What attracted you to an adaptation of Proust's "La Prisonnière"?
I grew up reading Proust all my life and he's very dear to me. After my last film, "Sud", was so poorly received, I needed something to rejuvenate me. My producer Paulo Branco rang me from Cannes where Ruiz's "Time Regained" had screened to tell me he was thinking of tackling Proust. I jumped at the opportunity. I also liked the idea of an adaptation that was not too literal which is why I chose not to set the film in the past.
"La Captive" begins like a detective story.
Yes, it does, especially Hitchcock's "Vertigo", in the sense that we first see a man stalking a woman. The music also adds to the tension, an effect I was very conscious of achieving when selecting it. I also went back to look at Godard's "Contempt".
It is something of a departure for you in that it deals with a male protagonist.
Many people have said that but it was a conscious decision. When people ask me if I am a feminist film maker, I reply I am a woman and I also make films. It's true that I did write this from the perspective of Simon (Stanislas Merhar) and enjoyed the process of doing so.
You are well served by your cast.
I was very fortunate. Both Stanislas Merhar and Sylvie Testud were excellent and worked extremely well together. Interestingly, Testud was not so good during her audition and rang to ask me to give her a second chance. I am pleased now that I did.
Like much of your work "La Captive" is stylistically very precise.
This is a style that I am most comfortable with. In the film I worked very hard with Antoine Beau (production design) to achieve the look, specifically in terms of colour, that I wanted. But I still like to work relatively simply with long takes and medium close-ups. It does however have some very fluid camerawork.