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Houellebecq directs The Possibility Of An Island

French novelist Michel Houellebecq has recently finished directing an adaptation of his own 2005 novel La Possibilité d’une Île. Filmed over seven weeks using locations of Spain and Lanzarote to depict the post-apocalyptic landscapes of the novel, The Possibility of an Island marks Houellebecq’s full-length directing debut, though his controversial novels have been previously adapted to the screen by Philippe Harel (Extension du Domain de la Lutte / Whatever, 1999) and Oskar Roehler (Elementarteilchen / Atomised, 2006).

The Possibility of an Island stars Benôit Magimel (The Piano Teacher, The Bridesmaid) as Daniel 25, a fourth millennium clone of the original Daniel, a writer and director of satirical comedies who has been preserved through his association with the Elohimites, a religious cult who promise immortality through advances they have made in cloning technology. A bitter and deeply cynical look at modern-day society, human relationships and sexuality from a futuristic perspective, the story follows Daniel 25’s journey across a hostile post-apocalyptic earth to establish contact with another surviving “original” human.

Houllebecq has called upon the services of a number of contemporary artists - German conceptual artist Rosemarie Trockel, architect Rem Koolhaas and sculptor Renaud Marchand - for the futuristic set designs for his experimental film. The cast also includes Patrick Bauchau, Andrzej Sewern, Ramata Koite and Arielle Dombasle. A French/Spanish co-production, The Possibility of an Island is expected to see release in 2008.

(source and photographs: Les Inrockuptibles, No. 607 – 17-23 July 2007)

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