Hervé P. Gustave – HPG, son vit, son oeuvre (1999)
Who’s the F*** is HPG???
1966 : Birth
1984 : He fails brilliantly his exams in electro-mecanics. Nevertheless, he gets an A in PE.
He turns to a more physical profession.
1988 : He starts to frequent quite assiduously the peep-shows of the Rue Saint Denis. He really takes all the profit of the invested 10 francs and is already able to restrain himself until the closing of the curtain. Noticing his own endurance, he decides to audition for the famous Theater Saint Denis. He will work there during two years, as well as at the Lolita Club, another famous place…in this small world of the erotic theaters.
1990 : Noticed by a famous director, so famous that he quickly forgets his name, he gets his first part in a porn movie. With the masterpiece A brazilian woman at the Trocadéro he finds himself pushed on the box-office, and since then success has never failed him.
He has made 300 films, among which, the famous Sodoman and Street Flashing Grannies, genuine gems within the author cinema
A exemplary career, apart from a few shootings with no condom
1995 : From this year on he is nominated for the « Hot d’Or » (porn version of the Grammies), in the best actor category and also in numerous other festivals.
He never wins the prize though, he s probably too much of an avant-gardiste, not commercial enough.
1996 : A new step in his career. He starts to direct his own amateur films : wild street shootings.. Somehow you could say it is the Nouvelle Vague rising against studio made movies. He also decides to shave his privates, a proof of total commitment. From now on, all the girls he meets outside his professional activity wonders which strange sect this guy belongs to.
1997 : Not quite so glorious, he shaves his head because he starts to lose his hair. By the way, this is a rather bad year, during a shoting he burns his cock with a light bulb, like Michael Jackson. And that is not all ! He has to get circumcised, having used an inappropriate cream.
A painful experience, since immediately after the operation, he tears off the stiches with a hard-on !
Nevertheless nothing could stop him in his conviction and his determination. By the way, Cedric Klapich makes him play a part in his short-film The Room (3 000 screenplays against a virus) which gives him a chance to see his dick on the giant screen of the Grand Rex Movie Theater.
Since then he is determined to do classical cinema.
And so he moves on and produces, directs and plays in “Porn actor, at your service”, a short film somewhere between porn, author-film and comedy.
People such as Jacques Audiard, Catherine Breillat, Léos Carax, Jean-Luc Godard, Mathieu Kassovitz, Cédric Klapich, Gaspard Noé, Jean-François Richet et Lars Von Trier are interested in his work.
Claude Lelouch is dismayed.
1998 : He takes part in an exhibition-performance, 21 x 5 in an art galery in Paris.. He gets started in production and launches his own structure HPG Production. At the moment, he loses money.
1999 : He admires himself in All the same ?, a documentary by Michel Reilhac, the general director of the Videothèque in Paris and Romance a feature film by Catherine Breillat, in which he found his performance than Sagamore Stevenin’s.
Furthermore, the Cinematheque Francaise (French Film Library) presents some of his works. Stupefaction and a good laugh. The filmed intimate diary “HPG, son vit, son œuvre” impossible to translate pun: “vit” means cock and is pronounced the same as “vie” which means life) could not leave the audience cold. A short version of the project is shown on Canal+ in january 2001 but removed because of the scandal it provokes, especially amongst the “chiennes de garde” (a group of hard-core feminists). He replies in image with “Chiennes prenez garde” (Chiennes take care), an hymn to his freedom symbolized by an hysterical and indistinct reading on a plane of a text from Virgine Despentes with the subliminal participation of the author and of Coralie thrin Thi.
HPG works regularly with John B Root, a smarter than average pornograph and prepares his website hpgnet.com. The website will take a long time to complete, one can t do everything in the same time..
2000 : Always in the front-line of the artistic originality, he is starring in the first french porn film including the use of steadicam. The journalists want to interview him more frequently. Of that experience he learnt one thing (Certain female journalists are so involved in their work that they even want to have sex with him) and also a questioning ( why do they consider him as the intellectual of porn ?). He gets the leading male part in the feature film Baise moi (Fuck me) by Virginie Despentes. But finaly, his participation is reduced a lot during the editing. He is also starring in The pornograph at the side of Jean-Pierre Léaud. During the shoting, he actually spends much more time jerking of in front of the actress Romane Bohringer than giving the line. When he understands that he is not really awaited in classical cinema, he decides to get things started and to write a feature film.
