30th FID Marseille | 2019
"It’s about an artificial world and the actors and accessories of my film are performing in a corner of my desk, a kind of small theatre where the world comes to life, where I bring to life the world, where I dub all the actors."
IMAGES I'VE FOUND | Dir. Francis Brou | Comepétition FRANÇAISE
Première Mondiale / World Premiere
“It takes place in a corner, away from prying eyes, where dust ends up, in a corner of my office, on my lifeline, my scaffold. Here the actors and props of my film give a performance: a message-carrying cricket, a stop-gap worm, a respirator, a baby playing by himself, drinking actors, sex-starved actors, one bell shaker, a tape recorder reading phrases I have found, anything that goes through my mind, my unconscious, just any old thing... 18 films meant for my developing bath.”
Between the shameless confessions and the hand-crafted delicacy, something obviously stands firm: the belief in the possibility of an autobio-cinematographic factory, to our great surprise, and for our pleasure as well.
Hello Francis many thanks for talking to TNC, how are you doing?
I’m happy as a young groom, I love living as a couple (just married).
Are you looking forward to be bringing Images I’ve Found to FID 2019?
I’ve been making films in my corner, outside the professional or artistic circles, for more than 20 years and I’m delighted that the FID festival is making me getting out of my corner, is allowing me to show my films, to submit them to an audience.
This will be your World Premiere & Images I’ve Found is part of the French Competition, does this add any extra pressure on you?
I’m happy being part of the French Competition. The important thing is taking part.
You have had films at FID in 2016 and 2018 what does this film festival mean to you?
I’m interested in cinema beyond categories and it’s good that there is a film festival like the FID allowing to show films that are not fitting in any particular category.
Do you still get nerves ahead of your screening?
Outside my films I’m feeling flat, inside my films I’m feeling strong. Showing a film for me is like getting out of my film, and that’s not my common playing field. I’m more at ease in doing than in discoursing. Thus I do get nerves ahead of my screenings.
How would you describe your visual style?
They are D.I.Y. films, home-made films. They are made in my corner with almost nothing and develop a D.I.Y. aesthetics, of a hand-made object. They are almost made without getting out of my home or in my quarter, my neighbourhood.
My films express in images a small universe you have to look at very closely, an empty space to live in, a space to get lost, to get soothe, a world to warm up, a wealth of images and sounds in order to live without getting out, in order to warm up lost and disconnected souls.
I’m calling my films “my picture companions” and their images and sounds are there to create the impression of a human warmth, a warmth of images and sounds.
"I hope nonetheless to touch them with my film and discuss it with them if they wish."
Can you tell me a little bit about Images I’ve Found, what can we expect?
It’s about telling my everyday life, to record my feelings from day to day just as one does in a diary, in an autobiographical film.
Self-portrait and portrait at the same time, it’s about talking about oneself as well as talking about others:
- showing a lonely man, cut off from the world, disconnected from his surroundings, his social life, his family;
- establishing contact between oneself and others through the film intermediary, an encounter at a distance, a prerecorded contact;
- expressing a subconscious.
I’m doing my self-portrait without showing myself and I make the portrait of others without showing them neither. It’s about an artificial world and the actors and accessories of my film are performing in a corner of my desk, a kind of small theatre where the world comes to life, where I bring to life the world, where I dub all the actors. I lend my voice to all of them.
This notebook, filled with sketches and whatever comes to my head, ideas were taken from day to day, expresses my feelings, my moods (sometimes contradictory) and asks questions which may be left without response. My films do not deliver a message but try to establish a contact (between myself and the others) by the film intermediary.
It’s more important to me to establish a contact, to create a human warmth than to deliver a message.
What was the inspiration behind this film?
There are multiple sources of inspiration (consciously or unconsciously).
To tell you the truth, I don’t think that one could be completely the author of what one is doing. We influence one another, we copy our neighbour. You are there, at the right time, at the right place and you start recording or not. I think of myself as the receptacle of the world I live in, that everything is there before me and that I just need to push the button to record at the right time.
Once the images and sounds are recorded, you have to combine and rearrange the whole set. There again the author is not always having a say, he has to content himself to follow the rhythm induced by the images and sounds themselves. The film is making itself.
What was the most challenging part of bringing this film to life?
The most challenging part was to keep the rhythm. I’m making films like a robot, automatically, mechanically, checking in every day. Mechanical work is of some comfort to me. It’s like morning gym.
By making my films I live in my films. Once I stop, I would live in nothing! That’s scaring.
How important is the collaborative nature in filmmaking for you?
I work alone, at home.
How different is this film to your previous works?
My films are notebooks where I record my feelings from day to day. When you decide to record your life, you do not stop anymore. I say that it’s my fulltime hobby.
Days go by, sometimes they are the same but you have to make a difference between the day before and the day after, between the times before and the times ahead. You have to record what is different, enhance your feelings, live the small things very closely, feel the warmth.
Thus my films are alike, continue one another, complete one another and respond to one another.
Has your style and approach to your film changed much since your debut film?
The project (autobiographical notebook) is the same but the recorded feelings differ from film to film. To repeat myself sometimes seems normal to me. Anyway, it’s never exactly the same.
I make films inside, films outside and films both inside and outside.
Have you always had a passion for filmmaking?
I make films to fill my life, because you have to keep yourself busy, in order to have something at heart, to be myself, to give my life a direction (even if I don’t know where what I am doing is leading me).
Thus making films gives a lot of meaning to my life.
Looking back is there anything you would like to do differently or change?
From one film to another I correct myself (or I think I am), I expose a new feeling (not more right nor less right).
Do you have any advice for any emerging filmmaker?
Sometimes I advice myself very badly and I do not always follow the advice of others… Thus I do not dare give any advice for anyone.
And finally, what do you hope people will take away from this film?
People are watching the film with their own sensibility. I hope nonetheless to touch them with my film and discuss it with them if they wish. A festival is also a place for meetings and encounters.