Film Notes: Amour
Friday, February 15 – Thursday, March 7, 2013 | More info & showtimes
From “Looking Directly at Life’s Decline,” an interview with director Michael Haneke by Dennis Lim (The New York Times):
At the [Cannes] news conference Jean-Louis Trintignant referred to you as a demanding director—he even joked about you directing a pigeon in one scene—but Isabelle Huppert, a regular collaborator, said she did not find working with you at all difficult. Would you say you ask a lot of your actors?
Because I’m the author of my screenplays I know what I’m looking for. It’s true that I can be stubborn in demanding that I get what I want, but it’s also a question of working with patience and love. I love actors, both my parents were actors, and the work with actors is the most enjoyable part of making a film. It’s important that they feel protected and are confident they won’t be betrayed. When you create that atmosphere of trust, it’s in the bag—the actors will do everything to satisfy you.
You can be very dictatorial in dealing with actors, but they are going to feel that, and the way they act will show it as well. Or you can lead them to share your opinion, until what they do comes from their own conviction. It’s a question of being determined and being convincing. I’m not someone who enjoys long talks, long rehearsals. I’m very technical: I tell my actors, you come in, you sit down, you pick up a coffee, you look here, you say the line. We try it with the cameras rolling, and if it doesn’t work, we adjust it until it does. It’s very simple.
Read the full interview.
Written and directed by Michael Haneke
Featuring Jean-Louis Trintignant, Emmanuelle Riva, Isabelle Huppert, Alexandre Tharaud
Cinematography by Darius Khondji
Film Editing by Nadine Muse & Monika Willi
Country of Origin: France/Germany/Austria
Distributor: Sony Pictures Classics
Language: French with English subtitles
Running Time: 127 minutes
Academy Award Nominee: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress (Emmanuelle Riva), Best Foreign Language Film