Aznavour by Charles

Marc di Domenico

IndieLisboa 2020 •

France, Documentary, 2019, 75′

Since Aznavour received his first camera from Edith Piaf in 1948, that filming became a part of his daily life. The singer kept a video diary where he recorded key moments of his life, travels, concerts, lovers and friends. Before he died he expressed the desire to make a film out of this material. Fulfilling his wish, Marc di Domenico accesses these personal files, while filming himself the French singer for 3 years.

The usual is for the cameras to be directed at them, the singers, the actors, the men and women who climb up to the stage and fill up the screens. One of the biggest names within the french songs and music, son of Armenian refugees that journeyed through the XXth century and crossed into the next one certain that only death could stop him (and only her would indeed force him an early retirement, at 94 years of age, in the year 2018), Charles Aznavour was first and foremost a singer, but he also filled screens, as we’re eternally reminded by that “Shoot the Piano Player” in which Truffaut made him lead character right at the beggining of the nouvelle vague eruption. “Aznavour by Charles” shows us Charles Aznavour, the star, making something beyond the usual. In 1948, Edith Piaf offered him a recording camera. In the following 34 years, Aznavour filmed landscapes and faces, anonymous people, the women of his life, other stars like himself. Marc di Domenico dived into that huge archive and shaped it. Romain Duris made himself Aznavour e gave voice to his thought. A revealing movie came out of it. The observer becomes the observed thing, and vice-versa. “Aznavour by Charles”, Charles is Aznavour. (Mário Lopes)