Interviews Archive for April, 2012

The Gronvall Files: BETWEEN TERENCE DAVIES AND THE DEEP BLUE SEA

For a world-class filmmaker, Terence Davies keeps a fairly low profile; you’re not likely, for instance, to catch him chatting on late-night TV (in part because the director-screenwriter dislikes travel and hardly ever watches television). He has channeled his energies into his work, from ruminative autobiographical features like “Distant Voices, Still Lives” and “The Long Day Closes,” about Britain in the 1940s and 1950s, to his masterly adaptation of the Edith Wharton classic “The House of Mirth” (starring Gillian Anderson in one of her best movie roles), followed by the acclaimed documentary “Of Time and the City,” about his native Liverpool.

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“It would be difficult to find something made by a human being that isn’t pregnant with a vision of the world. Likely impossible. It’s inherent to existence. It turns out that world visions can coincide with a certain hegemonic idea of what the world is —or not. It’s like when they say that “indie cinema” is intellectual, simply because it does not coincide with a narrative system the industry legitimates. But the industry is as intellectual as ‘indie’ movies. The difference is that one affirms reality, doesn’t call it into question. And not all ‘art movies’ are after that. You’ve got to call reality into doubt. Or better yet, I’d say you’ve got to be suspicious of reality. Because if you’re not, there’s no possible transformation. Every one of us who has done cinema —to speak just of moviemaking— has contributed our perspectives to a vision of the world. A community needs that —lots of perspectives. There will be times when some are valued more than others. But the really important thing is that a lot of different visions coexist. The big task is to facilitate that variety.”
~ Lucrecia Martel

“It’s a film festival’s job—and increasingly so—to create moments of recognition, of enjoyment, of shock, of learning. Not of consumerism. Not of implementing cultural policy. But moments without pretence, unclouded by vested interests, by intervention, by cynicism, by everyday business. Committed to nothing but the thing itself. Under obligation to nothing, to no one, not even to the filmmakers themselves. To basically seek access to a form that does not yet exist, a place no one has been to, a time that has not yet come. ’A form that thinks, and a thought that forms,’ as Jean-Luc Godard has it.”
~ Hans Hurch, late director of the Viennale