Poison Lips

With Julien Levy

Poison Cover


It depends on the project. But it always starts with a lot of writing. Notes, ideas, and the script of course. Even for a purely visual film like Poison Lips, the whole movie was written down from the start. It’s, paradoxically, a way to stay extremely free while shooting: I know exactly where I’m going, and it allows me to leave a lot of space for improvisation with my actors.

First impression:

I don’t listen to a lot of electronic music. My background lies in the punk-hardcore scene, in other words, something quite opposite. So when I heard Poison Lips, I had no idea who Vitalic was or how to describe his sound. I just loved the song. I found it powerful, epic, somehow hypnotic. I then listened to it a thousand times while preparing the shoot in Tokyo. At some point it just melted with the landscape.

The story:

Vitalic always plays with his name and initial, with his on-stage visuals. He wanted to go that way. I can’t say why, but the idea behind the script came to me instantly.
In one word, it’s an invasion. I wanted to picture an invasion without explaining it or making it real, but instead making it beautiful, melancholic, sexual. There is no blood but loads of lipstick. Which can be much more dangerous, if you want my opinion.

Techniques and equipment:

Very small crew, 5D-like equipment, almost no light except the one from Tokyo’s avenues. The whole trick was to shoot everything really fast, between two typhoons — true story.

Vitalic bizarre:

I guess he has bizarre tastes! In any case I think it’s pretty clever from his side — electronic music —, because it’s often not telling stories through lyrics, it can only do it through a music video. The film should be strong, unique, and the “bizarreness” of it can sometimes imprint on people’s minds like nothing else.

Levy Lat

The importance of the clip:

A lot. Maybe not one single music video, but the whole visual behind an album — the cover and the first two music videos. We live in a world of immediacy and, unfortunately, people don’t care about music that haven’t been marketed visually beforehand. Terrible times.
But sometimes it’s for the best. My music video preceded Vitalic’s record release and kind of shaped it in people’s minds. The record sold very well thanks to it, and I’m very flattered.


Well, for me, things are pretty simple: I would never work with a song I don’t love. I put my integrity above anything else. People who don’t, are probably the ones responsible for the tons of boring films we have to endure each year.

The scene:

It’s quite amazing. I haven’t directed music videos for a while because I’m concentrating on fiction and exhibitions, but I learned so much directing films that had to match and enhance an already existing piece of art — aka the song.
The reason why I kind of quit music videos for fiction is because I want to tell stories, and it’s very rare to meet record companies that allow you to do so.
I wish music videos could remain in the field of experimentation in which they are now. Directors have to fight for their independence.

The video from the past:

Oh, there are so many. When I was a child, of course Thriller featuring Michael Jackson absolutely blew my mind. It’s my very first music video memory, and still one of the most vivid.

Levy Low

V for Vitalic

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