If, as François Truffaut used to say, the director is the person who is constantly being asked all the questions without, perhaps, having all the answers, it is the cinematographer without whom the director's dreams cannot come true. Indeed, through their work on the image, framing, lighting and the shooting plan, they attempt to understand the filmmaker's deepest desires in order to inject them into every detail of a scene, through creating atmosphere or mood. They are, in a word, inseparable from the director in constructing the film work.
How is such a partnership formed? On what basis is the choice of cinematographer made? How does this duo work together on the ground, and at what particular stages of the filmmaking?
In this conversation, Alain Gomis and Céline Bozon explore the relationship between the director and the cinematographer, and consider their collaboration on Félicité (2017), the Franco-Senegalese filmmaker's fourth feature-length film, which won the Silver Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival and the Étalon d’Or de Yennenga at FESPACO.
Farah Clémentine Dramani-Issifou, programmer, curator, academic (France)