Seine and Marne: From James Bond to Taxi, the mechanic with 1,300 films opens the memory box

Seine and Marne: From James Bond to Taxi, the mechanic with 1,300 films opens the memory box

Christian Bonichon never left Montcourt-Fromonville ©RSM77/YV

He doubled down James Bond, all the greatest French actors from Belmondo to Gabin to Delon… and even Claudia Schiffer with a blonde wig on her head! at 72, Christian Bonnichon de Montcourt Fromonville (Seine-et-Marne) has many stories to tell: “the world of cinema is always fascinating, he laughs. The general public does not have access to filming, so it is true that I experienced something extraordinary”.

On Friday, Treille’s multi-purpose room will likely be filled for the video conference he will give, with film clips interspersed with anecdotes. And anecdotes, of course, the mechanic of the cinema is not lacking!

This native of Moncourt, whose grandfather ran the cafe on rue Grande and whose father ran the truck garage, has always developed in the world of cars and motorcycles: “I was born into it,” he says. To I was in the workshops for five years”.

Remy Julien’s right hand man

13 years old, he meets Jean Sunny, then Remy Julien, known to his father: “I used to play crazy on two wheels on the way to the ditches. I was not meant to make films at all”. But fate will give him a beautiful gift: an invitation from Mr. Julien to come and work with him on the shooting ofA police officer in Saint Tropez when he was “almost” 18 years old. “I was supposed to stay for a few days, but it was 1968 in the midst of strikes. Filming lasted from May to the end of July. They were looking for mechanics who knew how to drive. But since I was born in November 1950, I hadn’t been able to get my license yet. I took all the photos without permission! “.

On the set of the movie Taxi
On the set of the movie Taxi ©DR

The sequel will reward him for his audacity: he is asked for a big Italian production, he starts driving in the pictures that accumulate. So he will spend 20 years of his life shooting movies, preparing cars and performing stunts, with Remy Julien. “I was his right hand man. In 1987 we parted ways, I returned to the heavyweight world. But Gérard Pires found me to take me to the United States to shoot a commercial for Peugeot”.

I did three James Bonds and the five taxis

Christian Bonnichon

And very quickly the machine gets carried away, responding to requests from all over the world, all the way to Japan, each time with big budgets and increasingly crazy filming, between aircraft carriers and pyramids of 10 cars. ” At one time I was making 200 films a year with employees“.

A company that is not aware of the crisis and that makes you dream: “I did three James Bonds, the five taxis for which I designed the double-driving car in Moret and then in Nemours. It was the good old days, we managed to block three streets in Paris for one scene”.

Videos: currently on Actu

And this unique know-how that made him one of the best: ” You have to be precise and I learned from the best, with Remy Julien which ensured the safety of the falls. I learned more watching the stunts than doing them. You have to be able to stop the car moving at full speed 40 centimeters from the camera, you can’t improvise! “.

Unexpected encounters, like here with porn star Laure Sinclair in Taxi's car
Unexpected encounters, like here with porn star Laure Sainclair in the Taxi car ©DR

As of the balance sheet, the accounts are impressive: 1300 ads and 60 movies. And now ? It’s hard to really retire. “This is passionate work. They often call me and I will lend a hand to a director”. Even in retirement, the cinematographer will never say no to the last lap.

Video conference in La Treille multi-purpose hall, Friday 7 October at 8:00 p.m., organized by the Friends of Moncourt Heritage. ENTRANCE FREE.

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