Last month, she received the Lumière Award in Lyon and in September, she received the Silver Lion for directing at the Venice Film Festival for dog powerHis new movie has been available since Wednesday on Netflix. It pits a cowboy, played by Benedict Cumberbatch, against her new sister-in-law, played by Kirsten Dunst. The 67-year-old New Zealand director, the first female Palme d’Or in Cannes piano lesson The film character was undoubtedly the best to reflect on the exceptional international influence of female directors, especially French female directors, such as Julia Ducornu or Audrey Diwan, and on the evolution of women’s roles in cinema since #MeToo.
Have male characters put you at the center of “dog power” out of provocation?
I think there’s no reason why directors shouldn’t tell men’s stories, especially when they have an impact on women. The look at masculinity and the oppression to which it can be subjected, both men and women, made me want to immerse myself in this story by Thomas Savage which evokes, in my opinion, a life wasted by a society that did not leave the possibility of prosperity. What happened to these guys in Montana in the 1920s broke my heart and it has nothing to do with their gender or the genre of the movie. I’m always a little upset to see some reduce the movie to a simple western…
Would you refuse to put your film in a box?
exactly ! Honestly, it’s such a thing that a guy would want to name everything! dog power It happens in the American West, that’s right. But the narrative deconstructs the myth of the West with its manly and indestructible men. This is about approaching their reality, not transcending a layer of myth. It wasn’t easy being a different man at the time. I find it a pity that we have to reassure the public by sticking labels on the works, that’s a terrible shorthand! It is as if we are talking about “women’s films”. Female directors have always been seen as feminists with underarm hair. These silly ideas should be put aside.
Weren’t these thoughts swept away by the #MeToo movement?
Yes and I am happy. Ten years ago I couldn’t make a movie like dog power. Knowing that the financiers will be carried out by a woman, the financiers will refuse. There was a stubborn notion that women had neither the competence nor the authority to carry out a collective project, especially of this scale. There, if I had a hard time finding financing, it was because the movie was too expensive, and not because I’m a woman. This is tremendous progress. It’s clear that #MeToo has given women a better voice. But not only this. I think the complexity they often bring to their stories is also important. The audience wants stories less than one dimensional, from different perspectives. It can be felt in the cinema, especially on television. Financiers realized that while many gentlemen watch sports, many ladies want to see something else and are willing to pay for it. Let’s not lie to ourselves: money is always the center of attention.
Why do you think the female directors took so long to win?
We didn’t give them a chance. For years, I felt very lonely with the firm impression that everything interesting was going on in the boys. The next generation is coming and I’m happy. The success of one leads to the other and generates the confidence of the producers. Women who prove to be good filmmakers not because they are women, but because they have talent. They just had to be able to express it. It’s funny to think of how many areas it has been said that women will not be able to succeed and where they have ended up excelling.
Did you get it personally?
You have no idea! I struggled for a long time to impose myself because the guys in the place considered me a pain in the ass. When I left my film school, one of my teachers advised not to accept TV by not accepting my request to direct the series daze dance For the benefit of the boys of his students. It took producer Jan Chapman, who went on to make my films piano lessonAnd Holy smoke And bright Star, goes so far as to impose myself. In this case, I only learned about it later, but we had to constantly fight it against this kind of behavior. Some women did not hold out. Lots of wasted talent!
How have you resisted all these years?
I’m not the type to let myself down, that’s what saved me. But I thought of my favorite novelists like Emily Bronte, who undoubtedly had more difficulty imposing her vision on her time than I did. I always told myself that no one could steal from me, nor what I had to say, nor what I was suffering inside of me. And I always refused to give up, because I knew that if I gave in, it would be over for me. You wouldn’t see me direct superhero movies, even if you offered me a fortune! I found the same design on Julia Docornau. She was the one who gave me the Lumiere Prize in Lyon.
Did you like his movie “Titan”?
What a shock! Julia Docorno came up with everything without apologizing. She takes responsibility for what she shows and what she says. It’s a feeling and it’s great to see that such an original movie can be enjoyed so much. Golden Palm Titanium It’s well deserved and I hope the movie finds its place as well at the Oscars, although I suspect it would be tough in such a radical universe. But I like the idea that women can make strong organic movies, just great movies. This is what ultimately matters in cinema: the quality of the films.
I think this term is cliched. Not all men are the same, and neither are all women. But I am convinced that there is a difference of views between men and women. It is also undeniable that we are in a patriarchal society and often see things from a male point of view. It is good to move these lines. Everyone has to earn. Titanium Appears ! In Lyon, I met women of all ages who told me that my films had an impact on their lives. Some even wore a T-shirt with my name on it. I felt like a rock star. It’s not just a matter of “feminine look” but what we have to say.
Like showing Harvey Keitel naked in “The Piano Lesson”?
Many women came to thank me for that which made me laugh! I wouldn’t go so far as to say it was a “female look”! Quite frankly, I never thought it would have such an effect on so many women. But I fully assume so. So it makes me happy
How do you see the future?
I remain very vigilant about women’s rights. Of course, things change in the area of equality between women and men, but we must not let our guard down. It is always possible to go back when you have to keep moving forward. I always feel energized. I’m even considering shooting a new movie and teaching cinema to promote the emergence of female directors as well as female directors. I dream of a free education full of challenges as I wanted to take advantage of it in the past.
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