Interview with Laure Calamy and Eric Gravel, protagonist and director of “Full Time”

on time 4

When Spain is plunged into chaos similar to the one the film reconstructs, we meet its protagonist, Laure Calamy, and the director, Eric Gravel, at the French consulate in Madrid.

How did the idea of ​​shooting a film with social content on work-life balance come about? Full time?

Eric Gravel: Perhaps it is not exactly a film of denunciation, but it is militant, since it defends some ideas. I try to talk about conciliation, and about these single women who raise their children without help. Some live outside the big city, like our protagonist, so things are complicated for them. The film offers more questions than answers. But little is said about this subject, and I think Full time can get a public debate started.

More than shooting a social film, I had in mind to shoot a good story, that would capture the public, and in this way get more talk about this topic. The important thing is to have solid characters, and a film that works, otherwise our message would not reach anyone.

It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a film with such a frenetic pace, with a soundtrack that also provides greater agility to the images. How has it been achieved?

EG: The speed we have achieved solely based on the interpretation of the actors and the resources of the montage. In fact, we just edited the film without music. Then I called the composer Irène Drésel, as it was clear to me that she wanted to put music in the style that she creates on the tape. She invented the score after seeing the images, and it was she who had to adapt to the rhythm of the film.

How has the leading actress worked the role?

Laura Calamy: I have not needed a specific physical preparation. It is true that in the film you see me running all the time, but I have shot the shots on different afternoons, so I did not do everything that is seen in the film on the same day. would have succumbed [risas]. Luckily, I am very sporty, and sometimes I have exhausted the operator who was carrying the camera, because he was in a hurry.

What I did need to prepare the character was to meet real hotel maids, the ‘kellys’, as you call them in Spain. I am a chaos in my real life, nowhere near as obsessive and precise as these women, and as Julie, my character, was supposed to be. I went to work for two days at the Bristol, a hotel in Paris, with these professionals.

The first time I saw them preparing a bed I was fascinated. They got to work and had a specific choreography of movements prepared to optimize time. It was worth seeing how they coordinated and had a perfect job, in a few minutes. When they finished, the team members began to applaud. It was wonderful to be able to see it.

I discovered that hotel rooms are not what I thought. They were huge, full of luxury items. It was quite difficult to put them in order.

They told me to be careful with valuables. And to look at all the boxes, and everything with a lid, as some customers leave traps to make sure everything has been cleaned. It’s amazing how petty some wealthy people can be.

on time 5Is Eric Gravel going against the grain by shooting movies about women over 30?

EG: I get the impression that more and more movies and series feature very serious female characters. I did not want to make a show of militancy. I had no idea of ​​making a good impression on viewers by forcing myself to make a film starring a woman over 30 years old. I just had a good story to tell, and I didn’t care who the lead was.

Thanks to directors like him, Laure Calamy has achieved enormous prestige, since her best roles have come to her in the last 5 years.

CL: There are more and more women in the cinema. The French distributor is a company made up solely of female staff. Luckily, I get a lot of stories from mature women. I hope that when he reaches his 50s and 60s he continues to find good roles. That’s weirder. Cinema has great potential, to deal with very human stories of great women.

However, her film tells the dark side of women’s liberation. In other words, they sell us that women can access the world of work without problems, but in this film we see that it is not easy to lead a family alone. Unforeseen events accumulate.

EG: what i tell in Full time it is what happens to a character, without previously thinking about the issues I am going to talk about. He wasn’t thinking about developing concepts. Once I write the script, I talk to the actress, who tries to give humanity to the protagonist. It is true that she can put us in front of situations known to all and make us think when we see this strong woman, that she persists and fights. My central character pursues her dream, because she has an interview pending for her ideal job, but that doesn’t mean she gives up everything she has to do, especially taking care of her children. She is a woman who goes all out, so she can become a good example for female viewers.

CL: I was interested in my character exemplifying what the day of one of these women is like, who actually work several days at the same time. When they arrive at work they have already gotten up, cleaned and dressed their children and have left them at school. This woman is separated, but others who are not also have to take care of many things, in the same way, because nowadays most of the domestic work falls on women.

I think that one should fight to achieve one’s personal aspirations without giving up one’s family. This link between work ambition and family life in women is rarely discussed. In the cinema, this topic has almost always been treated in men.

Full time It has reminded me of the cinema of other European social filmmakers, such as Ken Loach, but it brings a more hopeful look. Have you set out to distinguish yourself from him by offering more optimism?

I think I’m happier than him, but I also show reality in all its harshness. So I don’t know if the viewer in the end leaves as hopeful as I would like.

When I’ve written and I’ve rolled Full time intended to show that nothing is what it seems. Things are not simple. For example, the viewer is tried to connect with this woman, but she uses others, and even has to lie. Even if it’s for a good cause, she causes trouble in her environment. She contradicts herself, for example a strike has been called, which she should support, but she cannot afford it. I have tried to introduce hopeful elements, but the film is not ready to have a party.

I really admire Ken Loach. I confess that my film contains a tribute to this British director. When the protagonist of Full time hitchhiking, imitates the gesture of Carol White in an emblematic scene of Cathy Come Homeactually an episode of the television series The Wednesday Play. It is a nod to the master.

Remember that you can read more stories from cinema and stay up to date with all film premieres in Decine21.com.

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