The
 Vincent

PEREZ
Archives

 

France

122 min.

 

 

 

Synopsis: (Aka Those Who Love Me Can Take the Train) Eminent painter Jean-Baptiste Emmerich dies at age 70 and his final request is to be buried in the family plot in Limoges. Emmerich was clearly a man of exceptional charisma and left several generations of male lovers. Friends and family gather at a Paris railroad station for the four-hour journey to Limoges. The mourners include art historian Francois  and his lover Louis, who develops an interest in teenage Bruno. Also on board is Emmerich's nephew, Jean-Marie and Jean-Marie's estranged wife, Claire.  Traveling parallel with the train is a station wagon with  Jean-Baptiste's body, and this vehicle is driven by Thierry, husband of Catherine, who's on the train with their daughter.  After the funeral in "Europe's largest cemetery," the storyline continues in the mansion of Jean-Baptiste's brother, Lucien, who is more than a little intrigued with Viviane, a beautiful pre-op transsexual. These are people of emotional extravagance and several confrontations take place.

*****

Production Photos:

Reviews:

Village Voice:
Thoroughly pleasurable... Chéreau is not only a brilliant director, he's also willing to risk going over the top, which he does here quite often. And his actors are mesmerizing even when they're yelling too much. Among the best are Jean-Louis Trintignant as an embittered shoe-store magnate, the wasp-tongued but saintly Pascal Greggory, the ravishingly beautiful Sylvain Jacques, and the sly Vincent Perez.  Trintignant and Perez have a scene involving a pair of red spike-heel pumps that's to die for."

The Record (New Jersey):
"Perez turns in a stunning performance as Viviane, a transsexual caught in Jean-Baptiste's web. Perez plays the entire film in drag and wonderfully captures the angst, confusion, and sadness of a woman caught in a man's body - and trying to break out. This is a risky performance, given Perez's box office reputation as France's answer to Brad Pitt. But he rises to the occasion with a portrayal that is compassionate, not campy or corny."

Weekly Planet - Tampa:
"One of the most thrilling blasts of pure cinema I've seen in years...The film is a stunningly shot and edited tour de force, and the well-deserved winner of this year's Cesar for Best Director."

Film Scouts:
"After the funeral, we get to know a flighty woman named Viviane, played by none-other-than Vincent Perez in a borderline risible but ultimately a touching and moving turn."

IndieWIRE:
"A kind of francophonic and familial Big Chill."

New Times (Los Angeles):
"Rather dazzling in all regards, and well-acted, featuring a delicious turn by Vincent Perez as a thoroughly convincing transvestite."

Union-Tribune:
"A truly satisfying journey through love, lust and everything in between... Viviane (Vincent Perez) seems to appear out of nowhere but fills the mourning house with a playful ray of light."

Stephen Holden, NY Times News Service:
"The artist being remembered is compared to Francis Bacon in both the ferocity of his work and the tumult of a personal life that crossed all conventional boundaries. And those who remember him (including Vincent Perez as a transsexual) reflect the chaotic sexuality in which he reveled.  This extravagantly romantic film, whose rich musical score ranges from Jeff Buckley to Mahler's 10th Symphony, begins with a dazzling sequence at the train station in which the camera crosscuts among the various mourners and their complicated relationships...  It offers a provocatively sexy vision of Paris' vie boheme, late-'90s style."

CanalPlus:
"Brilliant casting... But it is Vincent Perez who stands out from the group by his astonishing interpretation of a transvestite."

Janet Maslin, NY Times:
"A slick French ensemble film with a funeral plot device a la Big Chill and Vincent Perez in drag."

M.B., NY Times:
"Rather dazzling in all regards, and well acted, featuring a delicious turn by Vincent Perez."

Damon Smith, Attitude:
"Performances are uniformly excellent from Greggory's heart-wrenching former lover... and Berling and Bruni-Tedeschi... to Vincent Perez as transvestite Viviane."

Chris Drake, Sight and Sound:
"It's some cast... Vincent Perez is affecting."

Anthony Quinn, The Independent:
"Strong performances by Pascal Greggory, Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi, Vincent Perez, and the great Jean Louis Trintignant."

Critic Jean-Luc Brunet:
"Splendid...  Sophisticated and fluid. A formidable collective performance of actors.  In particular, the confrontation between a father and his son, Jean-Louis Trintignant and Charles Berling, the brilliant duet of friend/ lover by Pascal Greggory and Bruno Todeschini... One will also remember Valeria Bruni Tedeschi and the surprising role of Vincent Perez."

Christian Science Monitor:
"Chéreau weaves a wide range of feelings into a complex dramatic tapestry."

