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A FILM BY
SOPHIE
GUILLEMIN

ASTRAY

THIERRY GODARD
SOPHIE GUILLEMIN
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"A bewitching and ultimately romantic first film."

Les Fiches du Cinéma

 

"The scope of its setting, the roughness of its editing and its magnificent direction of the actors hit the nail on the head."

Le Nouvel Observateur

"For her first film, Sophie Guillemin cast Thierry Godard, her husband. She doesn't spare him, creates a detestable mask for him and plays with him. In short, she gives him a fine film role." 

Le Canard Enchaîné

"The intensity comes from the absence of dialogue, which is conducive to introspection. "

Télérama

 

"It's almost like watching a film poem." 

Positif

Best Film at the FestiFrance Brasil  

Best Film Direction at the International Festival of Asti

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SYNOPSIS

Antoine is an urban fifty-year-old, a successful wine merchant who seems like a solid and self-confident man. One day, he receives a strange phone call from Russia - all he hears is the sound of breathing. He is convinced it’s a call from Solange, a woman he met four years earlier in Moscow and had loved passionately before she disappeared from his life. Shaken by this call, he gives up everything, work and family, and sets out to find her. The journey takes him to Moscow, St. Petersburg, then to the far north. He throws himself into his futile search with body and soul, obsessed by the memories he has with Solange. Exhausted, on the verge of perdition, he is taken in by the inhabitants of a house that is lost on the edge of a frozen lake. It’s an initiatory stay which will transform him.

CAST

THIERRY GODARD

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BRUNO SOLO

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CATHERINE WILKENING

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LAURA PRESGURVIC

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SOPHIE GUILLEMIN

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LINO GODARD

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JULIA FAURE

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MELANIE MAUDRAN

Synopsis
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THE FILM CREW

CAST

THIERRY GODARD
SOPHIE GUILLEMIN
LINO GODARD
BRUNO SOLO
CATHERINE WILKENING
JULIA FAURE
LAURA PRESGURVIC
MELANIE MAUDRAN
VERONIQUE CLOCHEPIN-LASSALLE
INAYA ALLAOUI
SENAMI AHOUANSOU
With the participation of
FRANCOIS FEROLETO

PHOTOGRAPHY
SOPHIE GUILLEMIN

 

EDITOR

STEPHANE ELMAJIAN
 

SCENARIO AND DIALOGUES

SOPHIE GUILLEMIN
THIERRY GODARD

 

MIXING

CEDRIC LIONNET
 

SOUND EDITING

THOMAS VAN POTTELBERGE
EMMANUEL AUGEARD

 

SOUND

HUGO MOUCHART
LUCAS ROLLIN

 

CALIBRATION

DAMIEN LETEXIER
 

CREDITS AND SPECIAL EFFECTS

OLIVIER VILLEAUD

ORIGINAL MUSIC 
COMPOSED AND DIRECTED BY
HELENE BLAZY
RECORDED AT STUDIO GUILLAUME TELL

SOUND RECORDING AND MIXING

DENIS CARIBAUX
Assistants
BAPTISTE MURGUIONDON
PIERRE CHARLES BIGUET

 

MUSICIANS

HELENE ROBIN (VIOLIN)
ARNAUD NUVOLONE (VIOLIN)
BENACHIR BOUKHATEM (VIOLA)
DELPHINE BIRON (CELLO)
CATHERINE DOISE (CELLO)
HELENE BLAZY (PIANO)

 

PRODUCTION 
Delegate production
MULTIFRUITS PRODUCTION
Co-producer
ELKIN FILMS
Associate producer
ERIC GRIMALDI
 

© MULTIFRUITS PRODUCTION AND ELKIN COMMUNICATION


ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
LEGAL DEPOSIT 2021 - VISA n° 155773

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ASTRAY is a film about love?

Not quite, it's more a film about the impossibility of living a life without love. Indeed, love is essential to life.
So I started the story with a man, Antoine, in his fifties, who lost the greatest love of his life because he didn't know how to live up to it. After this loss, he rebuilt a character of appearance instead, supposedly fully committed to his business. But then, after a botched business meeting, a strange call reopens his wound and he sets off in a frantic search for his former love.


How did the film come about?

Besides my career as an actress, I've directed two short films and for a while, I wanted to move on to a full-length feature film. We talked about it with Thierry (Godard). Thierry had written two or three pages at the beginning, very comical, on the theme of love: It was a man and a woman telling each other how they loved each other. It was quite funny and at the same time, it questioned a lot about love in relationships and how much it means to us. That's how I wanted to build a real story about love and what happens when you lose it, when you lose love in general. I imagined this story about a man who's looking for a woman he once loved. He receives a strange call from Russia - just a breath on the other end of the line - and he is convinced that it is Solange - his former love who he met in Moscow. So he goes on a trip to Russia, to Moscow and St Petersburg, and soon he learns that the strange call he received was not from her. Yet, once he has started, he cannot abandon his quest. He carries on searching for this woman and returns to places of the past. He remembers the moments they shared: how he had been fascinated by this woman whom he had followed in the streets before confessing his love for her, their intimate words... When he doesn't find her, he goes further and further away, leaving the cities and going deep into the vast spaces of nature in the far north. Finally, he arrives at a frozen lake and a house lost on the edge of this lake which will become for him the unusual place of his redemption, of his transformation.


