Published On October 19, 2016 » 793 Views» By Fernando Fernandez » FEATURES, HORROR FILMS, Uncategorized
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Timothy Cordukes in The Girl With Two Faces (La Fille Aux 2 Visages)

Timothy Cordukes in The Girl With Two Faces (La Fille Aux 2 Visages)

It is that time of the year where FERNTV covers some of the latest and greatest from the horror industry to celebrate the Halloween season.  What better way to start things off with a great French horror film.  The Girl With Two Faces also known as La Fille Aux Deux Visages is the latest instalment from director Romain Serir  screening at the many horror festivals going on around the world.  What is unique about this film is that it is in black and white which gives it that stylish look from back in the 1960s like Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho.  Combined with a soundtrack with a creepy and eerie piano riff which reminds of Stanley Kubrick’s Eye Wide Shut, the film enters the mental and deranged world of a young surgeon by the name of Marc.  He lures in a woman by the name of Clarisse into his house where little does she know that she is going to take the spot of Marc’s deceased wife.  It may sound like it does not bode well for Clarisse being in the confines of Marc’s home but the way this cinematically unfolds is what makes this film quite the screening experience.  The Girl With Two Faces is a film that may be rewriting the book on French horror cinema and a film that goes back to the roots of Japanese cinema.  What does this equation equal out to?  Director Romain Serir tell us here on FERNTV...

FERNTV:    Is this film a spin-off or a reboot of the French iconic film Les Yeux Sans Visage and if so how do you feel having the right to recreate this film?

Romain:  No it’s not. It’s more a tribute to the film. In fact, LES YEUX SANS VISAGE is an iconic film in France but more famous between French cinephiles (film buffs) and even more famous outside the country. Strangely enough, the film doesn’t really have a legacy in France even if it was created in other countries as a sort of subgenre (like the Almodovar film The Skin I Live In or John Frankenheimer’s  Seconds). So when I made my film,  I wanted to use some of the ideas of this film and try to develop a different angle. At the end , the film pays tribute to all the films of Geroge Franju (the director of Les Yeux sans visages) but also a lot of others filmmakers like Henri-George Clouzot or Japaneses directors Kon Satoshi and Wakamatsu Koji.   Brian de Palma always said when he paid tribute to Hitchcock that he used his films like tools to make his own.   I can sort of use the same process for my film.

FERNTV:   What was the inspiration for doing this film?

Romain:  At first, I wanted to make a small independent feature with a very small budget. My first inspiration was the Pinku Eiga, a subgenre of erotic films made in Japan in the seventies. It was a good way to make a thriller with some action, some romance and some sex. As I go along, during the writing of the script, I was more and more inspired by the films of De Palma, Argento, and Kon Satoshi.   During the shooting, I used a lot as visual references of films by Kyoshi Kurosawa.

FERNTV:   Is there an expectation when doing a French horror film because of some recent classics such as Livide and Martyrs? Also, does this film fall under the New French Extremity when it comes to filmmaking?

Romain:  Not really because now the New French Extremity doesn’t really exist in France. It’s a name that was used a lot by the foreign critics, but in France, Livide or Martyrs  were exceptions.   Unfortunately, these horrors films, were not really successful in France. Sometimes, the films were released in maybe two or three theaters. All these films were an international success  but not in France.    For some time now, the French horror films are more and more difficult to produce. You have two options now, you can make a horror film in English whith foreign co-producers or you make an experimental film. As a result a lot of young directors try to make their own films as a small independent feature.  So no pressure.  If you are a young French director you have to go for it, and take your chance.

FERNTV:  Why have you chosen to do the film in black and white?

Romain:  I always like black and white.   The film was a tribute to old French cinema, it’s seems to be a good choice. The black and white gives a beauty to the picture which contrasts with the gore and the violence described in the story.   The film is a love story and a horror story at the same time.

FERNTV:  What is one of the things that you love about this film? 

Romain:  Well, the first thing that comes to mind is the strangely and ironic tone of the film. It begins as an horror story and become a psychological drama in a way. I like the idea that there a sort of an impossible love story described here.   Some people told me that in a way it was a sort of a perverted love triangle. A horrific “ménage à trois”.

FERNTV:   What was one of the biggest challenges in making this film?

Romain:  The biggest challenges was the time, and obviously the small budget. The shooting was really intense.  All of our team tried to keep the rhythm and it was difficult. Two weeks of shooting was short but we were rewarded by the efforts. There was also the operation scene which was essential.   If this scene didn’t work, the film couldn’t be taken seriously.

FERNTV:   Tell us briefly about the casting process of this film?

Romain:  I knew Timothy Cordukes, the main actor for quite some time. We met before for a feature that we never made because it was too expensive but I wanted to work with him.   We made a small short together and we get along very well.   So when I wrote the script, I thought about him for the main character, and he accepted right away. So it was simple.

For the casting of the two female main characters, it was more difficult because we needed to find two actresses who can physically match together. Their acting also needed to be similar because they play the same main character and one became the other. I met a lot of young actresses, some of them could play the part but didn’t match with the other. At the end, Estelle Halimi and Andéa-Laure Finot was simply the best, and I decided to rewrite the characters a little bit to match with the two actresses.

FERNTV:   So what is it like to have your film screened at many festivals such as the Telluride Horror Festival and a whole host of others?

Romain:  Well it’s great ! You never think about that when two years before you begin to write a story without knowing  you could make it. So it’s a big reward for me and for the team. The fact that people can see our work and that some festival as the Telleride Horror Show respected our little film is what I count as a privilege.

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About The Author

Fernando Fernandez is a graduate of Environmental Studies at York University. He became passionate about the arts when interning for many internet startup magazines focusing on music and film. Inspired by the work of Stanley Kubrick, Fernando created FERNTV for everyone to become inspired and motivated about the arts and culture that surrounds them. As hard working as he is, Fernando still has time to be funny as Private Joker from Full Metal Jacket.

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