Personal Spectator
Personal Spectator

Cast: Emily Hamilton & Tom Harper
DOP: Glynn Speeckaert
Editor: Emmanuel Jespers
Production: Ezekiel 47-9

Belgium
35mm - 14min 30sec
First release: 2006

CREW

1rst Assist Director: Douglas Boswell
Sound: Marc Engels and Carine Zimmerlin
Music: Ketil Bjornstad & David Darling
Original Story: Based on the Play: “Les 7 Jours de Simon Labrosse”
written by Carole Fréchette (Canada)
Screenplay & Adaptation: Emmanuel Jespers
Director: Emmanuel Jespers

SYNOPSIS

Do you feel like you're transparent and your life goes along without anyone else taking notice? You need someone to watch you. You need a PERSONAL SPECTATOR!

In an almost deserted self-service a woman is accosted by a guy offering her a brand new and quick therapy to cure her seemingly bland existence: looking at her for 5 minutes, until she starts feeling that she exists. The woman thinks of a joke… It isn’t. And it has unpredictable consequences.

AWARDS

- Audience Award (Cinequest, USA, March 2008)
- Best European Film (Fest Internacional de Filmets Badalona, Nov 2007)
- Best Actress – Emily Hamilton (Fest Intern. de Filmets Badalona, Nov 2007)
- Best Film – (Ghent Int Film Festival – National Competition, October 2007)
- Best Actress : Emily Hamilton ( Drama Int Film Festival – Greece– Sept. 2007)
- Best Screenplay -1rst Prize (Rhode Island Int Film Fest – USA– August 2007)
- Best Subject (Capalbio Short film Fest – Italy– June 2007)
- Best Comedy/Adaptation (Houston Worldfest, USA )
- Special Mention of Jury Award (Interfilm Berlin, November 2007)
- Honorable Mention ( The Accolade Film Awards –USA– August 2007)
- « Les Enfants de la Licorne » Award (Fest Int Film d’Amiens, France, Nov 2007)
- BeTV (Cable TV) Award (Media 10-10 Film Fest, Belgium 2006)
- Press Jury Award (Media 10-10 Film Fest, Belgium 2006)
- Arte Belgium (Public TV) Award (Festival Int. du Film de Mons, Belgium 2007)

NOMINEE

- "Best Narrative Film" (Miami International Short Film Festival -USA- Nov 2007)
- "Best Foreign Film" (Heart of Gold Int Film Festival -Australia- Oct 2007)

SPECIAL EVENT

- Opening Ceremony : Rhode Island Int Film Fest (august 2007)
- Opening Ceremony : Miami Short Film Festival (november 2007)

OFFICIAL SELECTION IN COMPETITION

Method Fest (april 2008)
Cinequest (march 2008)
Sedona International Film Festival (february 2008, USA)
Rhode Island Int Film Fest (august 2007, USA)
Woods Hole Int Film Fest (august 2007, USA)
Los Angeles Int Short Film Fest (september 2007, USA)
DC Shorts Int Short Film Fest (september 2007, USA)
Miami Int Short Film Fest (November 2007, USA)
Festival International du Film d'Amiens (Novembre 2007, France)
Interfilm Berlin (November 2007, Germany)
Short Cuts Cologne (November 2007, Germany)
Festival Internacional de Filmets Badalona (Nov 2007, Spain)
Encounters (Bristol) Int Short Film Festival (Nov 2007, UK)
Festival International du Film Indépendant (Nov 2007, Belgium)
Le Court en Dit Long (June 2007 France)
Avignon Int Film Fest ( July 2007 France)
Capalbio Int Short Film Fest (June 2007 Italy)
Short Film Fest in Drama (september 2007 Greece)
Detmold Int Short Film Fest (Germany)
Drama Film festival (Greece)
Media 10-10 (November 2006, Belgium)
Festival International du Film d'Amour de Mons (Février 2007)
Heart of Gold Int Film Fest (Australia, october 2007)

INTERVIEW

translated from the original interview on
http://www.cinergie.be/entrevue.php?action=display&id=544

« Do you feel like you're transparent and your life goes along without anyone noticing? Stuck in the background of your own life? Like an extra in a gladiator film? A buffalo in a Kevin Costner movie? You need someone to watch you. You need a PERSONAL SPECTATOR! »

In this absurd comedy directed by Emmanuel Jespers, a young man introduces himself to a bland young girl and offers her a quick therapy to cure her seemingly ordinary existence : looking at her for five minutes until she begins to feel that she exists. “These days in airports you can find physical therapists who put your spine in place. Same for me, but I work with my eyes”…

CINERGIE.be : How did this project come about ?

