Monday, 11/16/2015

Meet the Filmmakers: SUSPENDU

Interview with director Elie Grappe

Meet the Filmmakers: SUSPENDU

Director Elie Grappe


What is the teaser text for your film SUSPENDU?

At dawn, in a great classical dance conservatory, a boy falls while rehearsing some movements. Something breaks in his foot, causing sharp pain. The exams are held that day but the boy doesn’t give up: he tries to face his dance partner and classmates, convincing himself his body has no limits.

What is the original idea of your film? 

Through SUSPENDU, I wanted to tell a story of transcendence. I had to go back into my personal experiences of classical dance, and the Conservatory of Lyon where I practiced music intensively, for ten years. I wanted the film’s form to be a sensory immersion, raw with minimal dialogue, seen from the point of view of a passionate young dancer struggling with his body. It also represents a fragment of adolescence: the bodies surrounding the character are both work tools shaped by dancing and strange objects of desire. His own body seems marked by an uncontrollable muscle growth; this is a wild and new development he tries to overcome. I wanted the casting process to go hand in hand with the writing process, almost like a documentary approach. The main performers are actually young students in important conservatories. Although fiction, the film is also built around their personalities.

Scene from SUSPENDU


If you weren't a filmmaker, you'd be…?

… Maybe a musician, due to my initial formation. I still listen to a lot of different kinds of music, and in the case of SUSPENDU, that was really linked with the filmmaking process, from the brainstorming to the editing of the film. Moreover, I have to face it, the work with music is definitely a recurrent topic for me: I recently co-directed a mid-lenghth music documentary about a young orchestra on tour in Singapore and Switzerland, available on Vimeo soon. During film school, I also made a short documentary about the last rehearsal of a young choir class at the Lyon conservatory before the end year show. That film, called 'Rehearsal', was screened in Amsterdam IDFA and Clermont-Ferrand and was actually my very first experience with festivals.

Is it your first time in Munich? What do you expect of the city and the festival?

I have been in Germany several times but never in Munich! First of all I am very happy - and grateful - to have the opportunity to meet other students of my generation from all over the world: It seems to be a very privileged time to discuss about filmmaking, and find out about what the common questions between us are. I also hope I have the time to discover the city, and see at least a part of the great Pinakothek!

suspendu bts
Behind the Scenes: SUSPENDU





Director Elie Grappe will be attending the festival. In case you can not come to the screening and Q&A, post your questions on Twitter - don't forget to use the following hashtags: #fsfmuc15 & #askthedirector.