B R I E F   S Y N O P S I S
The fate of the free world hangs in the balance at the posh Hotel Splendide in Bordeaux. Cabinet members, journalists, physicists and spies gather to escape the Nazi occupation of Paris. Elaborate schemes and political plots escalate, as a young man (Grégori Derangère) must choose between a beautiful diva (Isabelle Adjani) and an impassioned student (Virginie Ledoyen), between politicians and hoodlums, between carefree youth and adulthood. Co-starring Gérard Depardieu, Yvan Attal and Peter Coyote. Directed and co-written by Jean-Paul Rappeneau (Cyrano de Bergerac, Horseman on the Roof)
  From Stage to Screen
   
 

The theatre was the great love of my childhood. At high school, I devoted more time to producing shows than to my schoolwork. My parents were worried. They would have been even more worried if they had known that my secret ambition was to become an actor.

Where did my passion for the stage come from? It all started when I was nine and saw a performance of Cyrano de Bergerac. Swept away by the play, I spent the following weeks learning the part of Cyrano by heart.

What role did the cinema play in my life at the time? None at all. Television hadn't been invented and the only place that screened films in the small town where I lived was off limits because my father had decreed it a "den of iniquity." But, as the years passed, I managed to escape his attention and to slip more and more often into the forbidden theatre.

And then the inevitable occurred. A passion for the silver screen replaced my love of the stage. I felt that film was the supreme art form. I would devour movies and on the day, or rather the evening, that I first saw Orson Welles' Citizen Kane, I decided to become a filmmaker. That was in 1948.

Many years later, I learnt that in that same year, 1948, Orson Welles had arrived in Europe for the first time. He had come to shoot a cherished project of his, Cyrano de Bergerac. He spent several months in a Paris hotel preparing the film, continually pushing back the start date because things were never simple with him. In the end, his producer, Alexander Korda, ran out of patience and decided to abandon the project.

And so the man I admired more than anyone and thanks to whom I became a filmmaker never made Cyrano de Bergerac. But, through a strange twist of fate, I ended up shooting my own version of Cyrano forty years later in 1989.

–Paris

   

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