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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

From the Mouths of Filmmakers: Alain Guiraudie

Alain Guiraudie
Photo by John Parra - © 2014 John Parra - Image courtesy
By Alain Guiraudie and Joshua Handler 

Recently I've been disturbed by the amount of people who don't seek out independent films, non-English-language films, and classics.  So, I asked some of the most distinctive voices in independent and world cinema to submit responses to a few questions about why/if they think indies/non-English-language films/classics are important to view, and how those films have been influential on their careers.

The response below is from French director Alain Guiraudie, best known for his 2013 film, Stranger by the Lake.  He won the Un Certain Regard Directing Prize and the Queer Palm for the film at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival for Stranger.  Stranger was named the best film of 2013 by Cahiers du Cinéma and one of the top 10 films of 2013 by Sight & Sound Magazine.  Alain has also directed such films as The King of Escape and Du soleil pour les gueux. 

Do you feel that it is important for people to view independent and world cinema and why?
I think it is important to see all the kind of cinemas. I think it is important to be curious as a a human being as well.
Do you feel that it is important for aspiring filmmakers and filmgoers to view films of the past and why (if you don't feel that it is important, please tell why)? 
Film of the past are part of our history. For me it is necessary to know what the previous directors did... What kind of film the humanity produced before us... And I think that the desire to make one's film comes from watching films.
How did viewing indies and films from around the world help you when making STRANGER BY THE LAKE or any of your other films?
I don't really know how other films influence me. But I think that since my very first film, I have had a kind of dialogue through films with others directors. When I see some films, I can feel that I must go in one direction or sometimes, against [the other director's] proposition. In a certain way, I think that I did STRANGER BY THE LAKE against QUERELLE (the film by Fassbinder and the novel by Genet) even though I like them both.
What is one French film and one non-French film you'd recommend that filmgoers or aspiring filmmakers view? 
HAPPINESS by Todd Solondz
FLANDRES by Bruno Dumont
From the Mouths of Filmmakers will continue on Friday. 

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