While two Lot-et-Garonne residents have been crossing the Atlantic coast for a few days, where the film was shot, for a series of previews, “Sud Ouest” was able to chat with the young directors.
How do you think about shooting a movie like “The Year of the Shark” after “Jaws,” which is unsurpassed in shark film territory?
The idea was to return to our first love. We grew up watching movies of the genre, of which “Jaws” is clearly one. We wanted to make it our own to bring a monster of the American imagination to our Southwest. The idea was not to make a pastiche, but to use the shape of a shark, which we find throughout underground culture with B movies. We capture this monster and we cast it in the service of a film that talks about our time and our territory. We, in the service of a genre comedy, create shock between this figure and Southwest, who are not all professional actors. We make a distinction between this very famous American monster and the people of the Southwest, that was the first wish.
And then the idea also came that today in 2022 by making a shark film, that is, an intruder in a community coming to the fore and which is going to incite everyone’s anger, it was also a roundabout way for us to talk. With covid, confinement, some establishments were forcibly closed … the shark imposed itself on us, as this animal passed us back to the covid virus, a menace that blinds and faints. Show a shark today, it’s not as wide as it was in 1975 [date de sortie des « Dents de la mer », NDLR] Because it also talks about news that people face directly, such as changing ecosystems in the Mediterranean, fish coming from the South Seas, and the arrival of thousands of jellyfish.
What do you like about genre films?
When we were kids our mother read us Stephen King stories. Not long ago, we were bathed in a fantasy world full of monsters, and we really liked it because we grew up in a very rural area in Lot-et-Garonne, where we were so bored. The prospect of the monster was something that was quite exciting to us. And very quickly when we saw horror movies, we imagined populations of these creatures in the countryside around Port-Saint-Marie.
Later, what we like about genre cinema is that it is a roundabout way of talking about society. What we prefer is not being up front and using metaphor to talk about real things. And then it allows you to create a very strong imaginary universe right away. When we make movies we like to talk about the Southwest, but not about an offbeat Southwest that is filmed with natural materials. On the contrary, we like it as a true fictional universe that can take you on a journey. The style is conducive to getting into the story. We grew up with Stephen King and his men [l’État des États-Unis où vit l’auteur et où se déroulent de nombreuses de ces histoires, NDLR] A small choice with fictional cities, so we really don’t want Stephen King to do our parallel lot-et-garonne.
Cinema allows us to fulfill our childhood dream of bringing demons to the Southwest
And well, how did this Southwest, this Lot-et-Garonne mold you and turn you into filmmakers?
We had a bad relationship with Southwest when we were younger. We were really bored, like a lot of country kids. And we had to leave Southwest very early. The first thing we wanted to do after graduation was to run away and put our past behind us in the countryside. But it happened that as soon as we got to Paris and we started writing stories, we automatically wrote them in the South-West. We felt that everything brought us back there, that Paris had become our daily life and we could not imagine being there because it brought us back to real life and our daily routine. Suddenly, our imagination developed through memories of this Southwest we grew up in. And naturally, our stories, we anchor them in that area because that’s what we know and we seem to know how to talk about it more easily, because the people of the Southwest, it We don’t have family, they are what we see as soon as we get back on vacation. We are immersed in it.
Is it a goal to one day shoot a film in Lot-et-Garonne?