Rencontres 7e Art Lausanne welcomes renowned film directors whose works have marked the history of cinema and have inspired our collective imagination. Come and meet these major artists in their unique Conversations. Hear them describe their trajectories and modi operandi, but also, in the light of their experience, their vision of the future of cinema and their profession.
Born on 31 March 1943 in New York, Christopher Walken is an American actor and dancer. He has taken on a wide variety of roles during the course of his career, the best-known of which include The Deer Hunter (1978) by Michael Cimino, which won him the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor in 1979, Dead Zone (1983) by David Cronenberg, At Close Range (1986) by James Foley, King Of New York (1990) and The Funeral (1996) by Abel Ferrara, Pulp Fiction (1994) by Quentin Tarantino, Batman Returns (1992) and Sleepy Hollow (1999) by Tim Burton. He received an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor and gained a BAFTA Award and the Screen Actors Guild Award for Catch Me If You Can by Steven Spielberg. The younger generation will also know him for his amazing dancing to the song Weapon of Choice (2001) by Fat Boy Slim.
Barry Levinson was born in Baltimore in 1942 and began his career as a scriptwriter for television series. His career truly took off in Los Angeles in 1976 thanks to his collaboration with Mel Brooks. He made his behind-the-camera début in 1982, when he produced the comedy Diner from one of his scripts. True recognition came a year after the critical success of Good Morning, Vietnam (1987), when Rain Man won 4 Oscars. A true all-rounder, Barry Levinson has tackled all genres, ranging from drama (Avalon, Sleepers) to Mafia films (Bugsy), science fiction (Sphere) and social satire (Wag the Dog).
A native of Brooklyn, Darren Aronofsky made his name with Supermarket Sweep, the film he made for his final-year assignment at Harvard. Following his admission to the American Film Institute, he made his first feature film, Pi (1988), a psychological thriller rewarded at the Sundance Festival. He then adapted a novel by Hubert Selby Jr., Requiem for a Dream, a visually innovative, polyphonic descent into hell that became the reference for an entire generation. Inspired by the tortuous twists and turns of the human spirit, the filmmaker then turned his interest to an exploration of the inner being as in The Wrestler and Black Swan.
A passionate film buff since childhood, British filmmaker Hugh Hudson made a number of institutional films before triumphing in Hollywood with Chariots of Fire (1981), which won four Oscars. Three years later, he lived up to expectations with Greystoke the Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes, a meticulous adaptation of the legend invented by Edgar Rice Burroughs. After Revolution, the portrait of a trapper during the American War of Independence, Hugh Hudson refocused his energies on advertising, returning regularly to fiction, as recently with the historical film Finding Altamira.
Michel Hazanavicius was born in Paris in 1967. After attending art school, he began his career in 1988 on television alongside the comedy group Les Nuls (Canal+). It was for Canal+ that he co-directed several films assembled from old, repurposed footage, including La Classe Américaine. However, his career reached a turning point when in 2006 he directed the offbeat spy movie OSS 117: Cairo, Nest of Spies, starring Jean Dujardin, and then three years later OSS 117 Rio Doesn’t Answer. In 2011, the director finds international renown with The Artist, premiered at Cannes in 2011. The film garnered many awards worldwide, most notably receiving a total of 5 Oscars®.
Thomas Vinterberg was born in Copenhagen in 1969 and studied film at the National Film School of Denmark before co-signing the Dogme95 manifesto with Lars von Trier. Created as a cinematographic vow of chastity in reaction to American mega-productions, the manifesto advocates simplicity and realism through films that are stripped of all artifice. In compliance with these rules, he filmed a cathartic family reunion in the ruthless Festen, winner of the Special Jury Prize at Cannes. The filmmaker then gained experience in the English-speaking world (It’s All About Love), while regularly returning to his cinematic roots with films such as Jagten, a dark drama about a teacher destroyed by a child’s lie.
