By Julie Voisin
Les Perruches is the story of a very ill young woman, Lili, who one morning faced the sudden loss of her hair and how her good friend Laura resorts to a radical make-over that will affect more than her outward appearance. French actor, Julie Voisin and director of The Parakeets and Where the butterflies go talks about this film and her journey with filmmaking.
This story came to my mind two years ago, due to things I had observed around me.
Things we unfortunately almost all know, like the illness of a close person.
By this short movie, I wanted to talk about the isolation which is very often linked to the disease. However, my purpose wasn’t to speak about treatments, nor about the everyday life of a young woman seriously ill. I wanted to talk about energy and Life. Here I’m dealing with the question of friendship, and how humour and poetry can turn the most profound discouragement into a great desire to live.
My influences in filmmaking
When I was a child, I watched a lot of Mangas and I think that my visual influences came from that period. I love the artistic work of Mister Wong Kar Wai. It’s full of contrasts and poetry. Each frame could be a painting. Everything is so well thought out, from the costumes to the accessories…it’s brilliant.
I am, also, very influenced by the independent cinema from England and United States. Their social ‘dramedies’ are not only very inspiring for movies, but also for life. I am always touched by those kind of films – the ones that makes you cry when the situation is supposed to be happy, and laugh when it’s supposed to be sad.
A moment during the making of this film that was instrumental in its final touches
The last picture of the movie. How and where it ends…I won’t tell you more about the location, to keep the surprise for the audience. But at the beginning, the film was not supposed to end in this very famous place at all!
At first, we should have filmed the last scene from the balcony of the Opera de Paris. Everything was ready outside. But when we arrived at the door of the monument with my DP, a security agent stopped us. The place was closed for another shooting! And it was our last day of filming.
I was totally desperate, because I absolutely needed a high point of view of the action. We had very few time, we were already late and we knew we won’t have neither the material, nor the people to do it again.
My editor, my DP and the associate producer suddenly suggested a crazy idea, which is actually in the film. We were so late, we had 15 minutes left to finish the movie. We only had a unique chance to do the last scene. All in one shot. It was very scary because, without this point of view, the end of the movie wouldn’t have been the same. We finally did it thanks to the talent and the energy of the crew, the perfect weather and a piece of luck.
It was magical and much more powerful than my first idea…
Catch the screening of Les Perruches at the fourth edition of SCRIPT Short Film Festival, on 14th and 15th of February in Fidelity Theatre, Kochi. See the full schedule here.