Les Chansons d’Amour - profile of Christophe Honoré



Name Christophe Honoré

Born 10 April 1970, Cahaix, France.

Background Having grown up in Brittany, Honoré studied literature and cinema at Rennes university, before moving to Paris in his mid-20s, where he contributed to Cahiers du Cinema. A novelist, playwright, screenwriter and author of children’s books, Honoré has already directed several films: these include his sexually transgressive George Bataille adaptation Ma Mere, for which he cast Isabelle Huppert and Louis Garrel, and the critically acclaimed Dans Paris, a playful hommage to the Nouvelle Vague, which starred Garrel again and Romain Duris.

What’s he up to now? Honoré’s latest film is Les Chansons d’Amour (Love Songs), which played in competition at last May’s Cannes festival, and is now gaining its British release. Featuring an exciting young cast including Garrel, Ludivine Sagnier, Chiara Mastroianni and Clotilde Hesme, it’s a naturalistic musical containing 13 songs, which unfolds in Paris’s bustling tenth arrondissement and explores how lovers and family members deal with an unexpected bereavement.

What he says about the inspiration for Les Chansons d’Amour ‘It was inspired by the death of somebody whom I loved as a friend and whom the composer Alex Beaupain loved as well. When that person passed away, Alex wrote some songs, and I referred to the feelings of grief in my novels. But we came together with the idea of transforming this grief into the joy of making a movie.’

What he says about Jacques Demy ‘I love the work of Jacques Demy, to me he is a godfather of French cinema. You can’t make a French musical without acknowledging Demy, but I didn’t want to make a copy of The Umbrellas of Cherbourg. In my film love is threatened not by war, but by everyday tragedy.’

Interesting Fact Honoré lost his own father when he was 15 years old. (Tom Dawson)

Les Chansons d’Amour is on selected release from Fri 14–Thu 27 Dec.

Les Chansons d'amour

  • 4 stars
  • 2007
  • France
  • 1h 35min
  • 15
  • Directed by: Christophe Honoré
  • Written by: Christophe Honoré
  • Cast: Louis Garrel, Ludivine Sagnier, Chiara Mastroianni

Cheerful musical in which a couple brings a third party into their relationship, creating a comfortable arrangement but one that also brings out other issues. Poignant and full of raw images of Paris, this is clearly director Honoré's loving homage to Demy's 'The Umbrellas of Cherbourg', although leading man Garrel's…

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