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A tornado rips through the air. A tornado that looks like a 24-year-old tiny chick in a white Chanel dress. Behind her, three publicists shall ensure that Kristen Stewart has everything she needs, that she has her latte on time, that she finds her way to run five interviews of fifteen minutes, meticulously scheduled two days before. She arrived yesterday in Cannes by private jet. The only solution to drag thirty-six hours out from filming an action movie in New Orleans, American Ultra, leaving her knees and elbows bloodied. Scratches that she proudly shows off "Now, no one can write that I don't work hard!"
Kristen Stewart has no time to waste. Six years, since the release in 2008 of the first Twilight, that she runs faster than the planet rotates, stops only to mimic a scene with grand gestures before throwing herself into an answer that will go at the end of her reasoning. Because, when she talks, Kristen Stewart makes her way with a machete through her doubts. "I liked Sils Maria. I liked making this movie and I liked watching it. You know why? I love movies about cinema. Maybe because I don't know how others are doing. Some people know. I don't know. I don't even know if I watch this as an actress who would look in the mirror. I just know that I like how Juliette Binoche and Olivier Assayas emphasise our deeply ridiculous nature, actresses. It amused me, very much. It really amused me."
You need so much self-confidence to consider the most Bergmanian movie of Assayas as a joke soaked with ferocity. But it's her early stroke of genius, the start of fifteen minutes flat of a dialectically corrida of a girl who always takes the question by its most unexpected perspective, just to keep one step ahead. This morning, her irony is princely. "I don't mean it is not.. important, this craft. But I don't think it is so important either, this craft. But: I'm very glad to have gotten in this car. I could almost... die for it."
Lesson one: giving yourself entirely to the movies does not prevent to laugh at this. And Sils Maria, movie entirely in harmony with the intelligence of its actresses, movie refusing to lock them up in pious or cretinous images, does nothing other than surveying this zigzag. In this feature film shown at Cannes, Kristen Stewart is Valentine, Maria Enders's assistant, a great actress played by Juliette Binoche, who ends up in Sils Maria, capital of Nietzschean (it's here that the philosopher got the idea of Eternal return) to practice a play by Wilhelm Melchior she played twenty years ago. But time passed and she has to accept to take this time the role of the mature woman. Valentine, from all of her 25 years of age, acts as a coach and takes the place that once was Marias. Of course, Maloja Snake, the play of Melchior, talks only about that too: the irrepressible rivalry between the irrepressible cruel rivalry between the cruel youth and the old age, enemy.
This mirror game between life and art will take an additional layer when Maria will hear that the role of the young girl was finally given to an actress coming from sci-fi movies (Chloë Grace Moretz, Kick-Ass actress), a girl best known for her boyfriends chained, her blood alcohol level while driving and her erratic interviews. Aka the public image, so ready made, that we have of Kristen Stewart. "It made me nervous, the idea that one could make the comparison between Chloë and me. In the movie, she's not me. However, yes, I speak directly to her. I look at her with all my knowledge of celebrity. I can judge her, defend her, make fun of her, and even be complacent with her..."
Assayas was well aware the time had come to entrust Kristen Stewart the role of a girl armed as a person to understand that time in all its paradoxes. That the time had come to slightly move her image. In Sils Maria, Kristen wears glasses, long stringy hair she hides under an all-terrain hood and a shapeless black t-shirt. She reminds us Virginie Despentes: Same immediate presence, same critical power. No doubt they also share this brandished, loud and clear right, to say things - starting with her doubts. Especially, she announces the arrival of a generation pretending to be afraid of nothing because being attacked for a long time on everything. Kristen is the emblem. Which absolutely does not mean she likes her time.
"People think I'm crazy, sorry, I'm not. It's their perception of my strength facing them, but I'm very calm about that. Maybe because it's been a long time since I no longer seek the understanding of others. How would it be possible when those who come to me have only read mostly fake stuff on me? I'm not crazy, I'm alone. This is the reality of this job."
According to custom the actress going in this kind of lament has to pose like the usual drama queen, making sure to add heavy silences. Her, not. She has not finished. She asked that we follow her to the end of her reasoning: "People talk to me as if they were talking to a thing, OK: this thing, I've nourished it, manipulated it. It's because of the job - this damn job that never stops. Some go to work and then come back home. We, do not. There are no boundaries: they melted. There is no private life. Mine, I've given it up."
We stare at her hands, endlessly scratching her thighs. Two minutes ago, she seemed indestructible. Now, no longer. "Everything is public, relayed, connected. And I can not say that I totally do not care. I have to decide alone if it devastates me or not. And I've decided that this fame was not goint to fuck me up. Otherwise, I'd be crazy. Crazy googling my name and seeing spread out everywhere, in millions of entries, my love stories, my breakups, my mistakes. I have no other choice than survival."
Six years ago, Warrior Kristen celebrated her 18th birthday and was waiting impatiently the release of the first Twilight, sharing top billing with the one who, slowly, was becoming her boyfriend: actor Robert Pattinson. In five movies, Twilight has brutally made of Kristen and Pattinson people more famous than the Pope and the Beatles together, and kept us informed of all the rumors about their story until its self destruction in 2012. Each time Kristen kiss a guy (or a girl), it becomes instantly more important than Syria or the unemployment rate. "I think Robert and I, or Justin Bieber, were the first to suffer inconvenience of a new type of overexposure. Maybe it has never been so far before us. The speed at which rumors were spreading... Unbelievable. Since I developed a persistent hatred towards technology."
Being the creature of a tool and not liking it. Handling a bulb that both enlighten you and burns you. Owning everything to the monster you feed and is killing you. "We, we just wanted to be actors, but the success came at a moment in of the story where fame is seen as a more sexy and desirable thing than happiness. That's what made things, weirds. Nobody accept that you doubt one second of fame: ''Hey, we took you there, we have made you famous, so now give us what we ask of you.' That feeling of having been chosen for them and having to sacrifice myself for them has occupied a lot of my thoughts, for too long."
Everything we have read the last four decades on the paranoia, to Philip K. Dick from Bret Easton Ellis, is nothing compared to what this girl experienced: the paranoïa 2.0.
Who decides to work with Assayas because we do not ask her to and, on the set, marveling that a director finally offered her to imagine her character. "Me, I come from a school where the actor does not need to be creative!" Ultimately, no wonder why she appears with an acute intelligence. Impressing everyone. "You'd think that since Sils Maria, I move, I speak! International breaking news!" She never gives up. That's good.
Just to continue this game of masks between reality and fiction we suggest her to do the photo shoot with Benoît Peverelli, who plays the photographer in the movie of Assayas. They know each other, invent at full speed. We watch them play when suddenly she turns around and apologizes to us Histoire de continuer ce jeu de masquer entre le réel et la fiction nous lui proposons de faire la séance photo avec Benoît Peverelli, qui joue le photographe dans le film d'Assayas. Ils se connaissent, inventent à toute vitesse. On les regarde jouer quand, soudain, elle se retourne et nous demande pardon "for the nervousness. I shouldn't say this, but ten minutes ago, on my way to come here, I heard that I was in the short list of actresses chosen for Best Actress. I can show off as much as I want, but it's Cannes, I come from another cinema and then, suddenly, I don't know where I live. People think I'm crazy, but nothing is more important to me than acting."
Julianne Moore finally won. You can not totally blame the jury: if Kristen Stewart scares, it's first and foremost because she represents a generation who has not yet been forgiven for already having right.