Magazine article Screen International

Thierry Demaiziere and Alban Teurlai, 'RESET'

Magazine article Screen International

Thierry Demaiziere and Alban Teurlai, 'RESET'

Article excerpt

Millepied is famously known as the man behind the ballet choreography for Black Swan, and is married to Natalie Portman. The couple met on set and have a young son together.

In RESET, Demaiziere and Teurlai follow Millepied in his new position as director of the Paris Opera Ballet. The world premiere takes place on April 20. Upside Distribution handles world sales.

Why did you want to make this documentary?

For a long time, we had the idea to make a movie about the 'body at work.' We explored many leads, especially those related to fighting. We wanted to tell the story of men and women who put their physical integrity at risk just like in boxing, free fighting and taekwondo. When Dimitri Chamblas, close collaborator of Benjamin Millepied, and creative director of the Paris Opera's 3th Stage, called us to pitch a film project about Benjamin's new creation, we immediately agreed. We are of course far from the ring but we were delighted by the idea of a three-month long immersion allowing us to closely follow these artists/athletes. During the shooting, we realised that what they sometimes ask from their bodies is actually martial. They are fighters wearing dance slippers.

Did you face any challenges along the way?

The Paris National Opera has always cultivated secrecy. Besides a few documentaries and Frederick Wiseman's remarkable La Danse: the Paris Opera Ballet from 2009, there is very little footage of true immersions into the creative process of this famous company. While filming RESET, we were indeed welcomed by all the staff, technicians and artists but it took some time for the doors to be truly opened to us. We were a very small team (one to three depending on the day) and we had to have our presence accepted by everyone, day after day. Without this, we would have shot a nice making-of, but something rough and inconsistent.

Let's focus on Benjamin Millepied and the dancers, because they are the reason for this movie. We mustn't forget that usually these artists show offtheir work once it's finished, as close to perfection as possible, so the audience only remembers moments of grace. Our tour de force was getting them to accept us filming their moments of doubt, their mistakes and their missteps -some of them even got injured in front of our camera. We owe them everything.

Who financed the documentary?

Canal+, Centre National de la Cinématographie, Procirep and Angoa.

Roughly how much did it cost?

400,000 Euros.

In one word what is the documentary about?

One word? Management!

Millepied comes across as clever, creative and likeable. What was it like working with him?

He was not easy to convince. He was truly excited about having his first creation as dance director of the Paris Opera captured on film, but he was also reluctant to have a team following his every move for three months. He hesitated a lot before accepting. He gave us his permission only a few days before the rehearsals began. Benjamin Millepied is brilliant, lives for music and is deeply devoted to his art. As you can see in the movie, he is never as lively as when he rehearses with his dancers. With other matters, he just goes with the flow. From the first days of shooting, we had a tacit agreement: we understood he was going to share with us but not adapt to us. We had to adjust our work to follow him as closely as possible. …

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