“Night–for–night film­ing means you’re no longer de­pen­dent on the sky or the sun. It’s more se­ri­ous, more sex­ual, more dra­matic.”

VOGUE Hommes International (English) - - NIGHT ON EARTH -

VH Can you talk about it? It’s called The Death and Life of Joseph Dono­van. It’s a XD sin­is­ter, and at the same time very fes­tive and flam­boy­ant, look at show business to­day. It’s about this huge star, a sex sym­bol, the lat­est poster boy for the in­dus­try, the pub­lic and the me­dia, whose cor­re­spon­dence with an up–and–com­ing eleven–year–old ac­tor goes pub­lic. There’s a huge out­cry that leaves no one un­scathed. I in­tend it to be a re­flec­tion on pop­u­lar­ity and how the me­dia ma­nip­u­lates pub­lic opin­ion.

VH On pri­vacy too and how the fam­ily of celebri­ties re­spond to fame. If you blow it up to another level, it says some­thing about my ex­pe­ri­ence th­ese past six years, even though I in­vented the story from A to Z.

Lis­ten­ing to you, it’s hard not to think of a let­ter that did the VH rounds on­line after the last Cannes Film Fes­ti­val. A fan let­ter you wrote to Leonardo DiCaprio when you were eight$… There’s no con­nec­tion in my mind be­tween that let­ter XD and the film I wrote. Then again, there has to be. But I wrote a lot of fan let­ters, you know. I wrote to Danny DeVito, Susan Saran­don, Cé­line Dion, Alyssa Mi­lano, to the ac­tresses from Charmed and Buffy the Vam­pire Slayer$…

Did any of them write back? VH

Not one! XD

Is there any­thing about the way you work that will change with VH this film?

The sce­nario al­ways dic­tates the style of film­ing. XD The way I’ve writ­ten it, this film is!… op­u­lent. Grand. Mommy is about how the Amer­i­can dream back­fired; what hap­pens when you want to grab the dream with both hands, but be­long to a class that was never part of the con­cept. When the work­ing class try to buy into this dream, they’re con­fronted with the fact that it’s not for them, that it costs too much. It’s out­moded, it’s 1940s Los An­ge­les. The sys­tem spits out cer­tain peo­ple. The Death and Life of Joseph Dono­van tack­les Amer­i­can cin­ema, even go­ing as far as to ape cer­tain cult se­quences, or ask com­poser Gabriel Yared to par­ody Hans Zim­mer’s mu­sic. It’s a film about su­per­heroes, a re­flec­tion on what makes Amer­ica tick, what the pub­lic wants, what cre­ates a splash. It also con­sid­ers how we might raise the bar, give the pub­lic higher ex­pec­ta­tions. Some­thing we could achieve but most of the time fail, be­cause of a vi­cious cir­cle in which the me­dia plays its role. It’s also about what main­stream taste is, and how it’s man­u­fac­tured. All this has to be done like a Christo­pher Nolan film.

On a smaller bud­get$… VH

True, but a lot of money all the same. When a film costs XD this much, it has to be beau­ti­fully made. Au­di­ences de­serve it. Beyond its role as en­ter­tain­ment, cin­ema must re­main an art form. All those dread­ful, big–bud­get Hol­ly­wood movies, I find that re­volt­ing. It’s a lack of re­spect to have so much money and invest it so badly.

You once said that with hind­sight, you re­gret­ted never hav­ing lived the VH laid–back stu­dent life, when all you need do is de­cide to take time out and have it$… No, I’m too afraid for that. It’s as though we don’t re­alXD ise how fast the world is slip­ping from un­der our feet. Peo­ple are blink­ered by their busy lives, their per­sonal needs, their ca­reers, and fail to grasp that we are wit­ness­ing the end of civil­i­sa­tion as we know it. Un­less you’re more than 85 years old, this is some­thing we re­ally need to think about.

Hence your need to keep mov­ing so fast? VH

You have to try and make the films you want to make XD while you can. Don’t wait to try and change things. It’s like an ob­ses­sion. I don’t know what kind of a world we’ll be liv­ing in five years from now, so I re­ally have to make my films now. If only be­cause the world might end to­mor­row.

VH “MOMMY” is on gen­eral re­lease

from 19th Septem­ber Mu­sic plays an im­por­tant role in your films, and I imag­ine in your life too. How do you con­sume mu­sic? I lis­ten to mu­sic at night for danc­ing, or just to let it XD wash over me, but mostly I lis­ten to mu­sic dur­ing the day, es­pe­cially in taxis. I love it. Even when I’m with a friend I tell them sorry and put my ear­phones on. It’s my ego­tis­ti­cal, aso­cial side!… The mu­sic I lis­ten to is of­ten what I imag­ine kiss­ing some­one to, or I imag­ine peo­ple do­ing some­thing in my films to that track. For me to like a song, I have to give it a func­tion, some prac­ti­cal value. It has to set my imag­i­na­tion free.

Since mak­ing your first film at 19, you’ve pretty much gone straight VH from one project to another. Have you been able to take any time out at all? The one time I was able to en­joy a few months off XD was be­tween Heart­beats and Lau­rence Any­ways, and I used it to de­velop sev­eral drug ad­dic­tions. Which I’m now cured of, thank­fully.

What keeps you work­ing flat out? Is it the de­sire to cre­ate or the con­text, VH self–dis­ci­pline, as a dis­trac­tion maybe? And what do you get out of it? I don’t feel I’m forc­ing my­self in any way. I’ve done XD things as and when I felt I wanted and needed to do them. The need to cre­ate be­comes an itch you have to scratch. After fin­ish­ing Mommy, for the first time in a long time, I didn’t re­ally feel that need. I didn’t feel there was any project I could throw my­self into to the point I would be will­ing to sacrifice friend­ships, re­la­tion­ships or my health, as I have done in the past. I imag­ine it will take me a lit­tle longer than be­fore, which is a pain be­cause when I’m not work­ing I can’t sit still. But my next project, which will be the first Amer­i­can pro­duc­tion of my ca­reer, is go­ing to take a long time to pre­pare. Two, maybe three years. The ac­tors have to be avail­able, and it will in­volve a lot of spe­cial ef­fects and edit­ing. Shoot­ing should take place in New York, Mon­treal and London.

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