Laurent Lafitte does not go with the back of the spoon in The origin of the world, his first film as a director with the Cannes 2020 label and selected at Angoulême. He heads up against Karin Viard and Vincent Macaigne as a man whose heart has stopped beating and who faces a strange challenge to get it back on track.
” The play by Sébastien Thiéry had me so excited that I wanted to give my version to the screen, says Laurent Lafitte to 20 minutes. His devastating humor and fierce enemy of political correctness brought joy to me. The title, inspired by a
painting by Gustave Courbet (1819-1877) and which represents a female sex in close-up, gives indications on which part of the anatomy of her mother
(Hélène Vincent, sublime), the hero will be encouraged to take a photo in order to regain his vital energy.
An ultimate taboo
“What my character has to do puts him in the face of an ultimate taboo,” explains Laurent Lafitte. It will take a lot of ingenuity for him to achieve his ends with the help of his wife and his best friend. The spectator quickly feels an accomplice of the trio who compete with crazy ideas to convince the old lady to undress in order to obtain the famous shot. We think of the cinema of Bertrand blier in front of this twisting and deliberately disturbing tale. “The idea is not that to make the spectator uncomfortable, insists Laurent Lafitte, but to involve him in a crazy delirium which will make him think about his own limits. “
Some scenes make you cringe, but the director’s humor wins out, even when he abuses the rules of good taste and decorum. “The film grazes the family, which we often idealize a little too much for my taste, while it often conceals shameful secrets”, insists Laurent Lafitte. The one that the mother reserves for her relatives is not bitten by chafer. Its revelation allows Hélène Vincent to deliver one of the funniest scenes of the film.
Let yourself be manhandled
“I am aware that my film can be shocking, admits Laurent Lafitte, but I hope that the public will know how to make sense of things and that they will agree to allow themselves to be manhandled a little. It feels good to find such a creaky comedy in a production where often too well-bred works reign. The breath of insolence that passes from The origin of the world has something invigorating.