Edouard Waintrop • General Delegate, Directors’ Fortnight
“Lots of new writer-directors are turning to genre films”
- Edouard Waintrop, General Delegate of the Directors’ Fortnight, breaks down his selection for 2014
For his third year as General Delegate of the Directors’ Fortnight, whose 46th edition will be taking place from 15-25 May as part of the 67th Cannes Festival, Edouard Waintrop has unveiled a tantalising selection (see news) that boasts myriad genre films.
Cineuropa: Was your selection for 2014 easy to come up with?
Edouard Waintrop: It was actually complicated because the films arrived very late. It gets worse every year. There’s a responsibility that rests with the sellers and producers. I don’t know if it’s a tactical decision to avoid long waits or because of the possibilities opened up by digital technology, allowing editing to take place right up until the last minute. Out of the roughly 1,500 films that we watched, one-third arrived during the final ten days! It was practically impossible, but we managed it, even though it was very tough on us, physically.
Are you looking specifically for a balance between young filmmakers and well-known directors?
When we select between 18 and 20 films, for the most part we make room for new directors and to a lesser extent we pay tribute to filmmakers who have nevertheless still managed to surprise us, even though their reputations no longer need any building up. The series P'tit Quinquin by Bruno Dumont is flabbergasting, especially because of the ideas that people may have about Dumont, which are totally undermined by this film. Then there’s Queen and Country [+see also:
interview: John Boorman
film profile] by John Boorman, a joyful and moving comedy. I think he’s very much at ease with this genre, particularly when he relies on what he knows best – in this case, his early years of adulthood at the time of Elizabeth II’s coronation. And we mustn’t forget Frederick Wiseman, with his National Gallery [+see also:
film profile], a new kind of experience looking at painting and the ways of preserving the masterpieces of the past.
Your selection includes a great many genre films. Why is that?
Obviously, that’s where my tastes lie, but above all, there is a wider range of films on offer there. Lots of new writer-directors are turning to genre films. For example, the Australian movie These Final Hours is going to baffle people, as it’s a film that is both truly low-budget and extraordinarily powerful, and it begins as a genre film before turning into a movie about what’s left of people’s morals when the whole world is doomed. It’s the same for Alleluia [+see also:
interview: Fabrice Du Welz
film profile] by Belgian director Fabrice Du Welz, which could almost be a gore film, but whose embodiment by the actors is absolutely marvellous. I could also mention Cold in July [+see also:
film profile] by Jim Mickle, which sees three different crime genres intertwining with each other, or Eat Your Bones [+see also:
film profile] by Jean-Charles Hue, a hectic road movie that has some crime aspects and some traces of action film, and kicks off with a meticulous portrayal of a certain social background. The really great crime films of the ‘70s and ‘80s took that same social approach, just like the films of Jules Dassin, the movies of Joseph Losey during his American period or Stanley Kubrick’s The Killing.
You have accepted three films by English filmmakers this year.
Last year, I had already seen many interesting films in London. That was the case again this year, and a number of them deserved to get the most exposure possible. Among others, we chose Catch Me Daddy [+see also:
interview: Daniel Wolfe
film profile], the feature debut by Daniel Wolfe, which is about two worlds colliding with each other. But among the European countries that are not represented in this year’s selection, there were also some very interesting titles on offer from Germany, Hungary, Italy, Spain and Croatia.
Why did you decide to entrust the opening to Girlhood [+see also:
interview: Céline Sciamma
interview: Céline Sciamma
film profile] by Céline Sciamma?
It’s an extremely dynamic film with an unusual intensity, directed by a filmmaker who has been developing constantly since her debut. There were very few films that were capable of taking on the responsibility of kicking off the Fortnight, which is a unique role.
(Translated from French)
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