One, Sometimes Two
Un, Parfois Deux
- Laurent Achard
- 52 min
- La Traverse
This is a country home where one and sometimes two films are made. The shot, framing and lighting set-ups, from rehearsals to shooting, from problems to their solutions. Everything that remains outside the camera’s eye at the moment of shooting: and a whole team focused on what exists within this field of view. For Laurent Achard – perhaps more than others to judge from his own films including his features More Than Yesterday (1998), Demented (2007), Last Screening (2011) – fiction is a matter of offscreen, a force that gives each shot a precise albeit indefinable meaning. Ìt is often said (in rather clichéd terms) that the offscreen dimension “works” the film. Here, the crew works on a film that remains offscreen, which we reconstitute little by little (in snippets) and which, in turn, “works” the incidental story of these people making a film. Yet, the story of the shoot is not behind the film being made, or in front of it; but always on the side… Laurent Achard’s long wide-angle shots are searching for what happens on the side-lines: how the set crew make coffee in the kitchen while filming is in progress in the other room (without a sound), or how the actors manage to be just two in the frame in a crowded room. There is a very fine scene where Catherine Deneuve appears and disappears among the crew members, in total contradiction to the straight-on shot they are recording.
–Luc Chessel (Libération, 2 December 2016)
Laurent Achard was born in 1964. He is a director and writer, known for Le dernier des fous (2006), Plus qu’hier, moins que demain (1998) and La Peur petit chasseur (2004). He has also shot two documentary films for the series Cinéastes de notre temps : Un, parfois deux (2016) and Brisseau, 251 rue Marcadet (2018).