With “Allons enfants”, the dreams and wounds of a group of young high school students

A scene from the movie.

That they can see the gloomy everyday life of porn star Rocco Siffredi (Rocco, 2016), capturing the fervor of Catholic pilgrims (lourdes, 2019) or the discipline of the dancers of the Paris Opera (Succession: History of a creation, 2017), Thierry Demaizière and Alban Teurlai apply an effective recipe to their subjects, which combines the rigor of real cinema with a strong sense of dramaturgy.

For her new film come on kids The two filmmakers, released on April 13, attended a year-long class at the Lycée Turgot in Paris, which takes on young dancers who have failed at school, as part of a planned schedule that combines hip-hop and traditional education are connected. “When Elsa Lepeutrec, the film’s screenwriter, told us about this initiative, we immediately thought it was the ideal setting to portray a generation,” You explain.

As usual, the duo (Demaizière directs and conducts the interviews, Teurlai is co-director, editor and cameraman) commit themselves to the project without writing anything. Because you really need a synopsis to get funding, they turn to Elsa Lepeutrec, who writes an imaginary version of the potential film and knows there is one “Hardly a chance to turn what was written”.

Four months of editing

Pour come on kids As with her other films, the actual writing will be done in editing once filming is complete. To frame the one hundred and fifty hours of rush accumulated between September and June 2018 and 2019, the directors spent four months side by side in the editing room.

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When they were allowed to film class councils, they found themselves with footage so dense it suddenly felt like cutting “do hara-kiri”. They ended up with a first version that lasted between two and a half and three hours. Built primarily on sound, it formed the film’s narrative skeleton. “The sound structure gives the film the meaning You explain. At this point, the image doesn’t matter. »

worry about rhythm

Alban Teurlai then sits alone at the wheel for the second part of the editing ” dressed ” the plot: “I insert dance images, I cut, I spread, I place breaths…”, he said. With constant concern for rhythm. To do this, they intertwined collective scenes in which the students engage in dance battles, conduct interviews telling their stories in the privacy of their room, the tension of the result (will the students win the French hip dance championship? – Hop at the end of the year?) and dramaturgy of school life.

At the end of the process, which lasted several months, Thierry Demaizière and Alban Teurlai showed the result to the filmmaker Stéphane Brizé, if an outside view was allowed “break your camera” explains Demaiziere. “Stéphane is our first spectator. He is ruthless and generous. It takes us forward in a leap, each time giving us a vision that allows us to complete the work together. »

A few weeks later the film is finally finished. touching and funny let’s go kids delivers on its promise to depict the dreams, talents, and hurts of a group of high school kids as they make their way into adulthood.

come on kids (1h54), by Thierry Demaizière and Alban Teurlai. In cinemas since April 13th.

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