The comedy with Fred Testot returns this evening on TF1 Séries Films.
With Sea no sex & sun, Christophe Turpin, acclaimed screenwriter (Jean Philippe, JCVD, Love lasts three years…), Went on to direct in 2012. A melancholy and summery comedy carried by the trio Fred testot/ Antoine Duléry /Arthur Mazet which had not really convinced our critics: “At the beach, Alex (20 years old), Guillaume (35 years old, married) and Pierre (50 years old, divorced fried) cheat on their sad daily life with girls … In the” holiday movie “category, Sea, no Sex & Sun is closer to L’Hôtel de la plage, to Michel Lang, than to Pauline at the beach, to Eric Rohmer: the characters lack depth, the actors spontaneity, the script is rigorous, the staging of personality. Guillaume reads The Manual of the Virgin, by Riad Sattouf, which Christophe Turpin would have done well to be inspired by. “
A handsome player, he answered point by point to the First, and defended his film with conviction. While telling us about his love of fantasy cinema, the 80’s winks sown in his first film and his sharp soundtrack. An interview to (re) read before finding his comedy tonight, on TF1 Séries Films.
Interview by Sylvestre Picard.
Review: “In the” holiday film “category, Sea no sex & sun is more like L’Hôtel de la plage de Michel lang that of Pauline at the beach of Eric Rohmer “
Christophe Turpin : I don’t mind being compared to Michel lang. But I don’t understand the reference to Rohmer: why would my film have to look like Rohmer to be successful? Rohmer is far from being one of my favorite filmmakers. For me the big ones are Steven spielberg and John carpenter. I was not brought up to the New Wave, which remains an unassailable reference in the press. And my film is not literary. I would have had Mathieu Amalric in the casting, I would have had one more star for my review, is that what that means? On the other hand, and it will make you scream, after the shooting I saw Camping ofOnteniente, and I noticed that my film was not that far from it. If you’re looking for a comparison at all costs, then let’s say I’m right between Rohmer and Camping. My culture is fantasy and horror cinema, not French auteur cinema at all. I don’t feel like I have any affinity with filmmakers like Christophe Honoré or Emmanuel Mouret.
“The characters lack depth”
The characters are not easy, they are a little unfriendly. But that’s the problem with the film: some find it touching, pleasant and light, and others find it rather depressing … It’s a question ofa priori. For Jean Philippe, the reactions to its release were amazing: “i expected a big shit, actually it’s a good movie“. Same for Sea no sex & sun. An internet user wrote: “I expected a big bad comedy, in fact I was rather surprised“. At this point, I didn’t have commercial cinema as my horizon. I prefer a family road movie like Hello holidays (1983) ofHarold Ramis with Chevy Chase rather than Little miss sunshine which seems a little manufactured to me.
“Players [manquent] spontaneity “
Well, he’s not entirely wrong. Some sequences are too written and the actors are sometimes too restrained. It’s my fault: I didn’t want it to go wrong. Suddenly, I directed them a lot, leaving them little improvisation. Can you imagine when you have actors like Julie ferrier and Fred testot, which come from the boards and the TV… But on the actors, I am struck that nobody notices their costumes. I stashed subliminal messages on their t-shirts. References to Sea teeth, at Encounters of the Third Kind Passing by Indiana Jones. It may seem minor, but I am appalled at the way the characters in French films are dressed today, really flashy. In Daniele Thompson’s films, they are all in horrible motley shirts.
“The scenario [manque] de rigueur ““
There, on the other hand, I do not agree. I worked a lot on construction. The script is very written: if you watch the film closely, you will see that the characters of the youngster, the father and the divorcee actually represent the same character at three periods of his life. There are plenty of subtleties in the script – and this confusion of ages runs through the three female characters, with Daphne Chollet/Julie ferrier/Anouk Grinberg… But I made the choice to leave it muted, not to add more to the interpretation. It would have been another movie. I wrote the three stories separately and then linked them together, and for the three characters to all end up in this parking lot at the end, it was a real job. Sea, no sex and sun, is a pure comedy-drama, eyeing the side of Sideways or from Garden state… That said, the film being sold as a big comedy, with Fred on the poster, it can be unsettling.
“Staging [manque] personality “
False. My film is not ultra-modern in its direction, it’s true, I even accept that we say old-fashioned. But I storyboarded 20% of the film myself, and I wanted to put a point of view in each sequence. There is this sequence where I film Duléry and Daphne at night in the car from the back seat, I deliberately made a sequence shot … I was also criticized for having made a film that was a bit slow. Me, on the contrary, I have the impression that things are going fast – I even cut ten minutes during the editing. Visually, we are in 35mm and not in rotten DV, we used very beautiful landscapes which we tried to do justice … And the music, nobody talks about it? We have a crazy soundtrack, with bands like Left Banke, Pale Fountain … One regret: I wanted to use Starman from David Bowie as a leitmotif, but the rights were far too expensive. The same goes for Happy Together from the Turtles, my second choice. I used Beach Boys Wouldn’t It Be Nice. It’s part of directing it all, but I feel like people are forgetting about it. After that, there are inevitably more classic things like field-against-field dialogues. But honestly, how many directors have real personalities today? In France, we have Jacques Audiard, and that’s all. So when I am told that “it lacks personality” I have the impression that it does not mean anything and that for once, it is the critic who lacks a bit.
“[Le personnage de Fred Testot] reads the virgin’s manual Riad Sattouf whose Christophe Turpin would have done well to be inspired “
Funny, because Alex’s role was originally held by Vincent Lacoste, who played in The Fine Kids. And there is Anthony Sonigo in a small role. But if we talk about Sattouf, the film refers more to his comic The Poor Adventures of Jeremiah… My fantasy is to adapt The Club of Five. I had also written a script a little between the Goonies and The Club of Five in 2004. A very difficult project to set up. Now that Ducobu’s Holidays came out, with his kid scavenger hunt story, it’s kinda screwed up. I also had a fantastic film project, a kind of Body Snatchers in a boarding school … But with all the French genre films that have crashed recently, it is almost impossible to put together a fantastic film at the moment. In addition, sometimes film criticism is too militant. You can be sure the press will love the last one Tim burton. Yet, objectively, Burton hasn’t made a good movie since Big fish. But hey, he has the menu.