| || ||Olivier Assayas: Interview & Symposium |
Amidst talk of a dwindling, serious European cinema, the films of Olivier Assayas somehow always manage to poke through. He represents the perfect marriage of learning and application, a critic-turned-filmmaker who can miraculously parlay his theory to cinematic tableaux that always feel organic rather than studied. His most epic effort(Les Destinées) becomes his most intimate, and his most unassuming free-form (Irma Vep) becomes epic in its implications. His imagination plays host to a seemingly endless diversity: he followed up a miniturists portrait of being 30 in Paris with a casually sumptuous literary period piece and then topped it all with a startlingly contemporary take on...well, everything.
When demonlover first screened at Cannes 17 months ago ... nothing happened. Well, mostly nothing. Our guess is that the tepid response was due more to laziness than any real understanding of one of the most fascinating and relevant films thus far in our very young 21st Century. In honor of its long-delayed stateside release, (following a notable reduction in running time), we have six individual pieces tackling different sides of this mammoth work (and one on its accompanying soundtrack). The only real way to get anywhere near a film like demonlover is to bite off one chunk at a time—any more than that and you’ll choke. Along with a focus on a very special film and critical writings on all of his eight prior features, we look back over the career of Olivier Assayas with an exclusive interview, in which discussion ranges from his early days in the editing room of the first Superman movie (!), his first four features and his thoughts on his very particular brand of intuitive filmmaking. — Editors