Emmanuel Jespers : The screenplay is a free adaptation of the play Les Sept Jours de Simon Labrosse written by Carole Fréchette. The play describes a young man's unlikely attempts to make some money with a series of funny jobs that he totally made up. The truth behind all that is that he would try anything to be able to pay the rent before he gets evicted from his apartment. It’s a very good comedy. But I wanted to deepen the subject and make it more dramatic.

C : What attracted you so much in the play that you had to adapt it ?

I saw the play in Brussels a few years ago and I couldn’t believe the behaviour of Simon Labrosse’s “victims”, I was wondering how all those poor people could be so credulous. What was wrong with them? Why did they accept to be flattered and abused by such an impostor? And I thought : They must need it! Deeply. We all need it! I believe we always need acknowledgement and to be looked at by other people, to feel that we exist, to escape our infinite solitude. But at the same time when those things happen, it’s scary… because there’s a hidden rule : WE DON’T WANT TO BE CURED! We chose to be alone as a protection from the outside world. I thought we could make the play more universal by focusing on the victims’points of view. So I contacted Carole Fréchette via her agent in Quebec, I showed her my previous shorts and she liked my ideas for the adaptation.

C : At the beginning of the film we think that Simon's game is just a way of hitting on the young girl. But we soon realize it's deeper than that!

E.J. : I asked Tom Harper (Simon) to maintain this sort of blur in his acting. In order to create some sort of tension, the audience shouldn’t know anything about him, like the young girl doesn’t know anything. Simon could be lots of things : a seducer, a savior, a pervert…

C : The adaptation and the dialogue are top notch !

E.J. : A lot of dialogs were written by Carole Frechette. But I had to develop the character of the young girl that was just a little part in the play. I also adjusted the dialogs that were too theatrical in this particular situation.

C : The ending is different from the play’s.

E.J. Indeed. In the play, Simon doesn’t come back to work behind the counter. As a matter of a fact he doesn’t work at all. But I really wanted to create this scene because it allows us to see that he’s as lost as she is. All the schemes he used to help the girl are some sort of therapy for himself too. There lies the dramatic irony of the film. That’s what I wanted to tell : In communication you’re always talking about yourself…

C : The latest scene, in the restroom was added too.

E.J. yes, that’s funny. That scene, where Emily looks in the mirror was not even in the script. After the last shot Emily was waiting for a cab on her way back to London. She asked me if I was happy with what we had shot. I had the feeling there was something missing. The last shot was on Tom behind the bar, but I thought we really had to end the fillm on her, because she’s the main character. We talked about it and we came up with this scene where she puts her tousled hair in her face. It was just the right emotion I wanted to end the film. She has that feeling of being lost, empty, devastated but then, when she rearranges her hair and looks at herself in the mirror, she realizes that the whole experience was not in vain. She looks at herself as she is now. It was great. Well she was great.

C : How was the movie produced ?

E.J. I produced the film mostly with my own money, with the help of Milly Films and Title Films, two Belgian film companies, and also with the support of Fox Searchlab, a division of Fox Searchlight that doesn’t exist anymore. Sadly, because I had a very good contact with them at that time. At that time my shooting budget was about 6000 euros for a 3 days shooting, actors included. So, it was a low-budget project. The money for the postproduction came later. We shot the film on DV with a XDcam camera. The crew was very small, about ten fellows, and we tried to find a set that wouldn’t need artificial lighting. I also decide to avoid tricky camera movements : no panoramic shots or tracking shots! Those take too much time.

C : Can you tell us a few words about your collaboration with Glynn Speeckaert, your DoP…?

