Op woensdag 27 mei vond een speciale voorpremière plaats van de film The King’s Gardens in aanwezigheid van regisseur en acteur Alan Rickman. Op uitnodiging van Lumière waren wij aanwezig op de rode loper. Hieronder zie je een aantal foto’s en een video van deze avond. Tevens kun je een verslag van de Q&A-sessie o.l.v. René Mioch lezen.
Titel: The King’s Gardens
Regisseur: Alan Rickman
Scenario: Jeremy Brock, Alison Deega en Alan Rickman
Cast: Kate Winslet, Matthias Schoenaerts, Stanley Tucci en Alan Rickman
Speelduur: 117 min
Te zien vanaf: 18 juni
Verhaal The King’s Gardens
De Franse Zonnekoning Lodewijk XIV (Alan Rickman) vraagt de befaamde tuinarchitect André Le Nôtre (Matthias Schoenaerts) om de tuinen van Versailles te ontwerpen. Le Nôtre neemt de nog onbekende hovenier Sabine De Barra (Kate Winslet) in dienst voor de creatie van een prachtige fontein die één van de blikvangers van de tuinen moet worden. Het is een grote gok, maar Le Nôtre volgt zijn intuïtie. Ondanks dat De Barra als vrouw van het platteland door de heersende etiquette een achterstand heeft aan het hof, vecht ze zich een weg naar boven. Door de intensieve samenwerking aan hun gedeelde passie, groeien ook de aantrekkingskracht en de liefde tussen deze sterke vrouw en haar werkgever.
Alan Rickman: By the time we had raised the money and all that, Kate Winslet was the right age to play the part. And from nowhere it seems came Matthias Schoenaerts. And they were wonderful together, feels like it was meant to be. Have you seen Rust and Bone (De rouille et d’os)? It’s a great movie, and Matthias is it. I was filming in Brussels and his name had been mentioned. I said: “Can I meet Matthias perhaps?”.
René Mioch: It looks like the connection with Kate Winslet was there from the beginning. You did a movie together, and she really felt that “there must be a time when we can do this”. What is her talent? What does she bring to the screen that you needed for this movie?
AR: You’re about to see! I don’t know what to say that hasn’t been said already. She’s incredibly prepared! So that’s a great gift to the director. She’s a wonderful listener, and very generous to other actors. A lot of this film is about a woman trying to come to terms with her past, and a man who’s trying to step into the future because he’s trapped in the present. That needs actors who have a huge generosity to each other and it needs them to listen to each other, a lot. If I’m listening properly to you the space between us becomes interesting. So a great gift to a director is to have two actors (like these two) where you can move the camera upon and say nothing, and certain things just happen.
RM: There’s another great actor in the movie called Alan Rickman. (publiek lacht)
AR: I was cheap… (publiek lacht harder)
RM: Was he difficult to direct?
AR: I don’t know. I relied a lot on Ellen Kuras [cinematograaf]. She and I had a terrific relationship. We used to travel into the set together every day. I guess she was my eyes. And fortunately: If you’re playing Louis XIV, it’s helpful if you’re also directing the film. The good thing about Louis is that he doesn’t move (publiek lacht), he stands still and everybody comes to him.
RM: You basically said: “I didn’t have to do anything”.
AR: That’s true. I should also point out that when the credits come up they say “three people wrote it”. That’s not really true, it’s written by one person: Allison Deegan. A lot of it was written very much from a woman’s perspective. And so there’s a kind of irony in the fact that probably what the credits should say is: “Written by Alison Deegan, interfered with by Alan Rickman and Jeremy Brock (I mean: in terms of structure and what we can afford…)”. This film is very much written by a woman. But of course now it’s seen through my eyes, and also Matthias’.
I hope it’s a proper love story, I hope it’s a story about equals. That’s the center of the film. And it’s also not to be taken too seriously. It takes history and, if you like, wrings its neck. So much of it is fantasy. Le Nôtre really did exist and he did build the gardens of the sire, but at the time of this film he was 70 years old (in this film he’s 35). Kate’s character could not possibly have been a woman with a job like this. In a way that’s also part of the message of the film, as you look at all the other women in the film who are merely decorative objects. Louis XIV was in a wheelchair by the time this film starts, he certainly wasn’t walking and dancing.
RM: Ik geef jullie de ruimte om wat vragen te stellen.
Vrouw in publiek 1: Hello Mr. Rickman, what’s your favourite part of the film?
AR: The trouble is that as a director, because you’ve been in the editing room for so long, you know every single frame. My favourite part of the film is really that it celebrates the crew and the actors. I couldn’t have made this without an unbelievable crew. And when you see what she builds at the end of the movie: that’s the work of a brilliant production designer. When you see the clothes that I’m wearing, that’s because I said to Joan Bergin, who did the clothes: “Please give them clothes, not costumes”. When Kate and Matthias are living this story, they look like real people. It’s not like they just got their hair and make-up done. My hair is a mess, his hair is a mess…it’s fine (publiek lacht).
Man in publiek 1: Between the films Harry Potter you also helped to make a movie with Tim Burton, Sweeney Todd. How was it to work with him?
AR: I love working with him because in a way it’s very encouraging for a director because if somebody says “What’s your cartoon image of Tim Burton?” you think he must be crazy with that image, those movies, that hair and energy. And of course the opposite is the truth. On the set you see him taking a lot of time walking backwards and forwards, being lost inside his own head and organising the images for himself. And again: he honours the craftspeople that he works with. People who have seen Sweeney Todd: he asked for a set that he could shoot from 360 degrees. They built him that with just the use of two little mirrors, and that’s a kind of a miracle of scene painting and skill.
Man in publiek 2: I was just wondering, the historical character of Louis the XIV has been portrayed in a variety of ways. Was there some unexplored avenue that you took a particular fancy to and what you wanted to get across in this movie?
AR: I’m the happy servant of the script, so I’m doing what Alison Deacon wrote (I hope). And that is that she wanted to show him as a human being. If somebody’s brought to some king; and if they could snap their fingers and people are dead or removed… or if, as we discovered, when he went to sleep there were 18 people watching him sleep. And then halfway through the night he would send 20 of them away and the rest would have to stand there watching him sleep. That’s not a human being. What she wrote, I hope, is the solitariness of that job and the fact that he didn’t choose it. And although he did wrong, there were also some things he did right. Especially: I don’t know what your arts fundings are like in Holland, but we could use a Louis XIV in England at the moment. He was a useful man for creative people. So I hope he’s a human being in this film.
Vrouw in publiek 2: Which film was easier to direct, The Winter Guest or this one?
AR: Umm well, easier? More difficult? I don’t know, the practicalities come to play a part. It’s not about anything fanciful in my head. Because as they say: Whatever you dream, there will be somebody there to help you make it real. The practicalities in The Winter guest… I stupidly chose a film in the North in Scotland in the winter where you only have daylight from 9:00 till 15:00. And I had to do a frozen sea before CGI was really affordable. With this film: we shot it in England, set in 17th century France. Fortunately we discovered that England has not only stolen the modules but it has stolen quite a few 17th century French interiors. We were able to shoot in a real room. So there was that, but then you have English weather. The wind will change, and the plane that’s coming into Heathrow airport decides to enter your scene. The sound people can tell you more than I can about shooting in England.
Foto’s: Young Guns Media