The making of cinema

La Fabrique du Conte d’été

Jean-André Fieschi

Françoise Etchegaray

1996France93 minColour

On Dinard beach, one Sunday in the heat of July. In the usual summer torpor, a group of young men and women are bustling with activity. What they are doing normally catches the eye, but no-one seems to be paying them any attention. They are obviously amateurs, as one expert passer-by will diagnose. These young people are flanked by a curious participant, clearly much older, yet always alert or active. Nosferatu at the beach? He is shaded from the sun by some ingenious tulle or straw contraptions and is surveying everything: it is he who operates the clap before each shot, manages the flow of people and keeps passersby away from the camera as it advances. He spryly removes an ill-placed waste bin from out of the camera field, and promptly scours the Saint-Lunaire beach at low tide just before the shoot. Or again, there is he rubbing sun lotion onto a young actress’s back. He ne­ver raises his voice, sometimes seems very hesitant. Yet, the speed of his decisions can be stunning. No pretence of total control in all that, quite the contrary. No cinema. (But one will discover that everything hangs together in this economy). Doubtless, none of the inattentive holiday­makers suspects that, under their distracted gaze, one of the most admired, the most famous, the most internatio­nally reviewed and also one of the «youngest» filmmakers is at work. Transparent, invisible. La Fabrique du Conte d’été is a journey into film and what a film weaves for «reality’s seamless robe», to quote the canonical, yet ever fresh formula of Saint-Bazin of Nogent. What indeed is mise en scène? 
–Jean-André Fieschi 

Jean-André Fieschi (JAF) is a cinematographer, writer and cinema professor born in 1942 Ajaccio. He died in 2009, Sao Paulo. He began as a cinema critic, then as secretary of redaction at the Cahiers du Cinema (1961-1968). He is the author of the Pasolini portrait of the Cineaste de Notre Temps documentary series. In 2005, he directs La Fabrique du Conte d’Eté with Françoise Etchegaray.

Françoise Etchegaray is a french director and producer, known for Sept ans d’attente (1995), Les rendez-vous de Paris (1995) and La règle du je (1992). In 2005, she directs La Fabrique du Conte d’Eté with Jean-André Fieschi.

  • PRODUCTION : Compagnie Eric Rohmer