Friday, 2 May 2008


Six essential interviews (Scorcese, Eastwood, Coppola, De Palma, Joel & Ethan Coen and Tim Burton), first published by French institution Cahiers du Cinéma, now offered in an English translation through the interesting perspective of the relationship between Hollywood and the Auteur.

« That's the trouble with directors. Always biting the hand that lays the golden egg. » (Samuel Goldwyn)


« As is well known, Hollywood's life goes in cycles during which the industrial machine that it has become pulls in and then rejects its auteurs at its discretion.» (Nicolas Saada, The Hollywood Interviews, Introduction)

From the wonderful people of Berg Publishers, who offered us Visions of England (by Paul Dave) in the same Talking Images Series, come these Hollywood Interviews. Six essential interviews first published from 1982 to 1995 by the venerable french film collective Cahiers du Cinéma, and first brought together for french-speaking readers in 15 ans de cinéma américain (Cahiers du Cinéma, 1995).

Martin Scorcese, Clint Eastwood, Francis Ford Coppola, Brian De Palma, Ethan & Joel Cohen and Tim Burton, seven of the most important auteur directors (« The relationship between the filmmaker and the idea of the auteur is fundamental to the history of the US cinema », Nicolas Saada, Idem) of the US contemporary cinema, talk about their work within the Hollywood industry.


« We're supposed to be civilized, but, after all, the reactions here when my film The Last temptation of Christ came out were the worst in the world. » (Martin Scorcese, Page 15)

« I began to make my own films in 1970. At that time the only way I could direct them was to play in them... At the time it was a practical matter. Afterwards I got a taste for it. » (Clint Eastwood, Page 45)

« All the time I had the example of Orson Welles in my head. In trying to do what he wanted Welles lost the influence he had had in Hollywood; He didn't know how to keep some support there. » (Francis Ford Coppola, Page 66)

« I think Francis's problem is that everything he makes somehow has to be a masterpiece.» (Brian De Palma about Francis Ford Coppola, Page 66)

« I don't read Kafka. » (Ethan Coen, Page 103)

« Miller's Crossing has nightmarish parts, but Barton Fink is really a nightmare. » (Joel Coen, Page 103)

« I always loved this kind of cartoons, just as I loved How the Grinch stole Christmas. » (Tim Burton, Page 123)


These words, pearls from this true treasure chest that is The Hollywood Interviews, were first collected by Patrice Rollet, Nicolas Saada, Serge Toubiana, Thierry Jousse, Camille Nevers, Iannis Katsahnias, Serge Daney and Jonathan Rosenbaum. The 2006 translation is a superb work from John Flower and the book is supported by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Those who enjoy cinema interviews, readers, cinephiles, cinema journalists, will not resist the urge to read these slices of Talking Images from the mouths of the geniuses who dream them (the horse's head mouth, in the case of Francis Ford Coppola...)

« The interviews in this book are full of rich insight in the position of the auteur caught between the rigors of an economic system driven by demand and the desire to express personally... (Nicolas Saada)

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