Vincent Perez on His Historical Drama ‘Edge of the Blade’ and What Dueling Has in Long-established With Social Media and Wonder Superheroes

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Swiss actor, director and photographer Vincent Perez (The Crow: Metropolis of Angels, Queen of the Damned, Cyrano de Bergerac) is screening his most modern, The Edge of the Blade, a period fragment about dueling and honor, in the Horizons piece of the 57th Karlovy Vary Global Movie Festival.

His fourth goal as a director is determined in Paris in 1887, when duels were serene general despite being prohibited by law. It premiered at the Munich movie festival true a day ahead of screening at the mountainous cinema event in the Czech spa town. Perez also wrote the screenplay alongside with his associate, French actress and screenwriter Karine Silla Perez.

The Edge of the Blade makes a speciality of Clément Lacaze (portrayed by Roschdy Zem), a sword master and trainer at a fencing college whose nephew gets challenged to a duel by the more experienced Colonel Berchère (played by Perez himself). Meanwhile, feminist Marie-Rose Astié de Valsayre (Doria Tillier) fights for girls’s rights and social switch.

Perez talked to The Hollywood Reporter about why he determined to make a movie about swordplay, how his study saw him dive deep into the history of dueling, the connections between his historical movie and in style life and how he approached the twin roles of director and actor.

Why did it’s good to explore the topic of duels more deeply, and why now?

I’ve continually felt that there is a movie lacking about that topic, particularly in France, on fable of dueling was and not using a doubt section of day after day life for hundreds of years — for the reason that Heart Ages — and it caught spherical until the 2d World Conflict. And I had that dream to make a movie about it. Nonetheless it took me years to search out the becoming window, after which I roughly forgot about it. Then a friend of mine, Jean Dujardin (The Artist), instructed me: “Vincent, I primarily own a duel in the movie that I’m doing with (Roman) Polanski (in An Officer and A Search). That it is seemingly you’ll honest serene make a movie relating to the duels.” So he reopened that Pandora’s field. And I went reduction dwelling and began to construct study.

I chanced on these unbelievable documents, a roughly agenda of duels between 1881 and 1889, a list of the total duels that were taking place for the period of these years. And it was unbelievable. It’s like one duel each day. And it exhibits the explanations why and the of us appealing and the witnesses’ names, most of it was handwritten. I saw that a identify that was coming reduction the total time: Tavernier, the character played by Guillaume Gallienne in the movie. I chanced on out that this Tavernier was totally known at the time for his knowledge of duels, arrange a duel. So he wrote a e book known as The Art of the Duel. All the pieces was in it: the total protocols, prepare your self for a duel, what to please in, what to place for your legs when they’re sore, resolve an proper gaze, what qualities he has to own, after which 100 ideas of training and 100 ideas of having a duel with the sword, 100 ideas of struggling with with pistols on fable of there are 100 ideas, and the saber, which was for the military. So I chanced on that world. There are no reports in the e book, there are no characters in it. However the protocol was very accurate.

From there, I began to learn the clicking from that time, I began to behold at the reports about duels and I chanced on many, many, many. And slowly the characters took space relatively naturally. Then I gain out relating to the sword masters. They were just like the Wonder superheroes at the time. They were like heroes and of us were taking a own a study them like that, on fable of they were mettlesome and had huge strength and energy.

How about your salvage feminine character, Marie-Rose Astié de Valsayre?

Through my study in the clicking, I chanced on Mary-Rose. She and not using a doubt existed, and I chanced on that she was all for duels and that she created the first feminine fencing league and that she had any individual who was destroying her recognition thru Le Petit Journal, a extraordinarily famend newspaper at the time. He (portrayed in the movie by Damien Bonnard) was continually making fun of her, destroying her recognition, announcing to all americans in the clicking that she was loopy and all this. And I used to be like: oh my god that is so unbelievable. After which I chanced on that she provoked him and challenged him many instances to duels and that he refused. So I slowly constructed up the story with my associate.