Los Angeles Times:
Those Who Love Me Can Take the Train is in the grand French tradition of depicting the eternal human comedy with a compassion balanced by a wry, unsentimental detachment... Viviane, one of Jean-Baptiste's legion of lovers, who was once Frederic but is now a pre-op transsexual, is played with warmth and gallantry by Vincent Perez, one of the French cinema's top romantic stars... Chereau's film is surprisingly unpredictable, compassionate but never indulgent, brisk and spiked with mordant humor."

NewBeat.com:
"Vincent Perez, star of Chereau's epic Queen Margot, makes for a surprisingly affecting pre-op transsexual, in the film's most fanciful subplot."

Minneapolis Star Tribune:
"One of the more memorable characters in this crowded film is a tall, striking woman named Viviane, played by none other than Vincent Perez."

Entertainment Weekly:
"No mourner is so dramatique as Viviane, who is played by Vincent Perez (Indochine), tweaking his hetero-romantic movie-star image by laying it on as a transsexual."

LA Weekly:
"Persuasively performed and rapturously cinematic... French heartthrob Vincent Perez shows up a pre-op transsexual."

IOFilm.com:
"Performances catch in the throat, almost too perfect to bear. Vincent Perez's transsexual is remarkable."

New York Post:
"What make Those Who Love Me Can Take the Train so beguiling by the end are the universally superb performances by Chereau's cast. Trintignant is wonderful as always but Vincent Perez (as the transsexual Viviane) and Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi are just extraordinary."

Film Journal International:
"The wonderful young actor Vincent Perez (Queen Margot) plays Viviane, an appealing transsexual who brings much-needed heart and soul to the funeral gathering."

Flipside Movie Emporium:
"The acting is world-class across the board, but special mention goes to Vincent Perez who has an unforgettable performance as a sweet, sensitive transsexual."


director.gif (905 bytes)"The film is structured a bit like a puzzle. That structure came to us as soon as we started writing the script. The idea was to lay out all the pieces of the puzzle, but then select only those that we would absolutely need. Basically you don't need all the pieces of the puzzle to get the entire picture..."

"A man, an artist, who has spent his whole life in Paris, decides to be buried in Limoges. His statement 'Those who love me can take the train' is a posthumous injunction to the survivors: if you love me, you can at least sacrifice a day of your life to accompany me to my last resting place.

It also implies a division between those who will take the train and those who won't. I heard this sentence and wanted to use it as our title; it is long, but mysterious, it sounds like an order, but actually a rather gentle order, and it instills a competitive spirit in the survivors that is present throughout." Chéreau admits that the painter character was inspired by his father, but he also feels that he himself is present in many of the characters. "Part of me is in the couple made up of Charles Berling and Valéria Bruni-Tedeschi. I am also in the diabolical triangle of Pascal Greggory, Bruno Todeschini and Sylvain Jacques."

The fun part of the role was that when we started shooting, probably thanks a lot to my co-actors, there was no longer a Vincent. There was only a Vivianne. My name wasn't even on the call-sheets, Viviane's was. I got into the character and then a few days later, something strange happened, total immersion, I just let go. So Viviane began to exist in lieu of Vincent. Mostly because everyone around me believed that was the case.

It's true that Patrice helped me enormously with his technical knowledge - the camera angles, the light, plus the fact that the part was magnificently written. So actually it allowed me to work more on the character itself than the notion of transsexuality. Ultimately, I wanted to play a woman, and I played a woman.

 
 

Cast:

Pascal Greggory.......Francois
Jean-Louis Trintignant.......Lucien/Jean-Baptiste
Valeria Bruni Tedeschi.......Claire
Charles Berling.......Jean-Marie
Bruno Todeschini.......Louis
Sylvain Jacques.......Bruno
Vincent Perez.......Viviane
Roschdy Zem.......Thierry
Dominique Blanc.......Catherine
Nathan Kogen.......Sami
Marie Daëms........Lucie

Credits: 

Directed by.....Patrice Chereau
Written by.....Danièle Thompson, Patrice
Chéreau and Pierre Trividic
Cinematography by.................Eric Gautier
 

French Premiere: May 13, 1998

DVD release: September 25, 2001

Nominated for 11 Cesars, including Best Supporting Actor for Vincent.  Film won  Cesars for direction, cinematography and supporting actress.

Featured at the Following Film Festivals:

Cannes Film Festival on May 14, 1998

Toronto International Film Festival in September 1998

Chicago Film Festival in October 1998

Lincoln Center's annual "Rendez-Vous with French Cinema Today" Series in March 1999.

City of Lights/City of Angels French Film Festival in Los Angeles on May 1, 1999

Boston French Film Festival on July 17, 1999.

Tampa International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival on October 3, 1999.

Denver International Film Festival on October 8, 1999.

10th Annual Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Film Festival in Minnesota, Michigan on October 22, 1999.

 

Publicity Photos