Laurent Garnier: Off the Record (2021) Movie Script

Oh, the good Te.
Without love.
Without worries
Without problems.
Mmm, the good Te.
You're alone
You're free.
You're coasting along.
You enjoy.
Spending time.
With your friends.
Sleepless nights.
Which stretch out.
Into the early morning.
But the good fie...
It's a movement,
but techno is a revolution.
Yes, there was rock and punk,
but this social emancipation
that coursed through music
which didn't tell you what to think
or how to think
was also pretty new.
Many were quick to understand
that something crucial was happening.
It was able to develop
into a fully-fledged culture
thanks to, or because of,
big DJs and artists.
As a French, small-town raver,
he was the first icon
of this type of music.
He doesn't just get into your head,
he conceptualises,
then gets into your heart
and makes it spread.
Sometimes you get there,
and if you're tired or stressed,
you struggle to read the crowd
and start off on the wrong record.
If I feel like I can't figure them out
or they're not feeling it,
it's awful. Just awful.
If I don't manage to do it,
it's awful.
But when things go well,
you forget about everything
going on outside,
you forget about time,
you forget about your problems.
We're all together.
And something really does happen.
The people and I become one.
We can keep going for hours and hours.
The aim is to get to a point where
we feel good together,
we're on the same wavelength.
Those are the moments
you have to look for
because they're unforgettable.
Some things, you don't forget.
What I need to know,
because I know there will be racks
all over the place,
is the linear metres
and the way it's split
because you know the collection
isn't just...
It's not just 55,000 records
stacked next to each other.
I mean, I've arranged the collection.
I went to check it out
and arranged it in linear metres.
So, I know that I have 1.70 metres
of funk EPs,
I have four metres of funk albums,
I have 1.10 metres of French pop,
that kind of thing.
I already have a general idea
of lengths and sizes.
That will determine
how I'll move the collection.
I am already obsessing over
moving the collection
and how it'll be re-arranged.
I keep hassling the architect,
"Could you tell me which wall
it's going on
"and how the CDs and vinyl
will be arranged?"
Because I'm already calculating
how many linear metres of funk I have,
how many linear metres of German techno,
Detroit techno, jazz and reggae I have
and thinking: "This will go there,
that will go there..."
It's insane.
So, the Year 9 students
have a much more minimalist approach,
but it works well.
It's about trends.
Quentin, that's awesome.
People will come to the exhibition,
Afrika Bambaataa, not bad.
We'll see more of that with Year 10
doing hip hop which will tie in with...
The 808, that's sick.
They're Year 9 students, awesome!
That really is amazing.
We'll get to really know each other.
Some of them come all the time.
There are four
who are massive techno fans.
- They've made videos.
- They were here this morning.
- They're great.
- It'll be hard to get rid of them.
That girl is really interesting.
- She's the one with dreadlocks, right?
- Yeah.
I know who "Dead Parents" is.
Her CD was all: "I'm gonna kill you,
I'm gonna do you in."
But she's such a lovely girl.
Use it as inspiration
when making your new-wave T-shirt.
I wrote about dark stuff,
but I'm not dark.
I can't write about happy stuff.
But you're always laughing!
I don't get it.
How does that work?
I don't either.
All logic has gone out the window.
- There's no logic? OK.
- No.
Find something similar to your CD
where you've got...
Maybe use one of the drawings
from your CD.
Anything that's new wave
tends to be a lot darker.
This is a much darker world.
With darker colours
and pretty dark ideals, so go for it.
Does no image come to mind
when you listen to music?
Any emotions?
Is there anything
that makes you happy or sad?
It depends on the music.
I'm trying to find out
what's going on in there.
Take five minutes,
close your eyes and listen to the track.
Be alone with it
and see where the track takes you.
Do you get lost in a maze?
Does the sound make you angry?
Try to look for words
that will help you with your work.
- You're saying you get lost in it.
- Yeah.
I feel like I'm falling, in a way.
That could work, graphically.
Falling could be a drawing.
Yeah, but how?
I don't know.
I'll draw some small circles.
I don't know.
It's up to you to figure it out.
I think your teacher
is looking for feelings
rather than something concrete.
It's about feelings,
try to work with that.
I'll come back afterwards
and we'll figure it out. OK?
Cool. Take five.
Listen to it loud, it's better.
There you go.
Someone has taken a liking to it.
His passionate side is really moving.
I feel the love behind all that passion.
I say to myself:
"I'm sure he'll take a break,
"he must be tired after all this time",
and he doesn't.
I'd turn up, his flag would be there
and I'd be like: "Damn it, he was here!"
You know when you go to a concert venue,
you see loads of stickers,
it feels like he's left
a trail of stickers on everyone.
You're in China, feeling like the first
to do a techno concert there
and someone says, "Laurent Garnier,
and you're like,
"OK, this guy's paved the way."