It’s a historical movie, but for the period of your introduction of it right here in Karlovy Vary, you hinted that there are parallels to our time...

Whenever you make a period movie, or whenever you occur to’re making a movie, it has to resonate with our life, today time’s life. There are such lots of issues in the story that resonate. Like the thought of your recognition, or defending your recognition or your dignity. What’s the most feared thing in social media? It’s to own your recognition destroyed. So that is serene there today time.

Now, I wager, what we could teach is that as but another of going into duels with swords, now you rent attorneys, but it completely’s the related idea. After which as soon as the duel is completed, then the problem was solved. And today time with the licensed legit it’s imagined to be the related thing. So there was some resonance, which I believed was very exciting.

I also wanted to explore that male world, very male-ish and misogynistic. And to confront that there is a lady that and not using a doubt existed at the time and was confronting that world. The truth is, she’s the incarnation of modernity in the movie.

She looks to were system ahead of her time.

She was. Even the feminists of that time didn’t like her, on fable of they belief she was loopy to quiz for the becoming to vote, to quiz for equal salary, and that she was announcing that girls wants so to wear pants, which was forbidden at the time. And he or she wanted to defend her honor, but girls at the time couldn’t define their honor, on fable of they didn’t own any honor. Their honor was in the fingers of the husband, when they were married, or the brother when they weren’t married.

She was and not using a doubt very in style. She was a composer and writing in the clicking, and he or she wanted the becoming to be a free lady. I’m more drawn to her freedom than her feminist aspect. That’s what I wanted to painting in the movie.

The movie industry has on the total confronted criticism for misogyny and sexism. Receive you feel there’s been growth in that and in the style girls receive portrayed and handled?

Obviously, there would possibly be a switch. I mediate it’s an proper thing, and likewise you’ve got dazzling feminine directors that I admire, and likewise you gape more and more. It’s huge.

However I didn’t must construct a feminist movie. The postulate was and not using a doubt a movie about a extraordinarily particular time, which is exciting. I mediate it’s also an exciting movie. It’s continually been important for me so to own a honest true time looking out at the movie and feel issues, like hazard. And I hang that there’s some roughly catharsis at the stop of the movie, you feel that you just went thru all these fights, and something is released in you as an viewers.

The Edge of the Blade includes numerous kinds of duels, with épées, pistols and sabres on horseback, and in numerous locations. Which one was the most troublesome to movie?

They were all very troublesome on fable of I wanted them to be realistic. So the actors worked for months in assert to prepare, and I needed to stir reduction into training myself on fable of I’m also acting in the movie and I did like lots of duels in cinema. That’s why I made this movie — I primarily own completed more than 30 duels in motion photos, and some of them are relatively well-known duels. So I had that passion for that remark and true wanted to stir a exiguous bit extra with it on fable of I felt that there was a movie lacking about that topic. However the most troublesome duel, to uncover the truth, was the final one with horses.

Is it troublesome to command your self?

Effectively, I took the suggestion of considered one of the important masters, Patrice Chéreau, who directed me in the movie about Queen Margot. He said: “You shouldn’t double your self. Attempt to be the related.” That’s what I did. When I went in front of the digicam, I used to be also directing in a definite system.

What construct we gape from you subsequent? I heard there was a project about Bolero in which your followers could honest receive to behold you?

As an actor, yes, with (creator and director) Anne Fontaine. It’s completed, and I mediate it’s going to be a extraordinarily dazzling movie relating to the making of Bolero by Ravel. And I primarily own something else shooting this summer season. So I’m active as an actor but I’m also preparing my subsequent movie. It’s too early, but I primarily own a project that I’m engaged on with Jeremy Thomas, the dazzling British producer, and some varied stuff. I primarily just like the strategy of writing. I primarily like waking up and going straight into writing. That is and not using a doubt my favourite 2nd.

Breaking News Vincent Perez and Karine Silla Perez at the Karlovy Vary Movie Festival

Vincent Perez and Karine Silla Perez at the Karlovy Vary Movie Festival

Courtesy of Karlovy Vary Global Movie Festival

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