After 35 years of collaboration with René Féret
, I keep the memory of a friendly and passionate director, an independent filmmaker, always elegant, with great modesty and eyes shining with curiosity.
After the business failures of his films Fernand
and L'Enfant roi
(The Child King, unfortunately a king without a future), he succeeded to start again on new bases, by creating, with his wife Fabienne and their three children, a self-managed small business "that does not know the crisis."
He had realized that the influence of money on film has become so great that it is vitally important to attempt to make "handcrafted" free movies that escape the world imprint.
Cinema is more distressing than a great Burgundy wine
, he said.
If we look around us, ten or twenty years after, the films that have left their mark in the history of cinema in the new century were commercial failures.
Previously in 1937, Marcel Carné’s film, Bizarre, Bizarre
, was a huge failure. Infuriated viewers snatched the seats, demanding to be refunded; today it is part of any respectable film library.
The latest film by René Féret, Anton Chekhov - 1890
, was released this year on March 18. It is a period film tracing the life of the writer fleeing from his fame and his love affairs, to go investigate in a penal colony located in Sakhalin Island, off the coast of Siberia, which Chekhov named Tear Island
in his eponymous book; a premonitory sign.
Remembering a lunch we had in a famed restaurant on Boulevard Raspail, much appreciated by François Mitterrand who was already flirting with young actresses, I raise up high my glass of Corton Charlemagne 2001, great vintage.