Martin O’Shaughnessy
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A director and his methods
in Laurent Cantet
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After giving a brief overview of Cantet’s career, this chapter explores what one might call the director’s two methods. The former relates to his preference for using amateur actors as experts on their own social role and having long periods of work-shopping in the run up to shooting so that the script can be reshaped in a dialogic process. The latter is to do with the way he constructs his plots around the melodramatic encounter between the individual, the group, and the social context, investigates the power dynamics embedded in the spaces of the films and uses moments of shame to force underlying tensions to the surface. This interrogative and self-effacing style of authorship means that the director effectively hollows out his own voice and allows for something akin to a polyphonic, Bakhtinian interplay to take place.

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