Léon (Claude Melki) takes a prostitue to a wretched hotel room. He is too shy to get down to business, and passes the time by chatting with her until a providential power shortage comes to his rescue.
"I wrote the screenplay for Rue Saint-Denis after Pourvu qu'on ait l'ivresse. Chronologically, this film should have come before Méditerranée, which was a leap into the imaginary. Rue Saint-Denis clearly shows the effects: it had become impossible for me to accept simple realism. The main idea was to have Melki speak. He had never been able to before. If he recited the script in a naturalistic way it sounded false. We had to find him a peculiar pronunciation, but I was blocked by the material conditions of the shooting. We had very little time and very little film. The movie was shot in two days. The idea of the episode was also to include a professional actress (Micheline Dax) who would create her role alongside Melki who was living his" (J.-D. Pollet, 1969).
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.
Director of photography: Alain Levent.
Editor: Jacqueline Raynal, Jean-Daniel Pollet.
Cast and characters: Claude Melki (Léon), Micheline Dax (la prostituta).
Production company: Barbet Schroeder per Les Films du Losange, Les Films du Cyprès.