Glynn spends his life on movie sets and I was really a lucky bastard to get him. He only had three days free in his agenda and these days were our shooting days. I took him on our set, a vast university cafeteria in Leuven that looked straight from the seventies. Despite the fact that we were shooting on video, I still wanted to have some blur behind the characters. I wanted the movie to look like it was shot with 35mm lenses. So the place was huge and also allowed for the anonymity required for the characters, amplifying the loneliness and the weirdness of their meeting.
Glynn was busy examining the set, very silently, didn’t say a word. I was the one doing the talking, asking lots of questions, I was kinda nervous. Maybe he wanted to quit the project? After half an hour he just said “OK, I email the list tonight”… The morning after I received his list and at my surprise there was only the usual machinery, reflectors, mirrors and distributors, but no lights. I thought it was a mistake. Turns out it wasn’t. Glynn had decided to bring the light directly from the outside with huge reflectors and mirrors. So there’s not a single watt of artificial lighting in the film! It was a huge gain of time. Glynn called his technique the “Botassart effect”, named after a painter from the Middle-Ages who built and used all his materials instead of buying them. Actually Glynn played a prank on me during the whole time of shooting : this painter never existed!... Working with Glynn was a treat!

C : The great difficulty lies in the fact that you are basically shooting two people sitting on a table. So you gotta be innovative and try to avoid the mediocrity often seen on television series and so on… How do you compose your frame?

E.J. : Yes, what was a blessing production-wise became a logistical and directorial nightmare : “unity of time, place and action”! Great! But how do you proceed not to bore the spectator to death? So I decided to create visual breaks that corresponded with narrative breaks. For example we jumped the eyes axis momentarily to make the characters and the story look different. I also chose bad takes on Tom, including hesitations, unexpected silences to surprise the audience. And during the editing I didn’t cut at the “right time” many times so the audience will never be accustomed by a way of telling. You never know where the film goes, despite the fact that the film goes strongly somewhere…

C : Shooting in the english language is quite rare for belgian filmmakers...

E.J. : … but it is so good! I loved to make the film with English-speaking actors. I consider that the French-speaking culture should not be limited to its sole language. French-speaking culture, here in Belgium has very peculiar way of seeing the world. Belgian movies are tainted with a solemn irony with a touch of absurdity. It is deep and absurd all together. See Guydo Thijs “Tanghi Argentini”. You can feel that also in Personal Spectator. The author of the play is French Canadian and her sense of humour is typically from Quebec, simple and very enjoyable with a taste of the absurd, like we can see now in their cinema. This vision on the world is the trademark of a culture. Belgian cinema and Canadian cinema have a lot in common. And, sometimes, it is good to taste the French-speaking culture without the French language. Just to present it in another way.

Interview conducted by Grégory Cavinato.


Le Dernier Rêve
Le Dernier Rêve

Cast: Cecile de France & Eric de Staercke
DOP: Yves Cape
Editor: Anne-Laure Guegan
Production: EZECHIEL 47-9 FILMS

Belgium
15min23sec
First release: 2000

CREW

Sound designers: Alain L'Helgoual'ch, Yves Ruellot
Set designers: Marc-Philippe Guerig, Emmanuelle Batz
Digital effects: Gilles Bissot (LBO)
Mixing: Franco Piscopo
Assistant to the director: Jerome Lemaire

Director: Emmanuel Jespers
Story & Screenplay: Emmanuel Jespers

CAST

Laurie: Cecile de France
Nick: Eric de Staercke
Barney: Quentin Milo
Little Child: Jerry Besem
Doctor: Bruno Georis

SYNOPSIS

Struck down by a heart attack, a cinema projectionnist is rushed to the hospital. Suddenly the film-material itself jolts and breaks in half, taking the viewer into a much more disturbing reality.

A rollercoaster ride on the rickety tracks of life and death.

