Whistler Film Festival 2012 Interview – “Fair Sex” director Martin Laroche

By Jason Whyte
Posted 12/01/12 04:01:34

“Sophie underwent genital mutilation in Africa and then immigrated to Quebec. At the age of 25, after a degree in film study, she finds a summer job in traveling amusement park. Her boss asks her to make a film about is company and Sophie starts to shoot. Gradually, she gets caught up in the game with her camera and films everything: the park, the other employees, her friends, even herself, and then she realizes that she is filming something else, that she is making a film about the secret that she has kept since he childhood.” Director Marin Laroche on “Fair Sex” which screens at this year’s Whistler Film Festival.

Is this your first film in the Whistler Film Festival? Where else has this movie played?

Yes. I will be in Whistler for the December 1st screening, maybe for the December 2nd show. “Fair Sex” has played in Karlovy Vary International Film Festival and Festival du Cinéma International en Abitibi-Témiscamingue.

Tell me a little bit about yourself and your background, and what led you to wanting to make films?

I’m from Victoriaville, a small Quebec town. I came to Montreal at the age of 20 and studied film. After my degree, I wanted to start right away, so I asked some of my friends to help me and I shot my first feature, La Logique Du Remords (Remorse) for $3500. I learnt a lot from it and it helped me get a loan for doing “Fair Sex”. I don’t know why I wanted to make films, I always loved writing, and I thought that writing a movie and then doing it was the hardest thing to do in a technical way, so I studied it. I still have projects for novels, plays, so we’ll see.

How did this movie come together?

One of my best friends is the producer of the film, but he is usually a director, so we both started the project without knowing everything about the film industry. When we got the loan, we knew that it was real and started the process. We learnt a lot.

Tell me about the technical side of the film; your relation to the film’s cinematographer, what the film was shot on and why it was decided to be photographed this way.

The film had to be a “false documentary”, so we had to think about how to film it this way. Everything had to be realistic, without bothering to much the audience. The cinematographer held the camera for most of the film, even if it was supposed to be in the hands of Sophie. To help him, Marie-Evelyne (who is playing Sophie) was holding the cinematographer so he can feel her emotion and the way she moved.

Out of the entire production, what was the most difficult aspect of making this movie?

The most difficult aspect is for sure all the administration side of the movie. I had to do a lot of it and it’s really boring. But the most pleasurable moment was for sure the shooting. When I was on the set, I knew, I felt that I was in my place. We shot with a real amusement park, we followed them in three different towns in Quebec and the ambiance was really cool.

Who would you say your biggest inspirations are in the film world? Did you have inspirations from filmmakers for this film in particular?

I’m a huge fan of Woody Allen. A lot of directors inspire me as well; Chaplin, Fellini, Peter Greenaway, Louis Bélanger, the Coen brothers and Lars Von Trier. For this movie, and for the last years, I’m really inspired by the Dardenne brothers. I think they are the most interesting filmmakers of the last decade.

No doubt there are a lot of aspiring filmmakers at film festivals who are out there curious about making a film of their own. Do you have any advice that you could provide for those looking to get a start?

Go, start, try and you will see. Don’t take a no, but take all the advices and make things your own way.

What would you say or do to someone who is talking, texting or making noise at a screening of your movie?

At a screening of my movie, I would do nothing, because I don’t watch the movie, I watch the audience. In another screening, I would try to make him realize he is not alone.

What is the single, greatest movie that you've ever seen at a film festival?

It’s a tough question. Today I would say “Holy Motors”, but tomorrow I would say something else.

”Fair Sex” shows Saturday and Sunday; both shows start at 7:30 at the Rainbow Theatre.

This is one of the many films playing at this year’s Whistler Film Festival. For show information, tickets and for other general information on films and events, point your browser to the official website HERE

Be sure to follow instant happenings of Whistler Film Festival on my Twitter account @jasonwhyte, including mini-reviews of films, comments on festival action and even a photo or two.

Jason Whyte,

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