×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Christophe Honoré on ‘Sorry Angel’: ‘In France We’re Blessed as Filmmakers’

One of French novelist-turned-director Christophe Honoré’s most personal films, “Sorry Angel” world premiered on Thursday in competition at Cannes. Sold by MK2, “Sorry Angel” stars French actors Pierre Deladonchamps as a 30-something jaded, HIV-positive novelist who comes across an enthusiastic aspiring writer, Arthur (Vincent Lacoste) in his early 20s. “Sorry Angel” marks the director’s comeback to Cannes’s competition 11 years after “Love Songs.” He’s working on “Les Idoles,” a new play paying tribute to several artists who died of AIDS. It will kick off in January at Paris’ Odéon theater.

“Sorry Angel” follows a romance between two men, one of which has AIDS, in the ’90s. Yet, your film is not a full-on AIDS drama like Robin Campillo’s “BPM.” How would you describe it?

I wanted to explore my memories of being in my 20s in the ’90s. AIDS was part of our lives, so many people around me died, and at the time, AIDS and the fear of death was looming over love and sex relationships.

Do you think it’s the role of a filmmaker to address social or political issues?

I think it’s pretentious to proclaim oneself a militant director. Our craft is about working with the imaginary and steering away from stereotypes. It’s important to be socially aware, but not sociological in our approach to making films.

Do you think the number of gay-themed films is continuing to increase, especially at festivals?

I think programmers are becoming way less self-conscious because they’ve understood that the gender of characters has little to do with the emotions one can feel watching them. “Happy Together” and “Blue Is the Warmest Color” are good examples.

There are several sex scenes in the film. How did you tackle them?

I tried to not show too much, but it was unavoidable because sensuality plays a big part in these characters’ lives. But I didn’t show them having orgasm, and didn’t ask them to simulate it.

Was it difficult to finance this film because of its subject?

I can’t complain because in France we’re blessed as filmmakers. If I lived in Germany or Italy I would have directed two or three films in 15 years, and not the 10 movies I made in France.

Yet, you made it with a budget of under €3 million. How did that work out?

It was a labor of love, we worked with back-ends. And here we are premiering the film in competition at Cannes! This film is like a pumpkin that turned into a carriage.

More Film

  • Invisible Life Brazilian Cinema

    Cannes Film Review: 'The Invisible Life of Eurídice Gusmão'

    A “tropical melodrama” is how the marketing materials bill “The Invisible Life of Eurídice Gusmão.” If that sounds about the most high-camp subgenre ever devised, Karim Aïnouz’s ravishing period saga lives up to the description — high emotion articulated with utmost sincerity and heady stylistic excess, all in the perspiring environs of midcentury Rio de [...]

  • Best Movies of Cannes 2019

    The 10 Best Movies of Cannes 2019

    The Cannes Film Festival is too rich an event to have an “off” year, but by the end of the 72nd edition, it was more or less universally agreed upon that the festival had regained a full-on, holy-moutaintop-of-art luster that was lacking the year before. It helps, of course, to have headline-making movies by iconic [...]

  • Aladdin

    'Aladdin' Soaring to $100 Million-Plus Memorial Day Weekend Debut

    Disney’s live-action “Aladdin” remake is on its way to a commendable Memorial Day weekend debut with an estimated $109 million over the four-day period. The musical fantasy starring Will Smith and Mena Massoud should uncover about $87 million in its first three days from 4,476 North American theaters after taking in $31 million on Friday. [...]

  • 180423_A24_Day_03B_0897.jpg

    Robert Pattinson, Willem Dafoe's The Lighthouse' Wins Cannes Critics' Award

    Robert Eggers’ “The Lighthouse,” with Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson, won the Cannes Film Festival critics’ award for best first or second feature in Directors’ Fortnight and Critics’ Week, one of the first prizes for which “The Lighthouse” has been eligible at Cannes. The award was announced Saturday in Cannes by the Intl. Federation of [...]

  • promenade Cannes Croisette Cannes Placeholder

    Cannes Market Claims Record Visitor Numbers

    The Cannes Market, the Cannes Film Festival’s commercial wing, says that its 2019 edition welcomed a record number of participants. It reported 12,527 attendees. The largest group by nationality was from the U.S. with 2,264 participants, followed by France with 1,943 participants, and the U.K. 1,145. Comparable figures for 2018 were not available. The number [...]

  • Editorial use only. No book cover

    'Alien' at 40: Ridley Scott Explains Why 'You Don't Show the Monster Too Many Times'

    It’s difficult to imagine Ridley Scott’s sci-fi/horror classic “Alien” without the clear-minded, strong presence of Tom Skerritt as Dallas, the captain of the ill-fated Nostromo. But originally, the actor turned down “Alien,” which celebrates its 40th anniversary on May 25, though he thought Dan O’Bannon’s script read well. “There was nobody involved at the time [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content