Arnaud Rebotini x Helena Wittmann
Arnaud Rebotini, born in Nantes in 1970, dreamt of becoming a French James Brown. “But my voice didn’t have his unique timbre”, he reflects on his childhood ambition. However, that didn’t stop Rebotini from becoming singer, songwriter, producer and dj and so he became an icon of the French techno and electro scene. He is praised for his ability to revitalise “old” techno music by remixing it with all kinds of genres. He even dared to combine electronic music with a chamber music orchestra. Rebotini performs in packed night clubs as Black Strobe.
Laurent Cantet approached him for the score of Entre les murs, but that hasn’t led to a collaboration. Robin Campillo, co-screenwriter of Entre les murs, contacted Rebotini for his directorial debut Eastern Boys and later for his film 120 battements par minute. For that film, about activists speaking up for AIDS victims, Rebotini won the César award for best music. Eighty percent of the score had already been written before shooting and consisted of 90s house combined with classical instruments such as harp, clarinets and strings. His latest score is the music for Occhiali Neri (Dark Glasses) by Dario Argento.
Helena Wittmann, born on 5 October 1982 in the German city of Neuss, does not like to be called a director. She prefers the term filmmaker, because it best describes what she does. She loved film as a child and interned with a photographer, but it was never mainly the technical side of image creation that interested her. Image creation was always a way of understanding the world around her, to frame and to find her position towards the subject and to capture images, stills and moving ones. This did not lead to classical film studies, as she opted to study film at the University of Fine Arts in Hamburg in 2007. Wittmann is open to all film genres and just looks for the appropriate form to express what is on her mind.
Judging by the two feature films she has shot, that seems to be the sea and the ocean. In 2017's Drift, the sea gradually becomes the narrator during a woman's crossing to her friend in Argentina. The influence of the sea is also a theme in Human Flowers of Flesh in which a woman and five men sail from Marseille to the Foreign Legion headquarters in Algeria. This film serves as an example of her filmmaking - instead of just directing -, because in addition to script and direction, she is also responsible for photography and editing. She sometimes provides these services for her colleagues as well. Her idiosyncratic and surprising experimentation full of cultural references makes her a captivating personality to whom we love to listen.