New film by Samuel Benchetrit at the cinema, This music does not play for anyone brings together a four-star cast for a choral and atypical intrigue placed under the sign of poetry. Meeting with the director and his son Jules Benchetrit.
DashFUN: How did the idea for This music not play for anyone come about?
Samuel Benchetrit: I wanted to make a love film, a peaceful film. Then, I wanted to talk about the workers, the workers, the tough guys that I knew in my childhood who are a bit in tapes, which we could find in films by Sautet, Melville. I wanted to be interested in their feelings more than their violent environment.
And then, the intersecting stories interested me, I like to find this kind of choral film, as I had been able to do on I always dreamed of being a gangster or Asphalt with Jules, because it is as if we were going to a party where we have a drink in our hand, we meet someone, we talk to them a little and then we move on to another person. There isn’t really any psychology, nor too much need to explain things.
You called on actors with whom you have already toured before and a few new eccentrics in front of young people full of enthusiasm. How did you choose the cast?
Samuel Benchetrit: It’s kind, it’s family, it’s friends. They all work a lot. What’s quite funny is that the young people who play in the movie are all completely different from their characters. They are really in a composition. It was quite fun. The general harmony occurs naturally. When we look at our friends in life, it’s strange, we build funny families with totally different people.
And there this tape, it’s the same and it works. Me, I wrote for everyone and it’s pretty crazy. They accepted but I said to myself with the producer that we certainly wouldn’t have them all. And miracle, we managed to have everyone. What also touched me a lot is the retreat of more experienced actors vis-à-vis young people to whom they gave the opportunity to express themselves.
Jules, was it awesome to tour with this tape?
Jules Benchetrit: It’s really impressive. We immediately got down to work and my father has a requirement that guides us. He knows what he wants. The rendering is strong because it has put together a band that works great. I’m quite shy and being able to play such a sublime role and the opposite of me has allowed me to free myself. It was just fun and hard work. There was something nice about being able to let go of this very endearing role.
It’s a free film, like the actors. We cannot work with this cast of actors and expect them to be people of the norm.
It’s not the first time you’ve worked with your dad. Is there always an apprehension every time?
Jules Benchetrit: Of course there is apprehension, I don’t want to disappoint him. I really try to work to honor his cinema, which I really like. The roles he offers me are important to me so I take it very seriously to honor them. I am fortunate that our relationship at work is extraordinary.
Seeing the poster for This Music Doesn’t Play For Anyone with this four-star cast, we don’t really know what we’re going to see. How would you present the film to the public?
Samuel Benchetrit: It’s a free film, like the actors. We cannot work with this cast of actors and expect them to be people of the norm.
Jules Benchetrit: He wanted them as they were. We can’t and we don’t want to change them. This is also what is extraordinary.
Samuel Benchetrit: There is respect. They accepted that I talk to them about poetry and I wanted them to be what they are. And it went well. We expect too much from films that they are something that we have already seen, which reassures us. I think it’s up to us to change that in cinema. The cinema, more than ever, can afford that.
The series try to disconcert us, to surprise us. Why did we lose this thing with the movies? Before, when I was young, when I was Jules’s age, I used to go to the movies to be disturbed, angry, surprised, to make me laugh, but not to please me. There are films that I hated and yet made me want to become a filmmaker and taught me things about myself and feelings. I find that the cinema no longer seeks enough to displease.
Would you like to write and direct a series?