Spleen by Baudelaire from Florian Beaume
When the word Spleen is mentioned, Baudelaire echoes automatically to our mind… It’s only natural as Spleen and Ideal are a serie of poems, part of the famous poetry book, « Les Fleurs du Mal » from Baudelaire. But, today it is a serie of six episodes of ten minutes long, written and produced by Florian Beaume, a young grassois film director. In fact, you will have the opportunity to meet him, at the preview, on Wednesday July 24th, at 8pm, at the Studio Cinema, in Grasse. For my part, I had the pleasure, to talk with him, so to understand more about his approach and what was behind the scene of Spleen, an historical fiction… a wonderful human adventure.
Baudelaire and Florian Baume : are they from Grasse ?
Florian Beaume n the producer of the Spleen serie is with no doubt from Grasse, born and bred. But, what about Baudelaire ? Well, he is also from Grasse ! Did you know it ? In fact, through his mother Caroline Archimbaut-Dufaye, he is a descendent of Antoine and Honoré Girard, both merchant- perfumers in Grasse !
Let’s enter behind the scene of Spleen
In a way, Baudelaire is ever since, part of my life. As a matter of fact, Eugène de Broisse, who was Auguste Poulet-Malassis’s associate and brother in law, the editor of Les Fleurs du Mal, is a distant cousin of my family. So, I learnt about the hustles caused and around the publication of this poem book. I wanted, also and first of all, update the history » tells me Florian.
Spleen, is above all a fiction. That is why, Florian worked with Selma Guettaf, a young librarian and the author of the book « Loin d’une romance » published at La P’tite Helène Editions. More, it is from a selection of documents that Florian has built his story. « I did not want to be worried by the true story and somewhat by my personal and family story. Nethertheless, the documents were to help the story telling. » says Florian to me.
Florian Beaume’s guide line and message
One of the first idea is to show how each character around Baudelaire, happen to be embarked into the publication and falls into a marasmus, the Spleen. All along the episodes, it is imprtant to introduce all the characters, while at the same time, to highlight the different themes of this book, Les Fleurs du Mal. One can see the disease, the erotism, anticlericalism, the artificial paradises… Finally, all those themes are pointed out alternately by the different characters.
Among, the numerous poems of Baudelaire, I appreciate « Le Serpent qui danse. In fact, it is a poem that is mentioned in the series. Moreover, this amosphere between nightmare and dream is interesting. As there is the vision of this woman snake who plunges you into this dream. This poem is heady, erotic and animalic. Besides this atmosphere, it was important for me to find the best way to show on the screen, the disease and the suffering. As the theme of the disease is permanently present in Baudelaire’s work. More, his acquaintances such as Apollinie Sabatier, Jeanne Duval, his muses and Sarah Lourchette were all suffering of syphilis.
What about perfume in Spleen
Besides the olfactive research done by the Argeville company, the perfume is evoked and suggested through the images that are present all along the serie ; such as the opium and the brothels. « I must say that I knew exactly where I was going and wanting , during my work with the 3 perfumers (Azura Inoue Christiano and Jennifer Jambon ) tells me Florian. In one word, he only chose a fragrance that he liked personally. One of these fragrances comes in, to reflect the atmosphere and the odours of the brothel, a house in decline, and where the girls get sick. « Therefore, the perfume had to transcribe the a foul odour, the smell of the body, which is not really agreable, such as anodour mixted with the sweat of the skin. Here, the odour is only there to serve the story. It was a work that I appreciated. » adds Florian.
What are your olfactive souvenirs ?
As I am fond of good food, my memories will be mostly gustatory…So, I will talk about aromatic herbs from Provence. They are always present … in the provençale cooking. Nevertheless, as while talking to you, the souvenir of a blue flower comes back to my memory. It’s a heady and bluish perfume that was diffused in my ant’s house.
On the other hand, I have two very differen memories from Grasse . « the first is rather hackneyed, as it is jasmin and orange flower. But ,they are odours smelt regularly in town, specially in the shortcuts, around the square of the Cours. Oherwise, they are more related to the old town, such as the odours of the wet stones. They can be a little bit desagreable for some people, but I am very fond of this powerful and centuries-old smells. In general, I like to explore and find the hidden corners of an old town. More, the old Grasse lends itself to it and it is the first town where I experienced this sort of strolling. I don’t know exactly how to explain it but there is sometingthat is conforting into the smell of ols stones, and it is the first thing that Grasse evokes for me ». tells Florian Beaume.
Who is Florian Beaume ?
Born in Grasse, Florian Beaume did not become straight away producer… He has taken a few short cuts before finding his real vocation. So after his graduation of a bachelor’s degree in accountancy, he passed a BTS degree of tourism,in Cannes. There, he will be captured by the cultural heritage and history. Nevertheless, the real click came during an internship of rental management, during the Cannes festival. Therefore, he decided to go to Paris, so to become producer more than a scriptwriter.
For that reason, he registed at the Sorbonne with the CAV (audio-visual cinema). » I wanted to acquire a true cinematographic culture before even capturing the scripture of a scenario » says Florian to me. And, thanks to his thesis about funding methods,on Chantal Duchet ‘s advice, that he will meet the Nouvelles Ecritures from France Telvisions.
Synopsis of Spleen
1857 – If the industrial revolution expands in the whole of Europe, France is muzzled by it’s government, still under the influence of the Church which dismisses any form of freedom of expression. So,it is during this hostile period, that Charles Baudelaire finishes his book of poems »Les Fleurs du Mal » while being also confronted with Sarah’s desease, one of his muses, along with the difficult character of his editor, Auguste Poulet-Malassis.So, with the fast approaching edition of this book, Baudelaire wiil soon come into the line of sight of Pinard, the magistrate who deemed the subversion of his poems.
Musique bande-originale Spleen Valentin Fayaud
Etienne Baret dans le rôle de Charles Baudelaire
Tamara Lipszyc dans le rôle de Sarah
Guillaume Marquet dans le rôle d’Ernest Pinard
Et aussi : Victor Belmondo, Olivier Augrond, Océane Rucinski, Ugo Broussot, Vincent Chaumont, Tony Martone, Anne-Laure Jarnet…
Spleen is a coproduction O France Televisions, the Tambour de , sancho&Co, Lux Fugit films, and also the participation of the National enter of the cinema and animated image- new medias Funds, the support of the Region South Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur in parnership with the CNC, the Normandy Region in partnership with CNC assiocated with Normandy Images. The ADMI contributed to the financing of the film withe the support of A.LService Photo and the Zaventem Invest.
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A unique event, not to miss ! More this film show will be supported by the diffusionof three perfumes, designed by the Argevile company’s perfumers. Then, i twill be followed by a debate with the producer and the team in charge of the olfactive creation.
Full price : 7 euros reduced price/5,5 euros at the Studio Cinema ; on 15 Boulevard du Jeu de Ballon, in Grasse.