Interview with Bruno Collet, the guest of Animage 2019

This interview was published at blog P de Pop, Estadão newspaper

Rodrigo: “Mémorable” is a movie about something that is vanishing. Memory seems to be one of the most important themes of cinema since this 21st Century started, from Michel Gondry (and his “Eternal Sunshine”) to Wong Karwai (“2046”). What is the “cinematic” dimension of memory? What’s the cinematic sense of Alzheimer? 

Bruno Collet: More than memory, it is the memory that interests me or more precisely the loss of its memories. To forget is to condemn oneself to make the same mistakes, not to know where we come from is not inconsequential to where we are going. What is valid for a man is also valid for a country. To know one’s origin, one’s past, to understand it or at least to try it, sheds light on our state of self and on our present world. For me, looking at the past is as important as looking at the future. This theme is recurrent in my films. Of course, it is obvious when I realize “The Day of Glory …”, film whose central subject is a monument to the dead of the first world war, but it is also present in “The Little Dragon”, film homage to Bruce Lee which asks us about the power and immortality of certain iconic images. My last short film “Memorable” in dealing with Alzheimer’s disease is no exception to this rule.

Rodrigo: Technically, which are the challenges to do a movie like “Mémorable”? How many artists have worked with you? What was your budget? 

Bruno Collet: As with any animation project, the challenge is to reach the audience. But that the latter identifies with a latex puppet of twenty centimeters is never won. Thanks to a team of about twenty people and an internationally recognized know-how, we managed to give life to our characters and make credible the story of a patient affected by this terrible disease. After a year of work and a budget of around 300 000 €, Mémorable exceeded all my expectations.

Rodrigo: What’s the reality of the French industry of animation? 

Bruno Collet: For twenty years, the French animation industry has grown considerably. While this desire is primarily political and economic, it has also benefited from the arrival of digital technology, which has profoundly changed the way of working. Thanks to the internet, animation studios have been able to leave the capital while remaining competitive. I myself work and live in the provinces. If the cartoon is doing well, the volume animation (the stop-motion that I practice) is a minority. Dear to produce, this technique is still present in French production. Used for series intended for a young audience, it is also found in the service of more adult projects like the selection made of my short films by the Animage Festival.