A blockbuster directed by Ridley Scott hits theaters in Argentina this Thursday. The last duel (The Last Duel) is set in the fourteenth century in France and tells a true story that is starring Jean de Carrouges (played by Matt Damon), Jacques Le Gris (Adam Driver), and Marguerite de Carrouges (Jodie Comer). The two men who had once been friends end up fighting when Le Gris sexually abuses Jean and Marguerite’s wife decides to denounce it publicly. Thus one of the last duels takes place, and this film takes place.
In communication with the Teleshow, Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, along with Nicole Holofcener, the three screenwriters of the film, discussed the three perspectives of this case and also the impact generated with a current view of realizing that patriarchy is still in force as well. than violations, in all societies.
“Why do you think the story of Marguerite de Carrouges is not so well known to the world?”
Affleck: Well, it’s a pretty well-known story in France, I think. When we went to France we discovered that it was not an unknown story, but here in the United States, nobody knew about it, despite being so powerful, extraordinary. It’s a great story for the moment it happens.
Damon: —Then I read the book (The Last Duel: A True Story of Crime, Scandal, and Trial by Combat in Medieval France, by Eric Jager, published in 2004), I sent it to Ridley Scott, he loved it too and we started to look for a writer and coincidentally I was at a dinner with Ben, who told me: “Why don’t we write it?”. And then we called Nicole to come to write it with us and we had this idea of the three different perspectives and we got really excited about it.
The Last Duel is told from the points of view of Jean, his wife Marguerite, and Le Gris, the rapist. Thus the film goes back in history and shows us the same scenes but from the perspective of each character. The character of Ben Affleck is Count Pierre, who becomes the master and lord of the lands of all and protects the character of Le Gris, his faithful servant, and companion of orgies and uncontrollable nights.
—You made this movie when female empowerment is at the top of the topic. Do you think the audience is going to establish some kind of relationship between these different historical moments?
Holofcener: – Unfortunately, I think, they will surely say ‘nothing changed’. I mean, yes, I think people are going to make a corollary of this story with the present because we don’t send people to burn it alive, at least not here, but it hasn’t changed much, in more than 100 years it should have changed a lot more. So it’s a sad story except for this particular woman, who is brave, and with her need to be honest and take the consequences.
“Count Pierre represents the power of men over women, a nefarious patriarchy that nullifies all-female empowerment.” Do you think that today we can find a person like him?
Affleck: – (Responds in perfect Spanish) I think so, nowadays there are many people like this man, who could be the president of a fraternity, or someone who inherited a business, a very powerful man, and then the idea was that if you are close to that man, you are lucky. There is a lot of inequality in these types of situations but the interesting thing for me was that I did not want to appear as a very bad man but to show a real person with whom the audience could recognize themselves. Because I don’t think there are bad and good people. It is much more complicated than that, and the most difficult thing for me with this character was that yes, he does bad things, it is the truth, but he is also a person who thinks that he is a good man. And how is it possible that the two ideas can be together?
Damon: —That character was very interesting for us to see the dynamics, the way in which power is built and shaped among men and in the city where it happens. He is like that because he can make that idea, it was what we wanted to cause.
“Why shouldn’t we stop watching The Last Duel ?”
Damon: Because the woman at the center of the story is someone we think is amazing, so heroic and brave. He is the type of person that you meet in the story and that you think there should be a movie about her. That’s why we wanted to do it and that’s why you should go see it.
Holofcener: —And it’s also moving, and beautiful and suspenseful, entertaining.
Affleck: – And they have to see it on the big screen because it is very spectacular, Ridley Scott’s films are incredible to see in the cinema.
The film has a great visual impact on the battle scenes: Scott decided to shoot some scenes with six cameras filming simultaneously, and the rest with four. Another interesting fact is that the final scene of the duel took six months to put together, consulting specialists in combat, using stuntmen to give it the necessary authenticity and historical rigor.
The filming of this film was affected by the restrictions of the COVID19 pandemic and was carried out in two stages: the first in February and March 2020 in different locations in France, and the second was finished in September of this year In Ireland.
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