Louane, Guillaume Canet, Annie Girardot, on the side of actresses and actors. Michel Legrand, Éric Lartigau, on the directors’ side. Mayenne is a popular shooting location for filmmakers. A look back at five productions shot in the department.
1. The Aries family
Realized by Eric Lartigau in 2013, the movie The Aries family was mostly shot on a farm in the village of Housseau-Bretignolles, at a place called Remieu, in northern Mayenne.
This feature film tells the story of a couple of deaf and dumb farmers, whose eldest daughter discovers that she has a gift for singing. She decides to try the contest of the control of Radio France, in Paris. A life choice that would involve estrangement from his family.
The actress and singer Louane plays the leading role, for which she received the César for best female hope in 2015. Karin Viard and François Damiens play the role of Louane’s parents, a.k.a Paula. The film gathered 7.5 million spectators in cinemas in France.
Thanks to the involvement of the Cousin familythe former owners of the farm, the film crew found support to perform the daily actions of farmers, such as driving tractors.
Cédric and Nathalie Couson keep an unforgettable memory: “We helped as we could. It lasted from June to early November. After that it was over. We did not ask for compensation. We received compensation, that’s all. The film crew landed for five weeks in September. »
Éric Lartigau, on the right, during the shooting of the film with François Damiens, on the left and a cameraman, in the center. © West France
2. In the name of the Earth
Director Édouard Bergeon chose a farm in Saint-Pierre-sur-Orthe, in the Coëvrons, as the main setting for his film. Lhe landscapes reminded him of his childhood, spent in the Poitou countryside.
In the name of the earth is a film that talks about farmers, the evolution of the agricultural model and the role of consumers. The actor Guillaume Canet plays the role of a farmer caught up in the development of the trade during the post-war boom period.
The film attracted two million theatergoers. It rose to fourth place among the films that recorded the most admissions to the cinema in 2019.
Valérie and Vincent Barré, the farm operatorsgot involved in the filming, as a consultant for the decoration technical team.
“It allowed us to discover behind the scenes of the world of cinema, it was exciting. And the film crew was very nice.
Mayenne farmers took part in the filming of the film “In the name of the earth”. © West France
3. Dracula father and son
In 1976, Lassay-les-Chateaux turned into a film set for the filming of the film Dracula and son. The town served as a place of decoration, in particular for its fortified castle and for the richness of its medieval heritage.
This feature film, directed by Edouard Molinaro, is a parody that features British actor Christopher Lee, who has played the legendary character of Dracula in film on several occasions. He is also known for his roles in other films like The Lord of the Rings or Star Wars.
On the left, Christopher Lee playing Dracula, next to Bernard Menez, actor playing Dracula’s son. © Gaumont International
4. Five days in June
The Film tells the story of composer Michel Legrand’s youth.
It begins with the journey from Paris to Saint-Lô by bicycle, in June 1944, of two resistance fighters: Marcelle, played by Annie Girardot and Yvette, played by Sabine Azéma. Matthieu Rozé plays the role of younger Michel Legrand.
It’s with Five days in June that Michael Legrand, already famous as a composer, steps behind the camera for the first time and puts on the director’s costume. He had spent part of his life at the Grande-Vigne farm in Mayenne, where he took refuge during the occupation.
A few scenes from his first feature film were shot in the summer of 1988 in Ruillé-Froid-Fonds, in the countryside of southern Mayenne and in the station district in Chateau-Gontier-sur-Mayenne.
Matthieu Rozé, alongside Annie Girardot, in the center, and Sabine Azéma (right). © DR
5. The bread masters
The bread masters are a mini-series, produced in three 105-minute episodes, broadcast on France 2, during the winter of 1993.
The main scenes were shot in Mézangers, Sainte-Gemmes-le-Robert, Mayennein the Nord-Mayenne, Évron and Sainte-Suzanne in the Coëvrons, during the summer of 1993. On this occasion, the town hall of Sainte-Suzanne was turned into a post office.
The bakery, which was used in July-August 1993 as the setting for the TV movie, bore the name of “Masters of bread” in the 2000s. It was located at 1 bis, place Hubert-II-de-Beaumont, in Sainte-Suzanne.
The series has gathered 10 million viewers. They are passionate about the vagaries of the love story of a baker and his wife, in the interwar period.
The actor Wladimir Yordanoff, in Évron, in 1993. © Archives Ouest-France