The Un Certain Regard section was fired up for the first opus of Lola Quivoron, rock’n roll director, with a firm grip and infectious passion. Alongside her incandescent actress, she told us about her explosive and unique film.
Julie Ledru comes from 95 and studied gastronomic catering before giving free rein to her passion for motorcycling, inspired by a photo of her mother on a “cross bike“, discovered when she was a child. She then practiced with her brother, training in the forest, quickly went around and one day discovered, via social networks, the activity of cross bitumen.
“I went to see with my own eyes. They told me that I was crazy, that it was dangerous because there are a lot of people on the same line. They let me go, so I went back there alone. This incredible happiness of being on a single line, on my two wheels, of feeling someone brushing against me, the other touching the ground with their hand. And me in the middle of this whirlwind.”
Tourbillon that she never left, until meeting the famous Lola Quivoron. Having become, thanks to this last THE essential nugget at Cannes this year, the debuting actress is truly stunning. In Rodeo, Julia, her die-hard and fiery heroine, infiltrates the very masculine milieu of urban rodeo and tries to find a place for herself there. As did her interpreter before her.
There was a surprise to see a girl arrive alone, move where the internet told me to do. That was brave enough!
“There was a surprise to see a girl arrive alone, move where the internet told me to. It was quite courageous, I’ve often been told. But with my assurance I answered: “Who’s going to snatch me there, it’s a joke, I’m a good man. If we have to fight, we will fight.” My motorcycle I humanized it, it took care of my stockings, when I had stockings. Julia, my character, it’s me Julie but the Julie from before. Recklessness, youth, bullshit!”
And the executive too: “It’s true that my heroine is not broken, is not binary. The woman of today needs to know that if she wears jogging or has hair under her arms, who cares as long as she is well when we speak”.
This freedom of the undetermined, we owe it to Lola Quivoron and her convictions: “Julia is always referred to strong assignments, stigmata. West Indian, woman etc. It was important to me to introduce this so-called foreign body into this rather masculine environment.
Strong filmmaker, coming from La Fémis and landed in Cannes this year with this first feature film in a fierce style, Lola Quivoron offers us a forbidden incursion into a new environment, that of the “bike-life” which she knows very well, having explored it since 2015.
“There is a philosophy of life, we live for the bike. There is a very strong relationship to life and death. The film adopts certain contours of the fantastic in relation to this theme. We are talking about a certain environment, a practice that grew up in working-class neighborhoods. The film also addresses that, not head-on. It’s alternative families that are being built in a place where real families are perhaps destroyed or decaying.”
The screenplay is a document that should be thrown in the trash when filming.
To this family staged here, Lola has given complete freedom to compose, nourished by her cast of very embodied non-professionals. “We had a text, we worked on a lot of things upstream, including anger. We had to take on the emotions, the intense anger from start to finish. On set, Lola symbolically crumpled up the script, telling us that ‘we knew the story and it was up to us to play “says Julie Ledru.
“The screenplay is a document to be thrown in the trash when filming”continues Lola Quivoron. “It’s a map. In this long preparatory work ahead of filming, each actor is responsible for his character. He has the embodied experience of the fictional character he met during the preparation trajectories. Julie had read the screenplay and Antonia Buresi, my partner in life who participated in the writing and plays Ophélie. But the others, the riders, have never read it.”
“We sail on the sea and on the boat, there is someone who catalyzes the energy.” Not liking the term “directing actors” which refers to the issues of power within the cinema, the director sees herself more readily in this way, as a catalyst of energy with the power to look but not only, and always in motion , “as close as possible to the bodies filmed in close-up, reading the souls of the characters, always standing, never sitting”, in the idea of creating a link.
A very physical and committed style in the service of an explosive and embodied film which has already and will continue to ignite the Croisette this year.
Rodeo in pictures