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          FRENCH PREMIERE MAGAZINE
          February 1993                                                                           

FANFAN

Sophie Marceau and Vincent Perez are the heroes of Alexandre Jardin's bestseller, which he also directed. Love, youth and guaranteed desire.

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Click here to listen to their waltz

In a time of unhappiness where bitterness takes the place of inspiration, rare are the occasions to foresee a contemporary account based on trying to be happy. "Foresee" is the appropriate word, since spending two hours at the most restricted studio in Paris, it is hard to figure out. All the same, to eat lunch during the filming of the movie with Sophie Marceau, Vincent Perez, and Alexandre Jardin, seventy years between the three of them, is to already experience a fountain of youth.

Fanfan will be a labor of love and a film about love. The story is that of a young man of twenty-five who decides to resist his desires, which are inspired by a superb and iridescent young woman, a true incarnation of all of femininity, who cannot but attract you, as she has already enchanted the hundreds of thousands of readers of the novel.

"This story is a challenge to the fear of falling in love," begins Vincent Perez, who would make one think of (Alain) Delon in more graceful times. He seems delighted to finally play a character from his own time. He adds, "Strangely, I have always wanted to travel through time. It could be a question of physique, however good the theatrical connotation, but I have never had to play a contemporary role in a film."

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Sophie Marceau will be sumptuous in this film. She makes it clear that "Fanfan is, above all, a free person. She lives in the world of the circus. She has no fear of life, or the life of a couple." As for Alexandre Jardin, he has put himself through a thousand conflicting situations, which could arouse some literary happiness, where during his first attempt at directing, he exulted over the pleasure of seeing his star couple adapt his story. "I had very good luck working with such intelligent actors. I had left the film based more on a vision of a 'tough guy'. The discussions I had with them made the film more subtle. Notably, thanks to Sophie, and her feminine way of looking at things…

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Essentially I am making them happy to shoot the scenes together, not to satisfy my own libido. Vincent didn't know that he could laugh so hard. When he takes Fanfan to Vienna, you see, he is dumbfounded… As for Sophie, she is a woman who would marry him at once!."

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It is she, along with Alain Terzian the producer, who believed in Alexandre Jardin, and all indications that he could direct his own novel. A year and a half ago, Alexandre himself laughed in the producer's face when he made the proposition! Sophie Marceau states that "Alexandre had a little discussion with everybody before the filming started to tell us: 'To all those who want me to learn from them… welcome!' From the moment where he has his own personal vision of the film, and no one can take that away from him, then he can learn from everyone." And Vincent Perez, as an accomplice, adds, "Often, directors take refuge behind their know-how and experience, while here there is a natural exchange, a true sharing."

In fact, by seeing them both, Vincent Perez and Sophie Marceau, the ideal couple, one can't but agree with this remark by the young Jardin. "But, honestly, for what obscure reasons have at least forty directors not already had these two make a movie together? Why do they always put Vincent and Sophie in the arms of people twenty years older than them?"

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This day a delicate illusion is being filmed: the explosion of the mirror into which Alexandre - it's the name of heroes - hurls a footstool. And the appearance in its place of Fanfan ravishingly undressed. A magic and spontaneous convocation of the very image of happiness… Go, roll the cameras - the wait for Fanfan has become unbearable!


[Written by Jean-Jacques Bernard]

[With special thanks to Janette Sylvian for her translation]

 

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