A vivid exploration of the internal workings of a romantic self-saboteur
Conventional wisdom says true love should come easy, but what if anxiety and doubt never yield to the joy and elation of a new romantic attachment? Parisian photographer Julien Mignot explores insecurity and low self-esteem in his directorial debut, Sous La Peau. Inspired by a breakup, Mignot creates a visual tableau exploring romantic self-sabotage and the psychology of emotional uncertainty.
“Rapt in anguish and denial she decides to pull the relationship ripcord before there is any sign of trouble”
The story is a simple one: ‘He’ and ‘she’ meet at a desolate coastal location, he takes her photograph and gives it to her as a reminder of their fortuitous encounter. From this moment on the photograph becomes the frame from which the audience observes their unfolding relationship.
“Having excessive feelings is something that I believe is universal,” says the director, whose female lead—rapt in anguish and denial—decides to pull the relationship ripcord before there is any sign of trouble. “It’s a story everybody can relate to.”
Mignot takes the same approach to Sous La Peau as he would his photography. Instead of scripting a linear sequence of events that instruct the plot, he creates an unconnected series of vignettes that come together to give a visual impression of a woman in love.
“I was shying away from telling a story with moving images,” says the director. “I discovered that it was not about looking at faces and bodies to capture a moment, but about creating a whole emotional sequence that would fit into a wider narrative.“