Delicate Gravity and writer Philippe Andre
Who is Philippe Andre? I’m a French writer-director, working between Los Angeles, London… and Paris where I’m based. I’ve started to study music at the conservatory but graduated with a film degree instead, then worked for the museum of the modern art in Paris. I’ve made many music videos, mainly in London for bands like the All saints (released before Tarentino’s Jackie Brown in cinemas), Morcheeba, Faithless, Dido, Placebo… I’ve been nominated and awarded at the Cads, the Brits the Mobo awards. Then this business opened naturally on commercials and I’ve shot quiet a lot in L.A and in London.
Tell us a bit about your film Delicate Gravity? The pitch is simple: Paul, a lonely receives on his mobile phone the message of Claire. He can hear the deep sadness behind her words and believes she might commit suicide. But Paul does not know this Claire. It’s a message let by mistake on the wrong man’ s phone. It’s the story of a message that will lead a man to a brief encounter with a woman, the time of one night. The film has got really good response and received best of the festival award at Palm Springs.
What was your inspiration behind the film? It started with something I experienced myself. A message of a woman thinking she was talking to her lover. Of course, the message was not as dramatic as in my film. Then I started to build the story. What if this woman was asking for help, if it was a question of life and death. What if this messages ends on the mobile of a lonely guy. The story built up, about a man and a woman who have nothing in common, who would never have met but this night, at this moment, they need each other.
What or who inspired you to get into film writing/directing? Music inspired me. Because I wanted first to become a conductor, then to make music for film. At film school I discovered directing was what I really wanted to do. But music has always been a great source of inspiration for me. And it still is. That’s the ultimate art for me. Music inspires me when I write and music has already an important role in the final film, in the narrative process. A scene without any dialogue with the right piece of music can tell much more than 10 pages of dialogues. For Delicate Gravity, the musics are very different, from The XX and Chromatics to Johann Johannsson.
What was the first film, you wrote/directed? It was a short piece in homage to François Truffaut, the French filmmaker who made Jules and Jim. It was a kind of essay. But the real first one is a short I wrote and directed ‘The Rope’, awarded in many festivals. The pitch is: ‘’A woman awakes lying on the street. She is tied to a man she can’t see and who drags her away.” It’s about how this woman abandons herself in order to control this man.
Favorite Film of all time? No limit since it’s so hard to choose one… Impossible to make a choice. It’s a mix between the French nouvelle vague: Jean Luc Godard’s Breathless, François Truffaut Jules and Jim, with Ingmar Bergman’s Persona, Rosselini’s Journey to Rome, Antonioni’s l’Avventura, Ozu’s Tokyo Story, Dreyer’s Ordet… I can’t stop. So hard to choose. I Love movies from the 60’s and 70’s like Alan J Pakula’s Klute or Cassavetes woman under the influence…
Favorite Quotes that have inspired your career or art? ‘Become who you are’. Friedrich Nietzsche. I really believe in that. Because whatever you try to do, if you want to be good, you have to be honest with yourself. And then you start doing the same thing again and again to finally find your own style.
What would you tell the youth about living the creative lifestyle? It’s work, work, work and work. When it brings you pleasure, it’s called passion. I think passion is the creative lifestyle. It is a kind of freedom hard to win. But it’s worth living it.
What’s next for Philippe Andre? I start to write a full feature with the same writer I wrote Delicate Gravity. The writing is financed so it’s in good shape. I would love to shoot it in Paris next year. It’s another love story, or an impossible love one. That’s my theme. With amazing music of course.