Look, The: Charlotte Rampling–Angelina Maccarone’s Docu of Notable Actress

Angelina Maccarone: Director of The Look

Director Angelina Macarone was born in Cologne in 1965 and studied German and American Literature and Film at the University of Hamburg. She made her feature debut in 1998 with “Everything Will Be Fine,” which won the Audience Award at LA’s Outfest, and followed that with “Unveiled” (2005), “Hounded” (2006; winner of the “Filmmakers of the Present” Golden Leopard at Locarno), and “Vivere” (2007). She lives in Berlin and teaches directing at the Academy of Film and Television.

There are many strong reasons why I wanted to make “The Look,” but they can all be subsumed under two words: Charlotte Rampling.

The artistic choices she has made have clearly always been driven by her curiosity to explore deeper levels of life, and having the courage to cross borders in order to do this makes her an icon for male and female audiences alike. She became a role model for generations of women who neither wanted to follow restricted gender paths anymore nor to sacrifice sensuality for emancipation.

The challenge for me was to find a cinematic form that pays tribute to this extraordinary actress and woman. I knew that in order to capture the emotional

avant-garde of Charlotte Rampling, I had to embark on an adventure that could only succeed by being brave as she has been throughout her career, finding a way beyond the classic biographical path and following her story according to content instead of

chronology, while playing around with expectations, turning them upside down.

Charlotte is cast as a classical “object of desire” in many of her movies, yet each time she turns her character into the subject. Her famous “look” is an active one.  Her eyes seem to mirror all there is to be seen. Her vulnerability is strength rather than weakness. In spite of her being exposed and exposing herself in front of a camera, she never gives away her secret. Her being undressed is nakedness not nudity, the sacred wins over the trivial.

From our first encounter in Paris, in October 2007, I strongly felt that our movie had to involve her–instead of merely be about her. Presenting her “perspective on life,” an inside view, is–as she says herself–the only way of conveying a true image and exploring the kaleidoscopic essence of life itself.

Peter Lindbergh is a German fashion photographer and filmmaker known for his naturalistic style; his work has been commissioned by the world’s leading designers and published by every major international fashion magazine, and he has been credited with helping to create the supermodel phenomenon of the 1990s.

American writer Paul Auster is the author of numerous novels (including The NewYork Trilogy, The Book of Illusions and The Brooklyn Follies), screenplays (SMOKE, BLUE IN THE FACE), and works of non-fiction; he also wrote and directed the 2007 film THE INNER LIFE OF MARTIN FROST.

Barnaby Southcombe, Rampling’s son with Bryan Southcombe, is a successful television director based in London. His feature film debut, I, ANNA, a noir thriller starring Rampling, Gabriel Byrne, and Hayley Atwell, is currently in post-production.

Juergen Teller is a German artist and fashion photographer known for the highly exposed, autobiographical nature of his commercial work — including an infamous series of nude self-portraits with Rampling, shot for a 2004 Marc Jacobs campaign.

American poet Frederick Seidel was a protégé of Ezra Pound and Robert Lowell and a founding editor of The Paris Review; his collections have won the National Book Critics Circle Award in Poetry and the Lamont Prize, and he was the 2002 recipient of the PEN/Voelker Award for Poetry.

Franckie Diago is a production designer and art director based in New York; her credits span from Truffaut’s CONFIDENTALLY YOURS and Coppola’s THE GODFATHER: PART III to Agnès Varda’s THE BEACHES OF AGNÈS and Laurent Cantet’s HEADING SOUTH, starring Rampling.

American artist Anthony Palliser is a self-taught painter and portraitist based in Paris; he has had over two dozen solo exhibitions all over the world, and his well-known portrait of Graham Greene hangs in the National Portrait Gallery in London.

French filmmaker Joy Fleury wrote and directed FATHERS’ DAY (1990), starring Thierry Lhermitte, and SADNESS AND BEAUTY (1985), starring Rampling and Andrzej Zulawski. Her daughter Cynthia Fleury is a professor of political philosophy in Paris and a columnist for L’Humanité, as well as a founding member of the International Network of Women Philosophers