A new based on a true story film from director Mia Hansen-Løve recalls the birth and rise of French house music from the point of view of Paul, who is based on her real life brother, DJ Sven Løve who cowrote the screenplay with Mia and who had brushes of success, but unfortunately never achieved a major breakthrough in the French house music scene. Actors portraying young Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter, aka Daft Punk, appear in the film to show the juxtaposition at various points of their careers between the struggling French house music artists and the growingly successful French duo that we know today as Daft Punk. Even though the Daft Punk characters show up throughout the film, they are hardly the focus as it tries to show the viewer the struggles of artists. With that said, the film could not have come to fruition without Daft Punk’s assistance. Hansen-Løve was circulating the script without any luck a year prior to the French duo’s commercial success with Pharrell Williams in 2013. Producers had never heard of Daft Punk before the smash hit ‘Get Lucky’.
“I had to change producers twice because they didn’t know how to finance it,” says Hansen-Løve to CBC Music during the Toronto International Film Festival, where Eden had its world premiere. “When we were looking for financing, people we were speaking with didn’t even know who Daft Punk were. Then someone was asked to evaluate the music and they said it would cost at least a million and it totally discouraged my producer.”
That was until Daft Punk agreed to license their music for a nominal fee in support of the struggling film.
“A lot of the people saw it as a tribute to house music, and most of the artists, some famous and some still very underground, all agreed to be paid at the same level, keeping the costs very low. That was the crucial thing. That wasn’t until Daft Punk agreed to give the license of their music for the same price. If that had not happened, nobody would accept it. If Daft Punk asked for more, we wouldn’t be able to make it.”
Daft Punk’s music is used to measure time in the film. The Daft Punk characters continue to grow and rise to success throughout the film, which is in stark contrast to the protagonist character’s lack of progress.
“I could have made a success story and it would have made the film easier to finance, but I had the feeling that doing this from the point of view of someone who wasn’t as successful, it gave me an opportunity to show more of the humanity,” Hansen-Løve says to CBC Music. “We tried to make a film about a generation, and Paul’s story was a relevant way of depicting a generation.”
Hansen-Løve speaks of her brother’s life in the French house music scene. “It’s his experiences and memories, but the story is also close to me,” she says. “It’s my point of view on his existence. Not a documentary, but a very personal portrait of my brother.”
Look out for ‘Eden’ in Spring of 2015 featuring house music from Frankie Knuckles, Jaydee, Daft Punk, and check out the trailer for the film below.