gossipify logo 1

“Immense Love for All Non-Professional Actors”: Jean-Bernard Marlin’s Cry of Love for Actors

Shehérazade, her first feature film, enjoyed a Critics’ Week honor in 2018 and won a César a few months later. Jean-Bernard Marlin returns to the Croisette this year with Salem, the second feature film featured in the Official Selection in the Uncertain Regard section.

As with Scheherazade, the director chooses to set the action of his film in the popular areas of Marseille, which have unfortunately become notorious for a series of drug-trafficking-related murders over the years. Marlin embraces this reality, but chooses to sublimate it with the help of her cast, all lovers, and a particularly inspired director of photography, Jonathan Rickeburg. And for this new opus, the director allows himself to foray into fantasy.

A meeting in the heat of the Cannes day with Jean-Bernard Marlin.

AlloCiné: How did you find your actors?

Jean-Bernard Marlin: I spent eight months randomly casting in the northern regions because I wanted to cast actors who understand my film, actors who know the reality I’m talking about. Then we went through several months of internship, where they learned to act in front of the camera. And at the same time, it allowed me to find the perfect role for each of my actors.

You have a habit of leading non-professionals…

Yes, there are lovers in all my films. I have boundless love for all non-professional actors.

And you keep these actors rooted in their reality to invite them into your world, a world that sometimes turns into fantasy.

I wondered if I was going to do it. We start from something very documented and rooted in reality. And we are slowly moving into the reflection, into the inner world of Jibril (the hero of the film, editor’s note) and into the fantastic. And there, working with the actors, that was part of the magic. And in fact, it works very well. With Oumar Moinji (Jibril), we were looking for the right tone, the craziness of the character.

Why is this a fantastic choice?

I wanted to take risks, develop my own way of filmmaking and go for things I’m less comfortable with. In short, stepping outside my comfort zone. Because otherwise it’s not that interesting and you’ll get bored. And I’m afraid of boredom. In the process of being there, I’m in the process of discovering things that I have little emotional control over. I still want to watch different things for the next movie.

What was part of the improvisation?

There is no improvisation, everything is already written. The question is often asked and the answer is always the same: zero improvisation.

Your film has violent scenes…

I try to capture the violence as accurately as possible, without any imagination. The main thing is to be real. where is the truth Where is the best place to put the camera? These are the questions I ask myself in each scene. Sometimes I fail and start over.

Did you have any cinephile references to Salem in mind?

I had two. I’m not a huge fan of William Friedkin, but I will admit that The Exorcist was an influence. And the second movie is Apocalypse Now, for a hypnotic ride.

Salem It will be released in French cinemas on August 30, 2023.

Source: Allocine

You may also like

Hot News



Join our community of like-minded individuals and never miss out on important news and updates again.

follow us