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?
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?
FERNTV: Why have you chosen to do the film in black and white?
FERNTV: What is one of the things that you love about this film?
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.
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.