Knife + Heart
Film. Between thriller and horror, genre film and art film, Knife + Heart (Un couteau dans le coeur) by Yann Gonzalez was our favorite Frenchy at the Cannes Film Festival. We met Kate Moran, his muse who talks about it, Vanessa Paradis and the strange eroticism of the film. Interview.
Interview : Jacques Braunstein
Thanks : Le cinéma l’Escurial, Paris-13e
Paris, 1979, gay porn movies actors are murdered one after the other. Their common point ? Having played in movies produced by Anne Parèze (Vanessa Paradis). Knife + Heart evokes the Italian “giallo” full of hemoglobin and saturated with Dario Argento and Mario Bava’s colors. It reminds us of Blow Out or Body Double by Brian De Palma. Even, if one has the mind a little twisted, Peur sur la ville (1974) by Verneuil, this French Dirty Harry in which Belmondo stalked a serial killer who held hostage a porn star…
“Yann Gonzalez goes through his pop and encyclopedic cinema.”
Shot in film like the movies of the time, Knife + Heart (Un couteau dans le cœur) wanders with maestria in the cinema bis’ archives, browsing porn side 70’s as psychedelic art movies… Yann Gonzalez goes through his pop and encyclopedic cinema until creating a deeply original style that makes him the French equivalent of directors that are crazy about movies and references such as the Coen brothers, Quentin Tarantino or David Lynch.
He coaches Vanessa Paradis – that we’ve never seen play with such jubilation on her popstar image – in a dreamlike and vintage universe as she tells in Libération : “To feed the attitudes, the maintenance of the body, the energy, the look, Yann showed me the movies of De Palma, Possession by Zulawski, or Simone Barbès ou la Vertu.” An unlikely rarity, shot by Marie-Claude Treilhou in 1980, about a porn cinema usherette who frequents lesbian bars.
To write down his Knife + Heart, Yann Gonzalez started from the true story of the 70s gay porn producer Anne-Marie Tensi. And from his relationship with his editor “which induced this very beautiful idea of a love related to the very matter of cinema” as he explains to Chaos Reigns. The producer is embodied by Vanessa Paradis and the editor by Kate Moran. The French-American actress played in Yann Gonzalez’s first short film (By The Kiss, 2006) and in his first feature film (Les rencontres d’après minuit, 2013). Meeting with the star actress of Yann Gonzalez’s cinema.