RIFF - International Film Festival in Reykjavík - is now being held for the twentieth time and there are five days left of the festival. One of the films we are showing at RIFF 2023 is the documentary Tell Me Iggy by French director Sophie Bondy about the life and art of the legendary rocker Iggy Pop. We asked Sophie about her partnership with Iggy, which has spanned over ten years
- Your collaboration with Iggy Pop dates back to your feature film L'étoile du jour (2016), where he played a significant role. Could you share what initially fascinated you about Iggy and inspired you to invite him to star in your film?
The movie L'Etoile du jour was released in 2016 but I've known Iggy since 2011. I have always had great respect for the unique, rebellious, talented and upright artist that he is. Asking him to play the role of "Conscience" in my film and the main character was obvious. I was guided by the Universe to him. Sometimes we are pushed, called beyond ourselves and that is what happened. Like a revelation. So I followed my heart. And everything was clear, easy. Iggy, living in Miami, dreamed of shooting with Denis Lavant who played Elliot (how could I have guessed it?). Iggy wanted to see my first feature film She & Him on the 14th Floor with Guillaume Depardieu and he really liked it. It all started there.
- Heimildarmyndin þín Segðu mér Iggy afhjúpar líflegan persónuleika Iggy Pop. Í ljósi fyrra
samstarfs ykkar, hvað var það sem fékk þig til að kafa ofan í persónulega sögu Iggy Pop og hvers vegna fannst þér mikilvægt að gera þessa heimildarmynd?
I followed Iggy in concert for 10 years and filmed him in France and also in Berlin and Athens. I wanted to make a documentary that would take a deeper, different look. A sensitive dimension and as I captured it myself and beyond appearances. To go further in perception. To go beyond. Iggy accepted right away and gave me the greatest compliment: "You can film me as you want, I know how you look at me." His confidence is an ultimate gift. Just like him, he is ULTIMATE.
- Could you share your experience of collaborating with a rockstar on a documentary film set? How did it differ from your experience when working on your fiction project together?
The direction of actors and staging adapts differently according to fiction or documentary but the initial starting point is trust. Everything is created from the link. Iggy sees everything, and the gift is that you just have to be yourself. Between us, it's easy. Iggy is very curious, professional, and very attentive and so inspired and inspiring. It's magic, a cosmic vibration. I feel like we've known each other forever.
- What was your key focus in presenting Iggy's multifaceted character in the documentary, and how did you select the central theme to follow?
It's mysterious to make a film. Inspiration comes when it wants. And it is she who guides me. A film has its own entity and I follow it as best I can. It is the film which guides and which is the strongest. I made this film over several years. And even though Iggy's last interviews in Miami are recent, it all started in my heart much earlier. I wanted to share my luck, and give others "this Iggy".
- . Your documentary effectively captures Iggy's unchained presence through archival footage from his early career to recent performances. How did you source and curate this visual material to convey his free-spirited persona? What was your process for narrating the story through this footage?
I have been shooting images of Iggy in concert for 10 years, and we have found eloquent archival footage Once again, it is the film that guides me and I let myself be carried by it, I am inhabited by it. It's a long construction during editing with the editor. We seek, we explore, it's long and exciting. A balance of rhythm must be born and imposes itself. The images, the music, the words... It's always the film that wins. I am the channel that allows the film to be born, to unfold and it is a marvelous privilege.
- Following the success of your captivating documentary, are there any prospects for future collaborations between you and Iggy?
I'm currently sharing Tell Me Iggy at festivals. For the rest, I let life inspire me... we will see! But there is one thing I would like to add. Iggy is an integral being who awakens us all through his music, his solar presence, his strength. He is himself a Gift of a great dimension - as great as his intelligence and his humility. He has a big heart. A Rare Being. Our meeting changed my life. He recognized me.
Tell Me Iggy / Segðu mér Iggy
Sophie Blondy, FR, 2022, 52 min
5.10. @ Háskólabíó 4 – 15:45 + Q&A Tickets can be purchased here
7.10. @ Háskólabíó 3 – 21:00 Tickets can be purchased here
A personal documentary about the rock legend Iggy Pop, recorded in Europe and the United States for Canal+. The film allows viewers to follow the 76-year-old artist, who continues to perform worldwide, through interviews with his friends and collaborators, including John Waters, Johnny Depp, Debbie Harry and Blondie, Denis Lavant, Pierre & Gilles, and his producer Alain Lahana.