We talk about music.
That's what I like.
You could be talking about anything,
such as management, etc.,
but, no, he takes in all his news.
If he gets 400 in a day,
he'll listen to all of it.
It's seven in the morning.
Gotta get up.
Oh, I'm sleepy.
Let's put on some music to get going
I don't know something like:
I cleaned that one 50,000 times.
This is really good.
Bloody hell!
Back then, the gay scene
was really open to house and techno.
It's the scene that most embraced
this type of music
during its infancy.
My professional life
is closely linked to this club.
We met Christian and he already had
English promoters organising parties.
I turned up with Eric Morand
and we told him
we wanted to organise nights at his club
because we liked the venue
and the sound.
He said yes 30 years ago
and we've been going ever since.
Laurent's "Wake Up" parties
were really the place
where we were able to invite
all the American actors we admired,
and the European ones too, of course.
I wanted to showcase
the whole music scene:
Trance, hardcore,
drum and bass, jungle, acid house,
all sorts of styles.
Tonight, you'll be playing
in front of Derrick May
and some of your idols
from when you were 20.
- Are you feeling the pressure?
- Shut up.
That culture blew me away.
There were 30,000 guys in a single room,
all dressed the same in tracksuits,
ponytails and red glasses,
with blaring music.
When a culture establishes itself
the way it did,
there's bound to be conflict.
But to that extent?
A rave shouldn't be a drug party.
We're pretty sure that these organisers
are operating like a mafia.
Electronic music concerts
as well as raves
were demonised, singled out,
condemned, banned.
It was simply a space to be free.
I think that when there's a space
where you can truly be free,
it means that it's not under control
and that scares people.
People would meet
at supermarket car parks
and set off in droves,
driving in a single file
to go to some mysterious location.
This created a sense of the unknown
which was completely new
and, by its very nature,
caused panic
among the authorities,
the middle-class,
family men didn't want their kids
getting mixed up in that.
My family would call me an idiot.
My parents threw me out,
saying I would become a homeless dealer.
Of course, the message
that we were all drug traffickers
was quite something.
One in three dates were cancelled.
There would be countless times
that I'd go to a venue
and there would be roadblocks.
It really was a witch hunt.
It was because certain people in power
were scared stiff,
and also ignorant.
We'd get there and say,
"Hi, we want to do techno."
They'd reply,
"Whoa, we can't do techno.
We're feeling the pressure.
"We're not supposed to rent out
our space for barbaric music."
techno music was barbaric.
You would want to
organise something completely legal
and would invest
a lot of time and money into it,
it would be important to you,
your baby,
and then they'd turn around and say no.
When you asked why, they'd say,
"Just because."
The Prefecture's Safety Commission
will not stop splitting hairs.
After ordering that
3, 660 chairs be fastened to the floor,
they must now be attached to each other.
Either way, we're doing it.
After two days of harassment,
detection is kicking m.
They're doing this
just to screw with us.
Their anti-techno plan is a joke.
If I don't play in France,
I'll just go play elsewhere.
It's fine, it doesn't bother me
if they shut the country off.
Techno's blowing up in France
cos they're becoming more opposed to it.
Tell a child not to play with a socket
and he'll electrocute himself.
When they started talking about
volume levels, they showed two CDs:
Classical music, which was good,
it was music
that wouldn't kill your kids' eardrums.
Then they showed Laurent Garnier
which was in the red zone.
If some guy turns the bass right up,
of course it'll be in the red zone.
They said my music would make kids deaf,
that's what they said on TV.
If classical music were on full blast,
that would make you deaf too.
It depends on the volume.
That was such a cop-out excuse.
Rather than march and chant,
"Techno's cool, shove it up your arse",
which doesn't interest me,
I'd rather work with people
who are quirky and different,
people who are promising,
artistically speaking, in France,
to get our own back.
With an estimated turnover
of 15 million this year
and over hundreds of Wes,
F Communications is exploring
the Whole spectrum of electro music.
It saw rising success With this track,
music from an ad
for a jeans manufacturer.
We came onto the scene in 1999
with Mr. Oizo's Flat Beat.
We sold three or four million singles
in just a few weeks.
Yes, it contributed to the explosion,
you had a French artist
topping European charts
for weeks on end.
All this pop and charts stuff was
something I didn't even know existed.
When people started telling me
what was happening with that track,
an educated guy like Laurent,
who had been following
the entire evolution of this genre,
understood exactly what was going on.
I didn't have a clue.
I didn't know what MTV was.
In a nutshell, I was so lost
and was in way over my head,
so it was more of a burden
than a blessing.
Laurent Gamier, Stardust,
Cassius or Mr. 017.0,
names which you may have never heard,
and yet from New York to Tokyo,
from Milan to London,
they're making people dance
and are making the front pages.
