Captain Thanase

Film by Martine Stora and Benoît Labourdette (32’28s, 1995).
22 November 1995. Published by Benoît Labourdette.

Meeting with André Malartre. The discovery of an inventor of theater.

André Malartre (1921-1995) was an inventor and teacher of theater, mainly working his art in the transmission, internships, group shows, many theatrical creations, in various frameworks, Caen and Normandy. Martine Stora who was one of his great friends, had asked, in 1995, to co-réaliser a documentary on him, important figure of the contemporary, yet unknown to the public theater. An exhibition, « Presence André Malartre », devoted November 24, 2016 January 4, 2017 at the City Hall of Caen (Yves Leroy). On this occasion, we found an old copy of the film, here is the opportunity a beautiful lesson of theatre.

Benoît Labourdette

City Hall - Place St Sulpice - Paris 1995 coffee

Just a burst of life

  • André, we wish, with Benoit, make a movie, a picture of you on all of your work as a designer, poet, teacher.
  • Ask me lots of questions then?
  • Yes.
  • But you know that I like to ask questions.

I knew and knew André Malartre modest, discreet. He did not talk about him, preferring to focus on others. But he welcomed this proposal.
However, at our first meeting he was playful and provocative! He arrived with a pile of papers, press kits, poetic texts and his ’valuable book"as he liked to say. He had decided to run the show and knew that ask me questions about my work (knowing that we were preparing another documentary on Paul Virilio), on my supposed vacation I had to take, leaving me very little speech, dodging through this to talk about his own person.
He had warned me. I tried a couple of approaches...

  • André, your very first theatrical shock that you already told me... poetry...
  • Tell me why you love poets?

I was laughing and realized that he needed time before taking off.
Eventually enthusiasm, humour, vitality and intensity were the key words of our meetings around the preparation of ’his’ film.
It is in this atmosphere that took regular interviews on the 1st floor of City Hall, Place St Sulpice coffee, before filming, between the months of March and the month of October 1995 at its venues in Paris.

As time passed, I felt the urgency of filming because despite the transcribed records where the simple notes recumbent on paper, the impact of his words, his voice, his posture, his way of communicating, its fun to talk about his theatrical search, for transmission to his students, his presence, called the camera.

The shooting took place in November 1995 in the Theatre of Alençon, led by then Jean-Claude Collot, former student and faithful friend.
The atmosphere was both concentrated, light and very cheerful.

Then, for various reasons, beyond our control, Benoît Labourdette and myself have been delayed in editing. We had planned to finish it in September.

In a letter that André Malartre addressed me on September 3, 1995, he wrote to me... “Back to school, I’ll resume my Paris trips... I’ll be Tuesday next to the opening of the exhibition of our friend Colette Klein”in the belly of the sky“. I hope to see you there, it’s Tuesday, September 12, from 6: 00... Yes, indeed, it would be although you have finished the portrait around September 15. We could thus provide a calendar of activities around the film...”

I keep this precious friend the great joy of sharing all these shards of life in poetry.

Martine Stora

Absence helps the power
and travels underground path
rougher than the night

an outbreak as a goal
Yet it goes beyond

“From death to love” extracted - poem by André Roman-Editions La Bruyère.


What is a “documentary” ? A singular look on the world, on reality. Any film, any work, offers a vision of the world, whether through fiction or not. Moreover, some documentaries include fiction, and vice versa. So why differentiate these two forms of cinema ? Perhaps simply to clarify what the audience should expect from the film : the proposal to live a dream in an imaginary, or the proposal to discover unknown parts of the world, as revealed by a unique (...)