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Sade, never fails to impress us, dead or alive. But do we really know the real Marquis de Sade ? The twenty seven years he spent in confinement, that took up a third of his life, was where he developed a brimming imagination, one that allowed him to escape his prison universe. During this time, his mind was full of endless doubt and despair.It is this side of Sade that the film will show, with some unexpected encounters: from the visits by his heroines to his prison cell to Jean-Jacques Rousseau on his island.
In the intimacy of his condition as a prisoner, the movie reveals a jealous, loving and progressive Sade who was also a fragile man obsessed by death.
Three years ago, the director Guy Marignane met Thibault de Sade, the direct heir of the Marquis de Sade. He invited him for a discussion during which he was recorded and filmed. The discussion took place in one of the famous family homes around Paris. The discussion lasted three hours. And so the movie began to come together… Meetings were held between actors, technicians and friends. A decision was made to start shooting using their own funds in a much reduced configuration and according to their availabilities. Filming began three years ago and the final footage will be shot this summer in Provence.
The movie The Melancholies of Sade is above all a fictional feature length film with elements of documentary.
The documentary section is made up of a discussion with Thibault de Sade. It consists of around fifteen minutes out of the movie’s total length (90 minutes). LThe fictional part of the film was created around some of the issues tackled in the discussion. In particular it explores many of the correspondences exchanged between Sade and Renée Pélagie, his wife, and also his mistress, Mademoiselle de Launay, as well as passages dedicated to Juliette, the typical Sade heroine. A note to The Jailer in which Sade can entrust his doubt, revolt and fragility.
Charecters & Actors
DIDIER SAUVEGRAIN - THE MARQUIS DE SADE
Didier Sauvegrain plays the Marquis de Sade.A former student of the TNS, he has played many lead roles in movies such as Paradiso by Christian Bricout (Jean Vigo Price), La Coupe à 10 Francs by Philippe Condroyer, Jeanne la Pucelle by Jacques Rivette, I comme Icare by Henri Verneuil, Dossier 51 by Michel Deville, Vacances Royales de Gabriel Auer, L’Homme fragile de Claire Clouzot, Les Routes du Sud de Joseph Losey. Il a aussi travaillé avec Bertrand Tavernier, Arnaud Desplechin, or Philippe Garrel and will soon be appearing in Marc Dugain’s L’Echange des Princesses. Didier has worked in theatre with stage directors such as Patrice Chéreau, Claude Yersin, Michel Didym and Anne-Laure Liégeois.
CATHERINE GANDOIS - RENEE PELAGIE
Catherine Gandois is Renée Pélagie, the Marquis de Sade’s wife. A former student of Antoine Vitez of the National Academy of Dramatic Arts of Paris, she has appeared in films such as Télé Test by Raoul Ruiz, Grand Huit by Cyril Collard, La Vie de Famille by Jacques Doillon, Marie Curie, une femme honorable by Michel Boisrond, Le Bruit des Enfants Fourmis by Christine François and Reporters by Gilles Bannier. She has worked in theatre with Anatoli Vassielev, Jacques Rosner, Claude Yersin, Jacques Lassalle, Michel Deutsch, Pierre Romans, Gabriel Garran and has directed several plays such as the first play of Tonino Benacquista Un Contrat with Jean Pierre Kalfon and Rufus, Ouvrière by Franck Magloire, La Camoufle by Rémi de Vos, Un si Joli Petit Voyage by Ivan Saoudi in the Vingtième Theâtre, etc.
SARAH JANE SAUVEGRAIN - JULIETTE
Sarah Jane Sauvegrain plays Juliette, Sade’s archetypal heroine.She completed her studies at the National Academy of Dramatic Arts of Paris in 2013, and has since appeared in lead roles in Sophie Letourneur's La Vie au Ranch and Big House by Jean Emmanuel Godart alongside Yanis Lespert and Gérard Depardieu (release in 2017). In theatre, she has appeared in the plays : Never, Never, Never with Thibault de Montalembert, L’héritier de Village by Marivaux, directed by Sandrine Anglade, Trissotin ou Les Femmes Savantes by Macha Makeieff, Les Caprices de Marianne by Frédéric Bélier Garcia. Sarah Jane Sauvegrain was rewarded by Talents Adami 2016.
VINCENT DEBOST - THE JAILER
A former student of Jacques Lassalle and Mario Gonzales at the National Academy of Dramatic Art in Paris, he has appeared in films such as Jamais la Vie by Pierre Jolivet, Maintenant ou Jamais by Serge Frydman, France Boutique by Tonie Marshall, or La Chambre des Officiers by François Dupeyron. He has worked in theatre with Jean-Louis Martinelli in L’Avare, with Sandrine Anglade in L’Héritier de Village. He has also worked with Jacques Lassalle, Jacques Weber, Brigitte Jaques-Wajeman, Hédi Tillette by Clermont Tonnerre. In TV, Vincent Dubost has appeared in films such Les Fusillés, Joseph l’Insoumis or Un Village Français.