French rock
never managed to cross the borders,
but today, disc jockeys,
or DJs, as they say now,
and techno producers are exporting.
Spearheading this French invasion
is Daft Punk,
a duo who have sold
over 1.5 million albums.
Without ever having shown their faces.
Whatever you thought of this movement,
it was catching on.
Daft Punk offered something that was...
It had the pleasures of techno
with its sound and synths, etc.,
but the instant gratification
of something like Michael Jackson.
That's what was crazy,
but it annoyed a lot of people.
There were many who felt their music
was being violated by trash
because it was too commercial,
I don't know.
It was something we'd talk a lot about
back in the day.
It was precisely so that techno music
would come out from the shadows,
from the fringes,
from exile, from demonisation
and have a rightful place
in the streets,
in the capital, in Paris.
We're in Bologna, in Italy.
I'm on the crapper.
And, uh,
we're going to party hard.
Anything that breaks away from the norm,
inevitably causes fear and concern.
And as usual,
since it's always cyclic,
at some point,
it ends up becoming institutionalised.
It's a logical, normal progression.
The amazing thing,
and this goes for all musical trends,
is that with these trends,
amid the initial confusion,
people emerge,
particular artists emerge
who, in a way, clear up any confusion
about the movement.
Techno, house,
what's known as electro now in France,
became a fully-fledged culture,
like jazz, rock and hip hop,
because it was the soundtrack
of several generations of artists.
I was at the conservatory on weekdays
and at clubs on weekends.
That's how it was.
When I met Laurent Garnier,
as I said, I was 16 or 17,
and I brought him
my electro music demo tapes,
which was more techno back then.
He very kindly said to me, "That's cool,
but it really sounds like Daft Punk."
I copied Daft Punk way too much
around 1996.
But I was so happy that he'd listened
to my stuff and gotten back to me.
It also taught me not to copy
people I admire when creating music.
If I found my style, it was thanks
to his feedback at the time
which was important to me.
This is my first time here,
so it's the great unknown.
The complete unknown.
I'm playing tonight
at a club called Bassiani.
This isn't just any old trip.
I'm kind of stressed, actually.
Weirdly enough, it's stressing me out.
But I like coming to
these types of places.
Bassiani is the spot in town
which plays 140 bpm.
Clubbers go to Bassiani
because it's an act of defiance.
This is because you can meet people
at the bar or on the dancefloor
who talk about the various struggles
for civil rights in Georgia,
for LGBTQ rights,
but that could also include
the few rights minors have in Georgia.
People talk here
and that's what scares the authorities.
The dancefloor becomes political
because it's a place where
people have conversations.
There was a special forces police raid
right in the middle of a set.
Clubbers saw 250 heavily-armed guys
storm into the club
on a supposed drug bust.
Techno, drugs...
A natural leap, apparently.
People's reactions around Bassiani,
so, not just clubbers,
but various activists,
was to meet in front of Parliament
on Rustaveli Avenue in Georgia.
There were around
10,000 to 15,000 people there
blasting out music in the street.
It's not dissimilar
to the Champs-lyses or Times Square,
so that place is a pretty big deal.
They staged musical protests
for two days
in front of Parliament.
It's very important
to preserve this heritage
which provides an area for freedom
because we all need an escape.
We all need moments
where we can be ourselves,
express ourselves
without being judged.
The youth says
fuck you to the National Front.
The youth says
fuck you to the National Front.
You know, when Laurent mixes,
thousands of people
from all walks of life,
all with their own personal world-views,
peacefully come together.
That's political.
That's extremely political.
When it comes to the evolution of music,
I often compare it to chaos theory.
In other words,
it's never where you expect it to be.
There is no logical evolution.
I think about reverse polarity,
about making music without electricity.
That would be
the most revolutionary thing,
to make extremely acoustic music
with a very modern vision.
Music that's totally innate,
organic, spiritual.
That would do us good.
Any movement creates a counter movement.
Alternatively, musicians
will get inspiration from the past,
but completely reinvent it.
It's almost impossible to predict.
Thanks for bringing the festival-goers,
it's revamped the castle.
I didn't do it, the guys did.
That's what has revamped us.
You're terrific.
So, I'm...
I hope I don't injure you.
It's an instrument of torture.
It's an awful instrument, that bit is.
I said to Laurent earlier
that the first decoration I awarded,
as a budding Minister of Culture,
was to Rostropovich.
From Rostropovich to Laurent Garnier...
With Miles Davis in between.
Yes, sorry.
I was very clumsy, I still am,
plus, I injured myself.
Rest assured, I'm being careful.
So, I dug it into his jacket...
There was an actual pool of blood.
Rostropovich was like:
"Look, don't worry about it,
"we'll wash it off with vodka."
So, I'm going to be very careful.
On behalf of the President
and by virtue of
the authority vested in me,
I pronounce you
a Knight of the Legion of Honour.