Paul, in his thirties, lives in Paris with his aunts, two old aristocrats who have raised him since he was two years old, and whose dream is to see him become a virtuoso pianist. His life consists of the same daily routine, stuck between the grand piano in the living room and his aunts’ dance class, where he works as an accompanist. Cut off from the outside world, Paul has aged without having ever lived… Until the day he meets Madame Proust, his neighbor from the fourth floor. This eccentric woman has the recipe for an herbal tea that, with the help of music, is able to bring back the most deeply buried memories. With Madame Proust’s help, Paul will discover his past and find the key to finally live his own life…
Director: Sylvain Chomet
Screenplay: Sylvain Chomet
Producers: Claudie Ossard, Chris Bolzli
Guillaume Gouix • Anne Le Ny
Bernadette Lafont • Hélène Vincent
Schedule & Presentation
Presentation and discussion with actor Guillaume Gouix
Choose a picture to see the filmography (source : IMDB)
Although Attila Marcel is a live action film, we recognize the world of your animation film The Triplets of Belleville: the same humor, the same poetry, and also a certain darkness.
Above all, I did not want Attila Marcel to appear like an animated film. I wanted to break away from the graphic side of my earlier feature films. Regardless of the eccentricity of the scenery and the situations, everything had to seem plausible. But you cannot escape your style, and the style of Attila Marcel remains actually close to that of The Triplets. On the other hand, I discovered everything that you cannot have in animation: the pleasure of the dialogues from which I had distanced myself, and an even more subtle pleasure, the actors’ performance.
Tell us about the film’s editing.
It was a completely new discovery. While making an animated film, editing leaves few surprises. For a live action film, it is an extremely creative process: you can realistically make forty films from the material that you have shot. Attila Marcel, in the hands of Simon Jacquet, has thus become a very tender film. The aunts, for example, were depicted as victims in the film, even though I had made them monsters on paper.
Music always plays a significant role in your films.
Without actually being a musical, I indeed see Attila Marcel as a musical film. With Franck Monbaylet, who wrote all the piano pieces, we made sure that each character has its own melody and that each musical piece is in three-quarter time, including the disco piece. When you dance on a three-quarter time piece, you rock, a little like when you cradle a child or hold someone in your arms. It is warm, almost maternal.