France, Belgium, Luxembourg

Synopsis

A shy young woman develops an intense connection with the star attraction of the amusement park where she works.

Directors Statement

When I was still living in the United States, I stumbled upon an article describing the incredible story of Erika Labrie, an Olympic gold winner in archery, who got married to the Eiffel Tower in 2004 and became Erika Eiffel. She was said to suffer from the “objectum sexual” condition. It struck me as the most improbable story, but it encouraged me to think further: How did she become like that? What draws her to objects? How does she experience her love? When did she know? So I contacted her… Only to realise she was one of the most grounded people I had ever met. The contrast was fascinating. Satisfying ourselves within the confines of what we know can be very limiting. Being Belgian, I grew up with the influences of famous surrealist artists such as Magritte or Nougé who excelled at twisting reality and objects through extreme visuals, thus allowing for the unconscious to express itself. They gave new meanings to daily commodities, while revolutionising our perception of traditional art and everyday preconceptions of life. The concept of falling in love with a landmark object may, of course, be hard to grasp at first, but this unconventionality is the mere reason that I chose to seek interest in this extraordinary coming of age story. Whilst providing a seductive and poetic adventure based on strong colourful visuals, I wanted to question what one defines as normal versus monstrous, at a time where I was personally questioning my own identity and place in this world. However, if I were to undertake such a romance, I knew that I had to use all the power that fiction had to offer. I ought to find the perfect object, one that would allow for the richest communication through sound, movement, lights or any other means available to the cinematographic language. Being particularly sensitive to my environment, I felt that an amusement park and its surroundings would be pivotal in setting the fantastical tone needed to believe and be moved by our character’s journey. Lyrically transporting you from one scene to the next, using humour in very dramatic moments, this film seeks to make a statement about tolerance and the freedom of one's own choices. It is a modern take on love and its infinite possibilities.

Director's Biography

Originally hailing from Belgium, Zoé grew up travelling the world. From Africa to Australia, she exposed herself to a variety of cultures and extreme conditions, always feeding her with more stories to tell. At only 17, Zoé flew out to France where she slowly began to grasp what filmmaking was about as she explored as many different set jobs as she could and roamed the cinemas of Paris, while writing and directing her first student short films. In 2008, she was chosen to participate in the Berlin Talent Campus #6, while being accepted into the directing program of the American Film Institute during which she was awarded a scholarship for excellence in directing for her short film THIS IS NOT AN UMBRELLA. She then chose to come back to Belgium and France, where she directed her last short film A DEMI-MOT, broadcasted on OCS (France) and Netflix.
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Cast & Crew

Directed by: Zoé Wittock

Written by: Zoé Wittock

Produced by: Anaïs Bertrand, Annabella Nezri, Gilles Chanial

Cinematography: Thomas Buelens

Editing: Thomas Fernandez

Production Design: William Abello

Costume Design: Carine Ceglarski

Make-Up & Hair: Sophie Garlinskas

Original Score: Thomas Roussel

Sound: Grégory Lannoy

Visual Effects: Ronald Grauer

Main Cast: Noémie Merlant (Jeanne), Emmanuelle Bercot (Margarette), Bastien Bouillon (Marc), Sam Louwyck (Hubert)

Nominations and Awards

  • European Discovery - Prix Fipresci 2020