In this house there is a young couple and their little girl who welcome him without asking him any questions. They have a very strange relationship, he can't leave this place and there is a disappearance. Who are these people really?

It's out of the question for me to give away what happens in this house at the end of the world. What I can say is... It's a world apart, like an inner journey for him. In this place, he discovers why he was unable to love and why Solange left him... When he returns to Paris, he has changed profoundly and even his friends don't recognize him... I won't say more!


The film is made like a symphony with several movements. How did you work on this?

In fact, I started with his quest. In the beginning I filmed Thierry looking for Solange. In this vain search, he is like a man who gradually loses everything he is - he even ends up naked! The world seems to slip away from him, to disappear. He moves from cities to wide open spaces, then to a kind of white desert, a large frozen lake. We then filmed his "redemption" in this house lost on the edge of the lake. With that, I had the heart of the film, its central part. Then, I worked on the beginning and the end, that is, his life before and after, his reconstruction, his return to the world. Here, we have much more classic scenes with actors playing Thierry's partners, his friends, his clients, etc. The flashbacks are built in the same way as the other scenes. The flashbacks are constructed in the same tone, an urban and realistic tone.


Thierry Godard plays the lead role and gives it its depth and incarnation. What was his involvement in the project?

Well, we know each other well! (laughs). Thierry wrote a lot of his dialogues and all the monologues of his roaming... It's a project that we shared and carried together. But still I remained firm in directing the actor! (laughs). The only thing he refused was to dive naked into the frozen water of the lake... So he collapses on the surface of the ice instead.


So finally, it's a film about love?

Love is essential to our lives. But behind this word, there are many things... A whole journey, a journey... Love is like a construction of ourselves thanks to the other person. It's also something that we access, that is not given to us, but that we must find... The film does not formally say all these things, but it makes us live them through the character of Antoine and his quest.

The image is very particular, very personal, intimate and close to the characters.

Yes, when Antoine is "on the move", when he is searching for his love, and deep down, for himself, the image is treated as an intimate, personal document. The camera follows the actor and almost spies on him... It's a very lively image in perpetual movement. In the sequences of his life which I'd say were "normal", such as the flashbacks, it is a more classic, more composed image. Here too, it is a way of accentuating the contrast between his social, urban and structured life at the beginning and his inner, personal world that is revealed when he goes in search of Solange. The cinematic writing and editing follow the same logic of these different movements in the film.


So there is Thierry Godard who plays Antoine but also Bruno Solo who plays his best friend with his wife Véronique Clochepin, we also see Julia Faure, Catherine Wilkening but also young actors like Lino Godard for example?

Absolutely! He is Thierry's son who played in the theatre and this is his first film role. There are also my two daughters, Inaya Allaoui and Sénami Ahouansou. They are the ones who play this strange family in the house lost by the lake. The scenes are very intimate, in which gestures and looks count more than words. We did this particular sequence together and it was a real challenge, for me and everyone else... All the actors and actresses in the film are people I have a connection with, people I love and whose work I love... It was very important for me to work in a spirit of goodwill and sharing.

And you play Solange!

But it's a very small role! Solange is definitely present in Antoine's head, but not much in the picture!

INTERVIEW

INTERVIEW WITH SOPHIE GUILLEMIN

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SOME WORDS FROM THIERRY GODARD

Thierry Godard, actor and co-producer of the film

 

"She had this idea of a main character who is very sure of himself, then less and less so, and who falls little by little into an abyss because he totally questions himself because of a lost love.


During the shoot, she moved forward with her vision, which she refined as she went along. Every day she would specify the sequences for the next day. I also participated in this work by writing certain scenes with her, as well as some of my dialogue and monologues. As an actor, it was a rather new and exciting experience. My character was revealed day by day, including for me.

We worked with a very small crew. It was an intimate shoot and this choice gave us the freedom to move at our own pace, taking the time we needed. So we were far from a classic shoot with a fixed number of weeks and a schedule that had to be respected absolutely. Sometimes we weren't completely satisfied with certain scenes and we didn't hesitate to re-shoot them: for the scene of my monologue when I leave the house by the lake - it's a key moment in the film - we did 38 takes over 2 days of before we said to ourselves "It's in the can! That was a real luxury!"

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