A mystery named Trintignant




Jean-Louis Trintignant tells his story in Trintignant par Trintignant, a documentary by Lucie Cariès, which reveals a deep and sensitive man with an enigmatic personality.


For many of the actors and actresses with whom he shared the stage, he was a reserved but attentive partner; with a smile, a look, a silence or a remark distilled from his captivating voice, knew how to illuminate a path or blur the lines, always with elegance. Jean-Louis Trintignant remains an enigma for most of those who have ever met him on a film set. This complex personality nevertheless knew how to play with his mystery to trace the contours of his immense career as an actor, as Lucie Cariès recalls with finesse in Trintignant par Trintignant, a documentary co-written by Yves Jeuland.

"I have the cult of madness, yet I am the opposite, because I have my feet on the ground. I spend my life destroying myself, but it's a path I always find myself on," explains Jean-Louis Trintignant in one of the film's key segments. In another, he confides, just as frankly, that if he has sometimes chosen to play "a bastard", it is because he "carries it" inside him. 



Trintignant Affiche


Who is the real Jean-Louis Trintignant? Lucie Cariès answers this question with a self-portrait, allowing the actor to reveal himself through numerous excerpts from conversations in which he sometimes speaks from the heart. Through skilful editing of his very personal comments and excerpts from his most famous works, the filmmaker invites everyone to form their own opinion. "By delving into his archives, I realised that he had been interviewed countless times at different points in his career. It seemed natural to give him the floor and let his voice accompany the viewer. Of course, you never really know when he is being completely sincere and when he is just kind of pranking us," says the director, who also spoke with the actor in order to "create a dialogue between the Trintignant of yesterday and today.”

To illustrate his unfathomable ambivalence, the documentary recalls specifically that it was from a personal tragedy, the death of his youngest daughter Pauline on the eve of the shooting of Bernardo Bertolucci's The Conformist (1970), that Jean-Louis Trintignant drew his strength to play what he still considers today to be his greatest role. The one he chose, at least, to express his full complexity as a man on screen. "In this archive, he is incredibly frank and completely opens up," explains Lucie Cariès. "The filming of The Conformist was the pivotal moment in his life.”


Benoit Pavan


Trintignant par Trintignant by Lucie Cariès (2021, 52min)
Villa Lumière Mon11 2:15pm 


Categories: Lecture Zen