Delpy: One day in Rome for 2 Days in Paris
Julie Delpy, the muse of Krzysztof Kieslowski and Richard Linklater, is in Rome to accompany 2 Days in Paris [+see also:
interview: Christophe Mazodier
interview: Julie Delpy
film profile] (Focus), on release in Italy. Praised at this year’s Berlinale, and an award-winner at the Festival International du Film d’Amour di Mons, the feature film by the actress of Before Sunrise is a sentimental comedy on the difficulties of being in a couple that does not lack melancholy moments.
The film was written, edited, shot, starring, scored (and even sung) by Delpy, more for practical reasons than for true dedication to her art. “I couldn’t afford an editor or a composer,” she said, “so I had to do it. In my next films, if I’ll have a large enough budget, I’ll give up a few roles. But I’ll continue to pay a lot of attention to the editing because that is where a film is truly born – there were scenes I loved very much that I had to cut they didn’t work overall”.
The film takes a few stabs at her fellow citizens, playing on French stereotypes and showing that clichés are based on reality in more ways than one. The capital is seen above all through the eyes of Jack (Adam Goldberg) – a New Yorker who has come to France with his girlfriend Marion (Delpy) to visit her family – and whose perspective reveals habits and customs of the city of lights.
The director knows these full well: “I was born and raised in Paris, it’s a city I love and detest at the same time. It’s not just a place from a postcard, but also a live, violent metropolis,” she said. Just as critical of herself as she is of her country, the actress-director also stirred up some negative sentiment: “The film did well in France, but I was attacked, insulted, and even received death threats. Self-criticism is not our forte, and the history of cinema proves that: Paths of Glory and The Battle of Algiers touched raw nerves and were prohibited for a long time”.
Perhaps this is partly why Delpy chose to move to the United States some time ago, saying: “I left France because French cinema made me uncomfortable – it’s small, closed, conformist”. After beginning a career in films by auteurs such as Bertrand Tavernier (Beatrice), Leos Carax (Bad Blood) and Jean-Luc Godard (Detective), the promising young talent (a two-time César nominee) crossed the Atlantic and created a successful career in independent US films, picking up an Oscar nomination for the screenplay of Before Sunset along the way.
Delpy has written a number of screenplays: to name but one, The Countess, inspired by the story of Elizabeth Bathory, which is about to become “a period film on power and cruelty”. And while her next feature is in the pre-production phase, 2 Days in Paris is furthering her successful international career: DNC is releasing it in Italy on 20 screens on September 28.
(Translated from Italian)
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