Paul Gallagher meets the great French filmmaker Jean-Pierre Jeunet
Glasgow Film Festival blog
List festival correspondent Paul Gallagher's daily festival reports from the 2010 Glasgow Film Festival.
I had heard from a few people that Jean-Pierre Jeunet was in a bit of a grumpy mood before the screening of his film Mic Macs last night, but even if that was the case there were no signs of such moodiness when I got the chance to interview him this morning. The man who most famously gave the world Amelie was on fine form, happy to discuss everything from his status as a celebrity filmmaker to his failed attempt to bring Yann Martel’s Life of Pi to the cinema screen. But I was mainly interested in his experience of GFF, and he was full of praise for the Glasgow audience at last night’s screening, saying he felt very warmly welcomed: ‘Only one person left during the Q&A!’ he told me triumphantly, adding with an ominous grin, ‘but I have the name of that guy’.
Unlike many directors Jeunet seems completely at peace with the fact that part of his job involves performance, and that when it comes to film festival audiences he is required to play a role of his own: ‘It’s like a show; you have to be concentrated - this is the only opportunity to have contact with an audience, and I appreciate that. I love to make, to create, but to have the power to make an expensive film, it’s good if you can have some success.’ He also hung around for some of last night’s party, and told me that Peter Mullan, who Jeunet had met previously, put on a show of his own for the Frenchman: ‘He told me the story of shooting in Japan, with the ‘clap-man’ [does clapperboard action], and it was a show! I think it was a kind of “I am a great actor, you must film me, you must hire me” thing, you know? I love him, he’s a great guy.’
Perhaps we’ll see Mullan in a future Jeunet production; I could definitely see his expressive and lived-in features being at home in one of Jeunet’s worlds. The director also told me in no uncertain terms that he’d love to have Emma Thompson in one of his films. This put me in mind of a cunning plan, as there’s a chance that the wonderful Ms T might be in town next week for the screening of the film she’s made with Richard Jobson. So I’m going to see if I can do some movie matchmaking and convey Jeunet’s message. I’ll keep you posted. As for today, it seems there’s another party tonight, this time to launch the Short Film Festival, which is always one of the GFF’s highlights in my opinion. Perhaps I’ll get to see a film or two as well, but I’m not holding my breath!
Paul Gallagher’s next blog will be on Saturday morning (20 February)