Parisian love stories for the era of Talk Less, Message More
Zhang, who had never acted in a feature film before responding to a casting notice for the project she saw on Instagram, has a personal connection to the neighborhood: her parents, both immigrants from China, met there for the first time. The actress, who is studying business at a university in Paris and was 19 when she auditioned for the role, said in an interview that she was not intimidated by the nudity and sexual content of the project.
As part of the film’s pre-production, Audiard asked its main cast to watch “My Night at Maud’s”, among other films, and, to prepare Samba and Zhang for their intense sex scenes, the casting director asked them to improvise naked scenes.
Zhang added that her family, who were previously skeptical of her acting ambitions, supported her when the film premiered at the Cannes Film Festival last year. “Although the first time my mom saw the movie, she told me there were a few moments where I wasn’t acting very well and I could improve,” she said.
In another of the film’s stories, Nora develops an unusually significant emotional bond with a cam-sex performer. “I see the film as showing a new romanticism,” Merlant, who plays Nora, said in an interview, noting how the characters pursue a wide range of sexual options and are open to exploring what she called sex. relationships “outside the box”. , like the one experienced by Nora. “The love story is virtual, but it’s also the most sincere,” she said.
Tomine, whose graphic novels have been widely praised for their subtle depictions of urban disconnection, said he admired the decision to emphasize smartphones and computer screens, which were absent from his stories. He said he was also pleased with the film’s non-judgmental approach to the subject, especially since “you know, Jacques is an older gentleman”.