Culture – Go see Aaltra! –

INDEPENDENT

Go see Aaltra !

Culture - Go see Aaltra! -

Aaltra, the wheelchair road movie by Benoît Delépine and Gustave Kervern, produced without means, looks almost like nothing. An excellent reason to go see it !

Father of Info puppets in the heyday of Canal + and current French understudy of the famous grolandais reporter Michael Kael, Benoît Delépine is also a motorcycle enthusiast.

With his friend Gustave Kervern (the hairy and alcoholic special envoy of 7 days in Groland) he co-wrote, co-directed and co-interpreted an endearing black and white road movie where two nice loosers, the silent farm worker Kervern and the Parisian executive converted to telework Delépine, completely abandoned but more stupid than bad, set off to explore the vast world in a wheelchair. Head to Finland, via the Namur Cross Grand Prix…

"We wanted to make a film together for a long time, explains Gustave. We know each other well with Benoît: when I left my wife, we even sublet an apartment together and every Tuesday evening we invited someone to the restaurant, someone we liked. That’s how we met Maurice Pialat, who loved our show. Jean-Pierre Bacri had also come, but at the end of the evening we were so … busy dancing on the tables that we didn’t even notice that he had left when paying the bill! We regularly went to have a drink with a producer friend in Belgium to present our projects to him, but he never found it terrible … One day we suggested to him the idea of ​​a road-movie in a wheelchair and he liked it right now !"

Why this weird title ?

"Aaltra? It was just to be at the top of the programs in Pariscope ! No, it’s actually because we needed a fake name for the Finnish agricultural equipment brand Valtra, which really exists.".

Why the choice of black and white ?

"Because we find it beautiful! In addition, motocross is full of awful colors, everything is fluorescent, so it was a real pleasure to shoot in black and white !"

What was the initial objective ?

"Our ultimate ambition was to go to Finland to see Aki Kaurismaki, who we adore. There is a beautiful humanity in his films, even if they take place at the bottom of the social ladder. It was our only goal. And he even agreed to play a small role! We made this film without any means, ten in a van, without a real script. What we wanted was to have an adventure. I don’t necessarily like comedy movies and the advantage over TV is that you don’t have to try to make people laugh in 30 seconds. With Aaltra, I have the impression of doing a militant act in front of the big French comedies which rather make me cry. But I’m not a lesson giver: those who want to go and see Hard pedal, that concerns them! We are not embittered, but I still believe that there is a problem: when I see all the young comedians, I find it shameful … It’s the whole generation from Canal + that makes me ashamed. Apart from the money, I don’t see what interests them !"

You did not find any funding ?

"Black and white, two disabled and motocross: we could hardly do less sales! The film was financed by a Flemish lawyer, the one who plays the role of the nice guy with the motorhome. For me, it was obvious that we had to do it hard, like a rock band going on tour. Ten months of filming in a van, two hours of sleep a night, no script to check that the shots were going well … There was only one girl, the head decorator, so that’s her who did the script and in the end there is only one wrong connection: when you eat at the Germans, Benoît does not have his neck brace! We never wanted to write anything and we removed almost 80% of our dialogue during the shoot. We also made several stolen hidden camera shots, like the scene where I attack a passer-by in the street! Afterwards, we explained to him that it was a movie and we invited him to eat. The poor man, he was terrified !"

Where did this amazing version of the song come from? Sunny, in the Finnish biker bar ?

"Ah, he’s a friend of Benoît Poelvoorde who does Karaoke-style covers. His name is Bouli, he is known in Belgium! But in fact the scene is shot in Germany with German bikers.

When will a film on 7 days in Groland ?

"In Aaltra we avoided remaking Groland because we wanted to do something different. Maybe one day we’ll make a movie about 7 days in Groland, but we are five stupid heads and it is already difficult to agree on a restaurant, so…

After the motocross scenes in Aaltra and the brilliant victory of Serge Nuques in the Moto Tour under the Grolandais flag (read our), can we hope for other projects on the bike? ?

"Not for the moment, but I will submit your idea to Benoît! He is a true motorcycle enthusiast, he ranks, he knows the names of all the champions! Me no, I have no passion"…

And after Groland ?

"The show is ten years old and I’ve been on it for six years. When this is all over, I’ll open a bread depot in the south! The Groland team is an incredible bastion within Canal +. On Saturday we were censored for a sketch on Sarkozy, but it remains very rare. It is true that the programs are mediocre, of course that we are the "politically incorrect" alibi of the channel. But that doesn’t bother me because we have an extremely rare space of freedom and we still manage to get things across, even if in fact we piss on violins. Recently, I did a sketch on offshoring. It doesn’t change anything, we are pushing open doors, but I find that there is more substance in Groland than in any other program".

In summary, we can only advise you to go and see Aaltra : a strange and funny thing, with very sure bad taste, but always imbued with a fondness that prevents him from falling into the sinister neo-beauf atmosphere of the "big Canal + family" like Robin des Bois, Stéphane Bern or the the late Ariel Wizman…

Eric MICHEL

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