Philippe Lasage: «Most of the material is based on my own life»

Philippe Lasage, director

10/24/2018.- The autobiographical path that Philippe Lasage began with The demons (2015) has found its natural continuation in Gènese (Genesis), which competes in the Official Section of the 63rd Valladolid International Film Festival. As he explained during his media appearance, it was logical to continue with the idea. Only this time, with protagonists that were just a little bit older: «I was interested in observing the heart’s emotions through the discovery of sexuality».

As in his previous project, his own trajectory is very present in the film: «Most of the material in the film is based on my own life. I am convinced that the more personal and accurate that material is, the more correct it is. In any case, the situations that the characters live are quite common. Those things can happen to many people».

The film, set at an indefinite time, includes elements that make it very difficult to place it temporarily. The soundtrack, for example, combines pieces from the 50s with contemporary music, and transcends the author’s pretensions. The intentionality is clear, as explained by Lasage: «I do not set the film at a specific time because I do not like the generational discourse». As for the additional meaning, apart from a small and conscious tribute to Stanley Kubrick and Full Metal Jacket, the parallelism with a male boarding school is easy to see.

The boarding school teacher, the most prominent adult character in the film, is based on someone from the director’s real life: «He was a very important person for me when I was a student. When we were young we admired him, because he was very charismatic, but we were also afraid of him because he was capable of humiliating us. I’ve included him in the movie to take revenge», he said. However, it has a more transcendental meaning: «He represents the power dynamics within the microcosm that is a class, which can be extrapolated to society».

Genèse alternatively follows the evolution of the respective love lives of two half-siblings attending high school and university. It ends with what could almost work as an independent short film — the way in which two 14-year-old children meet and fall in love with each other at a camp. However, this short film is not placed at the end of the film by chance, as Lasage explained: «Love at 16 or 18 is different from love at 13 or 14. There is no greed involved — kids hold hands and they are okay with just that, and that is something absolutely extraordinary. I wanted to set it up against what came before. This part is risky, but it is very special to me. In fact, it’s my favourite part».

Posted in 63rd Edition, Feature-length films, Official Section.