The Princess of Montpensier

Bertrand Tavernier showed up at the IFC cinema for a Q&A following the viewing if his latest movie The Princess of Montpensier, a selection of Rendez Vous with French Cinema. A great movie based on a 37 page short story by Madame de La Fayette that will open later this month in the US…

Asked about his love for historical movies, Tavernier confirmed that History was his passion and that he was always trying to render a period in time as if it was today.

In this movie, taking place in 1567 during the Religion Wars opposing Protestants and Catholics, his camera sees France through the eyes of a girl, Marie de Montpensier  who is in love with the Henri de Guise (Gaspard Ulliel)and yet has to marry the Prince de Montpensier (Gregoire Leprince-Ringuier). “She knows 25 or 30% of what=t is going on around her, in the world, and this what I film” said Tavernier . Quite interestingly Tavernier explained that a precise rendering of  “what it was like…” was not the best way to revive history. In 1567, men and women portrayed in paintings wore ruffles around their necks. Yet, this is probably not the way they  dressed on an everyday basis. Tavernier got rid of the ruffles. Also, people used to mouthwash with their own urine.

If I had filmed such a scene, it would have shocked  the audience who would have found this scene “exceptional” when in fact it was a common usage. Better not show then.

Costume are most beautiful “striped from details and showed in their most essential forms”.

The music by Philippe Sarde is also remarkable. A special coup de chapeau to Melanie Thierry whose beauty radiates, “creve l’ecran” ( pierce the screen).

And to all the actors including Lambert Wilson (Comte de Chabannes), who had to learn how to fence and ride as Tavernier would accept no stunts?

A great moment!
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One response to “The Princess of Montpensier

  1. $author Merci pour l’article

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