Tout ça peut mal tourner
- Christophe Derouet
- 33 min
- Anne-Catherine Witt (Macalube Films)
I met André S. Labarthe in 1993. For years, I kept trying to film his portrait. He amiably evaded the question. Three years ago, I suggest filming a single sequence of him talking about his rare books and manuscripts. Nothing more.
As a child, Andre S. Labarthe had a stamp collection that was stolen. Faced with this portrait filmed by Christophe Derouet one or two years before Labarthe’s death, we catch ourselves wondering what would have become of him had he been able to continue this first innocent collection. « Tout ca peut mal tourner » above all aims to remind us that while Labarthe, who died in 2018, had been many things (a dandyish critic, a filmmaker keen on games of chance, a notorious fetishist, a specialist of Bataille, quite good at table football), he was primarily, at the intersection of these activities, a collector, of anything that warrants being collected, meaning almost everything – film directors with the “Cineastes de notre temps” series, Debord’s manuscripts and the letters of Hans Bellmer, but he also had a collection of run-over animals and a collection of finger nails. Christophe Derouet examines Labarthe’s penchant for disorder, accidents and flashes of contingency, to show it as less of an obsession than a method, a poetic art largely inherited from the Surrealists. Labarthe had a notorious passion for happenchance and it was probably to embrace this that he began all his collections. In the film, there is this wonderful idea: Labarthe is filmed dreaming and his dream consists of fragments of conversations (so “stories”) that are shown in the film – which makes the whole film seem as if it had emerged from one of Labarthe’s dreams. There is also a phrase he pronounces during a long tirade defending deviation: “What is interesting is
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Christophe Derouet has worked as an editor for Bande à part, Les Inrockuptibles, Encore, Bref, Info Matin, Limelight. For television, he has made portraits of detective novel writers (Westlake, Block, Dantec, Benacquista, Charyn), films such as Fairy Queen, Trieste (Arte), a portrait of the Larrieu brothers, Les Larrieu : jours et nuits (France 2). Author of fake romans noirs (Journal d’un tueur vénitien / Austerlitz bordée de brume). In charge of the sales department at an auction house dealing in modern and contemporary art. Tout ça peut mal tourner is his first film for cinema.