The Festival of Eurpean Cinema, October 16th - 18th 2009
I'm barely home when I've jumped on a plane again, this time to Paris, and well the suburbs really. This interesting liveaction and animation festival is like a festival on wheels, visiting many small cinemas on the outskirts of Paris, which has meant much jumping into cars and heading off to different locations and jumping out straight onto stage and giving a long talk to many may enthusiastic people. At the moment my knowledge of geography is as insecure as my knowledge of what time it is. But I seem to be a guest of honour along with Milos Forman, who had leaft before I arrived. What this meant was that I've had a compelte retrospective and at a casual chat with the jury and the public today I was presented with an honoury award. This surprised and touched me enormously, and a lovely award to. And the reaction to the films and my worshop yesterday also touched me. What left me feeling slightly awkward was them showing Mars Attacks in reference to me, but I got round anything too uncomfortable by talking about the significance of that film, and how in the end the computer graphics were definitely the right way to go. I wasn't able to see the film - actually I have only ever seen it once. One guy was clearly trying to make me own up to feeling angry or sad but I didn't rise to that.
But looking at my films with fresh eyes today, they are not bad. they are certainy inventive and thought through. They were screened from the DVD, and it is odd how some players show the films and the colours are burnt out and the whole image hideously bright, but today, in france, where the DVD was manufactured the films look gorgeous, and sharp and rich but not saturated.
Yes it has all been a bit crazy and I've had great chats to the lovely and such hard working staff and interpreters, but the only real film maker I met was Joe Lawler whose low budget, community acted film, Helen, I went to see only, I confess, out of loyalty, and boy was I pleasantly surprised. It hadn't been sold to me well but what a great movie, beautifully constructed, with great design and interesting staging. On the surface it is about a young girl involved with reconstructing a possible murder, or least missing persons case. Her own life was less than exciting but this act gave here purpose and put her in touch with a more interesting life. It was superficially a crime mystery perhaps, but the camera lingered on artificially long pauses, or movement of policemen that verged on choreography and so on. The effect was unsettling and tense and poetic and rather wonderful. Very glad to have seen it and spent some rather giddy few hours with joe, taking advantage that we were the only natural english speakers. Good company and clearly a good film maker, but ask him about the man with the truck to get a wry smile.
Two long days, with a great meal with Joe and Gilles our interpreter one night, and then I grabbed a banana and nutella crepe walking home on this night - that was bliss.
The 'what's your next film' is a hard question to answer - fifty times. What is my next film....answers on a postcard please.