2001 : The production company Moby Dick proposes him a contract for writing and directing a feature film. Film in which Hervé will also be an actor. Collaborating with several co-authors teaches him that he prefers writing alone rather than seing his crazyness restrained in any way.The project falls through but he’ s learnt a lesson for the future.
2002 : Publishing of « HPG, Autobiography of a Pornstar » (HACHETTE Litterature): an exercise of complete mastery on the subject he knows best, himself…. Where we find out that happiness according to HPG is being followed by a bicycle when oneself is riding a bicycle.
Hervé directs a short film « Psychiatric Hospital of garrison » in which Herve breaks the world record for the greatest number of girls penetrated in the quickest amount of time, all this in front of a group of journalists. No doubt that this guy has time to waste!
The less than satisfactory result and the actresses’ bewilderment,make him understand two things: the importance of the scenaristic work and the fact that he can take advantage of unwanted situations. In a way he s catching up with lost time.
2003 : Hervé divides his time between his activity as a porn star and the making of his first short-film « Hypergolique » in collaboration with Terry Bullet video clips maker for Queen (hence a discreet tribute to Freddie Mecury in Herve’s stage movements and the wearing of pink underwear). This episode takes him back to his past as a gigolo mixed with existentialist artistic aspirations, it dawns on him that respecting a budget is quite stressful and also that by listening too much to other people’s advice he stop doing what he really wants. This short film bears in germ many elements of his future feature film.
2004 : At the end of april the French Cinematheque organizes another night dedicated to him: “ HPG, the bomb” (La bombe HPG). The short film Hypergolique is shown then. The film has been selected for Gay & Lesbian festivals of Paris, Lisbon and Torino, for Belfort festival, for the UFO night at the “Paris Tout Court” (short film) festival, amongst others. HPG’s in an effort to present his work lets go completely, a memorable free performance diversely appreciated.
2005 : Olivier Py, director of the Theatre de l’Odeon in Paris directs the opera “Tannhauser” at the grand theatre de Geneve. In October he calls HPG and his girlfriend, the model Lza for a performance in the work. With HPG, scandal is always around the corner, the press talks more about him than about the tenors. The swiss minister of culture outraged by the fact that HPG plays the part of a Minotaure with an erection, considers banning the show.
While the tenors warm their voices up, HPG gets ready in his own way behind a curtain. The team could nt believe their eyes when they discovered him masturbating in front of a porn magazine, bought with his own funds, stuck on a music stand!
While in Switzerland, the festival “ Paris tout court” orders a new project from him. A short film made with a mobile phone. The result is “Option Artisite”, in two parts, a meaningless dialog between him and Lza and a half-baked reflection on the mobile phone as a vehicle for image. As a conclusion: a knob is a knob , no matter the format.
2006 : Release of HPG’s first long movie : On ne devrait pas exister…..(we shouldn’t exist, featuring ML Berry and Rachida Brakni from he prestigious comédie française. A movie halfway between intimist film d auteur, tragicomedy, improvisation and aesthetic research.
The films tells HPG’s relational difficulties and his willingness to abandon pornography in order to enter the traditional movies’ world.
Autobiography ? No. reality made fictitious. The film is chosen for the filmakers’ forthnight(la Quinzaine des Réalisateurs) at Cannes 2006 festival. It s a real success. The media write more than a 100 pages about it, which somehow comforts a now indebted man.
Then a short time movie also shot in switzerland : « DANGER RISQUE DE CHUTE » (DANGER, RISK OF FREE FALL) It s a tribute to LZA in the form of vertiginous introspection, involving misunderstanding and suffering. HPG s selfishness is hère magnificently depicted : « Herve is supposed to shoot a 52 minute film about me but it will only talk about him »then another short movie : J aime la censure (I like censorship)”, a more recreational reflection about freedom of speech and cowardliness, a feaure of his own character he s always been aware and proud of. In the movie he holds hostage the director of a festival on censorship to make sure he will show his works.
2007 : He presents an online tv show : The HPG point. HE interviews Henri Chapier, the king of the in-depth interview, he tries to shock him but fails to do so. He has found his master
HPG is currently working on a second long movie : Hip movements, his choice is not to repeat nor to parody himself. A difficult task as he tackles a subject that has always scared him : having a child.
To keep busy in the meanwhile he releases« HPG, mon vit, mes œuvres »a compilation in the form pf a DVD of all the previoulsy mentioned short movies. One will note that HPG, totally uninhibited, henceforth accepts to talk about himself in the first person. He is in relationship for more than a year with his girlfriend Gwenaelle.