“It’s humanly impossible for one person to take that much on their shoulders without farting at the fret. I’ve always wondered, “What would happen if at some point the tick jumped?” And it turned into Jour de merde,” Kevin T. Landry explains with a laugh.
The filmmaker’s first solo feature chronicles the nightmarish day of Maude (Eve Ringuette), a young single mother working for Loto-Gold who is sent into the woods to interview a strange hermit, Gaétan (Réal Bossé), whose reasons for isolation will gradually be revealed.
What an absurd situation, you say to yourself? Know that Kevin T. Landry already applied, when he left university, for a videographer position at Loto-Québec. “I found it so ironic as a job, especially at the salary they were offering. Your life is going to interview people who just made half a million, who have a much better quality of life than you and a bright future while you eat peanut butter toast, “he illustrates. -he.
“That’s kind of the situation I wanted for Maude. She lives in a situation where her ex never pays her pensions, she tears it up with her bazou who threatens to let go and worse her son who does not stop disgusting her. Worse on top of that, her job is to be confronted with the happiness of others, which is always in her face. »
The idea of bringing together the destinies of the characters of Maude and Gaétan comes from a desire to juxtapose two stories of uprooting. Maude is Innu and lives far from her family on the North Shore, Gaétan is cloistered in a chalet in the Laurentians against his will. “There’s something really trippy about that encounter. They are two beings who look strangely alike,” says Réal Bossé.
It was the film Until Decline, in which Réal Bossé plays a slightly crazy survivalist, which confirmed that the actor was the right one to play the strange Gaétan. “We needed an actor who could turn on a dime, quickly go from menacing to candor,” says the director. “And able to split wood,” jokes Réal Bossé.
As for Eve Ringuette, her affiliation with the project was the “biggest stroke of luck” of Kevin T. Landry’s film career. “A casting director friend, who immediately imagined her in the role of Maude, introduced her to me in 2020, at the Rendez-vous Québec Cinéma. It was simply love at first sight. »
The desire to create an indigenous character obviously comes from a desire to show diversity on screen, but not only. While editing the series Le Rhythm, which follows young Aboriginal musicians, the filmmaker fell in love with the meaning of Innu laughter. “That’s part of where my desire to make a film with a biting dark humor came from, so it was a completely natural choice. »
Shitty Day is a difficult film to categorize. “There, we agreed on black comedy, but there are elements of thriller and film noir…”, tells us the director. Even if the mixture of genres is less present in Quebec cinema, Kevin T. Landry is categorical: there is certainly room for this way of making films.
“Everything Everywhere All At Once [which won seven Oscar statuettes] is a perfect example. It’s sci-fi, comedy, and family drama all rolled into one. It can be an incredible playground, as long as you stay focused on the story you want to tell. »
What is certain is that Jour de merde traces the path of Kevin T. Landry well. “I found the quirky universe in which I am comfortable. That really is my playground.”