Castelmaurou. Gérard Jugnot: “I like to make good films”
The actor and director will meet the public this Saturday at 20:00 at the Méliès, on the occasion of the screening of his latest film “Le Petit Piaf”, which is shown at 18:30.
What made you want to make this film?
I didn’t write the script, but I brought the little seed! I really wanted to shoot with Marc Lavoine, who is a great singer and also a great actor. There’s one idea I like about this movie: transmission. This character, an abandoned singer, has lost the desire to want and finds himself face to face with this passionate child. This film should be seen as a song… Songs have a terrible power. With one sentence, some can bring up many feelings. And then, I really like these movies where everything goes wrong and then sometimes everything works out. Public speaking here is a mixture of comedy and sentiment. “Le Petit Piaf” is also a great example of stirring the mind, it warms the heart!
What has this 12th film done for you as a director and more so personally?
A lot. We tried not to forget the social aspect, which is important in the film, even if it is not in this direction. It reminds me that I love soft movies like songs. We sometimes talk about serious things and make them round, that’s the magic of cinema. It can cause many things. I see this little girl asking her tearful mother why she is sad during the session. Then her mother replies: I’m not sad, it’s because she’s beautiful. I found it impressive because as a filmmaker, it’s what I want people to react to and bring happiness at the same time. I am sensitive to it without softening with age. This 12th film also reminds me that I like to make films that are good and add honey to life.
How do you feel about this French Reunion, which is different from what surrounds us in its culture?
I didn’t know Reunion. This mixed island is incredible. With all these specificities, its personality, but in fact, is similar to the regions of France that are not the same, Occitania, Brittany, Basque Country, etc. Reunion also has real community living, which I like. We have turned towards the future, towards hope. This is not a lazy island. There are many different things to enjoy. And then you have to admit that we were well prepared for the shoot in a neat environment, it was more fun than when we were in a suburban hotel… great experience.
Over the years, what evolution of the profession has stood out to you the most since you’ve been in actor’s clothing?
The speed with which certain films disappear today. I look in the rearview mirror and see everything I’ve done. Despite everything, people still talk to me about these movies, some of which are very old. We live in a time where everything is fleeting, we make fun of everything, we laugh at nothing, we enjoy making fake news… Our job is a little opposite, not to explain life, but to try to improve everyday life. I leave it to the journalists who often write the information that makes you cry; I want to make you laugh! Even today, I love this job as much as it allows me to see life, people, and meet a lot of people. I also love this country, which makes me feel good. Actually, it’s been a while, but I’m still enthusiastic.
How do you experience these meetings, which are sometimes organized in very small cinemas?
I find that really impressive. Cinema is not limited to the big theaters or far away Paris. Our audience is where we go now. It’s nice to be able to meet him like this. I do not forget that I exist thanks to this community. Small rivers make big rivers…
Are you showing that Santa isn’t trash by showing this movie on December 21st?
Absolutely, I confirm this: Santa Claus is not just garbage! I really think we are giving a great gift to the public with Le Petit Piaf. In any case, the first review shows that this film has an impact on both young and old, which is already a success for me.