From his very first film (Something Organic, 1998) to Nocturama (2016), Bertrand Bonello has occupied a unique place in the cinematographic landscape. His filmography includes seven feature films and eight short films, all of them highly distinctive. Since 2003, his films have been screened in Competition at the Festival de Cannes: Tiresia (2003), House of Tolerance (2011) and Saint Laurent (2014).
Whether in his portrait of a Brazilian transsexual, the refined but frosty everyday life of a brothel at the close of the nineteenth century, or a virtuoso biopic about creation and the pain it causes, sexual identity and the relationship to the body haunt his work. In his exploration of the troubled margins of our thoughts and desires, Bertrand Bonello ceaselessly questions the boundaries of reality.
Trained as a classical musician, this self-taught artisan works in music and cinema, sound and images, writes the script and composes the music for all his films. His critically acclaimed works reveal an acute mastery of audacity and aesthetics. Preferring perception over traditional narrative, long shots that emphasise the sensoriality of imagery, his worlds conjure up visual and sound experiences that break free of all limits. An admirer of Bresson, Pasolini and Jarmusch, fan of the Godfather and eXistenZ, Bonello seems to gravitate instinctively towards recurrent obsessions.
This passionate artist will therefore set an ambitious standard for the young generation of directors in the 2018 Cinéfondation ans Short Films selection.
Bertrand Bonello: “What do we expect from young people, unknown filmmakers and early films? Let them shake us up, let them make us look at what we’re unable to see, let them enjoy the freedom, the sharpness, the recklessness and the daring that we sometimes no longer possess. The Cinéfondation have been working for 20 years to make these voices heard and I’m extremely proud this year to be able to accompany them.”
For his part, Gilles Jacob says of Bonello: "This year will be presided by one of the greatest contemporary directors, an iconoclastic and unique artist. And besides his art, his genuine humanity continues to shine to this day."