The first time he landed in Paris, Clément Cogitore was 16 years old. An immediate shock for him, the teenager from the Alsatian countryside, from the village of Lapoutroie, near Colmar (Haut-Rhin). “We drove back from the north from the Porte de Clignancourt and up to Barbès, I was completely hypnotized. I said to myself: this is where I want to live”, confides the filmmaker to Le Point, alongside the actor Karim Leklou (Bac Nord, Repairing the Living, the Hippocrates series), the main actor of his last film presented at the Critics’ Week, in Cannes.
Clément Cogitore then lived in this popular area of the capital, located east of the Montmartre hill and which extends to Porte de la Chapelle. Today, he dedicates a feature film to her. “It’s Clément Cogitore’s credit for wanting to talk about this lively district of Goutte-d’Or, a working-class district whose beauty he shows us through a human perspective. He is an inhabited director who tells of spaces in the city as I have never seen them. It reminds me a bit of Kafka and the Safdie brothers in their way of showing the energy of a city at night”, underlines Karim Leklou, who claims to have lived “his most beautiful experience of cinema”.
In Ni le ciel ni la terre et Braguino, the artist trained at the Decorative Arts in Strasbourg, now a professor at the Beaux-Arts in Paris, filmed the great outdoors. In Goutte d’Or, Clément Cogitore puts the urban space in a box. The diggers, the La Chapelle construction site, the scaffolding glued to the buildings… The director reveals a Parisian space in full mutation. “I wanted to confront the city with the imaginary spaces of my childhood, like the mountains. I wanted to capture something of the energy, the instability of the city, its beauty and its tension,” he says.
Throughout the images of Goutte d’Or, we think of Pasolini, Visconti and the filmmakers of new Italian realism who filmed Rome in mutation. “There is a kind of incessant movement in the face of an abominable steamroller crushing the working classes. A kind of rampart too, with the construction sites, the migrant camps, the crash consumers, the sleepers of Saint-Denis that we meet before entering the fortified castle that is Paris. The filmmaker thus reveals Paris from another angle. A nurturing city, oppressive and crushing souls, but also generating human transformations.
“Goutte d’Or”, a film by Clément Cogitore with Karim Leklou. Coming soon.