“Sixteen Springs”, the filmed life of Suzanne Lindon

By Pascale Nivelle

Posted today at 02:26

Suzanne Lindon, in Paris, May 21, 2021.

Suzanne is 18, the age of poets and possibilities. Barely passed her baccalaureate, she wants to shoot a feature film. Her own story, that of a teenage girl from the upscale neighborhoods who is bored and fantasizes about a man twice her age. It is she who will write, act and direct. Arnaud Valois, whom she spotted in 120 beats per minute, will have the role of the handsome kid. Frédéric Pierrot, that of her father: she wrote with him in mind as well as actresses from the Comédie-Française for small roles, Florence Viala and Rebecca Marder.

“I filmed my life. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have been honest. Suzanne Lindon

There will also be Dominique Besnehard, famous casting director, turned agent, then producer, who began his acting career in To our Loves (1983), by Maurice Pialat, his reference film. Klaus Nomi had lent his Cold song to the director. Suzanne will take Vincent Delerm for her soundtrack. It has its script and its cast, it remains to call the producers. “Hello, this is Suzanne Lindon. ”

The suite is open. “Lindon, like Vincent?” “, asked the first called, unaware that she was the daughter of the actor and Sandrine Kiberlain. Sixteen spring, by Suzanne Lindon, finally found producers (Caroline Bonmarchand, Avenue B), co-producers (including Bangumi, which notably produces the “Quotidien” program; La Maison Chanel), a distributor (Paname Distribution).

A comet held back by the pandemic

Cherry on the cradle, the film was even selected in official competition at Cannes 2020 by Thierry Frémaux, 2,067 candidates for 57 elected, including 21 French films. Launched on this springboard, Sixteen spring was then applauded in San Sebastian, acclaimed in Buenos Aires, Minsk and Macao and sold in a hundred countries. Only the pandemic slowed down comet Suzanne Lindon.

His film was due out in October 2020, then in January, then he disappeared into the black hole of culture, before being released in June. In the environment cryogenized by Covid-19, a viral phrase continued to circulate for months: “Apart from Xavier Dolan, there is no precedent. Pialat, Gainsbourg, Dolan … “When you meet Suzanne, you will understand”, promised the promotion.

First, the film. Confectionery. The promises of the scenario (16 years, boredom, fantasies) are kept. Love at first sight turns out to be platonic (not even a kiss on the mouth), the wanderings of a diaphanous and privileged teenager in an immaculate Paris make all the history. Suzanne, an appearance from the 1980s, does not have a cell phone. She wears a denim miniskirt and tapestry in the booms, word disappeared with The party (Claude Pinoteau, 1980), which her mother showed her when she was 4 years old.

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