Nine Antico: “My desire for cinema was born thanks to Marlon Brando”

The comic book author goes directing for the first time with the tasty Playlist. She tells us what led her to the seventh art

How did your taste for cinema come about?

Nine Antico: Very young, the desire to be an illustrator for children was first born at home. Then around 16, I got a kind of punch thanks to Marlon Brando in A streetcar named desire. My father, a cinephile, had quite a few K7 videos of old films. That summer, I had a fight with a bunch of friends and found myself digging into those K7s. This is the title that must have attracted me. And it was amazing for me to discover that a black and white film could convey such sensuality, such sexuality. It led me to discover On the docks from the same Elia Kazan and other adaptations by Tennesse Williams such as The Cat on a Hot Roof with Paul Newman. It is the moisture in the heart of his works that fascinated me. I then started to read books on the actors of that time. Then I went to film school in Saint-Denis for a year. I didn’t go to the exams because I didn’t want to be graded anymore. But I loved being in dark rooms at 8 am and eating movies. On the other hand, I was frustrated that we weren’t offered anything in terms of making films.

How did you fill this gap?

In was a waitress at Pizza Hut! Because I got to know another server older than me who was making short films. It was thanks to him that I found myself working on the courts, doing a bit of everything. It was a second slap. Because all of us broken arms had the will to do things together. And that even led me to make a short that I have never edited, inspired by Taste of others, Seeming like nothing around the embarrassment of a man and a woman who meet in a café after years of estrangement and more precisely the embarrassment of this woman when she discovers that the man in question now has only an arm that doesn’t know how to react

But the drawing will then take over the cinema …

Yes, I had shunned drawing each time I failed to enter an art school, but each time the desire to draw returned. And I said to myself that if I focused on drawing, cinema would come back too. Not necessarily as a director because what I wanted was above all to be on the set and be part of a team.

And how did he end up coming back?

Thanks to producer Thomas Verhaegue, then associated with Alain Benguigui in Sombrero Productions. Thomas came to see me when I was publishing one of my comics, Girls don’t cry, to offer me its adaptation and ask me if I wanted to write cinema. I answered him that yes I wanted to make cinema but not by adapting one of my comics. Because when I think of a comic book story, it’s because I find that it is the most suitable form for it. Besides the characters of Girls don’t cry were in my twenties when I wanted to approach characters at the dawn of my thirties. But with Thomas and Alain, we started to see each other regularly and talk to each other. They asked me who I would like to write for. And spontaneously, I thought of filmmakers who are also authors and therefore do not need a screenwriter. They then offered to do it myself. And for a long time I say no. For fear of doing wrong. For lack of legitimacy. And then I’m going to start by making a short film Yes, enormously, a lack of legitimacy too. But I ended up saying yes to them. I first made a short film, Tonite, in 2012 before I started writing Playlist.


What did this short film bring you?

I thought he was going to convince me to either continue or give up. And it wasn’t really the case. I felt like I had been diligent, serious. I had not kneaded my subject as I can do in comics. So I was a little frustrated. But what helped me decide to continue were close friends, the editor Carole Le Page with whom I made my two short films, the cinematographer Julie Conte with whom I co-directed another. self-produced … It was knowing that I wanted to work with her that pushed me to go long. Thomas, who then joined forces with his brother Mathieu to create their company Atelier de Production, understood how I worked and my mistrust of being asked to do things that were not me. While comics are very autonomous. I didn’t want to disappoint myself and those who love my world. I didn’t want to waste this insane chance to make a movie. I wanted to take advantage of it because I thought there would be only one.

How does this translate concretely?

Throughout the writing, I was fully aware that I was going to direct this film myself. Each scene had to be at my height of my desire of course but also of my capacity to make it exist. I only know how to do things that I really want to. At the beginning, the story of Playlist was less close to me. I had started with a co-writing and I think it was a miscalculation. So I brought this story closer to me to make it more visceral when I got hold of it. I worked on it for several years, prioritizing comics first until I started to see that I had something. When I understood that I wanted to talk about this period between 20 and 25 years that I lived as enraged and that I postponed for it to be more “dramatic” in my early thirties. This thing of wanting to break into an artistic environment by wondering, after multiple closed doors, whether we continue or stop in the unknown. All accompanied by a quest for love. It is a period when I was very go-getter to move forward when everything was wobbly. Where we saw small wounds and small scars. This is what I say in Playlist.

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