- Virgil Vernier
- 74 min
- Virgil Vernier
The bumps and knocks of independent shooting... Virgil Vernier follows Nicola Sornaga on her second feature film, Monsieur Morimoto (selected for the Directors’ Fortnight, Cannes 2008), in which a Japanese sexagenarian who speaks not a word of French meets the locals in the Paris district of Belleville. Or how to make a film against all odds.
A prostitute offering her delights to a client whose only desire is to sleep, a nymph emerging from a vase, a fury who has her word to say about authenticity, a young girl in a bridal dress meeting the lucky man among a crowd of tourists on Notre Dame esplanade, a wandering Japanese man with a colossal Basque beret, passers-by requisitioned as extras, technicians who always want more, an author working for free in the name of liberty, a filmmaker who tracks a thousand ideas all at once and who nobody listens to, an actor who kills the director under the technical crew’s approving gaze and, in this whirlwind, André S. Labarthe fuming against botched cuts. The shooting of Nicola Sornaga’s last film, Monsieur Morimoto, which recounts the adventures of a Japanese sexagenarian is a film in itself, burlesque and cacophonic, as was the making of Les Blank’s Fitzcarraldo, which cost Werner Herzog a memorable pair of shoes. But a wager is a wager. Curiously enough, although all the sequences thrive on unbridled improvisation, it is the acted scenes that are the most “authentic”. The shooting sequences in the strict sense (direction of actors, rehearsals, choice of extras, the cutting) are the most surreal.
–Yann Lardeau (catalogue Cinéma du réel, 2009)
Virgil Vernier is a French actor and filmmaker born in 1976. Since 2001, Virgil Vernier has made films combining fiction, documentary and mythology. In 2013, he shot Mercuriales, shown as part of the ACID programme during Cannes Film Festival 2014.