Emotion and respect for the national tribute to Michel Bouquet at Les Invalides, in Paris

“Michel Bouquet will have burned the boards and punctured the screen for seventy years” : it is with these words that Emmanuel Macron began his praise, on Wednesday, April 27, during the national tribute to the actor at Les Invalides. “His face and his voice were the scene of all our feelings. In a hundred plays, in a hundred movies, he has turned the man upside down. continued the President of the Republic before some one hundred and fifty guests (including Francis Huster, Catherine Frot, Kad Merad, Julie Gayet, Nicole Calfan, Guillaume de Tonquédec, Jean-Marc Dumontet, etc.), a large part of the government and the family of this sacred monster of the tables, who died on April 13 at the age of 96.

“Michel Bouquet entered the theater as one enters religion. He believed in the personages of him as one believes in the divinities.continued Mr. Macron in a courtyard of honor where two large portraits offered the sweet and mischievous smile of the actor. “Fortunately, Michel Bouquet’s devouring love for the theater was not exclusive. The greatest filmmakers have forever pinned their genius on film. (…) It was, during these decades, that black sun of French cinema. Scanning our flaws, probing our anger, unmasking our contradictions and exposing our baseness, he reached deep into our souls to bring it all back. Intractable conscience of France, intractable because always true”insisted the President of the Republic.

“We must serve but not serve ourselves”

After Charles Aznavour, in October 2018, and Jean-Paul Belmondo, in September 2021, this is the third time that Emmanuel Macron has paid a national tribute to an artist. If we were joking, we would be tempted to say that it takes a death for the culture to be honored after an election campaign where it was never in doubt.

Also read: Article reserved for our subscribers Michel Bouquet, in 2006: “It is everything that escapes the actor that makes a great actor”

Before the presidential eulogy, three popular comedians, Fabrice Lucchini, Muriel Robin, Pierre Arditi, saluted the memory of this playmate and teacher. Everyone remembered the total respect that Michel Bouquet had for the authors and their texts: “We must serve but not serve ourselves”said who interpreted eight hundred times The king is dying, by Ionesco. “When you played, Michel, you imposed yourself, and what is very rare, something that is of the order of the indisputable (…), no one could replace you, underlined Fabrice Luchini. Also familiar with him, Pierre Arditi, who shared the stage with him on several occasions, ended his speech by saying: “Michel, you are the theater and the theater never dies. »

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