Lola Kevoron on Rodeo – Filmkrant

in RodeoLola Quivoron’s contemporary western dirt bikes replace horses, asphalt replaces the prairie and women assert their place among the cowboys. “I love freedom and disobedience, and in that sense it is a self-portrait.”


“The world presents us with a story that is difficult to accept,” says Lola Quivoron. “Fortunately, as artists we can offer counter-narratives.”

Her first feature film RodeoWinner of the Jury Prize in the Un Certain Regard section at the recent Cannes Film Festival, it is a brutal and fierce ode to the zest for life. The film is about a young woman who craves freedom and excitement, wants to shed the yoke of her gender and flirts with danger as a motorcyclist.

Your camera sticks close to the protagonist’s “brutal” skin.Rodeo It is associated with Julia’s body, energy and emotions. I wanted to bring the scenes closer to that. Visually, through close-ups and the constant movement of both the character and the camera. The fact that Julia wants to escape from her environment is reflected in the character, as it were, trying to break out of the film frame. As a director and spectator, we are trying to keep up with Julia, to understand her. I love movies Rashid [1999] of Dardenne, who immediately confront us with the abused body of a young woman seeking freedom. I Wanted Rodeo Equally energetically open, with a free personality, because her desire is enormous.

This instantly leads to collisions. Julia must compete with her youth city. It’s a foreign body that collides with other bodies. A woman claims her place in a man’s world. I see Julia as a warrior who takes a step out of nature into the realm of hard and tangible. When I was three years old before filming [debuterend acteur] Julie Ledru, her ability to make her own plan shocked me. Our conversations were about how women need to prove themselves more than men and fight harder to restore balance. Julie draws strength from her inner anger. I incorporated that into the character of Julia. So I had no doubts that she had to play this role.

The role of the strong and fragile person. “Julia is a mass of anger that gets smaller and smaller, becomes softer and more tender. She is transformed by her search for something she misses: family. She is an outsider. Men show her that she belongs to another world and that a certain place is reserved for women.”

Especially in the macho urban rodeo community. “When I started this project in 2015, asphalt cross-country racing was still a little-known niche activity. For seven years I spent a lot of time on the street. I met quite a few motorcyclists. Only one caught me off guard with her attitude. It was her audience. A male constantly watched her, but she remained unfazed and simply vanished afterwards. To my eyes she seemed like a ghost that had appeared for a moment. The impression she made, and her ability to combine masculine and feminine through a scene and catch the gaze of onlookers, formed the seed of Julia’s character.
“The energy of the bikers is the heart of the movie. That heart beats and beats, creating an adrenaline-fuelled beat of overwhelming and destructive emotion. Asphaltcross is addictive, and wheeled vehicles create an adrenaline rush.”

It’s exciting, but not without danger. This passion balances the avant-garde, acrobats balance life and death. Title Rodeo Refers to an equestrian sport, where you try to stay on a wild horse as long as possible. Asphaltcross benefits from that same sense of freedom and desire to push your limits. It’s a small world, but one with its own mythology and a strong sense of spectacle. Balance, style, technique, and flexibility are important, while mythology is associated with symbols, interrelationships, and a relationship with society. There is a clan feeling, a collective action that has a binding effect.”

The external threat is fatal. “I absolutely wanted the idea of ​​danger coming from without. A strange element, in this case the police, transforming a calm and harmonious world. That transformation, that moment of crisis, that intense panic intrigued me. For dramatic reasons, but also because things come together in this way. The asphalt legends about me and the rider are associated with both the world and the supernatural.

You also provide a woman’s perspective in a world where men stare dominates. Asphaltcross serves as the backdrop, while Julia’s photo is the real subject men stare It’s everywhere, especially in cinema, but film can also make us look differently. Film can invent and depict other dimensions. Rodeo Explores the power of gaze and the identification process. Julia fights the way she is seen as a woman and as a person of mixed ancestry, but she also allows herself to be petted by other appearances. She draws her strength from her overwhelming desire, from her ability to break away from traditional acting, from her dreams and her passion for motorcycles. Julia is mysterious and hybrid, but above all she is a free being. The bicycle is an extension of her freedom, her body, and her individuality.”

Julia’s freedom inspires the gangster’s wife who lives in prison.Rodeo On Liberation and Power Relations. The power relations that lock us in systems, in boxes. All characters want to free themselves, to free themselves from their chains. Julia is a kind of catalyst: her personality allows me as a screenwriter and director to edit the other characters. Trapped in her inner prison, Ofili discovers while riding a motorbike the feeling of freedom.”

Rodeo It evolves from a social study into a magical realism adventure. I mix genres: heist movieDrama, social realism, and fantasy. But everything is related to the characters. When we get to the great cinema, it’s through Julia’s soul and her dreams. As we follow the character’s journey, at some point we are transported from reality to her dream. I love characters that balance fantasy and reality, characters that make you wonder if they’re crazy or not.”

Cinemascope images have hypnotic power. “I wanted to work in stunning format and play with movie codes. Westerns were always at the back of my mind. Engines reminded me of horses and John Ford westerns shot in CinemaScope.”

Maybe on too Rebellion without cause [1955], which contains a completely different kind of car racing. It also revolves around freedom, oppression, and the struggle with identity. “My classic was one of the mainstays of my cinematic passion. I saw it at 18 and it kept James Dean running through my head. Partly because Nicholas Ray shows within a seemingly mainstream film setting how difficult it is to be a boy and to become a man.”

Are there more cinematic effects?white heat [1949] Written by Raoul Walsh, with this ending as James Cagney explodes over an oil tank with a shout: “Top of the world, mom!Cagney’s character struggles with his sexuality, with pent-up feelings. This was unthinkable in Hollywood at the time, but much was suggested by the images and movement. What amazes me is how symbols can be played within a traditional setting and how hidden emotions can be shown.”

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