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Lemming

By Patricia Connell
11/04/2006

Lemming


We went, we saw, we loved



This is a completely surreal, darkly comic and disturbing psychological thriller. Alain Getty (Laurent Lucas), a brilliant young home automation engineer, and his wife Benedicte (Charlotte Gainsbourg) having recently arrived in a new town, invite Alain’s boss Richard Pollock (Andre Dussolier) and his wife Alice (Charlotte Rampling) to dinner. The encounter does not leave the young couple’s harmony unscathed. The discovery of a mysterious not-quite-dead rodent blocking the waste pipe of their kitchen sink does nothing to help and portends the bursting of irrationality into a hitherto orderly life.
In Lemming, Dominik Moll is again working with Laurent Lucas (the husband in Harry He’s Here to Help) once again. There are excellent performances from the entire cast and in particular Charlotte Rampling is quite extraordinary as the unnerving visitor.
Highly recommended.


Interview of Dominik Moll by Patricia Connell


Dominik Moll is so unassuming as opposed to directors such as Tavernier who are flamboyant and in search of attention.  Dominik is a very nice, very normal guy who if you met him in the street would pass incognito. He is from a generation of directors who do not need to be noticed in the street to create amazing films.

When I met Dominik at the Roux Brasserie, he was wearing a nice, warm, chunky jumper, the one that you would be wearing in a country retreat to keep warm, sat by an open fire. It was rather incongruous, as a result, to be meeting in such a modern/trendy environment. But this is now no surprise. Dominik is like his films, what you think you are going to see is not always what you are going to get.

FranceInLondon
Let me say first of all that I really enjoyed your new film. Not surprisingly, you were back at the Cannes film Festival with Lemming.
How did you get the idea for the film?

Dominik Moll
You know, you start with something and then you keep on adding and you end up with this.

FIL
But why a Lemming?

DM
Because it had to be something totally unexpected. In fact the Lemming symbolises the grain of sand which gets into the machine and throws it off kilter. It’s a foreshadowing of the weirdness that is to come. Bu the weirdness arises when it’s least expected.

FIL
Your choice of cast is also amazing. Charlotte Gainsbourg and Charlotte Rampling, who was also in ‘Harry’s hear to help’ and Andre Dussolier who normally plays the nice guy and of course Laurent Lucas who had already worked with you in Harry’s here to help.
How did you come to cast all of them?

DM
When I started writing about Alice’s character, I immediately thought of Charlotte Rampling. But I never write a story for someone because what if they reject your offer. But when Charlotte read the script she loved it. As for Charlotte Gainsbourg, I also thought that she would be brilliant in the part. Even though it was perhaps the most difficult for her to play because she had to be Alice and Benedicte at times. But she absolutely adored being a bitch because this is so out of character for her.
Andre Dussolier immediately loved his part. He was so pleased not to be the nice guy for once. He was allowed to have all the fun and all the sex.
As for Laurent, because we had already made a film together and the chemistry had worked extremely well, it was therefore an easy choice to make.

FIL
One does not really expect such a surrealist thriller. The story starts pretty much like any other story until the night of the dinner party.

DM
Indeed, Alain and Benedicte form a normal couple and our very much in love. Can it all change because of a Lemming or because what seems like a crazy women comes into your life?

FIL
I have particularly enjoyed watching Charlotte Gainsbourg’s performance: the way she metamorphoses from one character into another. You don’t get to see her very often like that.

DM
She also enjoyed the parts where she could be as mean as could be even though she probably had the most taxing part.


FIL
Any future plans


DM
I was working on a script but got a cul de sac. It happens sometime, you start on something and it leads you no where. So I am starting again. I am also helping out on a few other projects.

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