Mathieu Amalric is a star with two careers: as a filmmaker and as an actor. Born in 1965 in France, Amalric didn’t attend either film or acting school and has appeared in over 100 films to date, ranging from works made with French cinephile auteurs such as Arnaud Desplechin, Olivier Assayas, and Bertrand Bonello to parts in commercial cinema worldwide, whether under the direction of Steven Spielberg or Wes Anderson or as Bond villain. Yet he passionately claims to be a director first and foremost. He sees the acting profession as less of a calling than as the result of a coincidence, stemming from his belonging to the group in the orbit of Desplechin, who left their mark on the new French cinema of the 90s. Although the roles he plays are very different, Amalric’s acting is always characterized by great sensitivity, a certain boyishness, and bottomless charisma.
Amalric shows considerable versatility as an actor, but is just as multi-faceted as a director, with none of his films resembling the others. They do, however, exhibit a predilection for literary adaptation, non-linear narration, and different, overlapping plot levels, with many autobiographical references in evidence too. The fact that many things remain up in the air is a constant of his directorial work. When viewed as a whole, it also becomes clear that his films are pervaded by a delicate melancholy.
Arsenal is showing a retrospective of the eleven feature-length films made by Amalric between 1997 and 2022, including his documentaries about musician John Zorn, as well as a selection of eight films in which he appears as an actor. We are very happy to be able to welcome Mathieu Amalric to Arsenal on the opening weekend for the Berlin premiere of his current film SERRE MOI FORT. (Birgit Kohler)
An event with the friendly support of the Institut français.