at a press conference, the “Second Act” team as detestable as its characters?

Having to speak while we dream of remaining silent is the little journey into absurdity proposed by Quentin Dupieux and his gang, during the Cannes press conference for the “Second Act”.

Quentin Dupieux immediately set the tone: “The less I talk, the more people want to go see the film. So I'm going to continue to keep quiet. »

Quentin Dupieux immediately set the tone: “The less I talk, the more people want to go see the film. So I’m going to continue to keep quiet. » Photo Zoulerah Norddine/AFP

By Marine Le Gohébel

Published on May 15, 2024 at 4:32 p.m.

Updated May 15, 2024 at 4:54 p.m.

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Qwhat to say at a press conference when we promised to “shut up” ? To get the answer, you had to attend the press conference of the team of Second Act, the day after the presentation of the film at the opening of the 77th Cannes Film Festival. And remember that, in mid-April, Quentin Dupieux felt in a press release that it was time for him to shut up and that he would not respond to any interview requests. ” Today, […] I want to be silent. Not out of weariness or pretension, but simply because [Le Deuxième Acte], very talkative, says in well-chosen words everything I want to say and already contains his own analysis extremely clearly”he explained then.

So you shouldn’t expect much analysis. The director immediately set the tone: “I’m here to be polite. The less I talk, the more people want to go see the film. So I’m going to continue to keep quiet. » Followed in his approach by his actors, Louis Garrel and Vincent Lindon in the lead. “I loved the film, yes. For what ? I don’t know anything about it.” warns Vincent Lindon.
“You ask questions about our world while Quentin Dupieux evolves in another world”, continues Louis Garrel. “It’s been the same question for half an hour,” blows first. “It’s a priesthood to answer these questions,” replies the second. A terse attitude which sometimes leaves the impression that the five actors of the Second Act didn’t quite come out of their characters with their sharp lines.

The minutes tick by, the questions follow one another and we sympathize with the journalists present who are caught wind after wind. The last ones are sumptuous: “She doesn’t listen to the answer. It’s always the same: we answer their questions and they don’t listen to us,” laments Quentin Dupieux. “A guy said: ‘If at 50 you don’t have this watch, you’ve wasted your life.’ Me, if with everything I have done in my career I am still asked this question, I have failed my life”, annoys Vincent Lindon, whose character constantly returns to his magnificent professional career.

The moment of embarrassment reaches such heights that we take it for granted that it is a performance. Doesn’t the film spend its time creating a blur between fiction and reality? So, who knows? Like the characters’ dialogues, the answers were perhaps prompted by artificial intelligence.

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Cannes Film Festival 2024

Reviews of films in competition, meetings with filmmakers, the jury, revelations… Télérama brings you the 77th edition of the Cannes Film Festival, from May 14 to 25.


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