By Ray Pride

Denis Côté

“I saw Dario Argento’s films that were much more artistic. And when I was around fifteen or sixteen, I considered making films. At eighteen I went to college but had no friends there, because it was very far. All I could do then was to concentrate on cinema. My teacher was my best friend and we had a list of films we had to watch. Pasolini, Godard, Fassbinder, Cassavetes, Pialat, Zulawski. I was amazed and it was obvious I wanted to be a filmmaker. I never went to university after that, never been to film school. I was more of a rocker, I had very long hair and organized concerts, but was always at the local cinémathèque, watching three, four films a day, and losing girlfriends because of cinema… I was too passionate. One day I was asked if I wanted to talk about cinema on the radio… for free! I did that for four years and then they asked me if I’d like to write for a newspaper. I was twenty-four and had never touched a computer. It was 1999! They said, “Don’t make us laugh. Go see that film and tomorrow morning bring us back a diskette with the text.” I borrowed a computer from my friend who told me how to use it. I wrote my review and they said, “Very nice. Be back next week. We will give you your desk and computer and will hire. You are our film editor.” It was a small newspaper but had good readership. I would write a full page on an Abbas Kiarostami retrospective and then two or three lines on Spider-man. That is how I made my reputation as a film critic. In 2005, I made my first film, Drifting States. I really didn’t know what I was making. When it was finished, I watched it with my editor and we thought, “Is it a fiction, is it a documentary, what is it?” It was really exciting! Then I heard that Locarno Film Festival was interested in the film. I was like, “What is Locarno?” We sent the film and won the main award in the video competition. That was the beginning of my career. After that I made a film every year.
Denis Côté


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What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
To have to die.

What do you most dislike about your appearance?

What is your favourite smell?
Fracas perfume by Robert Piguet.

If you could bring something extinct back to life, what would you choose?
The lost plays by Aeschylus and Sophocles.
~ Isabelle Huppert at 65

“I come from a generation where men were men. There’s nothing soft or touchy-feely about any of us, where we were from in Wales. There’s a negative side to that, because we’re not very good at receiving love or giving it. We don’t understand it. After Richard Burton died, his brother Graham invited me to the Dorchester where they were all having a get-together, the wives and the men, all the sisters and brothers. All pissed. And I noticed the women were sipping their ports and brandy, but all the men were, ‘Come on, drink! Drink!’ I thought, ‘There’s something very Greek about this.’ Men together. You know, like the bouzouki dancers. It’s not homosexuality, but it is a sexuality, a kind of bonding. That’s what I was thinking of.”
~ Anthony Hopkins