MARRAKECH, Morocco — After mastering naturalism in “Camille Claudel 1915” and tragi-comedy in “Slack Bay” which competed at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, French auteur Bruno Dumont will next be exploring musical drama with “Jeanette” and fantasy comedy with “Coin coin les z’inhumains.”
Dumont, who is sitting on the Marrakech Film Festival’s jury, recently wrapped the filming of “Jeanette,” an adaptation of Charles Peguy’s play, “Le Mystere de la charite de Jeanne d’Arc.”
Aiming to give a contemporary dimension to Peguy’s play, Dumont tapped Gautier Serre (aka Igorrr) to compose a rock and techno score and Philippe Decoufle (“New Order: Substance”) to create the choreography.
“I’m not interested in naturalism anymore. I converted to comedy because I wanted to go where I had never been, take risks; with ‘Li’l Quinquin’ and ‘Slack Bay’ I discovered that comedies can be bold and convey many things,” said Dumont.
“Joan of Arc is a powerful, poetic and spiritual figure who has inspired many filmmakers over the years — she’s a captivating character,” said Dumont, who explained the idea of telling her story through dancing and singing was meant to give it a modern, yet universal edge.
“Jeanette” charts the childhood of Joan of Arc from the age of 8 to 12, when she started to embrace her sacred mission.
Dumont argued the film has a contemporary resonance. “Joan of Arc was both for and against the Church and this film shows this ambivalence one can feel between an urge for spirituality and a skepticism towards religion. It’s a duality that is still prevalent in today’s world,” the director explained.
While the film, which is now in post, isn’t meant to be moralizing, Joan of Arc’s religious indoctrination does echo to some extent the radicalisation of youths who get recruited by terrorist organizations, said Dumont.
Dumont will next direct “Coin coin les z’inhumains,” the sequel to “Li’l Quinquin,” the Arte-backed miniseries which world premiered at Cannes’ Directors’ Fortnight and was picked up by Kino Lorber.