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Jean died, and his two children are here to say their goodbyes : Eugénie, the daughter he raised and who stayed by his side to his end, and Luc, the son he never knew, and whom he maybe regretted abandoning. Years of resentment weigh silently between these siblings meeting for the first time. When they oppose each other about what to do with Jean's ashes, this resentment explodes, and Eugénie and Luc fight for the remains of their father. Legitimacy and legacy have a price, sometimes bloody.
Note of intent
Stripping the flesh to its bone, Chapelle ardente can be summarized as the abrupt fall of two rather negative characters in a madness leading them to commit a crime of passion : Luc, a jealous son seeking recognition who, when recognition is denied to him, seeks cruel revenge. And Eugénie, the selfish daghter refusing to share their father's memory with her half brother, and that will take any importance away from his existence by calling him a mistake. The characters end up killing each other for a fetish : the urn containing their father's ashes.
The most important thing to me was to write characters going through with their emotions and actions, beyond the limitations that civilized humans put on themselves, or simply people with common sense : I wanted characters shaped out of primitive motivations and desires, uncompromising, characters that would do anything to get what they need, be it killing or dying ; and I wanted the viewer not only to see it, but also to live it, with no possibility to distance from it ; an overdose of rage and violence, a mix of greek tragedy and circus game to ward off emotional numbness, here's what I'm looking to reach with Chapelle ardente.
This is why I wrote the script not caring much for realistic dialogues and narration, while condensing in a short time and in closed space the rise in prominence of madness, to intensify it, as in greek tragedy. To go along with this theatrical tone, I would like the acting to go a bit beyond natural and that the actors, while keeping authenticity — meaning playing without playing — empathize the emotions, push them beyond what would be considered normal, so that we see in their characters only beasts led by a dark instinct. To get to that effect, I intend to emphasize the work with the actors on the body, its movement, so that as soon as the movie starts, and through the whole movie, we can feel the animality of these characters. Something wild that makes them look like monsters, in that incomprehensible beings for humanity, and that will spread around them a worrying feel : a forewarning to the tragedy to come.
To emphasize this grim atmosphere, the lights and the sets will have a fantastic feel, and will be seen as an emanation of the characters’ mind rather than a simple film set. Thus, in the first scene, which will take place in the father’s apartment, a cold and awkward feeling will rise, marked by a polar light that will bounce on the white walls and by a work on the sound and its echoes.
In the second set, the chapel, I would like on the contrary to give the feeling that the characters are forced to be together in this big space. Big indeed, but too small for their enmities. A space that will become hotter and hotter, suffocating, as if they were cooking in a double boiler. To get to that effect, I intend to load this space with dark colors and shapes, dark red upholstered walls, almost black praying chairs, and dimmed lights that will reveal as well as they will hide. In the first set, in the apartment, I would like a clear light. In the chapel, I would like nothing to be bright.
Along with the work on the lights and the set, there will be an important work on the sound for the chapel. Unlike the sound in the apartment, there will be no echo in the chapel, as if it had been swallowed by the walls and the objects.
Concerning the image and the frame, there will be two ways of filming : for the scene in the apartment, to match the cold atmosphere of the scene, I would like to film mostly with still shots, and at the same height than the actors. Plus, they will be filmed from strong angles : either full-face, or from side-on, behind, etc.
In the chapel, on the contrary, I intend to film in a much more smooth way, with lots of camera movements, different angles, heights, scales, following the characters as they move, turning around them, getting closer and closer to them, so that the camera itself, like the set, oppresses them until the final explosion.
Waar dient de collecte voor
The fund-raising will help financing the equipment rental, the making of the set, the makeup and the food (so that the actors don’t actually end up in the coffin). There are three stages for this fund-raising :
- Stage #1 : 2500€
The bare minimum : we will be able to make the film, but it will be tight and we might not be able to get all the equipment we want. We will probably be a little hungry too.
- Stage #2 : 3200€
We can breathe a little! The decoration team ans the technical team thank you very much, and we are not starving anymore.
- Stage #3 : 3900€
Luxury : we have all the equipment that we want. We will be able to do a very fine technical and artistic work!
The fund-raising will go to the filmmaker, who will spend it accordingly to the budget plan of the film.