Paris, 5 April 2011
Dear Yun Jung Hee,
Your pseudonym which means «quiet girl» perfectly reflects
this sweetness that characterizes you, this slowness of the gesture and this look
enigmatic that continues to make us dream. A great photographer
as Stanley Greene explains that he was struck by the grace of [your]
hands and by [your] gentle way of raising your face to heaven”.
You truly embodied woman for generations of
South Koreans. The 330 films in which you played have
accompanied the rise of Korean cinema and its affirmation against the
domination of American cinema. Because Korean cinema is one of the few
cinemas to have developed, in Chungmuro, a production and a
distribution, of exceptional quality, with which France
feel such strong affinities.
Yet you say you never wanted to be an actress. You were preparing
to become a diplomat when friends have urged you to participate in a
casting for Kang Tae-Jin’s new film, Scenes of Youth -
Chongchun kukjang [pronounce Kang Te Djinn]. Among more than 1200
candidates, your performance is noticed when you have never
followed by comedy classes.
This film is a huge success and marks the beginning of your career
actress. Very quickly, you are asked to play in many films
such as Kang myung wha [pronounce Kang myong rwha], The Fog or
The Eunuchs in 1968, this modern and innovative film of your
friend Kim Su-Yong [pronouncing Kim Su-Yonn], who is often referred to as
as the Korean «Kurosawa». Your game in General’s Beard, the
same year, you won the award for women’s interpretation. You
classic Korean films such as L'Histoire de
Boun Lyé, six-time winner, Chung Girl [pronounced Chong] in 1972,
and the Lady of the Court in 1972, which won the Prix de
popularity at the Asia Film Festival. Among your most striking roles,
those you interpret in A Free Woman in 1981, A Woman
broken in 1987 and especially The Two Flags in 1994, for which you
get a new Best Actress Award in Korea. This film is
selected at the Montreal Festival, where you get a standing ovation.
Your acting career has unquestionably accompanied the golden age of
Korean cinema. She contributed to this by making you, if you
believes a recent poll, the best actress of all cinema
of which you are both the memory and the icon. In the years
1960, the vitality of this cinema was exceptional, in a context
cultural sclerosis imposed by the Cold War and by a
moralizing Confucianism, before the «renaissance» of young cinema
in the second half of the 1980s. The splendid
female characters have opened the «paths of freedom» to
In 1974, conscious of the gap between your life as an actress and that of
Korean women, you are starting a PhD thesis at the
Sorbonne on «The Status of Women in Korean Cinema». You
y develop a reflection on the gap between beautiful roles
women present on screen and acting. More broadly, you
Take a critical look at the situation of women in Korea.
By refusing a destiny, you have found your own way.
Woman of culture, demanding with yourself, you choose the roles
Living in France for more than 30 years,
you were concerned to foster ties between our two countries: you
member of the French-Korean Association, member of the Committee
organization of the Korean Film Academy, you participate in the jury of
many film festivals in France - such as Deauville or
that of Dinard - but also elsewhere in the world. Married to the pianist
virtuoso Kun Woo Paik, you have masterfully assumed a role
“cultural smuggler” between Korea and France. In the grey mornings
and misty from the outskirts of Seoul, in bars frayed by alcohol
of rice, French spectators often find under another light
the codes of existential melodrama and film noir that also
success of a certain French cinema. Our «elective affinities» with the
Korean cinema are very real, both aesthetically and in the
similarity of the institutions that carry our cinemas in each of our
You are today the only Korean actress to have received 24 awards
interpretation. Your influence transcends the boundaries of
your country: in 1972, you have the award of the most popular actress in Asia,
and the Special Prize of the Asian Festival the following year.
But it’s mostly your performance in the film Poetry by the writer and
director Lee Chang-dong – who was also Minister of Culture of the
South Korea (and yes, there are other filmmakers who become Minister of
Culture! ) - selected at the 63rd Cannes Film Festival in 2010 and
winner of the Best Screenplay Award, which reflects the exceptional quality
of your game. 15 years after your last time in front of the camera, you
find your family, this family of cinema that shaped your
existence. I personally, as a very large audience, admired your
masterly interpretation of this grandmother, Alzheimer’s victim, lost
in search of words, confronted by the violence of his grandson, whose
destiny translates the deaf misunderstanding between the generation of the verb and
The one, mutinous, who is immersed in the bubble of television and internet.