AWARDS

- BEST DRAMA. L.A. Short Fest (USA 2000)
- SELECTED FOR OSCAR CONSIDERATION. L.A. Short Fest (USA 2000)
- GOLD AWARD: BEST SHORT / LIVE ACTION. WORLDFEST - Worldfest Houston (USA 2001)
- GOLD SPECIAL JURY AWARD. Worldfest Houston (USA 2001)
- «PANAVISION» AWARD. Worldfest Houston (USA 2001)
- SHINE AWARD : BEST SHORT FILM. Bradford International Film Festival (UK 2001)
- BEST INDEPENDENT SHORT. Manchester Int. Fantasy Film Festival (UK 2000)
- BEST DIRECTION. Brussels Int. Independent Film festival (BELGIUM 2000)
- «ATOMFILMS » AUDIENCE AWARD. Bristol Brief Encounters Film Festival (UK 2000)
- PANAVISION AWARD. Avignon Int Film Festival (FRANCE 2001)
- BEST PICTURE AWARD. Avignon Int Film Festival (FRANCE 2001)
- BEST PHOTOGRAPHY AWARD. Capalbio Int Film Festival (ITALY 2001
- BEST SHORT FILM. Oscarino 2001, Bergamo (ITALY 2001)
- BEST SCREENPLAY. Oscarino 2001, Bergamo (ITALY 2001)
- BEST EDITING. Oscarino 2001, Bergamo (ITALY 2001)
- BEST SHORT FILM. Brussels Short Film Festival “Oh Ce Court” (BELGIUM 2000)
- BEST ACTRESS (Cécile de France). Brussels Short Film Festival “Oh Ce Court” (BELGIUM 2000)
- AUDIENCE AWARD. Brussels Int Film Festival (BELGIUM 2000)
- BEST PICTURE. Brussels Int Film Festival (BELGIUM 2000)
- FRENCH COMMUNITY AWARD. Brussels Int Film Festival (BELGIUM 2000)
- BEST PICTURE. Media 10/10 Film Festival (BELGIUM 2000)
- “TELECINEMA” BEST SHORT FILM AWARD. Media 10/10 Film Festival (BELGIUM 2000)
- BRONZE PALM. Huy Film Festival (BELGIUM 2000)
- “SABAM” AWARD. Brussels Int. Independent Film festival (BELGIUM 2000)

OTHER OFFICIAL SELECTIONS IN COMPETITION: Cannes-39th International Critics Week (France), Toronto Worldwide Short Film Festival (Canada) Montreal Festival Des Films Du Monde (Canada), Short Cuts Cologne (Germany) San Sebastian Horror & Fantasy Film Festival (Spain) 45th Murphy Cork Film Festival (Ireland) Interfilm Berlin (Germany) Festival Du Film De Villeurbanne (France) Fantastic Arts / Festival Du Film De Gerardmer (France) Festival International Du Film Fantastique De Bruxelles (Belgium) Festival De Cine De Huesca (Spain) Saarlorlux Film Festival (Luxembourg) Montecatini Film Festival (Italy) Uppsalla Film Festival(Sweden) Molodist Film Festival (Ukraine) Leeds Film Festival (Uk) Kino Film Festival (Uk) Siena Film Festival (Italy)

INTERVIEW PUBLISHED MAY 2000 ON THE CINERGIE WEBSITE

http://www.cinergie.be

THE LAST DREAM By Jean-Michel Vlaeminckx

The Last Dream sails or rather floats between dream and reality, and you are never really sure which is one and which is the other. A projectionist is handling a reel of film and the film breaks. He tries in vain to stick the two pieces back together. The picture comes to a halt in the same way as his life does; it vanishes just as the relationship he could have had with Laurie dissolves. A flash of a child, angel of death, in the manner of Marc Behm, and the mist of a hiatus between life and death slowly spreads its net. It is clear that this multi-track film will tell its story in a roundabout way, with as a premium, a love story that unfolds off camera in the rear-view mirror of our imaginatio n. The 15 minutes, which seem like just three, or like 90 condensed down, are like a metaphor on the dissecting table of metonymy (to parody Lautréamont).

Interview with Emmanuel Jespers, director of the film.

Cinergie: The Last Dream involves a lot of toing and froing between life and death. You blur the picture so to speak. How did this unusual structure of the film come about?

Emmanuel Jespers: You’re right in saying I blur the picture, and confuse the audience. I toy with their credulity, but I always make sure I don’t lose them altogether. And in the end, what at first appears complex “almost”becomes trivial. It’s the story of a guy who takes the ultimate step towards death, but who doesn’t immediately realize it, just like the audience. I think the day I die I will also have this feeling that I’m not really dying. There will certainly be confusion and I’ll certainly not experience reality in the same way as the doctors.

C.: It’ s also an experiment with time, the way it can seem to slow down or speed up.

