Sophia Antipolis

Under the sun

Film. Polar arty woven of social film and mysticism, Sophia Antipolis is a strange object that resembles Virgil Vernier, its esthete director. Interview.

Jacky Goldberg for Else

Orleans, Mercurials *, Sophia Antipolis today, Virgil Vernier’s movies often bear place names. As if for him the purpose of cinema was to map our world. Houellebecq, whom he does not like very much, documents the extension of the banal domain.

Sophia Antipolis is the result of 4 years of work between documentary and ethnology

Vernier wants, on the contrary, to do emerge “totems of our modernity” to which we pass without seeing them. At 42, he has already made 8 shorts and 6 features, not bad for a student of fine arts, student of Christian Boltanski, arrived at the cinema a little by chance.

Sophia Antipolis is the result of four years of work between documentary and ethnology that allowed him to select and interweave facts that have occurred on the French Riviera. Not far from Sophia Antipolis, this technopole gathering high-tech companies in a kind of gray area in the name of Greek city. “The city of non-wisdom” if you translate it with a hammer. Solitude, violence, pyromania, sect, militia, plastic surgery, the film transforms the inventory of our neuroses into a strange contemporary myth. The film received the grand prize of the San Sebastian Festival before being screened at the Bordeaux Festival where we met Virgil Vernier.

*Twin towers of Bagnolet