Country: France
Year: 1988
Duration: 105'

With Contretemps, a film that is unique in the history of cinema, Pollet creates a work of destruction and of recomposition of his previous works brought about with the people he cares most about. Starting with clips from Méditeranée, Bassae, La Femme au cent visages, Les Morutiers, Pour mémoire, L'Ordre (besides Skinoussa, Paysage après la chute d'Icare by Jean Baronnet), he creates a totally new film, in which all the previous images enter into a new game, whirling, grandiose, spiraling. A reflection on time and repetition.

"I made a sort of testament with Contretemps. After two refusals on the "avance sur recette" for Tunc by Lawrence Durrell (written with Pascal Bonitzer and for Patrick Dewaere, who had committed suicide) what else could I do? I have an old editing table which has always gone everywhere with me. I take my films apart. And I start doing something I had wanted to do for a while: to go from the fifty minutes of Méditeranée to a film-essay that lasts one hour and fifty minutes" (J.-D. Pollet, 1989).


film director

Jean-Daniel Pollet

Jean-Daniel Pollet (La Madelaine, France, 1936 - Cadenet, France, 2004) as a filmmaker can hardly be classified in a school of thought or trend. He decided he would become a director in high school, and has dedicated his life to cinema ever since, with mixed success: La ligne de mire (1960), for instance, was never publicly released and was severely criticized by the Nouvelle Vague; Méditerranée, on the other hand, was a resounding success, elevated as a masterpiece by the “Cahiers du cinéma.” His creative partnership with Claude Melki, his role in France’s May 1968 protests, or in the circles of Brazilian Cinema Nôvo are all elements that resurface in Pollet’s cinema. He died in 2004 after a long and prolific career, to which the Torino Film Festival dedicated a complete retrospective in 1998.


Bassae (cm, 1964), Une balle au cœur (1965), Le Horla (mm, 1966), La femme aux cent visages (cm, 1966), Les morutiers (cm, 1966), Tu imagines Robinson (1967), L’amour c’est gai, l’amour c’est triste (1968), Le maître du temps (1970), Le sang (1972), L’ordre (1973), L’acrobate (1975), Pascale et Madi (cm, 1976), Pour mémoire (1980), Au père Lachaîse (cm, 1986), Contretemps (1988), Trois jours en Grèce (1990), Dieu sait quoi (1996).


& Credits

Director and screenplay: Jean-Daniel Pollet con la collaborazione di Françoise Geissler.
Testi: Philippe Sollers, Julia Kristeva.
Director of photography: Jean-Daniel Pollet, Alain Levent.
Sound: Christian Vallée, Véronique Thiron.
Music: Antoine Duhamel.
Editor: Françoise Geissler.
Cast: Philippe Sollers, Julia Kristeva, Claude Melki, Raimondakis, Antoine Duhamel, Maria Loutrakis, Boris Pollet, Laïla Geissler.
Production company: Ilios Films, La Sept.