The filmmaker Sophie Letourneur examines the couple with Philippe Katerine, in a burlesque autofiction


Philippe Katerine and Sophie Letourneur, on March 20, 2023, in Colombes (Hauts-de-Seine), for the release of the film

The filmmaker, Sophie Letourneur, who created her production company, Tourne Films, met the dandy poet Philippe Katerine, and it hit the spot. They are seated on the leatherette bench in the dressing room of the Théâtre de L’Avant-Seine, in Colombes (Hauts-de-Seine). She in her red cowboy boots, he in his Gainsbourg-style white Repetto. Monday, March 20, the singer takes a break during his rehearsal, before the concert he must give with pianist Dana Ciocarlie.

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Philippe Katerine is on the bill of Trips to Italy, fifth feature film by and starring Sophie Letourneur, a comedy shot in Sicily and Paris, examining the couple in crisis: the filmmaker was inspired by her personal life, starting the project on her return from a trip to Sicily, in 2016, with his companion, Jean-Christophe Hym – quoted in the credits. On screen, the Katerine-Letourneur duo embodies a couple of Parisians who go to Sicily to find each other.

Under the knowing eye of the singer, the director, screenwriter and actress born in 1978 recounts the beginnings of the film: “With my companion, we recorded our travel impressions on a dictaphone, remembering every detail. Initially, it was a sound notepad. But this material was so strong that we integrated it into the filming: for certain scenes, shot in Paris in the marital bed, Philippe Katerine found himself with the voice of Jean-Christophe in the headset. He heard her words and spoke them at the same time. »

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It was a first for Katerine who plays “Jean-Phi”: “I had never worked like that, but you just have to try… It’s a blow to take, as my mother says! » He adds : “I quickly acclimatized to the character of Jean-Christophe, to his feeling. For example, he has a way of saying “Sicily”, by pressing the “s”, or of talking about Roberto Rossellini’s cinema, which I really liked. » Because Sophie Letourneur’s film is a variation of Journey to Italie (1954), by Rossellini, father of Italian neorealism, with Ingrid Bergman and George Sanders, where two Englishmen, married and on the verge of breaking up, rediscover each other during a stay in Naples – the Le Concorde cinema, in La Roche- sur-Yon (Vendée), will also program the two feature films, Sunday April 2.

“A clockwork mechanism”

Trained at the Ecole Duperré and at the Arts Déco in Paris, Sophie Letourneur creates films that never take themselves seriously, but sublimate the little things of everyday life – Ranch Life (2010), The Coquillettes (2013), Gaby Baby Doll (2014), Enormous (2020). By not forbidding any experience, she made French cinema sparkle, attracting more and more celebrities to her castings – Benjamin Biolay, Lolita Chammah, Jonathan Cohen, Marina Foïs, etc. And today Philippe Katerine. This one remembers his ” joy “ discovering The Coquillettesa girls’ getaway filmed in situ at the Locarno Film Festival, among the stars – produced by Emmanuel Chaumet (Ecce Films). “In life, there are overwhelming films and there are other very stimulating ones! »he enthuses.

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