Saturday, April 29, 2006

2006 SFIFF—Artists on Other Artists

Jean-Claude Carrièr on Luis Buñuel:

I was a priest in Diary of A Chambermaid, and in The Milky Way a little later I was a bishop, up in the hierarchy. Buñuel was telling me all the time, "You're a very good actor, very good, but only for ecclesiastic professions, don't try to play anything else." So one day in another film not made by Buñuel I played—because we were lacking money—I played a veterinarian, y'know? A vet. We showed the film to Buñuel, we liked it, the film was full of animals, an interesting French film. At the end I asked Buñuel, "How did you like my acting?" And he said, "You're a very very good actor, but only for ecclesiastics and veterinarians."

Carrièr quotes Buñuel: "We always have to follow people who are looking for truth and run away from people who have found it."

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Tilda Swinton on Derek Jarman:

I was asked yesterday some question about my time with Derek Jarman and I had a strange kind of wormhole moment when I … for a second my mind imagined—but really only for a split second—my own history without having met him. It was the strangest experience. He's kind of in my dna I think. The privilege of having met him and lived alongside him for nine years, I don't know, I'd also been looking for him on some level. He lit a torch and so many of us who knew him, worked with him, were young at the time and he was our first experience of not only making cinema but making art …. He was really a parent and I mean that in the least creepy way. He was extraordinary as I sort of maybe tried one version of a letter to him actually. I think it's possibly because of my letter to him that Graham [Leggat] might have asked me to come tonight. …That letter to Derek was trying to bring him up to date with what might have happened in the last—at that stage it had been eight years since he unaccountably left the building—and it's still difficult to believe that he has, but, there was this very strange time after he had when it really felt like all of us couldn't really do very much. Slowly we started to wake up again. His effect was to channel something, which was just the idea of living as an artist like him, more really than what he was doing. The fact that he was doing anything at all in the way in which he did it, particularly at the time at which he did it, was really a privilege to be around. He taught us all to be lawless or encouraged us all to believe in our own lawlessness, which I can't recommend more highly.

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