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By DP30 david@thehotbuttonl.com

DP/30: Amour, writer/director Michael Haneke (LA 2012)

Please see “DP/30 @ Cannes 2012: Amour, writer/director Michael Haneke” for more conversation specific to this movie.

This Interview interpreted by Robert Grey.

7 Responses to “DP/30: Amour, writer/director Michael Haneke (LA 2012)”

  1. Kevin says:

    Maybe next time you could treat Micheal with a little more respect, and ask him some decent questions?

  2. David Poland says:

    Perhaps you will give me a list…

  3. shank says:

    Watching this interview is so awkward..Bad silly questions..totally wasted the great man’s time

  4. scooterzz says:

    finally got around to watching this and must call bullshit on those first two comments…where exactly is the ‘disrespect’ and what questions would you two geniuses asked the ‘great man’? (really?…’great man’?…jeeze, fanboys can sometimes be such boors)…

  5. David Poland says:

    This attitude came up on the first Haneke interview too. Not sure what they want. Don’t much care. Haneke seemed engaged. That’s what I am after.

    It’s funny. I was quite intimidated the first time around with MH and with Olivier Assayas, The Dardennes, and a few others. Each time, it’s turned out that the director was far more down to earth and less up his/their own ass than I feared. So I remember pretty much every one of those with great pleasure.

    I had a pretty specific conversation about Amour with Haneke in Cannes and I’m not sure there was a ton more to say about that film. He is not terribly interested in self-dissection. So I did in this one what I do with many extremely talented people… I had a conversation as I might over dinner. I’m not saying it’s always great. But I don’t run into many people who are anxious to run as soon as the shoot is over. And MH and I did 10 minutes – that I wish I had on tape – on today’s indie film scene. He was not insulted or unhappy with the conversation. And that’s really my first goal. Then I pray that it is interesting for the viewers.

  6. Niall Maher says:

    David,

    What you do – I love.
    Your interviews give an insight into both the creative and the fiscal aspects of the film making process.Fantastic.

    Now David – the rub – PLEASE PLEASE have a bit of a chat with your camera crew.

    It’s below par, the constant re-framing suggest people justifying their existence.

    One good Mid – and THAT is a good interview.

    Sorry to leave a negative comment.

  7. Matt says:

    Thank you Niall, exactly what I was thinking:

    Great job David, but the camera is irritatingly distracting.

    Simplify please. One MID all the way.

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DP/30

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“The core fear is what can happen to you, personally. Your body. That’s what horror films deal with, precisely. We are a very thin skin wrapped around a pumping heart and guts. At any given moment it can come down to that, be it diseases, or somebody’s assault, or war, or a car wreck. You could be reduced to the simple laws of physics and your body’s vulnerability. The edged weapon is the penultimate weapon to disclose that reality to you.”
~ Wes Craven, 1996, promoting Scream

MAMET
Well, that, to me, is always the trick of dramaturgy; theoretically, perfectly, what one wants to do is put the protagonist and the audience in exactly the same position. The main question in drama, the way I was taught, is always what does the protagonist want. That’s what drama is. It comes down to that. It’s not about theme, it’s not about ideas, it’s not about setting, but what the protagonist wants. What gives rise to the drama, what is the precipitating event, and how, at the end of the play, do we see that event culminated? Do we see the protagonist’s wishes fulfilled or absolutely frustrated? That’s the structure of drama. You break it down into three acts.

INTERVIEWER
Does this explain why your plays have so little exposition?

MAMET
Yes. People only speak to get something. If I say, Let me tell you a few things about myself, already your defenses go up; you go, Look, I wonder what he wants from me, because no one ever speaks except to obtain an objective. That’s the only reason anyone ever opens their mouth, onstage or offstage. They may use a language that seems revealing, but if so, it’s just coincidence, because what they’re trying to do is accomplish an objective… The question is where does the dramatist have to lead you? Answer: the place where he or she thinks the audience needs to be led. But what does the character think? Does the character need to convey that information? If the answer is no, then you’d better cut it out, because you aren’t putting the audience in the same position with the protagonist. You’re saying, in effect, Let’s stop the play. That’s what the narration is doing—stopping the play… It’s action, as Aristotle said. That’s all that it is—exactly what the person does. It’s not what they “think,” because we don’t know what they think. It’s not what they say. It’s what they do, what they’re physically trying to accomplish on the stage. Which is exactly the same way we understand a person’s character in life—not by what they say, but by what they do. Say someone came up to you and said, I’m glad to be your neighbor because I’m a very honest man. That’s my character. I’m honest, I like to do things, I’m forthright, I like to be clear about everything, I like to be concise. Well, you really don’t know anything about that guy’s character. Or the person is onstage, and the playwright has him or her make those same claims in several subtle or not-so-subtle ways, the audience will say, Oh yes, I understand their character now; now I understand that they are a character. But in fact you don’t understand anything. You just understand that they’re jabbering to try to convince you of something.
~ David Mamet

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