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DENIS DERCOURT Director & ScreenwriterDenis Dercourt was born in Paris in 1964. After obtaining a degree in Philosophy from Paris University and a postgraduate diploma from the Institute of Political Studies (Sciences-Po), he was solo viola with the French Symphony Orchestra from 1988 to 1993.
Since 1993 he has been teaching viola and chamber music at the Strasbourg Region National Conservatory.
2005 - UKIYO, FLOATING WORLD
2002 - MY CHILDREN ARE DIFFERENT
2000 - LISE AND ANDRÉ
1998 - THE FREELANCERS
The main thread of 'La Tourneuse de Pages' is a story of revenge, but behind it is a growing element of something more ambiguous, where fascination and attraction merge into manipulation.
The film is about class revenge and its psychological translation, but since music-making is primarily a physical act, I felt that this revenge also had to be physical, provoking fear and tension as the story unfolds.
It was doubtless the need to keep a safe distance from my own experiences as a musician and my own view of music-making that prompted me to explore the field of the suspense drama, but I was surprised to discover how similar the mechanisms of suspense are to the techniques of writing music: they both include the same ideas of tension/relaxation, slowing down and speeding up, cadences, variations in tempo, pauses, climaxes, etc.
The page turner’s role is one of self-effacement: she comes on stage after the soloists, she remains seated for the applause and does not seem to contribute to their success in any way, and yet a page turned too early or too late can upset the whole performance. This potential for danger is even more fascinating because the audience can hardly suspect it.
The gamble of the film lay in the choice of the two lead actresses. They had to express all the ambiguity that I dreamed of for the film: the constant dialogue between strength and weakness, between Ariane, the concert pianist prone to stage fright and the fear of failure, and Mélanie, the girl whose broken dreams now fuel an implacable determination. Before we began filming, I had visualized using angles and reverse angles to feed the line of tension that I wanted throughout the film, but the film itself decided otherwise. The very first take made me realize that the meetings between Catherine Frot and Déborah François should mostly be captured in the same frame, like a cage in which two wild animals engage in an extraordinary combat.
- Denis Dercourt