Many have agreed to grasp in Mija a strange resemblance
with yourself, in the subtle and delicate alloy between softness and
resolution, between dream and reality.
In a romantic narrative, the «painter of modern life»
that is Lee Chang–Dong reveals sumptuous still lifes mixing
bucolic dreams and fields of birds or streams. In the drama of the
everyday, your flowery dresses and your elegant little hats highlight
a poetry to which you aspire, in a desperate struggle against forgetfulness
words, in the concern you have to cling to a
“language spring” which is gradually disappearing from your
memory. Your aura and presence certainly make Poetry a
masterpiece, the highlight of your career
an impressive display of the “reimagining of the world”,
in other words, what cinema should never cease to be.
For your major contribution to Korean cinema, for your love of
those who make and build the 7th art, for your attachment to France,
Dear Yun Jung-Hee, on behalf of the French Republic,
Let’s present the officer badges in the Order of Arts and Letters.
Dear Elsa Zylberstein,
When you were 17, you said, "I’m an actress." So, very early on,
before even playing the conviction had settled in you. This is the
great Isabelle Adjani, in Adèle H. de Truffaut in 1975, who
gives the impetus.
You pass a literary baccalaureate and start studying English, by
safety more than by choice, since, at the same time, you follow the courses
Florent where you benefit from the lessons of Francis Huster, and participate in
internships at the Actors Studio. A small role in René Féret’s Baptism
in 1989 opens the doors of figuration for the Van Gogh
Maurice Pialat. Then the role of Cathy, the painter’s prostitute friend, becomes
found free: it is for you. Your talent is immediately recognized and
you won the Michel-Simon Award in 1992 and a nomination for
Caesars. Proposals abound for this young Madonna to the great
green eyes, porcelain complexion and jet hair. Directors
and the directors give you the opportunity to play a large
spectrum of sensitivity and feminine complexity.
By the contrasting image you send back of a woman both strong and
fragile, classic and original, you develop a career surprisingly
between intimate films and vast popular frescoes. You
shoot three films with Raúl Ruiz, including That Day, but also with
Laetitia Masson or Jacques Doillon. Wild prostitute, singer
lyrical, Orthodox Jewish, you successively play roles very
that reveal the breadth of your game range. For Mina
Tannenbaum, you get the Romy Schneider Award in 1993. In
choosing your characters, you prefer women who oscillate
between fragility and intensity: I play a character when I feel
really I can’t escape it. I feel like I’m choosing it,
but he also chooses me. There has to be something vital so that
I accept, as if I could not imagine not saying these words, do not
not give my body and eyes a role.”
It is this requirement of correctness that the directors read in you.
She also expresses herself masterfully in this wonderful film of
Philippe Claudel, I have long loved you, in which you are at the
mother and little sister, alongside Kristin Scott Thomas. For
this role so sober and moving, you receive the Caesar of the Best
actress in a supporting role in 2009.
Your acting also unfolds on the stage where you are seen
with happiness in Eurydice by Jean Anouilh, Six characters in search
Pirandello, David Hare’s Le Malin Plaisir and La
Proof of David Auburn. And then, despite a clear preference for the
cinema, we now find you with Vincent Perez in Le
Time passes, at the Mathurins theatre, where you play the role of a
a woman who has lost all memory of her father and wishes to
Theatrical audacity doesn’t scare you when, in Leave me to
Marcelle Sauvageot directed by Laetitia Masson under the title of
Comment, you find yourself alone on the scene of the Bouffes du
North to play the role of a woman in love, reached by the
and whose cry testifies to the greatest loneliness.
