The musical film “Haut et fort”, by Nabil Ayouch, presented this Wednesday at the Cannes Film Festival, owes its musical identity to Lotois du Montat Mike and Fabien Kourtzer. These two brothers, composers of all the musics of this powerful and original cinematographic work, are united for the best and a bright future. Before the presentation of the film, they cross their fingers on the Croisette. Interview.
The Palme d’Or would be a magnificent consecration. Do you believe it and what would this prestigious award mean to you?
Fabien: Being selected at the Cannes Film Festival is already a real victory. Especially since it is a musical film. It is important to us because it is both our work and our history. It touches us a lot.
Mike: The Palme d’Or would be the Grail. Remember that the Covid did not allow the Cannes Film Festival to be organized last year, so there was a traffic jam this year with many films candidates for selection. The production of the film presented “Haut et fort” the day before the closing of the announcement of the selected works.
What are you most proud of. One music in particular, all of them or the way in which the actors appropriate it?
Fabien: The story and the context of the film correspond to what we experienced. It is therefore a form of homecoming and a source of pride. It tells a bit about the route we were able to follow. We find the same pitfalls there. In the envy of these young people for a cultural center and their energy there is a part of us. We come from this urban music.
Mike: There is a particular musical color and strength indeed, but the songs are very different. Rap is a musical genre that we know inside and out. This makes us very comfortable and happy to bring young people with us in this project.
A very special fusion with the director
This film is talking about him, therefore about you. How did your collaboration with director Nabil Ayouch come about?
Fabien: We had already worked on two films with him. He contacted Fanny (Lotoise Fanny Lamothe, producer of the film’s music) and allowed us to meet the young people and the film crew.
Mike: Nabil has a very strong character. U.S. too. We had a very special merger with him and everything is really rolling. Our job and this film are based on human relationships. If we don’t get along humanely, we can’t work with people. The success of the film is based on this.
How did you get this family taste and this attraction for musical composition?
Fabien: Our journey was determined by several factors. First of all, our siblings were educated by our parents in a true spirit of brotherhood and sharing of everything. When our father gave us two francs pocket money, he didn’t give one franc to each but two francs for two and we used them together. Everything we did was undertaken together. The trigger came in 1978 when one of my cousins back from New York played a piece of Hip-Hop for me, telling me that this music was going to be a revolution. My brother and I felt this song like it feels in a movie. It all started from there.
Mike: Our big sister was crazy about music. we put music on her so she could dance. I have been making music all my life and very young. I have no memories that are not related to music. It was part of our education. I have won the French DJ Cup several times, but I was unable to achieve anything without my brother. We quickly composed together, working mainly for the cinema, of which already twice with Nabil Ayouch.
Today you are behind a mixer and instruments. Could you one day make an entire film, images and sounds?
Fabien: It is part of our desires. For us, that would represent an exciting continuity. We are writing a project. We need to find a little space between the writing time for film scores and another production.
Mylène Farmer in the jury: a major asset
What could be the next step after this propulsion at the Cannes Film Festival?
Fabien: What can happen to us is to be contacted by directors from other countries as well. We know that a film presented at Cannes then has an international career. Between our projects and the contacts that we will have with people in the trade and other directors, we know that there will be great things to experience. Fallout. Saying which ones today is still too early.
A very influential and extraordinary singer is part of the jury this year: Mylène Farmer. What can you say to him to capsize his heart in favor of your musical film?
Fabien: With Laurent Boutonnat, she makes very narrative songs and videos. Mylène Farmer adopts a very cinematographic axis in all her music and her texts. Mike and I start from the cinema to go towards a musical axis. There is therefore a very close link between Mylène Farmer and us. She loves the sound and the image. I think she will be sensitive to our approach, to the young actors and to the subject of the film. But we cannot know today if she will vote for “Loud and strong”.