Great cinema in Saint-Jean de Luz – Technikart

A fine line-up on the bill for the new Saint-Jean de Luz Festival, including the excellent Harka. And a master class by Jean Paul Gaultier.

It is one of the best festivals on the circuit with a cutting-edge program signed by the delicious Patrick Fabre, moving stars, an audience of aficionados, all in the dream setting of the Pyrénées-Atlantiques. For this 9e edition, chaired by the delicious Géraldine Pailhas, the recipe does not change with a program rich in previews and a fine selection of films in competition. If the opening film was the very uneven A romantic comedysaved by the insolent talent of Alex Lutz who plays in the first feature film of one of his collaborators, we expect a lot ofAmore Miothe first feature film by actor Guillaume Gouix, Elsewhere if I’m there with Jérémie Renier, Butterfly Visions, The Committed with Benjamin Lavernhe, The Astronaut by and with Nicolas Giraud or even The worstby Lise Akoka and Romane Gueret.


From Tuesday, we get down to business with the excellent Harka, by Lofty Nathan, an Englishman of Egyptian origin, who is writing his first fiction feature. We are in Tunisia and Ali dreams of a better life. Between two galleys, he tries to survive in a Tunisia plagued by poverty and corruption by selling smuggled gasoline on a piece of sidewalk, while waiting to be extorted by corrupt police officers. He thinks of fleeing this country and this miserable existence, but when his father dies, he must take care of his two younger sisters, who are riddled with debts. He will soon rebel and awaken to revolt.

Burning, staggering, unbearable, Harka (which in Tunisia means illegal migration across the Mediterranean, but also self-immolation) is about shattered dreams, dead ends in the desert and dead ends ten years after the Jasmine Revolution. It is superiorly written, very fine (around a plan of a few seconds, we discover that young Tunisians absolutely cannot communicate with girls), and of a rather mind-blowing political force. Behind the camera, Éric Dumont, former chief op’ of Stéphane Brizé and The worstsculpts the bodies and the twilight light of the desert, while the director frames very tightly his main actor, the sublime Adam Bessa, a future star, as magnetic as… Brando!


Member of the jury, Jean Paul Gaultier gratified the public of Saint-Jean de Luz with a beautiful master class where he of course spoke about his relationship with the cinema. ” It all started at 13, when I discovered Frills on TV. I immediately said to myself ”That’s what I want to do”. We saw the show side with the parades. The show, the light, the audience, that’s what made me dream. I could never have been a costume designer for traditional films. It’s a very demanding job, very fine, very beautiful, but you have to dress the actors like in everyday life and it’s difficult to achieve. Me, I like to go into eccentricity. The first film I worked on was The cook, the thief, his wife and her lover by Peter Greenaway, who had already staged Murder in an English Garden. I was flattered, delighted. He made me look at paintings by Rembrandt and asked me if I could modernize it all a bit. I particularly remember a dress by Helen Mirren whose color changed according to the rooms it passed through. Then I made three films with Pedro Almodwherevar and its wonderful actresses. Pedro wants to see everything, he wants to have power over everything and he even attended fittings. I remember that the fittings of Bad Education went badly. Gael García Bernal no longer seemed very happy to interpret a transvestite and he took four days to come and try on his very tight lamé dress in Barcelona. He gave us a nervous poo, and things got worse with Pedro, I even wondered if the film was going to end… I was already on the jury at the Cannes festival. There were sometimes astonishing reactions, interpretation prizes that some did not want to give, perhaps because of rivalries… I won’t give you names… I remember that Nanni Moretti, president that year, we said he didn’t like Michael Haneke’s films, but he left us free to vote and we gave the Palme d’or to Amour. »

Saint-Jean de Luz International Film Festival
From October 3 to 9 at Le Select cinema
More informations :

By Marc Godin

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Great cinema in Saint-Jean de Luz – Technikart