Diane Kurys’ first feature film celebrates its 45th anniversary this evening in Place au cinema, presented by Dominique Besnehard on France 5.
An autobiographical story
Mint diabolo depicts two sisters aged 13 and 15 during the return to school in September 1963 between an overwhelmed mother, a clumsy father and the time of the first flirtations and the first booms. This is the very first feature film directed by Diane Kurys who, after appearing in a few films (She runs, she runs the suburbs by Gerard Pirès, F… like Fairbanks by Maurice Dugowson…), dissatisfied with the roles to which she could have access, had decided to start writing. First by adapting a piece (The Hot I Baltimore) which she performed herself on the Espace Cardin stage in Paris, then embarked on the writing of an autobiographical novel which talks about her childhood and intends to settle some accounts with her mother and her big sister. And two years before moving on to directing himself with The Blow of the Sirocco, Alexandre Arcady very quickly suggested that he transform his potential book into a screenplay. What she is doing with stories of little girls who will become over the course of the adventure Mint diabolo. Arcady and Diane Kurys join forces to produce it by creating the company Alexandre Films.
A promotion inspired by American Graffiti
Mint diabolo was released just before Christmas on December 14, 1977. To create the poster, Gaumont, which distributed it, called on the author of BD Floc’h to design it. A first experience for him which will appeal to many others, whether for Diane Kurys (Molotov cocktail, The birthday…), Woody Allen (Harry in all his states), Bruno Podalydes (Liberty Oleron), Daniele Thompson (The log) but above all Alain Resnais, from Tuxedo/ No-tuxedo at Not on the mouth Passing by We know the song. And as a catchphrase on this poster, Gaumont chooses “In 1963, what were you doing? Frédérique was 15, Anne 13…”, a direct nod to “Where were you in 62? » that we could read on the poster ofamerican graffiti by George Lucas in 1973. And this promo will prove to be devilishly effective: Mint diabolo will be the sixth French success of the year with more than 3 million admissions, notably ahead of the We’ll all go to heaven by Yves Robert. And he will get the Louis Delluc Prize.
A cult song… written in two hours!
Mint diabolo, it’s a film but also an unforgettable song composed by Yves Simon, however backwards! He had only signed for the soundtrack. And when Diane Kurys asks him for a song, he offers to use a title from the album another desire which he has just published. But the director insists, she not only wants an original song but also that Diabolo mint appears in the text. Yves Simon gives in and will be inspired by a love letter that Corinne Dacla has just written to him – the daughter of his music editor who also plays in the film – when she was only 14 years old! And as he prepares to give a concert in Saarbrücken, he writes and composes Mint diabolo in two hours. Without suspecting for a second the hit it will instantly become!