Paul De Metairy

PAUL DE METAIRY

The extremely creative french film director Paul, when on the way to make the definition of cinema, meets our Director Triptayan Chatterjee and a unique cinematic talk took place. The legend came on ground to explain the cinema.

Welcome to CINESCREEN, dear Paul, Our readers and viewers must have a wonder in
mind, how and why did you chose a wonderful subject on religious historical background?
What was the background of the thoughts before making the film? We are curious to
know, how did you come into the world of film making? Is there any particular incident or
it is your inherent will for making film?


The film is based on the life of the young Lucas de Métairy, who belonged to my family. In
1996 he had recorded a CD “Paroles d’Ados” “Words from Teenagers”, with songs about
various youth problems, sung by the young Jonathan. In one of the songs, he explained
the religious meaning of our life on earth: “we are on earth to learn to love”. Revolted by
the actions of the Islamists in Algeria who slaughtered children or made them explode their
heads against the walls, he wrote in this song that “we are not on earth to slaughter the
innocent”. He put this song on the Internet, where it was discovered by the Islamists who
condemned Lucas to death, and sent the little Said (14 years old) to France to kill Lucas, in 199But when they met, they found each other the affection they lacked. Problem: if Saïd did not accomplish his mission, he would be killed with all his family, what Lucas could not accept. He agreed to die to save Said…A young French Christian who gives his life for a little Muslim Algerian is a slap in the face of all extremists around the world. It was absolutely necessary to make this story known and I made a book of it “Lucas and Saïd for Eternity”, which did not find an editor… In addition, young people no more read. So, to reach them, I had the idea of making a feature film, reconstruction of the facts, on the real locations, even though I had no experience!

How did you manage the child artists acting in TEENAGERS? It is a tough job.

It first took two years to find young people… who could read! Making a film with young
people going through puberty is a nightmare, especially since the director has no authority
over them for they were not paid. It was very hard for me to see them laughing like this about a drama that had very affected me (I was it who discovered Lucas dead). With the older ones, in the third part of the film, I was their “best enemy”, who made them start over until it was good, but having a “common enemy” united their group, and it was good for the film. In fact, the hardest part
was convincing the parents; when they were divorced, there was no chance… One good
point: Sandy, who was a sound and balanced youth, was comfortable with the naturism
scenes.

Viewers are demanding the show of TEENAGERS. We watched them cheering in the
screening of TRIPVILL INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL. Our question how did you think for
the viewers in time of making the film?

I have to admit that I did not think of the spectators during the shooting: I had a duty of
memory to accomplish, and reliving the drama of Lucas and Saïd was very hard. As it was
a reconstruction, I did not have the right to “adapt” to please or not displease the public…
How many days it took for the film to be entirely completed? Now at this age what is your
view on your own film? The film is in 3 parts + an epilogue; the shooting started in 2002 and ended in 2016, 14 years !! About my current point of view on the film, I do not trust my own judgment, I do
it through the 69 selections at festivals and the 50 awards received: they cannot all be
wrong…


Paul, you have been with filmmaking for many years? What problems filmmaker has to
face most according to your inception? Is there any solution of the problem?

The biggest problem is finding a distributor for the film; many independent films never find
one, and this was my case too. Distributors only accept “commercial” films (violence, sex,
big comedy), forgetting that there are tens of thousands like it on the Internet, and that
people only go to the cinema for a film coming out of the ordinary, what explains that
many distributors have disappeared … Having relationships and living in a big city can
help …

How would you evaluate the performance of the team of TEENAGERS?

Uh … which team?? In fact, I was absolutely alone for everything: image, sound,
rehearsals, stage sets, clothes, transport, makeup, medical care, food, music, editing, etc.
If you are talking about the actors, the adult actors Robert Castel and Simone Langlois
were perfect and received several awards . About the youths, I always ended up getting the result I wanted (not without difficulty!) And they even received awards (Vincent Lucadello – “Saïd”, Sullivan Leray – “Erwan”, Yamin Gougmar – “Naïm” and 2 awards for Sandy!).

Theatrical shows of films are recently on decline? Web media is getting stronger. Do you
think that this will help the filmmakers and viewers to get involved into cinema?

The filmmakers can be better motivated knowing that their film will have visibility on VOD.
The spectators are rather “consumers”, and they risk quickly abandoning the idea of
making a film facing the difficulties of shooting a feature film, and the considerable
expenses

What message would you like to deliver for the next generation film maker?
Don’t make movies to earn money, you will quickly be disappointed (I have $ 200,000 in
debt). Only make a film if you really have something important to tell. Do not make an
anti-Trump film to get the Palme d’Or in Cannes like the anti-Bush film! Be objective in
your message, and stay moderate in form, invective are the arguments of those .. who
don’t have some!

Paul, would you please tell us about your next project? CINESCREEN readers and viewers
are eager to know about it.

In January 2020, I finished a feature documentary, “The Lost Paradise”, 96 ‘, only from
personal archives in super8, and VHS. These archives are all what remains of a happy time
when we could still take care of children. Since the Dutroux affair in Belgium, it is now
impossible, and even forbidden… All my life, cats, dogs, came to me so that I take care of
them and love them. And also tens of children came naturally to me wherever I lived, in
houses or boats. I fortunately thought of photographing them or filming them, but not all
of them, far from it. The meetings lasted from one single day to sometimes more than 10
years! These images of complicity with these endearing children would obviously be
unthinkable today … This magical era is definitely over … Fortunately, there remains us the cats … until one day it would be forbidden to love them, too! Moms cats bring me their babies … and leave them!
But one day I will meet again the little Leon, Michel, Didier, Nadine, Alex, the dogs
Mirabelle and Rocky, and all my adorable cats … in a Next World, where they patiently are
waiting for me, and where loving them will no longer be considered a crime against
humanity … A rare documentary for all the nostalgic people of that time, and for those too young to
have known it. Already “Best documentary” at Royal Wolf Film Festival (Los Angeles).

WE ARE LOOKING FOR A DIFFERENT HORIZON WITH PAUL

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