TALKING WITH FRANCK GLENISSON
FilepMotwary: You're probably one of the first who introduced photography in movement. You always combined film and photography in a very cinematic way, not failing to always offer a great result. How do you see your own work, if I asked you to explain it?
FranckGlenisson: For me a director, must write his screenplay, each of his films’ sequences, create his own photography approach ,edit and do the post production of his movie himself. It’s not about "making a film", it's about justifying my soul, if you see my point.
FM: Obviously, one of the most important characteristics in the body of your work is the use of drama, a word that each time is interpreted in a variety of disguises... Why?
FG: Because our society is full of drama and prejudices that put pressure on the pureness of love and even hurt it. My fashion editorials are my vision of society.
FM: How do you work in general, they way you form a team, the music score in your films, your cast...?
FG: I often work with the same team as I believe in fidelit.
For Hades, I casted Sylvia and Francois beforehand the filming procedure, in order to write the lyrics and the general synopsis. To create the music based on their words, I decided to work with composer Hedayat, asking him for a funeral march ending in a scream of electric guitars. He then sat on his piano and started to play in the silence of the night.
FM: And how did everything start for you?
FG: As usual,after night visions. I guess the project was forced by my own need to talk about the power we can have on our own destiny.
FM: Focusing on your latest project "HADES' you chose to work with multi-talented Francois Sagat and legendary model Sylvia Gobbel. What is Hades about and why did you choose the name of an ancient Greek God to title it?
FG: Hades speaks about the suicide of a hero, Francois, who plunges into the Seine to escape the part of society that denigrates him.
At the bottom of the Styx, at the gates of Hades,he finds the corpse of Sylvia. They are intended to burn in Hell, as society influenced by religion, has decided that gay people or posing naked women should be punished by The Divine Power. It is at the end of the song that these two sinners will decide to counter their destiny, merge their respective genres to counter Death.
FM: How long did you work on it and what was its purpose?
FG: I started writing lyrics and constructing storyboard by drawing the characters back in August 2011. The second phase was to contact different designers to make reality what was only imaginary. I was asked to do remixes of this song though « Hadès » must be an unique and valuable meeting between these two princibles of the underground.
FM: What was it about photography that became your sustaining passion?
FG: When I was 14, I learned how to do make up on my grandmother. A routine that I followed every Wednesday and which we both enjoyed very much.
When she passed away, it was the moment I realized that photography would help me to make those precious moments with her last forever. I would never allow time to erase that precious smile of hers from my memory.
TALKING WITH SYLVIA GOBBEL
F.M: You were one of the most iconic faces from the 1980's and 1990's era. You are now the star of Hades, along with Francois Sagat. If you could explain your character and also I would like to know, how close this character is to the real Sylvia?
SylviaGobbel: My character in Hades is resurrecting from death, her love to a young man, who is “waking her up” and little by little they getting so close, that they start to look alike. By the end, you can't tell anymore who is who, it's a total fusion ...I guess you could compare the character to my real life, since after retiring from modeling and the fashion business, I have been living a quiet life with my husband an daughters, until one day somebody woke me up and brought me back in the scene...
F.M: Sylvia, how did everything start for you, your career?
S.G: I was a law student in Vienna, when I got discovered by a model agent (believe it or not -in a bus on my way to university). I started to work as a model in Vienna , continuing my studies at the same time. Then another model agency from Paris brought me over and introduced me to Helmut Newton with whom I started to work immediately.
We did lots of fashion work for VOGUE, Versace, Yves St Laurent, Pomellato, AMICA along with others. Of course and most importantly, the “BIG NUDES” series of photographs, which at this moment you can see at Helmut Newton's exhibit in the Grand Palais, in Paris.
F.M: How different is fashion, the scene in general compared to when you first started?
S.G: The fashion scene changed a lot since 20 years. Now the models look all the same (most of them are Russian-or almost all - with a few exceptions), for fashion shows in the 1980’s you had models from all different ethnicities. Models back then were about strong personality that gave some color to the fashion business.
Now all it seems a uniform, even the clothes they put on all of them. Models today are way too skinny thus back then they looked healthy and sporty. Also, too much Photoshop everywhere! By the end everybody looks alike....
F.M: How have you evolved as a person within the fashion industry? What is the most important moral this business has taught you?
S.G: Actually fashion business didn’t change my character, I always had lot's of opportunities for work but I treated my private life as more important. I had the chance to meet lots of interesting people, important and famous personalities, though most of them failed to impress me. And I had so many opportunities to go out with rock stars or movie stars even to do big important business but I always refused this kind of life.
I didn’t think it would make me famous going out with somebody who’s well known. I didn't want to get ruined by the business and I have always kept my feet on the ground.
F.M: You always work with very demanding professionals. You started off with Helmut Newton and today you are collaborating with Franck Glenisson, who's something more than a photographer?
S.G: Working with Franck Glenisson is very interesting, because he's an outstanding as a photographer, a person and as an artist. We get along very well, since we share the same sensibility for art. He's a very nice person, deep and sensitive. I never thought he was demanding a lot, everything just came naturally while on set and its just a pleasure working with him. I don’t see it as work even.
F.M: What is next for Sylvia Gobbel?
S.G: The next project is a calendar "A Tribute to Helmut Newton", shot by an Italian photographer… but "shhhh" it's still a secret...
TALKING WITH FRANCOIS SAGAT
FilepMotwary: You do realize that its been 5-6 years since our interview. I guess its time to examine what has changed since then... So you worked with Bruce La Bruce, you did some party dancing with Yazbukey, you created clothes-correct me if I’m wrong- and now you star in Franck Glenisson's film HADES, in which you also sing!! What is all planned?
FrancoisSagat: Years already? I'm not someone who's planning things - something like this may have caused my end – Though, I wish I was, maybe I would be more successful (laughs) Things come naturally, as I’m really really lazy. I don't have any agent to take care of the future. Hades was not my idea. And if it came from me, I would never sing. Never!
FM: What is your character in HADES about?
F.S: I actually play myself, like I almost do in every project that I contributed to in the past. It's very hard for me to blend into another character, you can ask other directors: it's a big challenge to forget the "heavy" image that belongs to me.
So, it's all about the legend of the God Hades and the Underworld, that characteristics that were drawn around our characters with Sylvia ...all Elements related to Death and Resurrection.
FM: How difficult-or easy was it for you to be that character?
F.S: Nothing really difficult basically. All the shooting was not about acting but like posing for an editorial story, I didn't have to play. And I can be naturally showing my feminine side in this clip, which is no big deal.
I just promised myself not to wear high heels anymore as a man as think it's a bit overrated and I find it boring. Though I would definitely wear high heels again as a real feminine impersonator or transvestite, its more challenging that way. In Hades: we are almost there, almost...It's such an interesting borderline. And the make up is amazing. There was a good reason to do it: transforming into Her! (Sylvia) Easy, easy, easy for me…
FM: How about the porn industry, as you still making films?
F.S: No, I'm not. But I never said I retired. It's just a very tough time to continue doing Porn today. There is a good reason and a good time for everything plus the fact that I'm getting Older. Even as a director, I want to do quality but to do so, I would love to be independent in terms of production and it’s absolutely not the good moment now.
F.S: It was the wink to Helmut Newton of course, and to know that it was collaboration with Sylvia Gobbel. I felt honored to be involved in such a wonderful context. The story at the end was to melt characters, Sylvia and me and also interchange our looks. Very twisted and amusing,no?
FM: What is next for Francois Sagat?
F.S: Nothing I can communicate right now.