VIDEO - DE PALMA INTERVIEW FROM BEAUNE FEST
TALKS 'PASSION', BIG SCREENS VS. LITTLE, 40s NOIR AS INSPIRATION, MORE
Here are a few select transcripts from the video above:
What is your impression of the evolution of the thriller genre?
De Palma: That’s really hard to say, because mysteries are done a lot on television, all types of forms. They explore every story and character form you can imagine. But since I’m more of a visual storyteller, I find inspiration in the ‘40s and ‘50s where you told your stories more visually, rather than relying on the dialogue to explore the mystery.
Can you share your recollections of filming Passion?
De Palma: Well, you know, it’s made from a French film—I know both of the actresses that were in the French film—in fact, I talked to Ludivine yesterday. Unfortunately, when the film was made, the director was very ill, and so there was a lot of difficulty getting through the material. And I sort of felt from the actresses that they were not given the kind of range to explore their characters. In retelling the story in English, I had two actresses that knew each other very well, that took the story and their involvement into all kinds of bizarre directions, that made it a lot more intriguing. And I added a certain surrealistic element to it that I think improved the original.
Any opinions on current trends in new films?
De Palma: Of course there will be new fantastic movies. One disturbing problem is, of course, a lot of the new generation is watching movies on telephones and iPads and computers, so they’re not used to seeing things on a large screen. Which I think is a great loss, because some of the great classics are composed for the large screen. I mean, I don’t see how you could explain Once Upon A Time In The West or some of David Lean’s great movies unless you show this largeness, the scope that he portrayed on the screen. So that’s going to be kind of lost, but with every new technical invention, like I’m looking at right now, there are great advantages, and you discover new forms in order to tell stories.
Which filmmakers inspire you?
De Palma: Well, I live in New York and I spend a lot of time with a group of young directors that live downtown. And I quite like their work. One is Wes Anderson, and the other is Noah Baumbach. And they make movies entirely different than I do, but I find their work quite original. And I’ve known these directors for years. We try to meet once a week, and talk about cinema, and what’s going on, and what we like and what we don’t like.