| Frédéric Jardin, director of Sleepless Night|
Looks to keep you up all night!
Moments ago, I spoke with French director Frédéric Jardin about his new film action noir film Sleepless Night - which premieres tonight at Midnight Madness! Check out the full interview below!
Several French horror directors at Midnight Madness say that it’s quite tough to make genre films in France. How is the climate for action films, and how did you pitch this film?
It’s very hard to raise money for action films. My producer Marco, produced A Prophet and with the success of that, it won a prize in Cannes, so it was easier for him. This was a 3 million euro film, so it’s not very expensive film.
Tell us about how the project came together - your inspiration, your key collaborators, how you found your star in Tommer.
At the very beginning I wanted to do an action film, so I was thinking about paternity - so that was the very beginning when I started writing - I wanted to mix action and paternity - I was thinking of an actor who was physical and emotional - Tommer moves really well, there was a lot of emotion when he ran. It’s not a just an action film, I needed the actor to feel emotion all the time, for the whole movie... this was a challenge. And Tommer loved the script.
What was the moment when you knew the film would happen?
When we found a distributor - Bacfilms - our french distributor - that was main the thing. We got some money from several TV stations, but getting this distributor was the moment that the film would be made.
What’s the biggest difference with this film from your other films?
They were more comedy, even through they are dark comedy - this is more film noir, it’s a real thriller, and a dark one. Even though there is dramatic irony, it is more serious and darker - it’s about relationship between father and son, paternity, so I wanted it to be very serious - even though it features a chase on the surface, above all it’s about this relationship.
You mentioned to me that you avoided outside influences as much as possible when creating this movie to keep your vision pure. How did you enforce that on yourself, and what did you do to cultivate your own style?
I decided for this film - to film it like a documentary - camera on the shoulder, and extremely realistic in action. I didn’t want to film the violence graphically - but instead very realistic dirty violence, with sweat- and you feel the people are very exhausted by this crazy night, and I wanted all of these things to be very realistic and that’s the style at the end. I wanted something very frenetic. Because the main character doesn’t have any time to save his son.
Making movies can be crazy and unpredictable; What was the strangest obstacle you dealt with during the shoot?
Not so much, the film was very well planned, and was always inside, and while we had a crowd - I wanted it to be very realistic but everything was planned at the same time. It seems like a contradiction but it goes in the same direction. We planned the chaos, which is quite hard usually!
What was the best lesson that making this film taught you?
I learned everything with this film, it was very new for me, and that’s a new direction that I want to continue to work in.
Writing is very cathartic, in that you can write about how you’d like to react to a situation- and that’s what I love about it. However, if you were put in a similar situation as your film’s character Vincent, how would you honestly react?
Hm. I would do the same thing as him! You know it’s hard to say, I can’t answer that - I am very close to the character, I don’t want to give it away, you to have to see the movie.
What are some of your favorite films, and what other genres are you interested in working in?
Work in other Genres? Yeah why not - I am not crazy about the typical horror film, but every director should be interested by all genres. Some of my favorite films are- Nicholas Winding Refn’s Pusher Trilogy, Joon-Ho Bong's films Memories of Murder, Mother, and The Host. And also Hong Jin Na’s Chaser. I love TV series like Breaking Bad, and Sopranos.
Be sure to see for yourself EXACTLY what bone-cracking extremes Frédéric Jardin would execute to save his son, were he facing the depraved gangsters from Sleepless Night!
Tues. Sept. 13th, 11:59pm RYERSON
Weds. Sept. 14th. 3:00pm AMC 1
Fri. Sept. 16th, 9:45pm SCOTIABANK THEATRE 11