French. They had asked me to adapt one of their books. This project never saw the light of day but the link did not come undone. So it was spontaneously that I contacted them so that, every ten days, we would discuss what I was writing. It was essential for me that no detail sound wrong so as not to damage the precision mechanics essential to such a scenario and not to take future viewers out of the story. I worked for writing the yesterday’s world like I always do, focusing on the plot first and then adding layers. That’s why after Gérard and Fabrice, I also asked my friend Christophe Honoré to also come and consult on this screenplay, this time focusing on the intimacy of the characters. And then I also knew from the start that with this scenario, I was going to have a real pleasure as a dialogist, a field that fascinates me. However, who says dialogue, also says the possibility of having actors who feast and feast me. And I was lucky that great actors agreed to be part of the adventure. Léa (Drucker), Denis (Podalydès) face to face, it is the certainty of exceptional moments. But I can say the same thing in the more silent roles of Benjamin (Biolay), Alban (Lenoir), Jacques (Weber) or Thierry (Godard)


How do you work with them?

I don’t do general reading with the whole cast but, having done theatre, I have this pleasure in repetition. I do it by character, actor by actor or just as a duo. And in this work, we haven’t really touched the text. yesterday’s world is not the kind of film where an actor can improvise. But these rehearsals make it possible to make the essential adjustments – when there is little filming time – so that the actors have the text in their mouths on set.

Did the editing change the original script a lot?

It’s the first time I’ve written a thriller. So I didn’t have much of a habit of the genre. But the writing is very precise. So at the editing table, I don’t have the possibility of changing a lot. I just cut an introductory scene. But otherwise, with Chantal Hymans, we really put together the script.

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