Xavier Dolan: “There was a kind of trance on the set”

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Xavier Dolan Just the end of the world
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The director of Just the End of the World talks about his film, the way he shoots and the use of music in his cinema.

Just the end of the world will be offered this evening on Arte. When it was released in 2016, First had met its director. flashback.

Interview of September 21, 2016: A few days ago, while Xavier Dolan was launched on a long tour of France to present Just the end of the world to the public, First met him during his Nantes stopover. In front of many journalists, the Canadian director returned to the shooting of his last film, but also the painful editing process and its lack of cinematographic culture, which he admits bluntly.

Just the end of Xavier Dolan’s world is a blast

The characters and actors of Just the End of the World

Just the end of the world is a kind of explosion of words, of cries, of reproaches, of frustrations… Which are not expressed in a discreet way. They are clumsy and garish characters, but through speech they hide their pain and suffering. It was extremely difficult to bring the actors together because of their respective projects. They were scattered around the planet! We adapted. They were only together six days on the set. But of course they came back to shoot their individual scenes one by one. The first time I saw them all together, it was a lot of happiness and excitement. But since we had very little time, he settled in a form of euphoric, inspired urgency. A kind of trance… “

His way of filming

“To reduce the relationship between theater and cinema in Just the End of the World, we had to reduce the distance between the camera and the characters. It was imposed after two or three days of filming. Being too far away, we felt like she was in a kind of tele-theater. Finally, in Lagarce’s language, there is a very humble dichotomy because she questions her own writing, so verbose. Words, words, words … To better get around the essential, the simple things that we could say to each other to avoid so many convolutions, pains and cries. It is as if Lagarce was questioning the use of speech in a time when he was finally it is only our eyes and our bodies that communicate, while our speech is out of phase with what we feel. Getting closer to faces with this film was a way of telling the viewer that words have a secondary importance, that faces and the way people look back has a lot more. What matters is what is under the words and between the words “.

The music

“The songs play through the film, not over the film. The more I advance, the more I try to use the songs in a diegetic way. are part of the daily life of these characters. That they correspond more to their choices than to mine. At each moment its music or its silences. Music inscribes itself in our lives in a random way through the radio, in cafes… It’s either our tastes or the tastes of others. I also have to ask myself what the characters listen to, what suits them. This is not always my playlist to me, even if these are songs that I know, of course. There is a moment, a person and a timing for every kind of music. ”

Xavier Dolan in five musical dropouts, from I Killed My Mother to Just the End of the World


“So far I have always shot and edited at the same time. And then, curiously, for the American film of which I have just finished the first half of the shooting this summer (Editor’s note: The Death and Life of John F. Donovan), someone other than me was coming up. It’s hard to edit, sometimes. It is a rather important moment of solitude, quite long. And I’m glad I have a friend to do it with me. Like most directors, a lot of things are reconstructed in the edit. It’s a rewrite of the film, whether to repair mistakes made on the set or to fill in the gaps that already existed in the script. There is a reconstruction, a repair. Sometimes we finally decide to start with a scene we thought we would end with. Because we think we can manipulate interest, attention and emotion “.

Its lack of film culture

“I don’t know much about a lot of things. I’ve been saying this for eight years, but I think people still don’t understand it: I don’t have a film culture. I’ve seen few movies, and the good movies or old films that I have seen, it is often by pure chance. But people do not hear it and continue to see in my films references to filmmakers whom I do not have the pleasure of knowing! “

Trailer of Just the end of the world :

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