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Press > Press releases > PR 4: Oldenburg honors Auteur Christophe Honoré with Retrospective

PR 4: Oldenburg honors Auteur Christophe Honoré with Retrospective


Considered by French critics as the heir to Nouvelle Vague, this personal credo of one of modern cinemas most innovative auteurs resonates throughout his opus of works that defy conventions and form as they probe into forbidden territories and challenge societal restraints. From intimate dramas to big budget musicals, Honoré deftly embraces different genres to articulate the complex entanglement of sensuality and sorrows, and express his eye on the world.

Born in a rural village in Brittany, and staying close to his own experiences, his films are informed by his childhood fascination with local legends in a land of ghosts – and its ever-present relationship with death. The loss of his father at 15 was a formative moment for the young teen who – unable to express himself – started writing and obsessively watching movies to fill the void. He credits Jacques Demy, a fellow Breton, for introducing him to cinema, and inspiring hopes that he too could become a filmmaker.

Moving to Paris in the 90s, he wrote for Cahier du Cinema and ‘tested his story-telling skills’ as an author of critically-acclaimed children’s books – where he made a name for himself by infusing the constrained and closely monitored genre with previously taboo subjects like HIV, same-sex parenting, suicides, and family secrets. And in 2002, he broke into film with “17 Fois Cécille Cassard” which debuted in Cannes – and explored many themes prevalent in his books and his fascination with the complicated and often erotic tensions at the heart of families.

Christophe Honoré attended Oldenburg to present his debut feature 14 years ago. And the Oldenburg International Film Festival is honored to welcome him back as reknown auteur and present a Retrospective of six films representative of the extraordinary breadth of his artistry - including the International Premiere his most recent 2016 offering.

As with his first feature, for Honoré “Death in my stories does not signal the end. Death triggers the stories”. And in his 2004 adaptation of George Bataille’s “Ma Mère”, death again triggers a beginning as a mother-son bond intensifies. Incest is center stage as Honoré presents a portrait of a woman in mourning and a family on the verge of sexual promiscuity. Starring Isabelle Huppert in one of her most provocative and astonishing performances, it also marks the first of 5 on-screen collaborations with a young Louis Garrel in the role of her tormented teenage son.

In 2007, Honoré returned to Cannes as a Palme d’Or nominee with “Love Songs” - a contemporary tribute to Jacques Demy’s iconic 1964 “Umbrellas of Cherbourg” in which a young Catherine Deneuve starred in her breakthrough role. In his modern musical romance, an irresistibly charming Louis Garrel returns to star – and Deneuve’s daughter, Chiara Mastroianni, joins Ludivine Sagnier in the polysexual song and dance of love.

Taking inspiration from French Impressionist Gustave Caillebotte’s 1884 painting of a naked man, seen from behind, drying himself with a towel, 2010’s “Man At Bath” marks a radical departure in this muscular gaze into the dying body of love. Starring homosexual porn-star, François Saget, and with a return by Chiara Mastroianni, Honoré’s explicit, erotic observation is one of his most honest and brave.

Reteaming with Garrel, Mastroianni, and Sagnier, and scored by frequent collaborator Alex Beaupain, Honoré’s 2011’s “Beloved” revisits the post-modern musical genre to explore love and desire from different perspectives and generations. The iconic Catherine Deneuve joins her daughter onscreen in this meditation of the lost and unrealized passions of the unloved.

In quest of a new form to question his own work, a line from Ovid was his professed plan of action: “My intention is to tell of bodies changed to different forms.” And in 2014’s adaptation of “Métamorphoses”, Honoré enters new territory. With a cast of unknowns, everyday places become god-like planes, and ancient rituals resonate in the wastelands within cities that have resisted urbanization. Referencing Pasolini’s legacy of poetic cinema’s ability to escape prosaic cinema, and fueled by the Godard of Carmen and Hail Mary – Honoré brings mythical to the present in this manifesto to the magical power of cinema and its power to metamorphose.

Befittingly, his most recent offering re-enters the formative years of childhood in his adaptation of the beloved classic novel “Sophie’s Misfortunes”.  The film is as witty and charming as its mischievous young heroine who, like Honoré, can’t resist the temptation of the forbidden.

Christophe Honoré will attend Oldenburg to present his works from Sept 15-17, 2016.

It is our honor.


Photos and more information about these films are available at

For further material desires and questions please do not hesitate to contact us.


Best regards

Internationales Filmfest Oldenburg


Tony – Die Agentur GbR

Lavinia Reinke –   Lavinia.Reinke(at)  -  0174/3408 691

Kathrin Ast – Kathrin.Ast(at)  -  0173/983 19 02


Press Office Oldenburg International Film Festival:

Lena Küpper – -  0441/2178143<xml></xml>