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Monday, July 19, 2021

Mandibles Interview with Director Quentin Dupieux

By Jonathan Bilski

The Fly, isn't really what the story is about in the upcoming new film Mandibles from Director/Writer
Quentin Dupieux (Rubber). Mandibles is the story of two idiots, Manu and Jean-Gab, as they try to train and make money off a fly that's a big as a dog. And we go with them on an idiotic and entertaining adventure.

Director Quentin Dupieux, once again makes something weird, out there and different enough to turn heads and I got to chat with him over Zoom and ask him a few questions about Mandibles. Some spoilers ahead.
I greeted Quentin with a, 'Morning Toro!," a phrased used by the films fly-wranglers to greet each other, say good-bye or just whenever something went right for them. It has them making a bull sing with their hands and then interlocking them.

Jonathan: First off, do we even need the fly?  It seems like we could have just watched the leads Manu (Grégoire Ludig) and Jean-Gab (David Marsais). When I was watching I cared more about these two then what the fly was gonna do.
Dir: Quentin Dupieux
Director Quentin Dupieux: Chuckling, Yeah, I agree. These characters are fascinating. We're talking about making another movie with them. Yes, I love them too much. When I was on set the fly was funny it was cool, but I was into them. Because, they're the crazy characters ever.
J: I'm hoping they're not based on any real people you know.
Q: No.
J: Okay, good I just wanted to make sure. Oh, with doing Rubber, I'm sure already knew how, but how was the fly in the film done, a little bit of CGI and puppetry?

Q: Honestly, it's mainly a puppet. And, then for some shots we added CGI legs. But, when you see the body and the head that was a puppet.
J: Did one of the actors have to operate it?
Q: We had a professional puppeteer doing it.

I brought up Quentin's previous work Keep An Eye Out and his use of dream logic in it and asked him
why he didn't use it in this film.

Q: For Mandibles, I wanted something straight. Something as dumb as the characters.
Like, you go from one point to another point, that's it. Y'know, with no crazy mental dreamy stuff.

J: You made those two (Manu & Jean-Gab) complete morons, but why did you populate the world with Agnes (Adèle Exarchopoulos), another strange character. Because, with them, no one else needs to be a straight man if they're in it.

Q: I wanted them to suddenly, how do you say the contrast? Because, Agnes is way more crazy then them. Suddenly, they look normal. When you start the movie, like in the audience, you see them and go, "What the f, they're so dumb". But, then, when she arrives they appear to be like normal almost. Because, she's so high (her voice in the film). She's so loud and she's, so lunatic. Suddenly, she's controlling the space.

J: Even though she's that crazy, she's a great cook. Also, Manu seems to be pretty good at cooking too. Is that a French thing? Manu was making a delicious looking meal even though he was in a trailer and Agnes made a special me. In this movie the food is featured.

Q: It's funny, because we had fun on the set, because this character (Manu) can't do anything right, but he knows how to cook. But only because he is always starving, always thinking about food. He's always about food, because he loves food. This was funny to me. I don't know know where this comes from. And Agnes can cook too. Interesting, maybe it's French.

J: Even though they're idiots and morons, it seems friendship is a big thing between Manu and Jean-gab and even Agnes. Did you want one good redeeming quality in them?

Q: No, from the start I was basically writing a movie about friendship. You know, just filming two crazy dudes like this, it's cool, but in the end...I've seen some movies like this at the end and your like, "Okay, I've seen a joke, but, that's it. I don't think about it anymore." They don't connect. I wanted to make a movie about friendship. So at the end, when they go over [the ideas.] Why are we trying to make money? We're friends, we don't care. That's enough. To me, it was a positive way to make a comedy. There's some humanity in it.

J: So, you seeing doing another comedy with them, like you said earlier. Is the fly coming back or is it up in the air?

Q: No, it will be like a new adventure for them. Like we're having fun trying to find the right thing. But, it will be, maybe like they never met the fly. And, so suddenly they meet a giant octopus ( I think he was just joking) You know, something like that.
With that I wished the director adieu.

Magnet Releasing will release MANDIBLES everywhere July 23rd, 2021
Check out this strange one out online or in theaters.
Photos courtesy of Magnet Releasing