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Monia Chokri Magalie Lepine-Blondeau Simple comme Sylvain

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Interview: Monia Chokri & Magalie Lépine Blondeau – Simple comme Sylvain

Interview: Monia Chokri & Magalie Lépine Blondeau – Simple comme Sylvain

In a creative output that saw her add a harvest of three feature films in the last five years, after 2019’s A Brother’s Love and 2022’a Babysitter we now find Monia Chokri celebrating lightning in a bottle attraction, longing, and what it looks like when we rationalize surrendering to our emotions and abandoning our safeguards. Her third oeuvre Simple comme Sylvain (aka The Nature of Love) has ties to her astounding debut short Quelqu’un d’extraordinaire (2013) where actress Magalie Lépine-Blondeau began as perhaps Chokri’s creative muse. Sporting autumn browns and on one occasion wearing dish gloves, here Lépine-Blondeau steps into the character of Sophia, a 40-year-old philosophy professor who finds herself well beyond the seven-year itch, as her world is thrown into chaos, leaving her to ponder, “should I stay or should I go?”

After premiering in the Un Certain Regard section at the Cannes Film Festival, Simple comme Sylvain would have its North American premiere at the 2023 Toronto Intl Film Festival — the lieu of where I got to speak to Monia and her muse Magalie Lépine Blondeau. We discussed how their creative collaboration has evolved over the past decade, the framework of her character set and some of the influences that determined the look of the film.

Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist, and critic at IONCINEMA.com, established in 2000. A regular at Sundance, Cannes, and Venice, Eric holds a BFA in film studies from the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013, he served on the narrative competition jury at the SXSW Film Festival. He was an associate producer on Mark Jackson’s "This Teacher" (2018 LA Film Festival, 2018 BFI London). In 2022, he was a New Flesh Juror for Best First Feature at the Fantasia International Film Festival. Current top films for 2023 include The Zone of Interest (Glazer), Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell (Pham Thien An), Totem (Lila Avilés), La Chimera (Alice Rohrwacher), All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt (Raven Jackson).

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