Jac­ques Au­di­ard

Kuwait Times - - L IFESTYLE -

Af­ter win­ning top hon­ors at the Cannes Film Fes­ti­val for his refugee movie, French film­maker Jac­ques Au­di­ard is now work­ing on a west­ern set dur­ing the Cal­i­for­nia Gold Rush. “What I like about west­erns and which you find in ‘The Sis­ters Broth­ers,’ is the birth of democ­racy, the end of sav­agery, where you leave your guns at the vil­lage en­trance,” Au­di­ard told AFP. The direc­tor spoke in Los An­ge­les, where he was pre­sent­ing “Dheepan,” which cap­tured the Palme d’Or prize at Cannes.

Au­di­ard’s new project is an adap­ta­tion of a book by Cana­dian au­thor Pa­trick deWitt, and re­counts the story of two broth­ers-Eli and Char­lie Sis­ters-hired to kill a prospec­tor who has stolen from their boss. The story takes place in Ore­gon and Cal­i­for­nia dur­ing the Gold Rush in 1851. “That pe­riod was in­cred­i­bly sav­age,” said the 63-year-old direc­tor, who hopes to be­gin film­ing what will be his first English­language project next sum­mer.

“Noth­ing was off-lim­its then,” he added. “One killed his fa­ther, mother, chil­dren, in the quest for money and I think this can res­onate (with what we see hap­pen­ing in to­day’s so­ci­ety).” The film will star US ac­tor John C Reilly, whose pro­duc­tion com­pany bought the rights to the novel. “If I am able to push ahead, I will have a script by the end of De­cem­ber and shoot this sum­mer,” said Au­di­ard, whose film cred­its in­clude “The Beat That My Heart Skipped,” “Rust and Bone” and “A Prophet.” “Dheepan” is about a for­mer Sri Lankan sol­dier’s strug­gles in a French hous­ing project af­ter flee­ing the sep­a­ratist war.

Au­di­ard, whose fa­ther Michel Au­di­ard is also an ac­claimed screen­writer and film direc­tor, said the prize had not par­tic­u­larly opened doors for him. “I al­ways say that I am priv­i­leged and the Palme doesn’t change much ex­cept that you sud­denly find your­self part of a club that you al­ways watched from afar,” he said. And be­sides, Au­di­ard added as he drew on a cig­a­rette, the Cannes prize doesn’t seem to im­press much in Hol­ly­wood. “Over here what counts are the Golden Globes and the Os­cars,” he said. — AFP

French direc­tor/screen­writer Jac­ques Au­di­ard poses for a por­trait ses­sion, in West Hol­ly­wood, Cal­i­for­nia. — AFP

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