Catherine Corsini • Director
"I find it terribly unfortunate that there aren’t more films made by women"
by Joseph Proimakis
- The French director discusses her entry in the her latest film Three Worlds and the place of women in the festival and film industry
Eleven years after her Palme d’ Or competitor La Repetition, Catherine Corsini comes back to the big Cannes sections with Three Worlds [+see also:
interview: Arta Dobroshi
film profile], a bold dissection of the dramatic ripples caused by a hit-and-run accident. The film screened in the Un Certain Regard section,after which Cineuropa met with the director to discuss her film as well as her views on the place of women in the festival and the film industry.
Cineuropa: The film stars off with quite a shock, were you trying to make sure that you had our attention?
Catherine Corsini: Well it’s very important - while preparing for the film I’d met with a policeman to talk about hit-and-run accidents and he said: “If I had an accident, if I’d done something like that, I’m not sure what even I would do.” The shock is as powerful for the perpetrator as it is for the victim. I heard a story about somebody who committed a hit-and-run and drove for hundreds of kilometres, he was so shocked by what he had done, that he didn’t know how to react, he just acted spontaneously.
The accident works as the gravitational point that brings together the three worlds of the title, which prove not only to be quite different, but also very similar, correct?
I wanted to have characters that were in distinct situations, but at the same time they’re all plain people, it’s not a super-rich Parisian and a very poor person, it’s people who are both close and far apart. They could end up in the same story, just like they could end up in the same restaurant, they’re not completely different. They’re somewhat different worlds, one character is more intellectual, the other is clearly success-driven, while the Moldavian woman is struggling with society’s rejection, which is what provokes her anger. Each person’s tragedy is different: Juliette wants to reconcile everyone, bring everyone together, she has empathy for everyone. The driver is afraid of taking responsibility, he’s always running, he’s in a real moral dilemma. He is a good boy, but this whole situation has made him realize that he needs to take a closer look at his life. Vera is in a totally Kafka-esque situation, she had so little and now she has nothing.
The festival began with a lot of drama regarding the lack of female presence in its selection, do you share that view?
Cannes is often ripe ground for polemic, and that was the one that got going early on this year. Of all the thousands of films that get made, very few come from women, so unfortunately what Cannes is representing is the lack of female directors in general. What would truly be extraordinary and really bring discussion would be if half of the films in the festival were actually by women. I find it terribly unfortunate that there aren’t more films made by women, but Cannes is not to blame for this. It’s the whole industry that needs to change, who decides which films get made is a huge subject. We’ve all been influenced by the masculine point of view, and yet there are wonderful films about women that have been made by men.
Is the audience perhaps also to blame, have viewers been programmed to expect and accept the masculine point of view as opposed to the feminine?
Well, there is the audience, but there are also the critics. Most critics are also men, the people that make the decisions in the industry are also men and all these factors come to play and that needs to change too. The concept of femme fatales, the objectification of women, all those cinematic icons. But luckily even the masculine point of view has evolved. I think that the history of cinema is still in its early stages and that women will find their place.
Do you have any future projects planned?
There are projects, I’ve always got projects in my backpack, ideas for stories, but for now nothing’s really formed. In any case, after this film, after doing something so dark, I’d like to do something lighter, I’m gravitating towards something maybe less scripted. Maybe a semi-comedy, even.
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