An ambitious documentary film about the fantastic universe
of the American writer Howard Phillips Lovecraft
Directed by a team of experts, it will immerse the spectator into the universe of the famous writer and analyse his works and posterity under various angles.
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Interviews of specialists
The World of Lovecraft will be a full length documentary film. It will be made mostly of interviews of various personalities, driven by Gilles Menegaldo, which will shed light on various aspects of the writer’s work, but also on how it has influenced contemporary culture and how, nearly one hundred years after its publication, it resonates with some of the main concerns of our time. These interviews will be punctuated by archive footage showing the places where Lovecraft lived and where the action of his short stories takes place as well as by fantasy illustrations of his works created by Nicolas Fructus. At times, the voice of an actor reading excerpts of these works will be heard. On top of this, extracts of films adapted from or inspired by Lovecraft’s short stories will be shown.
An investigative film
Lovecraft, for his own pleasure and that of his readers, created a fictional universe, with cosmic entities, imaginary cities and books, among them the famous Necronomicon or Al Azif. This ancient manuscript is quoted many times in his stories. Written in Arabic by Abdul Alhazred in 730 AD in Damascus, it is supposed to contain many secrets as well as formulas allowing to summon creatures and monster gods like Yog-Sothoth or Cthulhu. Therefore, most governments on the planet have banned it.
The book itself is said to drive its readers crazy…
According to Lovecraft (History of the Necronomicon, 1936), there are several versions of the Necronomicon written in different languages, Greek, Latin, English, German… The National Library of Paris owns a version in Latin, printed in Spain in the 17th century.
At the time when our story begins, this book has disappeared from the storehouses of the National Library of Paris. The management, distraught and unwilling to disclose the case, has hired a private investigator to discreetly locate the book. This pretext will trigger the investigation into the world of Lovecraft.
Of this investigator-narrator (dressed in a felt hat and raincoat), we will only see the shadow or the silhouette, like Thompson, the Citizen Kane news reporter. Most of the time, a subjective camera will be the eyes of the investigator-narrator.
This investigator will enter into a fantastic library. Whether this library is imaginary or real, we shall not know. There, he will encounter various experts of Lovecraft (academics, folklorists, illustrators, writers, musicians, filmmakers…) by moving from one room to another, by pushing a door or a row of books hiding a staircase.
This library will be designed by Nicolas Fructus and then built as a miniature model by Pierre-François Lucas (puppeteer, scenographer). It will have the general appearance of a nave where books will be stored on both sides and even up to the ceiling. Doors, staircases, galleries, lamps will be part of the film set. Some elements will be painted in green (doors, picture frames…) to enable the embedding of other images, such as shots of interviewees, illustrations or landscapes of New England, the region where Lovecraft lived and where the action of some of his books takes place.
At the end, the investigator will understand that it is futile to search for the Necronomicon, since it is a book written by Lovecraft to entertain, but also manipulate his readers. Moreover, the computer file of the coveted book will disappear from the Library server at the end of the film.