The Cinémathèque de Toulouse appears on Tuesday May 24 in the credits of Cannes Classics, the Festival’s heritage branch, with the restoration of “Viva la muerte!” “, burns always so disturbing of Fernando Arrabal.
The primary mission of the Cannes Film Festival is of course to provide fresh news from directors from around the world in a very demanding selection. But, since 2004, the Croisette has also taken the pulse of film heritage, justifying some of the most significant film restorations of the year.
This is the case of “Viva la muerte! », in which Fernando Arrabal paints, in the post-war years, the portrait of a young boy whose father was killed by the Francoists. This rare film from 1971 will be presented at Cannes by the Cinémathèque de Toulouse, which has ensured a complete renovation.
“It’s great for us to benefit from such a label and such public exposure, welcomes Franck Loiret, General Delegate of the Cinémathèque. This had only happened to us once, in 2009, with La Campagne de Cicéron, by Jacques Davila. To be part of the Official Selection, in Cannes, is a great recognition for the work accomplished. »
The restoration project lasted two years and was made possible by the Tunisian Archives, which, the country being the co-producer of the film, had a 35mm copy and a sound track “in very good condition”. So many precious elements which, transferred to Toulouse, made it possible to work on the digitization and the “correction” techniques to be made “without ever embellishing” the “slightly raw” side desired by the director.
51 years later, the return to the Croisette
“This is the first time, thanks to recent high-performance equipment, that we have worked right to the end of the line on a restoration of this magnitude. »
Work of great precision that Fernando Arrabal appreciated at its fair value, last February, during a visit to the Cinémathèque de Toulouse. “This is the most beautiful projection of Viva la muerte! which I was able to attend, he told us. This compliment made us happy. This meeting with Arrabal was truly incredible. »
The emotion of the director will undoubtedly be even more intense, at the Palais des festivals, during the official presentation, in the presence of Agnès Jaoui, president of the Cinémathèque, and Franck Loiret. Who is also invited to the Croisette Madhi Chaouch, the interpreter of the young hero of the film. “He was a child; he is now approaching retirement. It will be really touching to see him alongside Arrabal. Like a loop that closes, Viva la muerte! having been presented for the first time in Cannes, as part of the Semaine de la critique… 51 years ago. »