To write “Until the Guard”, broadcast this Wednesday evening on France 2, the director Xavier Legrand was inspired by three classics of American cinema, including one signed by Stanley Kubrick.
In order to give birth to Until the Guard, which is broadcast this Wednesday evening France 2, Xavier Legrand has drawn his inspiration from the great classics of American cinema. The director reveals that for the writing of this film addressing the theme of domestic violence, he was guided by Kramer against Kramer, The Night of the Hunter and The Shining.
How did the feature film worn by Dustin Hoffman and Meryl Streep, the one led by Robert Mitchum and the one directed by Stanley Kubrick help Xavier Legrand? Quite simply to think about the themes he wanted to deal with as well as to find the moods and atmospheres that his characters, played by Léa Drucker and Denis Ménochet, go through.
“Kramer vs. Kramer is a film about parental rights that really impressed me”, explains Xavier Legrand first. “We see, for the first time, a woman relinquish the exclusive custody of her children and it portrays, with terrible acuteness, the pain of separation.”
“The Night of the Hunter shows how you can be uncompromising with children to achieve your goals”, continues the filmmaker. “The Shining inspired me for the last part of my film, the madness, the confinement, the terror. Domestic violence can lead to sheer dread and that’s what I wanted to say.”
Xavier Legrand, who, to prepare Until Custody, conducted investigations with a judge in family cases, questioned lawyers, police officers, social workers and even groups of violent men, had to other prestigious cinematographic references in mind. “JI wanted to make the public aware of this drama by treating it with the weapons of the cinema which has always fascinated me, that of Hitchcock, Haneke or Chabrol “, he says. “A cinema that involves the spectator by playing with his intelligence and with his nerves.”
Custody tells the story of Miriam, who requests sole custody of her son in order to protect him from a father she accuses of violence. The film, which triumphed at the César 2019 (Best Film, Best Actress, Best Original Screenplay and Best Editing), is the sequel to the short film Before Everything Loses (2012), also directed by Xavier Legrand and worn by the same duo of actors. A short which had met with great success around the world, even going so far as to be nominated for the Oscars.
The trailer for the short film “Before we lose everything”: