'Blue Is The Warmest Color' Director Is Tired Of Your Questions
Blue Is The Warmest Color director Abdellatif Kechiche found himself answering more questions about the production behind his controversial film this weekend.Kechiche spoke alongside fellow directors also nominated for the Best Foreign Language film for the Golden Globes at yesterday's symposium: Paolo Sorrentino of Italy (The Great Beauty), Asghar Farhadi of Iran (The Past, his first film shot outside of Iran, discussed here in our AFI Fest roundup), and Thomas Vinterberg of Denmark (The Hunt). The only nominee not in attendance was Japanese animation master Hayao Miyazaki, nominated for his final film The Wind Rises.
Looking visibly worn down from months of controversy surrounding the working conditions of the set and critical backlash regarding the depiction of lesbian sex in Blue, Kechiche seemed almost timid when answering questions from moderator Mike Goodridge, looking down and hardly speaking into the mic. He spoke, through a translator, fondly of Blue lead actress Adèle Exarchopoulos, who he expressed "admiration" for. Interestingly, her co-star Léa Seydoux was never mentioned. It seemed as if the fences had been somewhat mended with Exarchopoulos, who when accepting an award on his behalf recently from the New York Film Critics Circle she spoke of her relationship with Kechiche rather pointedly: "It's complicated."
When asked questions of any problems from the shooting of the film, especially the controversial sex scenes, Kechiche sidestepped the issue and said only, "It is the work of the filmmaker to find solutions. It is not smooth sailing."
Asghar Farhadi was much more open, offering insight on the vagaries of working on a film primarily in a language he was unfamiliar with (The Past is set in France) and also had a few critical jabs at the film festival circuit. He joked, "Film festivals are like cigarettes, they offer some relief, but they are the opposite of beneficial," explaining that they are fostering a culture of a more homogenized "world" film culture instead of diversity. Kechiche, who won the prestigious Palme d'or at Cannes for Blue, said of the attention he garnered after winning the award: "at that moment, the film doesn't belong to you anymore."
When all four directors were later asked if they had any advice for young and aspiring filmmakers today, Kechiche prefaced his response (that he had none, that they should all "find their own way") with a joke that seemed to have a little bit of personal truth behind it: "Don't make movies. It's very tiring."
An archived video stream of the Symposium is available to watch here. The Golden Globes air tonight on NBC.