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À quatre mains

À quatre mains is a film by Guillaume Diamant-Berger 1) and Adrien Genoudet. It is produced by Happy House Films in corporation with Casterman and Musée Arts et Métiers.

It shows François Schuiten and Benoît Peeters working together on the storyboard of the Revoir Paris, La Nuit des constellations album and discussing the ending.

Adrien Genoudet tells about the objectives of the movie:

I have been working for several years on the question of drawing and on the birth of the graphic gesture. For the past two years, I have followed the designer and painter Sera as part of another film, Quinzaine Claire 2) (Waxing Moon), which will be released in some cinemas in 2017. The film follows the elaboration, through artistic gestures, of the first civilian memorial in Cambodia.

As a great fan of the comics by Peeters and Schuiten, I wanted to follow, with Guillaume (who has great experience in the field of the image) the gestures of Peeters and Schuiten in a simple format: to film a long session Work and try to understand how their gestures and words agree in their creation.

That's why the film is a closed session, shot at the home of François Schuiten. The goal is to try to bring us closer to their collaboration, their discussions and thus, to show the “couple” of the screenwriter and cartoonist (rarely visible), their four hands at work .

The main idea is therefore the same as in Quinzaine Claire: try, through the cinema, to approach the share of mystery and ordinary in artistic gestures.

Genoudet explains the process:

At first I worked in the archives in Brussels and in the National Library of France: I went to see the originals, the sketchbooks of Schuiten, the scenarios of Peeters. The first idea was to try to understand the process of creation without passing the door of the workshop. Then I met Peeters and then Schuiten in Paris and Brussels, and we talked a lot about their work and how they did it. That's when we decided to move on.

The movie was shot in one day, in March 2016. Peeters and Schuiten were working on the last plates of the second volume of Revoir Paris.

We did a morning session and then a session in the afternoon. We shot a total of about 6 hours. The devices were very simple: two mobile or tripod cameras, depending on the situation. An ambient microphone and two HF pickups to pick up their voices directly. Then, with these devices we followed the working session, trying to concentrate on their gestures, their hands, their faces, their expressions and their discussions. The important thing was to capture at the same time the fixity of their body before the drawing table and all the dynamic part of their gesture and, therefore, their reflection, their creation.

Some stills of the movie as shared by Adrien Genoudet on Facebook 3):

The movie will see its first public screening at November 18, 2016 during the De Revoir Paris à Machines à dessiner event at Centre Wallonie-Bruxelles in Paris. 4).

The film was produced in collaboration with Casterman: it will be published as DVD in 2017 or 2018 with the release of the complete edition of Revoir Paris.

The short version of the movie is already shown at Musée des Arts et Metiers during the Machines à Dessiner exhibition, and can be seen below.