E.J.: This question of the reality of things I think stems from what happened to me when I was very young. I often used to faint in the Yugoslav orthodox churches I used to visit with my parents during the holidays -oxygen is scarce in those places because of the incense and the singing. I had problems breathing and had black-outs. When I came round again I didn’t know where I was or who I was and I didn’t recognize my parents straight away. Everything was different and I had this feeling that time was moving horribly slowly. This difference in the perception of reality has always fascinated me. With The Last Dream I have tried to let the audience share in this feeling of disarray. So I had to devise narrative mechanisms that would lose them first and then allow them to catch up again at the end.

C.: There is a narrative suspense in the style of Brian De Palma; you think the first flash is a heart attack and then you think it was only a dream, and so on.
E.J.: That’s right, the audience is repeatedly led up the garden path. It’s quite intentional. Brian De Palma is not the only one who does that. Hitchcock does the same. These directors question reality, like Antonioni as well for that matter. Films like Profession Reporter, Blow-Up, Vertigo, Blow out and Fenêtre sur Cour all tell a story and at the same time they casually give you a lesson in film-making. That’s the wonderful thing.

C.: What do you feel film-making is all about?

E.J.: I’m always very wary that the visual does not precede the script. The images must stem from the script; the script has to generate the images. As far as I’m concerned the base material in film-making is first the narrative, then the image. And that makes me feel very optimistic for the film industry, because as long as there are stories, there will be films.


C.: In The Last Dream Nick is a projectionist, which means he dispenses the dream, he projects make-believe whilst being caught up in someone else’s imagination.

E.J.: That’s something I didn’t think about. It came to me just like that. The story came before the character’s job. With the story-line as it was relating to breaking film it seemed logical that the action should take place in a cinema, and then of course that dictates the characters.

C.: It is of course also and maybe above all a love story.

E.J.: Yes. And that came as quite a surprise really. You work on a story, you write it, you tell it over and over to the team, you direct it and then suddenly you find that the secondary story-lines, which at first appear quite insignificant, like the relationship between Nick and Laurie, become very important in the end. When the film was finished I had a real shock to discover that although their relationship unfolds off-camera it actually encompasses the emotion of the film. You could say that their love could have developed into something, but unfortunately that didn’t happen. I’ve been thinking about that since I finished the film. That’s the great thing about being the scriptwriter and the director. You get some free therapy whilst you’re at it.


C.: The structure of the film is as precise as the works of a watch.

E.J.: Not only the structure. There’s a proverb that says “God lies in the detail”. I had that on my computer the whole time I was writing the script for The Last Dream. I think everything in a film is important. As far as I’m concerned every film is a miniature version of the world. You start from nothing and you create a personal view of the world. Of course I needed more than seven days. But it’s a powerful experience.

C.: You said you spent a great deal of time on this project.

E.J.: Yes, probably too much. But it was an irresistible challenge. The script allowed to experiment in different ways and that fired all the imaginations. People like Yves Cape the cinematographer, Alain L’Helgoual’ch, the sound-designer, Anne-Laure Guégan the editor and many others worked really hard on this film, Alain L’Helgoual’ch and Yves Ruellot worked on the atmospheric sound for weeks and at the end they were popping vitamin C at three in the morning and looking really pale. Marc-Phillipe Guérig and his team went all out to put up the scenery during the night in sordid car parks. A total of 100 people worked in the making of this film.

I’ve come to realize that when you give your all to a project, almost at the risk of losing everything that is near and dear to you, chances are people will listen to you. That’s the great thing about the Western world. It’s all about commitment. You can succeed with highly personal ideas provided you share them and fight for them. Maybe because anything that is truly your personal fight merges with the universal.
This is why I like Kubrick. In his films he tried to impose an intimate, singular and coherent vision and succeeded in catching the interest of the entire world. I like that about him, this need of his to make films that are free whilst at the same time worrying about the audience, if only to be able to continue to make films. To be able to reconcile your expectations as a director with the taste of the audience, and the neccessities of production, I think is a remarkable achievement. I love all his films, including Eyes Wide Shut. I was very moved by the end of the film, which everyone else hates and which I think is quite right.