Paradoxically, theatre builds in your eyes a relationship to the truth more
let those that the camera manages to capture in moments of play
total and laissez-faire. Moreover, you also say that you have
need to be watched and loved by the eye of the camera. You are a
who finds her balance in the eyes of the directors. You
have in you all the intense fragility of the directed actress, woman-child, in
search for emotions. Because “seducing is being yourself” you say. A
ability you also develop with experiences
equally rewarding television series, such as
Venus and Apollo, Jean Moulin, Family Murders in which
you discover yet another way to play.
You say you could have been a model painter, as a reference
films about famous painters such as Van Gogh de Maurice
Pialat, Lautrec by Roger Planchon, or Modigliani by Mick Davis. But
Elsa Zylberstein is also the one who can just as well play Hannah
Arendt facing Martin Heidegger in Antoine’s Le Démon de Hannah
Rault, whom you played at the Comédie des Champs-Elysées less
two years: only exceptional talents like yours are
able to reveal the secret passages that lead from intimate to
Dear Elsa Zylberstein, on behalf of the French Republic,
Knight in the Order of Arts and Letters.
Dear Linh Dan Pham,
Since you were 16 years old, you have never stopped, in polyglot and globetrotteuse
» to develop international artistic adventures, from a
continent the other.
It all started when one of your friends persuaded you to
respond to a classified ad «search girl for shooting with
Catherine Deneuve in Vietnam» in a 13th century restaurant
district of Paris. Your first film adventure
allowed you, through the character of Camille in Indochina,
to reconnect with your country of origin. When the film is released, you live
in Holland and do not fully appreciate the resounding success that
earned Régis Wargnier the Oscar for best foreign film and
the plethora of Caesars, nor that of your nomination to the Caesar of the Best
female hopeful in 1993. That same year you agree to
Central Asia under the direction of Monica Teuber in Jamila. After these
dazzling beginnings, the gracile, erratic and
Worried about his future disappears from French screens for ten years.
Graduate of an American business school in Paris, you leave
working in marketing in Vietnam and Singapore. This is a great
surprise for you when casting directors look to you
contact, announcing that they were long ago at your
You let yourself be tempted and opt again for the profession of actor; but
this time you give priority to your training. Fascinated by the
method of the Actor’s Studio, you learn drama at the Lee
Strasberg Theatre Institute of New York. 2005 is the year of your great
back with two dark, harsh and tense films: you join the
workers in a popular Paris alongside Pascal Elbé, Simon
Abkarian in Bad Players by Frédéric Balekdjian, and Jacques
Audiard asks you for To beat my heart stopped beside the
talented Roman Duris. If the role interests you, it is that it is far from
stereotypes of young and beautiful silent and misconceptions about the
barriers of language and cultures. The piano you practice at the
for these two uprooted beings is the only vector of
communication; you immerse yourself body and soul in this magnificent role
and get the César for Best Female Hopeful in 2006.
Three years later you are Elisa, an ambitious scientist in
Dante 01 by Marc Caro alongside Lambert Wilson, who
pleasure to be with us today. An ambitious film so much by its
aesthetics only by its mythological and biblical references, which
received the kind of welcome he might have deserved from the general public.
The noise of people around, Diastema, and kaleidoscope follows
Maïwenn Le Besco’s The Actress Ball.
In your filmography, Mister Nobody by Jaco Van Dormael and Vertiges
(Choï Voï) by Vietnamese director Chuyên Bui Thac
of choice. In unhappy bourgeois, then in manipulative novelist
and masochist dizzy, adrift in a love triangle
in a family in Hanoi, you reveal your demand for a cinema
eclectic that questions the confused individualities in the
The Shape of Art to Come by Julien Levy, a work halfway between the
cinema and contemporary art, then De Force, self-directed gangster film
by an ex-bandit where you give the line to Isabelle among others
Adjani, Eric Cantona and Simon
the intelligence and boldness you put in choosing a role.
Today I want to pay tribute to the international career already
of a young French-Vietnamese actress, whose great talent
also makes you want to thank those who succeeded in you
to convince people to take the path of image and not of commerce.
Dear Linh Dan Pham, on behalf of the French Republic,
let’s make Knight in the Order of Arts and Letters.
