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65th San Sebastian Film Festival
22/30 September 2017 - #65ssiff

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You are in: Home > 2013. 61st Edition  > Festival Diary > A comic-book diplomat with a penchant for Heraclitus
A comic-book diplomat with a penchant for Heraclitus
Wednesday, September 25th, 2013

Bertrand Tavernier presented his latest film Quai d’Orsay at the Festival. It’s an adaptation of the graphic novel of the same name by Lanzac & Blain, it focuses on a recent graduate who is hired as a speech-writer for a charming but utterly incompetent French foreign minister, based on Dominique de Villepin. Curiously enough, the director said that he was forced to acknowledge that far from being ignorant, de Villepin had made one of the most beautiful speeches ever delivered at the UN, and that in the film they never made fun of his political stance but of the chaos he creates in his ministry. There are quite a few changes from the original comic but Tavernier did maintain the minister’s absurd penchant for aphorisms by Heraclitus, which meant that the director could proudly claim that Quai d’Orsay contained more quotes by the Greek philosopher than any other film.

He also revealed that he’d told all his actors not to playtheir roles for laughs; something that the great French actor Jean Rochefort recognizedthey had achieved when he saw the film, as Tavernier was pleased to revealthat later he had told him that t was fantastic: a comedy where they don’t act in an intentionally comic vein.



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