Michel Hazanavicius’ big comeback with “Cut!”, A wild zombie comedy

The Oscar-winning director returns to pure comedy, thirteen years after the second part of “US 117”. He confides in this new adventure, a few hours before the opening of the Cannes Film Festival.

The Cannes Film Festival could not find a better film to open its 75th edition on Tuesday. Delirious comedy by Michel Hazanavicius (OSS 117, The artist) about an invasion of zombies disrupting the footage of a nanar, Cut! is a living declaration of love for the cinema and the people who make it.

“We are closer The American night only Last train to Busan“, Laughs the Oscar-winning director, who is here inspired by a great success in Japanese film, Do not cut! (2017). “The action happens to take place on a zombie movie set, but no one’s going to be scared, because what the movie is about goes beyond the cinema: it’s a movie about goodwill.”

In dark rooms, this glorious comedy should be a huge success: “It’s not a movie you want to discover behind computers, each in their own corner,” declares Michel Hazanavicius. “The movie behaves better in front of a room full of people. It’s a comedy that really aims to make people laugh.”

“Deeply poetic and completely ridiculous”

Cut!, playing with the process of mise en abyme and the ubiquitous metafictional discourses of contemporary cinema, are constantly thwarting the expectations of the public who think they are watching a really bad movie. “You start the film by watching a failed film, and you can not help but tell yourself that they failed it. But in Part 2, you realize that they have drawn something much bigger. We go from judgment to acceptance. I think it’s beautiful. ” And the filmmaker adds:

“There is something deeply poetic and at the same time completely ridiculous [dans ce genre de série Z]. On the one hand, we can not help but make fun of them and on the other hand, there is something that commands respect. The guys do not stop at the lack of budget. It’s touching, it’s super beautiful. “

A very personal remake

Michel Hazanavicius designed Cut! fairly quickly, in a few months, at the onset of the pandemic. The filmmaker, whose majority of films explore the scenery of the 7th art, had long dreamed of making a shooting film. “I was working on it when producer Vincent Maraval told me he had just bought the remake rights to Do not cut! I’m not even sure he thought I should do that. But as soon as I read it, I thought I had to do it. “

Michel Hazanavicius, who has often drawn inspiration from other works for his own films, assumes the status of a remake of Cut!, as he fiddles with the fact that his characters are forced to call each other Japanese names despite the fact that they are all French. “I thought it was smart to integrate the work of the original. The fact of making a remake also made it possible for me to make these zombie stories a little believable and assume the difference in making a zombie movie that was a little shit in France. Today.”

Directing a remake for him has nothing to be ashamed of: “Starting from a movie, from a script offered to me or from a book, it does not change a lot of things for me. No matter what the meaning of In the beginning you rewrite always a manuscript.There is a long process of digestion, appropriation.I do not consider at all Cut! as a less personal film than the others, though it’s a remake. “

“Completely Confused Spectators”

We see it with the themes addressed, from the love of the cinema to the father / daughter relationship, at the heart of most of his films. We also find in Cut! his taste for pastiche and mix of genres. Cut! begins as a Z-series before branching out into more classic comedy situations and vaudeville “going all over the place.” “The first spectators who saw the film without knowing anything were completely taken aback,” he rejoices.

After zombies off Cut!, Michel Hazanavicius changes register. He directed his first animated film, Most precious of goods. He presents the first photos in mid-June at the Annecy Festival. In this adaptation of a bestseller by Jean-Claude Grumberg, a pair of lumberjacks rescuing a Jewish orphan in the middle of World War II.

Hazanavicius is fully dedicated to the project. “We want to finish it in early 2024,” he announces. “I’m done Cut! at the end of September, I continued with the animated film. “No opportunity for him to shoot another film while he waited. “I may be able to write it down eventually, but first and foremost I need to be available Most precious of goods. “

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