“James Thierrée, the dream machine”, on France 5: a man-circus in love with a total theater

Image taken from the documentary

FRANCE 5 – FRIDAY JUNE 16 AT 10.55 PM – DOCUMENTARY

He summarizes it with a burst of laughter. What James Thierrée has been doing for years, the multi-tooled circus man in love with total theatre, “It’s the story of a guy who dreams of doing a show based on a dream of doing a show based on a dream…”. This funny synthesis that bounces in an infinite cycle gives the key to creation according to this artist progressing by instinct by opening wide the floodgates of the irrational. “Cap on the unconscious”he declares in this documentary directed by Gabriel Laurent around the making of his new production entitled Room.

Nothing is impossible for James Thierrée and his fellow acrobats, dancers, musicians, decorators and costume designers from the Hanneton company, founded in the late 1990s and based in the Morvan. They are all there, filmed up close and confiding their pleasures and difficulties in the long-term development process – three years in total – joyfully free, but rigorously framed by the director, choreographer, clown, actor, violinist, composer that is Thierrée. “Everything is very precisecomments a musician. And he expects us to feel free within this precision. »

This freedom cultivated by the 49-year-old artist – 44 of whom have been on stage – envelops the troupe like an electric fluid. The proposals fuse, the danced and sound breakaways collide, while Thierrée ignites, plays with her white hair, initiates an improvisation and fires from the slightest accessory that passes through her hands. “Being in rehearsal is something difficult. No matter how hard we try to make it a calm and serene place, there are always moments of crisis.he says. “We search all the time and it’s tiringreplies an interpreter. But there’s also this thing, is that we can leave whenever we want, that’s the deal. And that’s important, because it’s such an overwhelming adventure that you have to flourish here. »

“Secret Promise”

The complexity and proliferating richness of James Thierrée’s spectacular quest can be read head-on in this filmed immersion. In the studio, whose walls are lined with drawings, multicolored sticky notes, photos, the excitement never seems to wane. “As a secret promise, there is the fact of taking them as high as possiblehe confides. My first passion is to be on stage with people and to go high. But I also have this responsibility to take them to their destination. »

Read also the portrait (2013): Article reserved for our subscribers James Thiérrée, the illusionist

This desire for sharp intensity explodes until the end of the film. A few minutes before the premiere, in January 2022, at the Théâtre de Carouge, in Switzerland, Thierrée is still strumming. The grandson of Charlie Chaplin – whom he refuses to talk about, evoking the idea that another documentary should be made just on the subject – is not for nothing either the son of Victoria Chaplin and Jean-Baptiste Thierrée , from the Invisible Circus.

As a child, he started with acrobatics and the trapeze, but at the same time did warm-ups with his classically trained mother. From the age of 5, he took part in their shows, illustrated here with archive footage. “The reproach I can make to my parents is that, when I was little, they put in my head and in my heart such strong images, of travel, of the stage, of the public… that I desire to renew this feeling of adventure », he explains. And that gives a unique panache which is called James Thierrée.

James Thierrée, the dream machine, by Gabriel Laurent (Fr., 2022, 55 min)

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