Friday, May 20

TV program. Marie Trintignant told by her mother in an unpublished documentary broadcast on Arte

Arte devotes this Wednesday evening an evening in tribute to Marie Trintignant, 18 years after the death of the actress. She would have been 60 years old in 2022. But on August 1, 2003, the actress died at the age of 41 from injuries inflicted by her companion at the time, singer Bertrand Cantat, in Lithuania. In order to remember her life, and not just her sad death, her mother, Nadine Trintignant, returns in an unpublished documentary on the prodigious career of her daughter.

The filmmaker lends her voice to draw a sensitive, modest, and loving portrait through a weaving of archives, film clips, behind the scenes of filming, theater rehearsals, and interviews with Marie, her loved ones, and the directors who worked with him. Nadine Trintignant tenderly reads the posthumous letter she sent to her daughter. “Alas, Marie, you haven’t had time to grow old. Like so many battered women, you received a first blow. When you wanted to leave this man, he persisted in destroying you, in erasing your beautiful face, in tearing you from life. You were 40 and full of dreams. »

A talent revealed very young

This documentary gives a glimpse of Marie Trintignant’s passion for her profession. The young girl dreamed very early of becoming an actress, inspired by her parents, and in particular by her father, the actor Jean-Louis Trintignant, with whom she forged a tender artistic bond. “You only heard of cinema and theatre. And then as you had talent, stubbornness, and luck, your career started faster, ”says his mother. The young girl turned very early in the films of her mother: she was only 11 years old when she played in her first film, defense of knowledge, and replies to his father. The latter is full of praise for the talents of his child, even compares her to the American star Humphrey Bogart. “How gifted she is, she is amazing because she also knows how to say a text perfectly, she already has a sense of fitting, that is to say of the technical problems of the actor, and at the same time she knows how to improvise. It’s prodigious, ”he confided at the time in an interview.

As a teenager, Marie made her debut in Black sequence, of Alain Corneau, his father-in-law. A passionate novice, she lays herself bare, literally and figuratively, and gives everything to succeed. “I threw myself into everything, ready to die with each take because I didn’t have a job, because I had Patrick [Dewaere] opposite which gave so much that we could not be neutral”, she says. At the age of 17, she told herself that this profession, which she took too much to heart, risked breaking her. “I was constantly in a state of boiling, which is exhausting. I even said to myself during the film that I could not do this job, that in two years, I would be in the asylum, ”she smiles in a testimony collected much later.

A remarkable career in theater and cinema

So young, she studied with Marcello Mastroianni, Philippe Noiret, Claudia Cardinal, Fanny Ardant, Colin Firth. She finds her freedom in the cinema. “I was monstrously shy, I didn’t say a word, but playing helps, because there’s a tremendous freedom when you play. She will learn to put some distance, in particular by working for the friend of her parents Claude Chabrol, in a relaxed atmosphere. Defeated, in tears, the actress reached heights of interpretation in Betty, where she plays the role of an alcoholic woman at odds with her family.

She also tours with Ettore Scola, Michel Deville, Pierre Salvadori. “Marie has a thickness, she lugs around like that a little mystery, something quite astonishing, secret,” explains the latter. The actress also thrives in the theater. Seduced by his game, Jean-Pierre Marielle, who plays him in the play The return of Harold Pinter, declares that “she is the greatest French actress” and that he is “her groupie”. Before going on stage, she peeks furtively and mischievously behind the curtains to observe the audience. “I like to see people, I choose two that I like, and I play for them,” she says backstage.

That evening, he crushed your face with his hands full of rings, he trampled on you, twenty blows.

We are in 2003, she then prepares to walk on the boards to recite the “Poèmes à Lou”, by Apollinaire, with her father. “Marie, since she was born, she has brought me nothing but happiness,” says her father, full of pride, in an interview conducted at the time. “I would like her to continue like that, I would not like her to age, and there is this sentence that I really like: ‘someone like a monk should never die’, and I believe that should never die”. “But I’m going to die and grow old,” replies the young woman with an amused smile. Marie Trintignant will die a few months later, in Vilnius. She will never get old.

At the end of this documentary film, her mother evokes with touching sobriety the drama that shattered her life. “I remember this morning when you arrived so happy, which you hadn’t been for several weeks. You had finally broken up with your lover. You thought he admitted to your breakup. You were wrong, my innocent. (…) That same evening, he crushed your face with his hands full of rings, he trampled on you, about twenty blows. You fell into a deep coma. With you, we watched until your last breath. Nadine Trintignant then links the fate of her daughter to that of all battered women. “Let us never forget, through you, to speak of women beaten, humiliated, defiled, and so often dead under the blows of an illusory love. »

Arte is broadcasting this Wednesday, January 26 at 8:55 p.m. the film A women’s affair by Claude Chabrol, in which she plays Lulu, a prostitute who befriends Marie (Isabelle Huppert), angel maker under the Nazi Occupation, then at 10:45 p.m., the documentary Marie Trintignant. Your shattered dreams by Nadine Trintignant.

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