“In my eleventh year, Maréchal Pétain pinched one of my earlobes pretty hard. I was playing too close to him with a rust-coloured sponge ball. A few decades went by, a globally famous star pressed his lips to mine – with surprising authority and out of office hours – subjecting me to mouth to mouth contact which proved of rather good quality. That’s just the way it is.”
Oh no, you won’t find the great Jean Rochefort’s Memoirs here. Instead we have a series of anecdotes that shed light on precious moments from his very full life. He presents us with a mosaic of his memories, transporting us to Cinecittà alongside, say, Marcello, or to La Baule in his youth, or perhaps to Nepal with Belmondo and an army of gallinaceous birds, or to Cannes during the festival. He introduces us to Calder, Elizabeth II, Toto, Jean Gabin… Jean Rochefort has a very distinctive, mischievous, elegant, amusing, iconoclastic tone and an amused eye hovering above that hilarious moustache, making us laugh, touching us and taking us along with him. He loves things in his own particular way, and hauls us along with him to show us things the way he sees them.
Jean Rochefort is without question one of the best loved figures of French cinema. It would take too long to talk about all his films, so let’s talk about this book instead: it’s the first in which he opens up. And what a pleasure that is for us.