MARCUS BORJA - PETRARQUE
Metteur en scène et acteur, Marcus Borja reçoit une formation à l'Ecole de Jacques Lecoq et au Conservatoire National Supérieur d'Art Dramatique de Paris. Il est l'auteur et metteur en scène du spectacle pour 50 acteurs, 34 langues et 5 continents Théâtre au Théâtre de la Colline puis repris au Théatre de la Cité Internationale, ainsi que Le chant des Cygnes au Théatre de la Cité Internationale. Il collabore au spectacle La Règle du Jeu mis en scène par sa compatriote brésilenne Christiane Jatahy. Il travaille aussi aux côtés de Jean Louis Hourdin, Sophie Loucachevsky, Eric Ruf ou Nada Strancar.
MELINA ZAUBER - LAURE DE SADE
C'est le premier rôle au cinéma pour cette ancienne élève du Conservatoire de Clermont Ferrand. En 2013, pendant six mois elle tourne dans toute la France, seule en scène, pour le rôle de Sainte-Thérèse de Lisieux dans Histoire d’une âme de Michel Pascal. Mélina tourne régulièrement des films publicitaires avec le réalisateur Frédéric Planchon d'Academy Films. Elle était également la voix de Mona Lisa pour la radio du dernier Festival de Cannes.
MARYLINE FONTAINE - MADEMOISELLE DE LAUNAY
A former student of Daniel Mesguich, Dominique Valadié, Alain Françon at the National Academy of Dramatic Art in Paris. Maryline Fontaine has played in movies such as Tudo Bom, Tudo Bem by Willy Biondani, has won the Most Promising Actress Award in the Rome Festival for Un Enfant de Toi by Jacques Doillon. She has appeared in the movie Rif by Franck Mancuso and The Foreigner by Niki Iliev. She has worked in theater with Robin Renucci, Franck Vercruyssen, Christian Schiaretti, Jean Marie Besset, Olivier Py and Dominique Valadie.
VINCENT SIANO - ROUSSEAU
A comedian, writer and stage director, his theatrical work in popular education within the rural field led him to set up the TRAC (Théâtre Rural d’Animation Culturelle) of Beaumes de Venise in the Vaucluse. Beginning in small villages of France he went on to travel the world (26 countries over 54 trips) as a comedian, trainer and stage director, creating theatre in the country. As part of his collaboration with the TRAC, he is interested in exploring social links and searching for theatrical enchantment.
For the film The Melancholies of Sade, we have made some radical aesthetic choices.
These choices were made to highlight the beauty of Sade’s writing and language. For the comedians it’s been a real pleasure for them to be able to really enjoy the language. They are going to condense it and whisper it to make it more intimate to the film’s characters.
The movie has been shot entirely in black and white with an emphasis on the matter, the grain and the texture. An organic filming process.As a result, we had no reservations about mixing up analogue and numerical film camera for some specific sequences.
The camera uses several close-ups, subjecting each face to a very intimate study.
Ce travail sur la photographie du film est dirigée par Brigitte Barbier, qui a été le chef-opérateur de nombreux longs métrages pour le cinéma. Elle a notamment éclairé les visages d'acteur comme Carole Bouquet, Marisa Berenson ou Alain Baschung.
The film sets and their components are minimalistic and uncluttered but very expressive: fog, lighting done by candlelight, wind, rain, ruins, etc.Focused on Sade’s prison cell, the camera is not afraid to go outside and show the wrath of Nature and the power of its elements: wind, rain, thunderstorm and fog, as well as its calmer moments: shots of the Milky Way, a full moon, a river flowing, and desolated landscapes. Within the dialogue, which is often whispered, the silence is broken by recognisable sounds– banging doors, rolling carts, the ringing of bells, heavy footsteps on the staircase. These sound-effects will be interspersed within the film’s soundtrack.
The director, Guy Marignane wrote his first feature length film Woyzeck shown at San Sebastián Film Festival - with Michael Lonsdale, Gilbert Marcantognini, Gabrielle Lazure. He has taken part in the production and distribution of films such as Vanasprastham, Mon XXème Siècle (Caméra d’Or), Gadjo Dilo, Ainsi Soit-Il, Khandhar and has worked alongside Antoni Ribas, Gerard Blain, Tony Gatlif, Mrinal Sen.
The soundtrack has been treated the same way. The film The Melancholies of Sade is accompanied by a soundtrack combining original music with chosen excerpts from Beethoven and Vivaldi.
Robert Cohen Solal (Les Shadocks, films of Jacques Rivette) has composed the original music for the film.
Listen to Ludwig Van Beethoven's String Quartet n°15 op.132
Listen to an extract of the soundtrack by Robert Cohen Solal