Tim Pope is famous for his unique and thought-provoking music video clips. Many artists cite his work as being the most influential and downright genre-bending in the world. Best known for his role as The Cure’s exclusive video-maker from 1981 to 1997, he also worked with artists such as David Bowie, Talk Talk, The The, Iggy Pop, Les Rita Mitsouko, Neil Young, Queen or Fatboy Slim. Pope’s career has involved many other aspects, including TV shows, commercials, short films and concert films. He also directed a movie, The Crow: City of Angels, in Hollywood in 1996. He gives lectures in film and practical film-making at many universities and film schools.
Alexandre Desplat is a French film composer very much requested for major international productions. He recently received his second Oscar for Best Original Score in The Shape of Water. He also provided the end-of-the-world atmosphere for Godzilla, and the exclusive charm in The Queen. As a fan of John Williams’s work with a background in classical music (he was a virtuosic flautist), he put his creativity at the service of fantasy/science fiction films such as Luc Besson’s Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets. Alexandre Desplat also composed a symphony for flute and orchestra, commissioned in 2013 by the Orchestre national des Pays de la Loire.
Fanny Ardant gained notoriety with the TV mini series Les dames de la côte by Nina Companeez, but her first major role on the silver screen was in François Truffaut’s The Woman Next Door. Throughout her career she has worked with very different directors such as Alain Resnais, Costa Gavras, Claude Lelouch and Yves Angelo. Alternating between film d’auteur/arthouse feature films and popular comedies, she received the 1996 César Award for Best Actress in Pédale Douce by Gabriel Aghion. In 2009 she directed her first film: Ashes and Blood, which was presented out of competition at Cannes and recently, her third film starring Gérard Depardieu in Stalin’s Couch.
Given exposure by brilliant exponents of the new film d’auteur / arthouse generation such as Christophe Honoré, she soon came to the attention of Hollywood thanks to her role in Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds. In 2010 she appeared in Ridley Scott’s Robin Hood, then in Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol. She continued working in France alongside these foreign films. She appeared in Les Adieux à la reine by Benoît Jacquot and in Ursula Meier’s L’Enfant d’en haut, of which both films received good critics. She got a Golden Palm at Cannes in 2013 for her role in Blue is the Warmest Colour, following her appearance as the “Bond girl” in Spectre. In 2016 she was seen in 2016 in Xavier Dolan’s It’s Only the End of the World. The audience will soon be able to discover her anew in Kursk, the new film by Thomas Vinterberg.
Stephen Apkon is a filmmaker and social entrepreneur. He is the Founder and former Executive Director of the Jacob Burns Film Center NY, a non-profit film and education. Opened in 2001, the JBFC has become one of the premier film institutions in the United States, with a Board of Directors that includes Steven Spielberg, Ron Howard and Jonathan Demme among others. Disturbing the Peace is his directorial debut. Stephen Apkon is the author of The Age of the Image: Redefining Literacy in a World of Screens, foreword by Martin Scorsese.
The Danish director remains to date the only woman to have received a Golden Globe, an Oscar, an Emmy and a European Film Award. Her 1999 romantic comedy The One and Only was the biggest film of the year in Denmark, after which she took an interest in the Dogme 95 movement before making her move into Hollywood, where she flourished. Her preferred themes are dysfunctional family relations, as in Brothers (2004) and After the Wedding (2007). Her thriller Revenge (2011) made her win the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film. She is currently shooting a post-apocalyptic thriller for Netflix: The Bird Box starring Sandra Bullock and John Malkovich.
Thierry Frémaux is an important name in French cinema. Since 2007 he General Delegate at the famous Festival de Cannes. Born in 1960, he grew up in the suburbs of Lyon, where he studied the social history of cinema and worked as a volunteer at the Lumière Institute from its creation. He was appointed the institute’s artistic director in 1997, and in 1999 Gilles Jacob appointed him as artistic director of the Cannes Film Festival, remaining in post as director of the Lumière Institute. His film Lumière! L’aventure commence (2016) visits the beginnings of cinema and the exceptional contribution made to the world by the Lumière brothers.