Gifted and multitalented Charlotte Gainsbourg honored the 63rd TIFF on the occasion of the screening of her latest film The Passengers of the Night by Mikhaël Hers on Friday November 11 at the packed Olympion theatre.
Orestis Andreadakis, Artistic Director of the Thessaloniki International Film Festival welcomed the famous actress. «The Festival presents one of the brightest stars of contemporary cinema. A bright star that has made many films with the most important directors of our days such as Alejandro González Iñárritu, Franco Zeffirelli, Lars von Trier and has also directed a documentary on her mother, Jane Birkin, which was screened last year at the 24th Thessaloniki Documentary Festival. Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Charlotte Gainsbourg.»
Charlotte Gainsbourg took the baton: «It’s my first time in Greece and I thank you for such a warm welcome.» Regarding the character she plays in the film, she said: «The film we will see is an extension of the character of the director, very special, shy, reserved and familiar to me. The story is set in the 1980s at the time of the François Mitterrand election. The woman I’m playing is now my age so I didn’t have a reference point. Mikhaël Hers tries to crystallize and convey the emotion prior to or just after the critical moments in the lives of the characters. The protagonist is a mother who has to work to support her family. Her husband abandons her, so she embarks on a journey of her own through life.»
She mentioned that the 80s remains in her heart. «It’s the decade I took my first steps and as we will see in the film, Mitterrand’s election as a President triggered a promise for the future and a feeling of hope». Charlotte Gainsbourg is also a musician, composer and songwriter. When asked by Mr. Andredakis how she manages to combine cinema and music, she replied: «For me they are two separate worlds. I like moving between them and maybe fashion is a bridge between the two. However, music is more soothing for me because that’s where I am 100% myself, it’s my own words and my own world.»
Charlotte Gainsbourg also opened up about the documentary she directed on Jane Birkin, her mother, in Jane by Charlotte. «I didn’t think of it as an attempt at directing. I made a film whose total production lasted four years. I stopped the shootings for two years and then returned to the footage I had already filmed. I began to realize what I am doing, in the editing process, a very demanding stage of the filmmaking experience. If there’s one thing I found out in the whole process is that when you put the pieces together you may end up with a miracle. Now, I am blessed with a token of our relationship.»
Daughter of the French songwriter-singer Serge Gainsbourg and actress Jane Birkin, Charlotte Gainsbourg made her first steps in the world of cinema early. She starred in Claude Millers «L’ Effrontée» (1985) at the age of 14 and won a César Award for her performance. She has collaborated with the biggest names in French and global cinema: Agnès Varda, Franco Zeffirelli, Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Todd Haynes, Michel Gondry, Lars Von Trier and Yvan Attal among others.
She won the award for Best Actress at the 62nd edition of the Cannes Film Festival for her role in «Antichrist» by Lars Von Trier, with whom he collaborated, also, in the films «Melancholia» and «Nymphomaniac».
Charlotte Gainsbourg has also enjoyed a successful career as a musician and songwriter. She has released five studio albums and won the Artist of the Year 2018 award at the Victoires de la Musique awards with her album Rest.
The Passengers of the Night / Les passagers de la nuit
Direction: Mikhaël Hers
Script: Mikhaël Hers, Maud Ameline, Mariette Désert
Cinematography: Sébastien Buchmann
Editing: Marion Monnier
Sound: Vincent Vatoux, Caroline Reynaud, Sylvain Malbrant, Daniel Sobrino
Music: Anton Sanko
Actors: Charlotte Gainsbourg, Quito Rayon-Richter, Noée Abita, Megan Northam, Thibault Vinçon, Emmanuelle Béart, Laurent Poitrenaux
Producers: Pierre Guyard
Co-producers: Olivier Père, Rémi Burah
Costumes: Caroline Spieth
Production Design: Charlotte De Cadeville
Executive producer: Ève François-Machuel
Make Up: Sarah Mescoff
Production Country: France
Production Year: 2022
On election night in 1981, celebrations spill out onto the street and there is an air of hope and change throughout Paris. But for Elisabeth (Charlotte Gainsbourg) her marriage is coming to an end, and she will now have to support herself and her two teenage children.
She finds work at a late-night radio show and encounters a troubled teenager named Talulah whom she invites into her home. With them, Talulah experiences the warmth of a family for the first time.
Although she suddenly disappears, her free spirit has a lasting influence. Elisabeth and her children grow in confidence and begin to take risks, changing the trajectory of their lives.
Mikhaël Hers was born in Paris, on February 6, 1975. He studied in the Production department at La Fémis and graduated in 2004. He then directed three acclaimed short films: Charell (selected at the Critics’ Week, Cannes 2006), Primrose Hill (his second selection at the Critics’ Week, Cannes 2007, and awarded at Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival), and Montparnasse (selected at the Directors’ Fortnight, Cannes 2009, and winner of the Jean Vigo Prize). After Memory Lane (Locarno Film Festival 2010), This Summer Feeling (Rotterdam Film Festival 2016), and Amanda (in Official Selection at Venice 2018, winner of the Grand Prize at Tokyo IFF, and two nominations at the César Awards), The Passengers of the Night is his fourth feature film.