By Jean-Michel Vlaeminckx Cinergie asbl
Website: http://www.cinergie.be

Deux Soeurs
Deux Soeurs

Cast: Pauline Burlet & Emilie de Preissac
DOP: Bernard Vervoort
Editor: Catherine Le Mignant-Labye
Production: Ezekiel 47-9

Belgium
21min
First release: 2007

CAST

EMILIE DE PREISSAC: sarah
PAULINE BURLET: alice
PATRICK RIDREMONT: police man
SERGE SWYSSEN: father
ANNE PASCALE CLAIREMBOURG: mother

CREW

1rst assist director: Baudouin Dubois
Sound engineer: Marc Engels
Sound designer: Seal Phuric & trionix
Set designer: Marc Philippe Guerig
Special effects make up: Lionel Le
Colorgrading: Lionel Kopp (Digimage, Paris)
Script: Jean-Marc Vervoort & Emmanuel Jespers
Director: Emmanuel Jespers

SYNOPSIS

Perdues en pleine nuit au beau milieu d’une forêt inquiétante, deux sœurs sorties de nulle part, Sarah, 16 ans et Alice, 12 ans cherchent à rejoindre leurs parents. Trempées, éreintées, elles ne reconnaissent pas l’endroit et finissent par se perdre. Sont-elles dans la bonne forêt ?

Ces pérégrinations seront l’occasion pour Sarah, une ado rebelle et mal dans sa peau de jouer à un petit jeu cruel avec sa cadette, la faisant culpabiliser et essayant de la convaincre qu’elle a été adoptée. Elle ne sait pas encore que de sa capacité à aimer sa petite sœur dépendra leur survie.

INTERVIEW PARUE SUR WWW..CINERGIE.BE

Promenons-nous dans les bois…

Depuis Sam Raimi (Evil Dead) et Line Renaud (Ma Cabane au Canada), l’épouvante en milieu forestier est devenu un sous-genre à part entière du cinéma d’horreur. On ne compte plus les cinéastes aguerris (Rob Schmidt et son Wrong Turn – Détour Mortel, Eli Roth et son Cabin Fever) ou les petits malins opportunistes (les « réalisateurs » du fumeux Projet Blair Witch) qui empoignent leur caméra et entraînent leurs équipes barouder dans les forêts du monde entier pour des tournages souvent éreintants.

Lieu cinématographique par excellence, la forêt, par son côté mystérieux, par sa valeur métaphorique héritée des contes de fée, par sa géographie aléatoire propice aux jeux de cache-cache et à l’utilisation à des fins horrifiques de l’obscurité, est un lieu qui se prète formidablement au cinéma fantastique.


Le réalisateur Emmanuel Jespers s’efforce depuis des années d’imposer sa conception personnelle du film fantastique dans notre cinématographie nationale regorgeant d’esprits encore souvent très rétifs à la moindre tentative de cinéma de genre. Après avoir découvert Cécile de France et l’avoir fait tourner dans deux de ses premiers courts, Le Dernier Rêve et Nervous Breakdown, il nous revient ici, un an après le succès de Personal Spectator dans de nombreux festivals avec un nouveau récit fantastico-ésotérique tourné entièrement de nuit dans une forêt de Louvain-la-Neuve. Son objectif ? Réaliser un authentique film de trouille en seulement vingt minutes.

Savant mélange entre les univers pourtant à priori aux antipodes de Sam Raimi (pour les courses effrénées dans la forêt touffue dont les moindres recoins peuvent receler les apparitions les plus effrayantes) et d’André Delvaux (on est ici en plein dans le réalisme magique cher à l’auteur d’Un Soir, un Train !), Deux Sœurs, homonyme du chef d’œuvre coréen de Kim Jee-Woon sorti en 2004, parvient malgré ces influences susceptibles d’être écrasantes à trouver sa propre identité par la qualité de l’écriture et de la structure scénaristique, classique mais néanmoins ingénieuse.


Film de trouille, oui, mais pas que !... Car Deux Sœurs, c’est avant toute chose un drame familial, l’observation pointue et mordante d’une relation amour-haine entre ces deux frangines plongées dans un cauchemar, une relation qui frappe par sa justesse et son sens de l’observation. Pas d’édulcoration dans les échanges entre les deux héroïnes ! Ici les enfants ne nous sont pas présentés comme des jolies petites choses blondes et aux dents blanches mais bel et bien pour ce qu’ils sont vraiment au quotidien : tour à tour cruels, jaloux, rongés par le remords, incapables de montrer leurs sentiments réels, puis peu après, tendres, authentiques et se serrant les coudes face à l’adversité… Le personnage de Sarah en particulier est tout cela à la fois et le spectateur sera partagé entre l’envie de gifler cette gamine capricieuse ou de l’aider à se sortir de ce cauchemar.

