Oscar-winning French director Claude Lelouch (“A Man and a Woman”) will shoot a film entirely with his cellphone this summer titled “La vertu de l’imponderable,” a project born after he was robbed of a bag containing his latest screenplay and 50 years of notes.
The title, which translates roughly as “The Virtue of the Imponderable,” will “show that all the bad things that come your way are actually formidable,” the 80-year-old Lelouch said, speaking during the International Monte Carlo Film Festival, which is dedicated to comedies. Lelouch presided over the jury.
He added that he got the idea for this film after the theft, which took place in early January as he was locking his car in front of the Paris offices of his production company. “I’ve tried to have a positive attitude,” Lelouch said, noting that he wants to make this film with non-professional actors, “a bit like [Vittorio de Sica’s] ‘Bicycle Thieves.'”
The screenplay for the low-budget “La vertu” is being written by the director with his wife and regular writing partner, Valerie Perrin (“Chacun sa vie”). Lelouch’s Les Films 13 production company will produce, with Samuel and Victor Hadida’s Metropolitan Films on board as French distributor. “La vertu” follows in the footsteps of other cellphone-shot projects, including “Tangerine,” the critically acclaimed film from “The Florida Project” director Sean Baker.
Lelouch and Perrin are also working on reconstructing the stolen screenplay for “Oui et Non,” his previously announced epic about two French families, which spans the period of 1937 to the present. The characters are depicted through the prism of historical and cultural changes, and also the decisions that they make.
“‘Yes’ and ‘No’ are the two words most used by humanity,” Lelouch said. “Each time you say them, this can change your life entirely….We don’t fully realize the power of ‘yes’ and ‘no.’”
The plan is to shoot “Oui et Non,” which “will feature top French stars,” about a year and a half from now, Lelouch said.
He has another project in the works, an autobiographical documentary titled “Les plus belles années d’une vie,” which translates as “The most beautiful years of a life,” and is “about what I’ve seen during the past 60 years,” he said. The director has been quietly shooting the documentary for six decades and plans to have it ready by 2020.