Both Sides of the Blade (aka Fire): Claire Denis

Claire Denis: Stars Juliette Binoche & Vincent Lindon Were “Like Fighters”

The latest movie from the bold French filmmaker Claire Denis, Fire (or Both Sides of the Blade), premiered at the Berlin Film Festival.

Denis, producer Olivier Delbosc, French actors Juliette Binoche and Vincent Lindon (co-starring in a movie for the first time) discussed the process of making the film during the Covid lockdown in France.

“The only way we could communicate for months was by telephone,” said Delbosc on the development process, which involved Denis writing the screenplay with Christine Angot. “We only got together visually when we had the first version of the screenplay.”

The movie was both developed and shot during different stages of lockdown in France, but Denis said the unusual process actually helped to bring her and her cast closer together, making them a filmmaking family.

“There was a trust. We could go very far without being afraid. It was only possible because Juliette and Vincent were like fighters, and me and Eric Gautier, the cinematographer, were running after them, there was one take, two takes, never more. We were going very far. We were exhausted, relentless,” Denis commented.

“I think we were quite brave to make this film. It’s a very tricky film, it wasn’t simple for any of us. It transformed us, shook us, we didn’t remain the same. The result is the film you see,” added Binoche.

The director also described Both Sides of The Blade–which is the English translation of the French title of the movie (Avec amour et acharnement) and comes from a Tindersticks song of the same name that appears in the film – as the “real title” of the picture because it “describes the movie.”

But the film will be marketed as Fire in English-speaking territories.