( this is Shalini Sharma in a collage made by Guy Maddin’s talented set designer / art director Galen Johnson for his ” Spiritismes ” shooting project at the Pompidou Center , Paris , 2012. )
I have started a collaboration with one of my favourite filmdirectors , dreamy Canadian / Icelandic Guy Maddin on his beautiful and vast project ” Hauntings ” . His idea is to shoot his own versions of about 200 lost , aborted or unrealized films , in his own words : ” films with no known final resting place, the unhappy narratives doomed to wander the landscape of film history “ . Films - by famous directors like Hitchcock , Jean Vigo , Cocteau etc .. and more osbcure ones – that never made it to the screen because of various reasons : some never shot , some got burnt , some lost in the Post , or other badly stored … or just because a film storage space needed some room on their shelves ! For years Guy has been collecting in library books and old Variety magazines synopses , critiques and other filmmaker’s notes about these mysterious unseen movies and decided to recreate them , shoot a 5 minute film , in his recognizable style , from what he knows from each of them . All of these short films – which shooting was funded by the Toronto International Film Festival – ” shall end up in a super-complicated website that recombines all these recreated films in a big spooky seance mash-up ” . ( Guy’s own words … )
Guy was here in Paris not so long ago ( Feb-March 2012 ) to shoot 17 short films in 17 days at the Pompidou Center in Paris. This part of the shooting was called ” Spiritismes ” , and the public of the museum could watch the whole shooting as it was in the lobby , so it was very much also like a Happening . People took alot of pictures , some filmed when Guy was filming , too. Amongst others here were the actors involved : Mathieu Amalric, Rudy Andriamimarinosy, Jacques Bonnaffé, Amira Casar, Géraldine Chaplin, Miguel Cueva, Mathieu Demy, Jeanne de France, Victoire du Bois , Adèle Haenel, Udo Kier, Ariane Labed, Elina Löwensohn, Maria de Medeiros, Kim Morgan , Jacques Nolot, Christophe Paou, Jean-Baptiste Phou, Charlotte Rampling, Jean-François Stévenin, Robinson Stévenin, Luce Vigo, André Wilms.
This time I have been working with him as a props hunter for this Parisian part of his project … next time I will be acting in a series of more shorts for this same project . The next stage will happen at MoMa in NYC ( shooting in public too ) and some films will be shot in Winnipeg ( his hometown in Canada ) , in a more private context .
Some of my family most treasured objects from Brittany ended up being used in the different shootings this time , including my great-grandmother ‘s bassinet ( which was also my grandma’s , my dad’s and mine ! ) , a hand embellished photo of my dear dead father as a 3 yrs old boy with his two big sisters , my great grandmother’s oil lamp and tin boxes , etc etc … but also hand-picked objects and pictures that are normally in my appartment in Aubervilliers … so it was abit like moving my home to the Pompidou ! Guy ‘s world and mine share so much in common , it felt pretty natural .
My father Charles Madic in the 1940′s , with his two big sisters Annie and Henriette .
The above photo of my dad & aunts hung on the wall during Guy Maddin’s shooting of ” Blue Mountains Mystery ” ( a lost Lottie Lyell film -Australia, 1921 ) starring Geraldine Chaplin ( standing ) and Adèle Haenel . Photo by Cécile Grâce Janvier ( http://cgjanvier.blogspot.fr/ ) © with permission from Guy Maddin
Charlotte Rampling , Adèle Haenel , my dad and his two sisters in ” Ladies of the Mob ” by Guy Maddin . photo by Kim Morgan ©
Amira Casar and the photo of my dad and his sisters on the wall …
Beautiful Charlotte Rampling and my beautiful image of the sacred Heart of Jesus , usually hung in my kitchen … in ” Ladies of the Mob ” by Guy Maddin. photo by Kim Morgan ©
Victoire du Bois and Charlotte Rampling with my Sacred Heart of Jesus in ” Ladies of the Mob ” . photo by Guy Maddin ©
Udo Kier , Maria de Medeiros , a cute kid , my Jesus . photo by ?
Maria de Medeiros holding my great grandmother’s kitchen tin boxes … in ” The Strength of a Moustache ” , by Guy Maddin . photo by ?
Guy Maddin with my Sacred Heart of Jesus in the background … photo by ?
You can view more photos of the shooting taken by Mathilde Marc here :