Dear Lambert Wilson,
Young dolphin of a pharaonic father passed from saxophone to management
of the TNP and the firmaments of the production, you did not think to be
comedian one day as professionals of the trade seemed to you to the
possessed and absent when you were a child. But it is the natural
when at 15 you decide to become an actor
after seeing Richard Lester’s Three Musketeers.
Related by your great-grandfather to green Erin, fascinated by
England of the «sixties swinging», encouraged by your teacher of
to enter the profession, you set the course, alone, on the
British capital and enter the Drama Centre at just 16, where
you learn “hard” drama, singing, music and
washroom cleaning. While freeing yourself from fatherly control, you
have the intelligence to learn valuable lessons from your father
thanks to two of its stages in which you participate: with
Ubu at the Opera Musical Theatre in 1974 and Othello in the Court
the Palais des Papes at the Festival d'Avignon, the fantasies of the
The splendour of youth are filled with wisdom.
Your first appearance at the cinema is a little miracle:
in 1977 Fred Zinnemann, who will offer you a leading role five years
later in Five Days That Spring Facing Sean Connery, you
proposes to start alongside Jane Fonda in Julia. Despite a
physics that catalogs you as a romantic actor, you prove
from the beginning your desire not to confine yourself to it – which you
will have the opportunity to prove so many times under the leadership
the most varied French and international directors.
1979 marks the start of these routes characterized by a
a formidable eclecticism of transformation that characterizes the great actors.
You chain among others Gendarmes and Aliens of
Jean Girault against Maurice Risch, Lady Oscar de Jacques Demy, New
generation of Lowf-Legoff and From Hell to the Victory of Umberto Lenzi.
In The Possessed of Wajda, you play a Stavroguine forever
worrying in this very tight adaptation of Dostoyevsky. Sophie
Marceau with whom you turn La Boum 2 et Chouans! , taught you
the primordial art of kissing on screen; Sean Connery the economy of means,
and Valérie Lemercier for whom you play a prince in
Royal Palace, has been able to push you far in self-deprecation.
So you tour with great directors like André Téchiné,
Peter Greenaway, Philippe de Broca or Andrzej Wajda. Two films
will forever mark both critics and the general public: La Vouivre,
adapted and directed by your father and Winter 54, Abbé Pierre, by Denis
Amar, where your remarkable incarnation of the man of faith will earn you the
Jean Gabin Award.
But when one perseveres in one’s being, self-confinement can
become weary. That’s why you keep diversifying since
popular comedy, science fiction and drama: I
think of Merovingian, a disturbing squire and lover of swearing in
Matrix Reloaded, alongside Monica Belucci; the ideal son-in-law in the
musical comedy by Alain Resnais
Jet-Set. You also like to work on films that
open substantive debates, with for example Like others redefined
the notion of the family, or of men and gods, which invites to dialogue
interreligious and to a reflexive pause on our ways of living.
The complete artist that you are is also very present on the small
screen, on the boards, as an interpreter but also as
director of Jean-Luc Lagarce, Marivaux or Racine, reciting
poems and reader of great literary texts, and moreover singer.
You sing Bach, Purcell, Handel as baritone Martin
the repertoire of the American musical. You record
among others Musicals with the Monte-Carlo Philarmonic Orchestra under
the direction of John McGlinn and Peer Gynt [pronouncing Peer Günt] under
by Guillaume Tourmiaire. Last year, shortly after the
loss of your father, you triumphed with Leslie Caron on the scene of the
Théâtre du Châtelet in the musical A Little Night Music.
Dear Lambert, maturity suits you well. Time and life give
often to artists the ability to depose themselves to learn to
give more of yourself, in favor of an art that sometimes still touches
more just. Like those who once forced your admiration,
with experience and wisdom, it is your turn today to
fascinate others. I want to salute your extraordinary talent,
your talents should I say, but also to emphasize this requirement without
fault, those challenges that made you a dandy at the
sprezzatura all the more perfect as it makes you a follower of
anxiety and impertinence. In you, the honest man builds himself
every day. To take back the title of Alain Resnais, with Lambert,
“you haven’t seen anything yet”!
Dear Lambert Wilson, on behalf of the President of the Republic, we
Let’s make Officer in the National Order of Merit.