The great actress/writer/director Julie Delpy visited the AFI Campus to speak with Fellows as part of the Harold Lloyd Master Seminar series. Here she shares a story about working with legendary director Krzysztof Kieślowski. In 1993, she was cast by Kieślowski to play the female lead in ‘Three Colors: White,’ the second film of Kieślowski’s ‘The Three Colors Trilogy.’ Delpy also appeared briefly in the other two films in the same role. See also: Julie Delpy on Kieślowski.
If you were to turn the camera on yourself, what would you say?
Kieślowski: I turn the camera on myself in all my films. Not all the time, perhaps, but often. But I do it in a way so nobody can see it. And although I want you… [corrects himself] … us to be successful in our work, I won’t reveal it. —‘Krzysztof Kieslowski: I’m So-So…’ (1995)
“Film-making doesn’t mean audiences, festivals, reviews, interviews. It means getting up every day at six o’clock in the morning. It means the cold, the rain, the mud and having to carry heavy lights. It’s a nerve-racking business and, at a certain point, everything else has to come second, including your family, emotions, and private life. Of course, engine drivers, business men or bankers would say the same thing about their jobs. No doubt they’d be right, but I do my job and l’m writing about mine. Perhaps I shouldn’t be doing this job any more. I’m coming to the end of something essential to a film-maker — namely patience. I’ve got no patience for actors, lighting cameramen, the weather, for waiting around, for the fact that nothing turns out how l’d like it to. At the same time, I mustn’t let this show. It takes a lot out of me, hiding my lack of patience from the crew. I think that the more sensitive ones know l’m not happy with this aspect of my personality.
Film-making is the same all over the world: I’m given a corner on a small studio stage; there’s a stray sofa there, a table, a chair. In this make-believe interior, my stern instructions sound grotesque: Silence! Camera! Action! Once again l’m tortured by the thought that l’m doing an insignificant job. A few years ago, the French newspaper Libération asked various directors why they made films. I answered at the time: ‘Because I don’t know how to do anything else.’ It was the shortest reply and maybe that’s why it got noticed. Or maybe because all of us film-makers with the faces we pull, with the money we spend on films and the amounts we earn, with our pretentions to high society, so often have the feeling of how absurd our work is. I can understand Fellini and most of the others who build streets, houses and even artificial seas in the studio: in this way not so many people get to see the shameful and insignificant job of directing.
As so often happens when filming, something occurs which causes this feeling of idiocy to disappear. This time it’s four young French actresses. In a chance place, in inappropriate clothes, pretending that they’ve got props and partners they act so beautifully that everything becomes real. They speak some fragments of dialogue, they smile or worry, and at that moment I can understand what it’s all for.” —Krzysztof Kieślowski: I’m So-So…
I don’t even know about that booklet. It’s a fascinating read! For more, see our archive under the tag, “Krzysztof Kieślowski.”
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When we was in third grade the teacher said that it was time for Science and that today we were going to study the universe and the solar system and the stars and all that stuff and she said “Now our sun in our solar system is a star and stars burn out” and she just kept on talking and it hit him in the side of the head and Townes said “‘Scuse me? You tellin’ me the sun’s burning out? I gotta shine my shoes, be here on time, do my homework, sit up straight and the fucking sun’s burning out?!” He said from that day on that’s the way he lived his life, it was “‘Scuse me, the sun’s burning out are you shittin me? fuck this.
—Guy Clark about Townes Van Zandt (via daysweeksandmoths)
Here’s a real rarity of a photo. Taken at Dylan’s brother’s high school graduation. The little girl’s older sibling was in the same graduating class. Bob came back from New York to Hibbing, for the ceremony. He was already getting a name for himself in New York at the time so her mother asked Bob if he would pose for a photo with her daughter. It’s an unpublished gem of a photo.