The plot of your novel "Are Snakes Necessary" was supposed to be a movie?
Brian De Palma. I had tons of ideas I'd written over the years, thinking about scenarios. And then one day, I told Susan: What if we made a novel? I gave her the intrigues and the dialogues, and Susan developed the characters. When you write for the cinema, you do not work the characters too much, because they depend a lot on the actors who will embody them ...
Susan, was it hard working with Brian?
Susan Lehman. No, it was very pleasant! Brian has millions of ideas all the time. We tried to have fun with each other and we often arrived there.
Brian, it makes you happy, this retrospective at the Cinémathèque?
B. de P. I am very honored that the French recognize my work, as they did in 2000 at the Center Pompidou. That's why we published our book in France and not in the United States: because you seem to understand me better than "those" Americans.
Of all your movies, which ones are your favorites?
B. de P. I hate this question ...
So which one is the most undervalued?
B. de P. "Casualties Of War", which had bad reviews at its release, while I think it is the best movie about the Vietnam War.
And you like "Scarface"?
B. de P. "Scarface" is a wonderful film, very special. This is an example of a perfectly successful collaboration between different talents.
You have just finished "Domino", a film about terrorism, shot in Denmark, Belgium and Spain ...
B. de P. It was a horrible experience. The film was underfunded, it was far behind, the producer did not stop lying to us and did not pay some of my staff. I don't know at all if this feature will be released.
But you like it?
B. de P. Yes, it is good.
S.L. It's very good.
"Passion", your last movie, dates from 2012. Why did you wait five years before making a movie?
B. de P. If you do not just make a blockbuster, it's very hard to redo a movie ... I could never have done "Casualties Of War" (in 1989) if I had not done "The Untouchables"(in 1987).
You're mad at Hollywood ...
B. from P. Hollywood has changed. Dinosaur and superhero movies are made for kids! You can not make serious movies over there ... unless you are Spielberg and you are the studio. After "Mission: Impossible", when Tom (Cruise) said he wanted to make another one, I said, "Are you kidding?" Why do I want to make another movie like this? ... After that, I did "Snake Eyes", "Mission to Mars" and there I said: Stop. I was tired of these big movies, where you fight with the studios to know how much the special effects cost.
What movies did you recently like?
S.L. We love "A French village". We watched all the seasons and we will see them again.
Brian, have you been offered to make movies for Netflix?
B. de P. Yes, but I need a big screen because I am a visual stylist.
Since October, the world of cinema only talks about the Weinstein affair ...