Histoires de cinéma, la passion du fait divers

  • Florence Platarets
  • Documentary
  • 2015
  • 52 min

From Jack the Ripper to the Zodiac killer, from the Vampire of Düsseldorf to the Romand affair, true crimes have marked the history of the cinema. Already, at the turn of the 1930s, two of the greatest filmmakers of the 20th century were interested in crime stories. In The Lodger, Alfred Hitchcock examined the case of one of the most fascinating and mysterious killers: Jack the Ripper. A few years later, Fritz Lang transformed the Vampire of Düsseldorf into M. Since then, the cinema has never stopped using major criminal cases, tracking down sordid news items and hunting serial killers… It would seem that crime pays, after all.
Why then do true crimes, normally reserved for specialized sections of the press or the sensationalist media, continue to hold such fascination for filmmakers? What do these crimes say about our relationship with the monstrous, the extraordinary, humanity or inhumanity? True crimes captivate us because they show the everyday, the banal and the routine going off the tracks and becoming monstrous, obscene and unbearable. It is the mystery of the act itself. And these cases frighten us: what is out of the ordinary is within our reach. In the end, what does the treatment of these true crimes reveal about those who deal with them, about their times as well as about their art?
For this second instalment of Histoire de cinéma, Frédéric Bonnaud brings together Nicole Garcia, the Dardenne brothers, Laurent Cantet, Cédric Anger, Joachim Lafosse, Romuald Karmakar and Roberto Turigliatto and examines with them their passion for true crimes.

  • Agat Films
  • Muriel Meynard

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