September 16, 2011. Television, newspapers, blogs, websites and radio stations spread a news item which seems incredible: the well-known author Michel Houellebecq has been kidnapped. Some people think Al Qaeda might be behind his disappearance. Over the following days, speculation and indiscretions abound: what if it wasn’t a kidnapping but rather an identity crisis or the schizophrenic delirium of a man who, in his life as in his work, has always flirted with the irrational and painful side of human nature? Or maybe it was just a plan he came up with to finally escape the attention of the world?
Guillaume Nicloux (France, 1966), author and director of stage and screen, founded the theatrical company La troupe when he was only eighteen. He debuted in feature films in 1990 with Les enfants volants, and participated at the Locarno Film Festival with La vie crevée (1992), starring Michel Piccoli, and at Cannes with his next movie, Faut pas rire du bonheur (1995). As a director, he concentrates above all on polars and thrillers, and has worked with actors such as Jean-Pierre Darroussin (Le poulpe, 1998; Holiday, 2010), Marion Cotillard (Une affaire privée, 2002), Monica Bellucci (The Stone Council, 2006) and Guillaume Canet (La clef, 2007). In 2013, he competed at the Berlinale with his film adaptation of Diderot’s The Nun, starring Isabelle Huppert.
Les enfants volants (1990), La vie crevée (1992), Faut pas rire du bonheur (1995), Le poulpe (1998), Scénarios sur la drogue (ep. Lucie, tv, 2000), Les redoutables (ep. Echange standard, tv, 2000), Une affaire privée (2002), Cette femme-là (Violenza estrema, 2003), Le concile de pierre (L’eletto, 2006), La clef (2007), Suite noire (ep. La reine des connes, tv, 2009), Holiday (2010), L’affaire Gordji, histoire d’une cohabitation (tv, 2012), La religieuse (La religiosa, 2013), L’enlèvement de Michel Houellebecq (2014).
“I hope to reveal a writer who is funny, sensitive, endowed with a caustic wit, beset by doubt, naïve, unkind, anxious, intelligent, and in love. The kind of man we don’t expect to meet. The Kidnapping of Michel Houellebecq may also be the portrait of a man who never aspired to be a writer, but rather hoped to become a racecar driver.”
Olivier Dô-Hùu, Fanny Weinzaepflen
Michel Houellebecq, Maria Bourjala, Luc Schwarz, Mathieu Nicourt, Maxime Lefrançois
Les Films du Worso, Chic Films, ARTE France