French selection 2019

Nearly a century

Presque un siècle

Pascale Bodet

2019France52 minColour

Anyone who ventures to film the very old (Pascale Bodet’s grandmother is 99, almost a century) runs the risk of seeing the spectator’s eye caught by the picturesque side of very old age. Worse still: the film is found to be “comical”, “tender”, “touching”. Although Presque un siècle is a (very) funny film and (infinitely) moving, its is not simply, or uniquely, due to the humorous side of its cha­racters (Pierre, the grandmother’s friend, who plans his own funeral as if organising a gala) or to the atten­tion with which Pascale Bodet films the sluggish movements and wave­ring timbre of a very old lady whose life holds on inside a tiny perimeter – small efforts, small complaints, small annoyances. It is also because, with an innocence symmetrical to with that of its character, the film constantly questions not only this great age but also the actual possibi­lity of making it into a film. It begins with eyes and ears, as if to be assured that there will indeed be something to see and hear: the grandmother wor­ries about her granddaughter’s eyes and the filmmaker, in turn, begs her to put in her hearing aid. Behind the camera, the filmmaker says “granny”, but this is as much a granddaughter’s expression as that of a filmmaker in contact with her character and her film – all three of them on equal foo­ting until the gentle capitulation of a “yes, granny” comes as a perfect close. 
–Jérôme Momcilovic

The films Pascale Bodet has directed include Six-Piece Suit and Light Handling, two wry variations on the world of work, and three portraits: The Art, on an amateur gardener, Abundance, on a clam fisherman, and Le Carré de la fortune, on the writer and actor Michel Delahaye. Presented in the French competition at the FIDMarseille festival in 2018, No Key is a fiction feature on the various forms of welcome. 

  • PRODUCTION : Michèle Soulignac