Campion’s first film since receiving the Lumiere Award...



Accompanied by a five-star cast, under a bright sun and the applause of the festivalgoers who had shown up in great numbers, Jane Campion directed the traditional remake of Leaving the Lumière Factories.


"When does it start?” As people waited impatiently behind the gates of the Lumière Institute, the regulars briefed the novices, "We’re here to shoot the new version of the first film in the history of cinema." In a few minutes, Jane Campion, 2021 Lumiere Award laureate, would direct her take of Leaving the Lumière Factories, as tradition dictates. Before shouting the crucial "Action!" on Rue du Premier-Film (First-Film Street), the "Maestra" gives the final instructions to her actors in the Hangar du Premier-Film saying, "You are my team, my people". Focused and admirative, the cast of the day is the envy of many: Vincent Lindon, Elsa Zylberstein, Céline Sallette, Bulle Ogier and Luc Dardenne, to name but a few.

Sortie-Usine-Chassignole-1© Olivier Chassignole

"I want everyone to close their eyes, concentrate, take a moment to think about what we're going to do. We're going to divide the theatre in half: one side will go to the left as you leave the Hangar and the other to the right," instructs Jane Campion. She then spices up the exercise a bit, with a smile, "We’re going to add something - those on the left are happy and those on the right are depressed. Does anyone have a problem with being happy or depressed?” There are no complaints from the actors. But British filmmaker Mark Cousins, perhaps wanting to avoid the side effects of Brexit, discreetly switches over to the ‘happy’ side of the dream cast... With a nod to the first film in cinema history, two actor-workers du jour ride their bicycles. "Try to think about where you're going, as if you were meeting someone," suggests Jane, microphone in hand in front of her crew. Max Lefrancq-Lumière, grandson of the famous Louis Lumière, kicks off the event, closely followed by producer Jeremy Thomas. "Depressed folks, how’re we doing on this side?", inquires rapper-director Abd Al Malik, at the end of the procession. A few metres away, the filmmaker Julia Ducournau, Palme d'Or 2021, does not shy away from the pleasure of seeing Jane Campion, to whom she had presented the Lumière Award the evening before.


Sortie-Usine-Chassignole-2© Olivier Chassignole

Back in the Hangar movie theatre, we discover the three takes of the freshly shot remake. A show of hands votes for which of the three is the best. “We’ll go with take number two”, Jane decides. Thank you for the film lesson, "Maestra"!


Laura Lépine

Categories: Lecture Zen