I was surprised your obituary of Patrice Chéreau (9 October) failed to mention his visits to Edinburgh and Glasgow with the film Those Who Love Me Can Take the Train, which was screened as part of the 1998 French Film Festival UK held in various Scottish cities as well as London and other locations every November.
He attended the festival with one of his favoured actors, Roschdy Zem.
The film tells of a group of mourners who travel to the funeral of a mutual friend Jean-Baptiste (played by Pascal Greggory, Chéreau’s long-time partner). During the filming, Chéreau recalled to Scottish audiences, he spent several weeks on a couple of carriages hired from the French railways shuttling backwards and forwards between Paris and Mulhouse.
The festival also gave a UK premiere to one of his first films L’homme blessé (The Wounded Man), about a young man’s first gay experiences and considered ground-breaking for its period in 1983. Chéreau told festival audiences: “It was my life, absolutely. First, because it talks about homosexuality, and secondly because it dealt with the deep sadness of adolescence.
“What interested me was that homosexuality was never explained – it is a fact of life, that’s all, and that’s how I like it. The film was ahead of its time and came out of a ghetto.”
French Film Festival UK