Cannes: This Is The Only Thing Gaspar Noé Fears Death


CANNES, France — Gaspar Noé Cannes Film Festival fixture, but it’s coming right under the wire this year: After the director hits his new movie “Vortex” Under a cloud of secrecy in April and May, it rushed to complete it in time for a festival premiere. On Friday night, the last regular day of the festival, the movie is finally released; Noé had finished a few days ago.

Perhaps it would be appropriate for “Vortex” to come to the end of the festival, as Noé describes what happens at the end of our lives. In split-screen, the film follows an elderly married couple wandering through their messy apartment in Paris. A camera watches his demented wife (Françoise Lebrun) as she tries to make sense of her surroundings; the other follows her husband (film director Dario Argento) as he deals with his situation and searches for his mistress.

Though it has sent a jolt at past festivals with provocative projects like Noé “Irreversible” “Peak” and pornographic 3D movie “Love” his new film exudes a different, more thoughtful vibe. When we spoke earlier this week, Noé said that after major events in her own life, there was a change of attitude. Here are edited excerpts from our talk:

When did the idea of ​​old age and death seem more realistic to you?

There are changing points in your life. My mother died in my arms, and when that happens, your perception of what’s real changes a bit. I also had a sudden stroke a year and a half ago and nearly died. “Your chance of surviving without brain damage is 10 percent,” they said. Miraculously I did.

When you approach these situations – a car accident, an illness or whatever – the question isn’t whether you should live after death, which of course I don’t believe. The question is what all the people around you will do. What are you going to do with your belongings, your books, your unpaid bills? My main concern when she was in that hospital bed was, “If I die, no one will be able to manage all my books on the shelves.” The dirt you carry with you is what keeps you alive.

What was your first experience with an elderly person who lost their mental faculties?

When I was 8 or 9 years old, I met a friend of mine who had a senile grandmother at her home. I would come and talk to grandma and say, “Who are you? You’re not my grandchild.” I remember giving different answers to the same question because you could have fun with it as a kid. It’s much more traumatic when you have your own mom or dad starting to lose your mind.

You’ve had the idea of ​​”Vortex” in your head for a long time. How different would it have been if you had done it years ago?

Two years ago, I wouldn’t have done it with split screen. For example, I liked the movie very much. “Father,” but this is a play, very artificial. “Well, I’m not going to do anything like that movie,” I said. Let’s try to do something that can be fun in shape.” Then I came up with the concept of shooting this movie with two cameras, and each camera follows one of the characters as if their lives were both complementary and separate. The story of two tunnels of life.

Dario Argento He is better known as a film director and has not directed any films as an actor. How did you persuade him?

That was my first idea when I started preparing this movie, but I didn’t know if he would accept it or not. And one morning, I met her at her house, I came up with this 10-page script, and we watched “Love” together, which probably wasn’t a good idea. I wanted him to act in a serious movie and at the same time we were watching this erotic movie I was making. In the morning! But he finally agreed on one condition. “Oh, I wish the character had a mistress,” he said. “Of course” I said. I love making movies with people who have their characters and dialogues.

You really want Argento and Françoise Lebrun to face the end of their lives by playing these characters. Was it difficult for them?

When I see them, they are not afraid of death. They’re afraid of not having fun! They are very playful and neither are people who suffer. It seems that the moment you are born, you are aware of the emptiness you stand on. But in their case, they have all these future lives that they want to play in front of, if not long. And movies are a game.

Few years ago, I spoke to you in Cannes “Climax” got great reviews after your movie. You told me you were a little frightened by this reaction. Usually, they are more polarized.

I’m happy when movies are liked, I’m so used to only getting bad reviews. I like them – sometimes I put bad reviews on the wall – but I think you pay more attention to reviews when you doubt the feeling you’re delivering. Film directors of the past often say that their favorite films were the most hated when they were released. “Irreversible” was probably my vulgarest, dirtiest film and my only commercial success to date! What could have turned into success was “Love”, but it was sold to Netflix. Everyone saw it, but I didn’t get a penny from him. Like a ghost from a blockbuster.

There was even “love” a TikTok meme and topped Netflix’s most-watched list.

In America and Europe, anyone who wants to jerk off and doesn’t know where to find the magazine at their parents’ house opens Netflix and sees the recommended erotica. I think the entire planet jerked off on that movie for two, three years.

People in Cannes with “Vortex” “Amour” by Michael Haneke. Do you agree?

Do you know? Haneke did not invent old age. Age did not invent it. When I saw “Amour”, I was very touched. My mother was dying and I don’t think I cried as much as when I saw that movie in a dark theater. But even if “Amour” wasn’t there, I would have made this movie.

are you afraid of dying

No. I feel like I have extra time because of this brain hemorrhage and I want to enjoy it.

There are also filmmakers who pursue a kind of immortality with their work. Is this something you get any power from?

I think it’s easier if you’re a writer or painter. For example, my father was a painter and once he paints, the painting is always there and never changes. If you are a director, your movies are now shown [via a Digital Cinema Package] it has a code key, if you don’t have the number you can’t open that hard drive. Probably all the movies we shoot today, in the near future, you won’t be able to open all those little black boxes. I mean, you can’t even think of immortality in movies. If your movie continues even 10 or 20 years after your own death, that’s great.


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