THE MOVEABLE FEST: Cedric Klapisch on How “Rise” Kept Him on His Toes
June 1, 2023
hen Cedric Klapisch visited a wedding hall in Brittany with his location scouts in preparation for his latest film “Rise,” he probably should’ve warned the owner that in recasting it as an airy dance hall as part of an artists’ retreat, they might want to be prepared for an entirely different clientele than they were used to.
“It’s a castle used for weddings during the weekends, but now after the movie, they did start to receive a lot of dance companies,” Klapisch said recently. “So it’s funny that the movie gave the idea to the owner and now it’s used by musicians and dancers.”
Klapisch has had a habit of seeing his cinematic adventures lead to real-live tourist destinations ever since came to international renown with his 2003 comedy “L’Auberge Espagnole (The Spanish Apartment),” with a cast that now looks like the French version of “The Big Chill” with rising stars Audrey Tatou, Kelly Reilly, Judith Godreche, Cecile de France and Romain Duris on their way up as a collection of students traveling abroad, and while others have stopped to see the sights, the filmmaker hasn’t, too busy to enjoy the popularity of any one of his projects when he not only continued to follow the lives of those in “L’Auberge Espagnole” with its two feature sequels (“Russian Dolls” and “Chinese Puzzle”) and now an Amazon series (“Greek Salad”), but has been working in numerous arenas from documentaries to helping to establish the Netflix hit “Call My Agent” in its early episodes.
All that time, Klapisch has also been nursing a love of dance and seems to have been waiting for just the right time to make a film such as “Rise,” a passionate tale of a ballerina (Marion Barbeau) who suffers a debilitating ankle injury and works to get her groove back, taking the year that she’s told she’ll have to spend in recovery and gaining inspiration from not looking back at her career in classical dance, but in more contemporary work. That would seem to be the attitude of its director as well, bringing to bear all his experience for this passionate drama, yet allowing himself in audiences to simply get lost in the moment as Barbeau’s Elise recuperates in Brittany and starts taking her first footsteps back to the stage, practicing modern moves less stressful on her ankle and more nourishing for the soul. Although a compelling case is made by some of the dancers that join Elise at the retreat for not ditching the tutu, there’s nothing old fashioned about the way “Rise” thrusts audiences into the middle of the action, responding to what’s happening in front of the camera as a dance partner would with as much grace or ferocity it requires.
Teaming with the innovative Tony Award-nominated choreographer Hofesh Schechter, Klapisch appears to be reinvigorated by trying something new himself and on the eve of the U.S. release of “Rise” following a successful stand in its native France, he spoke about how mixing things up both in his films and his career in general has kept him engaged, how the pandemic lockdown had a silver lining when it came to gathering the best of the best in the dance world for his latest and finding the right shooting style for each form of dance.