By Vincent Warrior
updated on 9 May 22 at 11:30
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Saturday May 14, the Perche forest will serve as the setting for the filmArnaud Malherbe Ogrewith Ana Girardot and Samuel Jouy. An open-air screening organized by the Étoile cinema in Mortagne-au-Perche at the Brasserie du Perche. Arnaud Malherbe, who grew up in Saint-Mard-de-Reno (Orne)talks to us about this session like no other, the last of the promotion of his feature film.
If you had to present your film in a few words, what would you say?
It’s a French fantasy film. That is to say a genre culturally not very represented in the industry, because it is difficult to make exist in theaters. But in any case I have an appetite for fantastic stories, offbeat from reality. Regarding the film, Ogre is the story of a little boy and his mother who arrive in the Morvan. She goes to work in the village school and she is seduced by a young doctor. The little one is convinced that this gentleman turns into an ogre at night. And the story of the film is that it may be true. Is it a reality seen by the child, his imagination, or very real facts? This is also the plot of the film.
How did this idea of projecting it outdoors in the Perche come about?
In fact, Philippe Gauthier, the director of the Étoile cinema, kidnapped me so that we could do it in the Perche. Nobody had enough money to pay the ransom so I had to agree (laughs). No, Pilou is a childhood friend. He is a great great specialist in fantastic cinema. He recorded everything on VHS and even drew the covers of films. I often borrowed from her, and I didn’t always give her back anyway. We spoke again when we saw that Ogre was 6 pages in MadMovies, which we read when we were younger. We were talking and he told me that the film had to be screened in the Perche. This idea of doing it in the forest was born a bit like that. We made a request to the NFB to project near a former game warden, but they refused us. So we looked for privates. Pilou took care of everything, and we are very happy to do so at the Brasserie du Perche.
What can the location bring to the film?
Before filming in the Morvan, I had done some tests in the forest of Réno. The film is often shot at night, with lots of trees and nature. So project it among the trees, with the sound of the wind, we will necessarily be immersed in it. In addition it will be the last major promotion of the film, and I am very happy that it is done in the Perche.
How will the evening unfold?
Concretely, we arrive from 7 p.m. You settle down either with your picnic, or you order at the Brasserie. We drink a beer while waiting for nightfall. And then we project the film on the big screen. A time of exchange is planned then, with the three main actors and the musician.
What are the reactions after its theatrical release?
The reviews are quite positive. We had good feedback from the press, but the entries are not great. It’s really a difficult genre to bring to life in theaters in France. In addition, the post-covid context is not very advantageous for cinema in theaters. But Ogre will have a second life at the start of the school year on Canal +. Anyway, I’m happy artistically speaking.
What are your plans now?
I’m still working on several things. There is the writing, with two films: Hussars, an adventure film which will follow the odyssey of a column of hussars during a war. And Eve, a more fantastic film that will talk about ghosts. I also shoot in October with my wife Marion Festraëts Rictus. It’s a comedy with Fred Tesot, who lives in a world where laughter is forbidden.
€8 per session (limited places). Please note: booking recommended / Pre-sales: Mortagne-au-Perche Tourist Office. Consider carpooling / Bring warm clothes / Possibility of picnicking on site. Information: 02.33.25.35.05 / firstname.lastname@example.org In case of rain, the screening will take place at the Étoile cinema.
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