The first shots in this film were made in 1994, at which time I started preferring a camera to a pen as a means to keeping a diary. The most recent shots were made in 2005. More than ten years of a life mine have been condensed into one hundred minutes of screen-time.
All in all, a mass of tape was recorded, much of it unusable, unshowable or incomprehensible. The difficulty was choosing and ordering the material in such a way as to identify and give meaning to what was unsayable. When a camera is used as a live action tool, there is no commentary. The aim is not to make meaning, but to live your life with a camera. Perhaps, one day, I shall re-edit this material to generate a different story perhaps a better one, who knows?.
The material is digital. It was taken to a laboratory and transformed into chemical images, in order that it might be projected on 35mm, in movie theatres. There is something odd about this process, as if I had been living in the future and chosen to return to the past. But the result is pleasing as transition periods, with all their uncertainty, often are.
As one would expect with a film diary of this sort, I made these images alone. What could be more satisfying to a director who became a film-maker before ever holding a camera? Now I can be alone with the person who stands alone in my viewfinder. My relationship with those I choose to film, and with those who choose to appear before my camera, is much richer than it ever was. Yet I have rarely worked on any other type of subject.
The first of my autobiographical films was made in 1978. It was called, This Machine Does Not Accept Messages. In it, I was seen with a tapes around my head. The second such film, entitled Encounter, was shot in 1996. It featured my hands, my voice but not my face. This time, in “Filmman”, I am revealed. There are reasons why my head must appear.
–Cannes Film Festival
Alain Cavalier (also known as Alain Fraisse) was born 1931 in Vendome, France. He studied film at the Institut des hautes études cinématographiques (IDHEC) in Paris and then started out assisting directors Edouard Molinaro and Louis Malle. In 1958 he directed his first solo film Un American, a featurette. The critical and commercial reception to the film was lukewarm. He directed the famous movie – Catherine Deneuve vehicle – La Chamade in 1968. He won eleven Awards in his career icluding the César Award for Best Film and César Award for Best Director for his film Thérèse in 1987. —docalliancefilms