Film & TV

Mastering the Art of French Cinema with Louis Garrel

For our fifth issue, the French actor and filmmaker opened up about his latest project and the experience of directing.
Reading time 2 minutes

Photography by Christopher Sherman

Styling by Corey Ng

Casting by Ian Monroe

Godard, Truffaut, Rivette: These are just a few of the many canonized directors who flourished within the vein of French cinema. Arguably, the French invented the art form, the origins of which can be traced back to a film by the Lumière brothers, The Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat (1895). However its origins are traced, France has had an outsized effect on the development of the “seventh art,” and the hallmarks of French cinema have remained, be it in the form of off-kilter cinematic techniques, like zooming, ramping, and utilizing wide-angle lenses, or through visual tropes like nudity and social interactions in Parisian mise-en-scènes.



Louis Garrel, 35, has been keeping that tradition alive, in the digital age no less, most recently in his film A Faithful Man (L'Homme Fidèle). Garrel plays Abel, a journalist whose life takes a turn when his girlfriend leaves him for another man after becoming pregnant with his child. He stars in the film alongside his IRL wife Laetitia Casa and Lily-Rose Depp.

Plot twist, he also directed the film. While many would think making the switch between being the off and on camera is a burden, Garrel takes that tension and spins it into gold. “[As an actor,] you see the inside, [as a director,] you see outside of the scene,” he explains.

“This switch is sometimes fantastic, sometimes super exhausting because it's hard—it can be very fantastic to be so close to the actors because you can talk to them with much more intimacy; when you are outside, you can feel jealous.” We all love a man that can do both. 

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