Emmanuel Jespers fait ici une nouvelle fois preuve de son sens du casting en offrant le rôle principal à une nouvelle venue, la française et très « nature » Emilie de Preissac, une débutante vue cette année dans Regarde-moi, d’Audrey Estrougo et l’année précédente dans le Jean-Philippe de Laurent Tuel. Une vraie nature et une authentique révélation cette Emilie ! Avec son franc-parler, son débit - mitraillette, son attitude revêche, son look gothique, sa beauté si spéciale (elle rappelle quelque peu une très jeune Simone Signoret ou encore, par son tempérament de feu sa collègue Sarah Forestier) gageons que la jeune actrice ne tardera pas à gagner des galons mérités de « jeune espoir du cinéma français™ » !


Jusqu’ici tout va très bien me direz-vous, mais étant donné le nombre de films récents dits « de trouille » n’ayant tenu aucune de leurs promesses dans l’exercice (difficile, certes) de l’effroi (Quelqu’un se souvient-il encore de Silent Hill ou de Ils ? – Personne ? C’est normal, nous non plus !), Emmanuel Jespers a-t-il réussi en vingt petites minutes à affoler le peacemaker de grand-maman et à traumatiser pour longtemps les mirettes de votre petite sœur, quitte à la transformer en insomniaque maniaco-dépressive ? La réponse est (soupir de soulagement…) oui ! A deux reprises en particulier, l’aiguille du trouillomètre vient dangereusement tutoyer les cimes : tout d’abord lorsque les deux gamines retrouvent leur gentil toutou qu’elles croyaient perdu – l’obscurité aidant largement ici à créer la frayeur - et ensuite lorsqu’elles sont confrontés à une famille de danois fantomatiques eux aussi apparemment perdus dans cette forêt. Une scène au cours de laquelle Jespers convoque à la fois les souvenirs de The Kingdom (L’Hôpital et ses Fantômes, de Lars Von Trier, dans lequel peur et absurde faisaient bon ménage) et le Inland Empire labyrinthique de David Lynch.


Pas besoin donc de monstres mutants, de score à la Bernard Herrmann ou de gerbes de sang (même si on n’a rien contre, bien au contraire !) pour flanquer une frousse bleue. Ici la terreur, le sentiment de froid, d’humidité, sont créés de manière économique et simple mais dans une exécution pour le moins efficace, notamment par des bruitages très travaillés, par l’apparition d’un personnage inquiétant de policier (Patrick Ridremont) dont on ne verra jamais le visage ou encore par l’utilisation judicieuse du caméscope que trimballe Sarah et dont les images lui jouent – ou ne lui jouent pas – des tours.

Notons, comme l’a fait le jury du Festival Media 10-10 en novembre dernier la qualité de l’image numérique qui a parfaitement réussi à nous projeter au sein d’une forêt plongée dans l’obscurité la plus totale tout en gardant un cadre parfaitement lisible. Dieu sait si filmer les ténèbres est un exercice casse-gueule mais Jespers, à l’issue d’un tournage long et épuisant qui l’a laissé complètement chauve s’en tire ici avec les honneurs. Pour peu que vous visionniez ce film sur un grand écran (le petit écran risque évidemment d‘amoindrir la qualité du détail pictural…) vous serez vous aussi transporté dans cette pénombre à la recherche des parents de Sarah et Alice.

Si l’on peut ici et là souligner quelques menus défauts (un score parfois maladroit, certains dialogues trop écrits…), 2 Sœurs, s’il ne révolutionne pas un genre ultra-balisé nous pousse à nous poser les deux questions suivantes : pourquoi ne voit-on pas naître davantage de projets de la sorte chez les étudiants frileux de l’INSAS et de l’IAD ? Et quand Emmanuel Jespers va-t-il enfin se décider à passer au long ?

Au boulot Manu !

Grégory Cavinato.