Thanksgiving on Arte : "It is Scenes of married life revised and corrected by John Le Carré" [INTERVIEW]

Arte will broadcast this evening’s “Thanksgiving”, a mini-series in 3 episodes that explores the problems of a couple on a background of industrial espionage. We had met the film director Nicolas Saada and her co-screenwriter Anne-Louise Trividic to Series Mania in 2018. Thibault Grabherr AlloCiné : Nicolas, you have notably directed the film Spy(s), which was released in cinema in 2009. Despite treatment of espionage is very different here, you had the urge to return to this genre ? It is this which has motivated the writing and directing of Thanksgiving ? Nicolas Saada (director and screenwriter) : The series is born out of the desire of Claude Chelli [the producer] to work with me. He was a big fan of Spy(s) and he wanted me to offer to work on a tv project. I said, “Ok, why not. Espionage, very well, but may be approaching it in a different way”. And I quickly came to the conclusion that I could not write it alone. I also immediately thought of Anne-Lise and I said to Claude : “I will not be Thanksgiving if Anne-Lise is not the co-writer”. Anne-Louise Trividic (screenwriter) : This is true. One day Nicolas has called me and for several reasons I couldn’t consider working on this project with him. But he returned to the charge three months later and I eventually gave in (laughs). The movies or series that deal with industrial espionage are quite rare. That is what you liked in this universe ? Nicolas Saada : For me, in espionage, there is a balance between economy and aesthetics. It is the only genre that allows something ordinary and switch in the extraordinary, with a time lag small. It is a look, a movement, a information, a word, an encounter… That is why that in relation to the means that I had with Arte, 600, 000 per episode, so an economy that is still extremely restrictive, I told myself that the only way to be able to deploy all the time new things in a narrative television it was to take this genre-here. I knew that I would never have to say to me “Oh, the truck I will not have it”, or “Oh la la, the continuation on the device it will be necessary to do it in paris because it’s not going to be possible with motorcycles”. Anne-Louise Trividic : And industrial espionage allows you to enter in different socio-cultures. Otherwise one is always in the same areas or the same themes. There is you, me, everyone, the type of next. For you, is that Thanksgiving is more of a series of espionage-or rather, the story of a couple seen through this prism ? Nicolas Saada : For me it is both. When I pitchais in writing, I said “This is Scenes of married life revised and corrected by John Le Carré”. I loved this idea. We had seen Scenes of the conjugal life each of our side and one evening I had called Anne-Lise and saying “But why is it scary ?”. It is terrifying and there is no reason, because it is not monster in the closet or loup-garou in the garden. And I wanted you to justify this side of terrifying, and that one operates this kind of discomfort. Rationalize the irrational. Bergman is a genius, and I am only a small producer of films, but I needed this dose of espionage to dwell this power of discomfort in the couple. Anne-Louise Trividic : What we are really interested in this design was to play each time on what makes the most fear : the threats to such in its business or which is being played out between the two of them ? It navigates all the time in the end. Thibault Grabherr In terms of the writing, the format of the Arte of 3×52 minutes is pretty special. It is complicated to write something that is a bit of a mid-way between the mini-series and the very long movie ? Anne-Louise Trividic : What are the constraints who were new to the Nicolas and me, but I believe that we are all both delighted in these new frameworks. It has taught us to settle in the bright and searching in corners where we would not necessarily before. I found this format very challenging. Nicolas Saada : I totally agree. We had the same when applications of the chain who wished that there are cliffhangers at the end of episode 1 and at the end of episode 2. So we scratched the head for it. And then he had to go faster in some movements as. I think I would have been more complacent, that I would have more left to go in a cinema format, with time more long, deep breaths, wavering endless. In Spy(s), for example, there is a scene that I love, which lasts nearly 3 minutes and in which Guillaume Canet is alone in his hotel room in London. It order to eat, he drink, he looks at the tv. There is not much space for things like that in a tv series. It is always necessary that there is a small issue every time. The series is beautifully worn by Grégoire Colin and Evelyne Brochu. These are two actors that you had in mind from the start ? Nicolas Saada : The casting was very long. We have not written for actors in particular, and we have therefore long searched for this couple. We knew that we had two colours, two moods. That the male character would be very female and that the female character would have something beefy, stout. And so Gregory Colin was part of a short list of actors that we have watched and listened to, and he immediately got our attention. And Claude Chelli, has never ceased to amaze me throughout the making of the series because he has chosen the comedian is the least known of all those that we had on hand. It is always gone in the direction of the project. It was a pleasure of every moment of working with Claude. And the same for the actress, we have long hesitated, and finally at a given time we have met with Evelyne Brochu and she is quickly applied. Because she is bilingual, and because she had done a lot of series. It has, indeed, realized during the production that she had a true fan club thanks to Orphan Black and she had a real reputation in the field of series. I thought it was a nice to have as a key figure in a series of anglo-saxon to play the heroine of my first series. I liked the idea of having Evelyn on one side and the other the actor worried about the films of Claire Denis. The series allows these mixtures, it is great. This first experience serial you want to redo the series soon ? Anne-Louise Trividic : I, absolutely, yes. But if possible with the same producer (laughs). Nicolas Saada : I was going to say. To redo a series, yes, but with the same producer and the same screenwriter (laughs). Maybe on a longer format this time, with more episodes ? Anne-Louise Trividic : Why not, you have to see. In any case it does not scare me, would I want me to attack. The trailer for Thanksgiving, which 3 episodes are broadcast this Thursday, February 28, at 20h55 on Arte : Thanksgiving – season 1 trailer VO

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