Excerto de uma entrevista com o realizador francês Arnaud Desplechin.
"How one combines the love for hip-hop and the antipathy to manhood of Jean Gabin?
The second part of his work. I love the young Jean Gabin. The way it changed has to do with hip-hop. In films and in our common life thinking about the music we loved when we were 20 years old, we are always quoting things that our parents or grandparents were listening. It’s just absurd. People said it was funny when you see Abel listening to some free jazz. I just took the age of the character, I checked what kind of a record he could have bought when he was 31, the wild records of free jazz. It has to do with the fact that I’m French, too. I hate songs, French songs.
Hip-hop was something really, absolutely new. It’s music that is really difficult to use in films and it’s music I’m really sure my parents will hate. You know that song? I think it’s about Bush, a Lou Reed song. “Hey, senator, you are fucking with your parents.” Listening to music your parents have listened to. To me, it’s a real threat. It’s a statement to use music that is not loveable. Which is really French, we were the second country after US to have hip-hop. All those guys that didn’t speak a word of English loving hip-hop, buying hip-hop records, just because it was a voice. Not lyrics, just a voice, because we couldn’t get the words, it was too complicated.
So who does Jean Gabin fuck with?
Suddenly you see how such a wonderful actor like Jean Gabin can become bitter, I won’t find English words for that, academic, boring, sure of himself, in love with himself, reactionary, passéist, really, it was disgusting. As if becoming a man was something of degradation. It was an ugly image of what is to become an adult.
I guess that’s why I love movies. Because I don’t know how to become an adult. When I go see a film, I can observe how the character, the movie star, is behaving, and I can use it in my common life. It’s useful. But in French films when I was a kid, when I was looking at the adults, I just didn’t want to be them. They were ugly, they were bitter and mean, no nobility. Decades later I realised that it was the same feeling behind those lines written by the nouvelle vague. Saying that French films, precisely with Jean Gabin, were not good, because the characters were small and in love with their own hatred of life. They preferred Nicholas Ray’s movies, because his characters weren’t afraid of having great feelings. I thought it was a sin, sometimes it’s a sin how Jean Gabin is acting.
But doesn’t hip-hop generally mean this same kind of being a man and a human? MTV hip-hop.
Oh, on MTV it’s bad hip-hop. Plus that it doesn’t match with the way I look. There is something about this stupid, bodybuilding guys and bimbo girls, and I love that, because when your parents are looking at it they just can’t get it. It’s obscene. It’s as if you were six or seven years old, which I think is great, there is a sort of a provocation. But on MTV it’s really the worst".