コラム：パリジェンヌの東京映画レポート！ - 第9回
Two French movies with a marked historical background soon released in Japan: Faubourg 36 and Coco avant Chanel. Two actresses : the one, Nora Arnezeder, whose popularity just sprang up, the other, Audrey Tautou, who doesn’t need to be introduced anymore. Both are muses, the one for the new Guerlain perfume Idylle, the other for the mythical Chanel n5. And two promotion events, in which a French girl slid into to give you away all their secrets…
Arrival at the event place. Posters, photos, music, nothing has been left to chance. The journalists abound. In the conference room, the battalion girds its loins: rows of TV cameras at the back, an army of cameras at the front, each bigger than the next. They polish them, look for the best angle, tune the lens by taking photo after photo of a stranger. The sequence of events is stated, no stone unturned is left. They even announce that Nora is a giant... but at the other press conference, nobody says how small Audrey Tautou is! Lights get dimmed, music starts, the lady appears on the stage, radiant and dolled up. Audrey, entirely dressed by Chanel, has a fit of the giggles because her skirt and high heels nearly made her fall flat on her back! For Nora’s part, her long dress got stuck under her chair during our interview… what a pity, it was a Dior!
Audrey Tautou shows self-confidence and a deep capacity of answering all questions, even the more harebrained. Less experienced, Nora doesn’t always have a ready reply but she has reason to be in a flat spin: the staging aims at imitating Paris in the 30’s but sometimes is a bit ridiculous. First, she sings “Paris” (what else?) with Japanese boys as a chorus. Then, a charming toddler dressed like Jojo, the boy of Faubourg 36, comes on stage among women’ exclamations (“Kawaiiiiii!”) and reads her some French words. The soft-hearted star cannot help rushing at him to kiss him. I concede he was good enough to eat... but he became so successful that Nora, whose thunder he was stealing, eventually cried out: “Hey, who is the interviewee, me or him??”
What about me? Well, I thought to be only an observer, but…As an interviewer asks Nora what she planned to visit in Tokyo, she asks for a recommendation. He advises “Asakusa”, which the interpreter translates by…”Asakusa”. A long silence follows. Nora doesn’t know what Asakusa is, the interpreter confines herself to the translation, the journalist is struck dumb. On the verge of panic, people look at each other, waiting for a word. The tension is at its peak. So I took the floor in French to sing the praises of a walk in Asakusa, a traditional part of Tokyo. Everybody breathes again and gives me a grateful look. The interview can go on… as soon as Nora will stop asking questions to her compatriot… after all, SHE is the interviewee!
I had spoken to Nora, I had to behave same with Audrey. The framework had something intimidating: press conference at the Grand Hyatt, journalists’ crowd, TV cameras, questions in Japanese… However, after three questions, I finally dared putting up my hand for a micro. As the moderator saw a red-haired young woman stand up, she exclaimed: « Nihongo, daijobou ?? ». My grimace and my answer (« Sumimasen, nihongo ga chotto muzukashii da kara, furansugo de shabete imasu») made the audience laugh but I eventually asked my question. Of course, it dealt with the different perception of the movie and Chanel according the nationality, Japanese or French. I seat down and breathed deeply. I had never spoken Japanese in front of a movie camera before… and it will be a while before it recurs!
This article brings my two-months internship at eiga.com and my stay in Japan to a close. You got used to it? Me too, I confess, and I am sorry to take my flight to France.... But who knows? Maybe, you will have some news from France in the next times? Thanks a lot for those two months of pleasure and cinema!