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She became a director due to a combination of circumstances. How she became an actress by accident. When she became a French TV star by accident. How she became a model by accident.
Charlotte Le Bon lived in the Laurentians and studied plastic arts at Cégep Lionel-Groulx, in Sainte-Thérèse, when she was noticed by a modeling agency recruiter. She accompanied her mother, actress Brigitte Paquette, to an ATM. “Ze rest is history”, as they say in Paris.
The young Charlotte has traveled the world, from New York to Tokyo, then left the model at the age of 23, disillusioned, to settle in Paris, where she revealed herself in all her spontaneity to the unusual weather forecast of the Great Newspaperon the popular Canal + cable channel.
10 years ago, it went from small to big screen, in Asterix and Obelix: in the service of His Majesty by Laurent Tirard. Then she chained film roles – fifteen in just five years – in more or less memorable French and American productions.
Among his most important roles is that of Victoire Doutreleau in Yves Saint Laurent by Jalil Lespert, which earned her a César nomination for Best Supporting Actress in 2015. And it was Jalil Lespert who proposed that she read, and possibly adapt to cinema, the comic A sisterby Bastien Vives.
Lespert is one of the co-producers of Falcone lake, the first feature film by Charlotte Le Bon, who appropriated the story and immediately decided to transport it from the sea to Brittany to the shore of a lake in the Laurentians, where she grew up after spending the first 10 years of her life in Montreal. And where she bought a house about ten years ago.
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The Laurentians are truly the theater of my adolescence. I spent all my summers by the lakes, in the woods. These are landscapes that I feel I own. Transposing the story into a place I know by heart reassured me. It is a first feature film. I needed to feel good at home.
Charlotte Le Bon
Falcone lakewhich was filmed in the summer of 2021 near the aptly named village of Gore, opens this Wednesday the 51stAnd Montreal New Cinema Festival. This initiatory, intimate and poetic story, inspired by the codes of genre cinema, received an exceptional welcome at the Directors’ Fortnight at the Cannes Film Festival last May. It will be released first in Quebec on October 14, then in France on December 7.
Charlotte Le Bon, who co-wrote the film with François Choquet, tells the story of the first love affairs of 13-year-old Frenchman (Joseph Engel), Bastien, who comes to spend a few days of family vacation in a chalet by the lake where her Quebec mother (Monia Chokri) grew up with her childhood friend (Karine Gonthier-Hyndman). He instantly falls in love with his daughter, Chloe (Sara Montpetit), three years his senior, an eccentric interested in ghost stories and 19-year-old boys.
Charlotte Le Bon drew not only from the places of her adolescence, but also from the intense feelings that inhabited her in this fertile moment of upheaval. “She’s a fucking ravine at 13 and 16, the age difference! “, She says, with this hybrid accent typical of Quebecs who have lived in France for a long time. “I’ve been to both locations. I was the frozen lover who loses all means of her and that she is ready to do anything to be able to seduce someone. And it was I too who knew herself, who knew her desire through the eyes of older boys. ”
Adolescence, this often thankless pivotal time, punctuated by petty betrayals and jealousies, in which we can feel at the mercy of our feelings for others, is fertile material for creation, which has inspired many directors.
“My adolescence is well digested, well analyzed, confides Charlotte Le Bon. She also hurt me a lot! In my thanks in the credits, I greet all my joys and all my traumas, from childhood to adolescence. Without that, I don’t think I would have been able to write this movie. Maturity films are often a little innocent, a little sweet, sometimes a little cute. Although this is not at all the memory I have. There is something absolutely terrifying about falling in love for the first time. There is only what exists. ”
It is for this reason that he decided to do Falcone lake an atmospheric story, over which hovers a deaf concern. “I found it interesting to be able to play with the codes of the genre film, precisely to create a mirror between these states that terrify us and which are of the order of the unknown, therefore almost of death, and the first emotions of love.”
It was this choice that, in her opinion, finally gave impetus to the film’s script and supporters. “We couldn’t find funding and I got a lot of ‘No’s in the face! she laughs, talking about SODEC’s subsequent rejections. It was, she agrees, for the best.
Multidisciplinary artist – she exhibits her drawings, she also does photography – Charlotte Le Bon seems to have found a vocation in directing. You have directed a short film Judith Hotelpresented at the Cannes Film Festival in 2018, before devoting most of the last four years to Falcone lake.
“I think it was Truffaut who said that life has a lot more imagination than us. He really does it for me. The acting profession fell on me, really by accident. I’ve been doing this for 10 years. Becoming a director has become my school. And since I started directing, it seems obvious to me that I want to do it for a long time. It is my favorite work, which is so complete and fulfilling because it touches everything I love. Life has traced a path that has given me all the elements, all the tools I needed to do this job. I just want to do it! ”
Before I even had a chance to ask her the question, she adds: “I’ll keep playing too! Although she is already working on the script for a second feature film, we will therefore find the one we saw recently in Quebec in the brilliant series by François Létourneau and Jean-François Rivard That’s how I love you in front of and behind the camera. But not both at the same time.
For me, these are two quite incompatible exercises. The profession of director requires control and the profession of actor requires quite the opposite. Having to judge yourself, to direct yourself … For me it would be a bit of a narcissistic exercise.
Charlotte Le Bon
“Yeah, I hate seeing myself on screen. I would be really masochistic to want to film myself! But I admire those who are able to do it. I don’t know how they do it. ”
Fever on the eve of presenting her film to her entire family, at home in Quebec, Charlotte Le Bon is very lucid and forthright when she talks about her career. “For 10 years I really learned through different roles that at times didn’t particularly inspire me, to be honest. Many times I did this because I knew I had to keep learning. I’ve made a lot of shitty movies, but I have no regrets! It is important to beat yourself up and feel a little humiliated at times. It will happen to me as real too, that’s for sure. If I have the opportunity to continue and to be able to do a second. ”
We wish him the best of luck.
Falcone lake will be released in theaters on October 14th