Member of the jury, Delphine De Vigan talks to us about her tastes in American cinema. And his fascination with Adam Driver.
A big first for the novelist and screenwriter Delphine De Vigan: after an experience with Séries Mania, she took her first steps as a juror for a film festival. We could not therefore miss the opportunity to discuss with her her tastes in the matter.
DashFUN: As an author and screenwriter, do you pay particular attention to the script when you watch a film?
Delphine De Vigan : I think so, a little in spite of myself. There, obviously, as a member of the jury, I try to pay attention to everything. But in general, the spectator that I am is very attentive to the scenario. I realize that I don’t have a completely neutral look either. And that when I go to the movies with friends and we talk about the film after the fact, I realize that I have undoubtedly been particularly attentive to the way things are told.
Has your outlook changed since you yourself worked on films as a screenwriter?
Yes. I think so. Because, even though I haven’t done it dozens of times, I don’t define myself as a screenwriter at all. More like a novelist who collaborates on screenplays, which is not quite the same thing. But I think that when people come looking for me, that’s also what they come looking for. But yes of course.
Because the fact of having asked oneself a certain number of questions on how we are going to tell something without it being too fabricated, telephoned, supported, how we will make intelligible things that are sometimes complicated to convey … For all these questions that we ask ourselves when we work on a script, when we see a film as a spectator, we sometimes say to ourselves “That’s smart. What a great idea!”, or on the contrary “That’s too much telephoned”. Collaborations on screenplays are useful to me in my work as a novelist, and they are useful to me for seeing films.
I don’t really know what American cinema is like today
What do you like in American cinema?
I really liked American cinema, which is the one of my first film buffs: that of the 70s. Because that is the age at which I discovered cinema, started watching films. I had seen it before, but that’s where we start to get passionate about actors, directors… I really liked Sidney Lumet, Jerry Schatzberg, or John Cassavetes’ cinema, in another genre. Directors whose films I have seen most.
And at that time, for me, American cinema was coming back to reality. Today, I cannot say that I love American cinema. I like certain films, and I don’t shy away from my pleasure sometimes in front of a big blockbuster. But I don’t quite know what American cinema is today. Because in addition – and we can see it a little in the selection – he is open, fortunately, to foreign influences. Cultural influences which are very strong, which come from elsewhere.
Is there an actor or actress that you particularly like?
Recently, Adam Driver which I find great. I am a little past the age of taking a passion for actors or actresses (laughs) It happened to me when I was younger. But here I must say that he impressed me a lot in Noah Baumbach’s film which aired on Netflix, Marriage Story. Unbelievable. And in Annette, I find him really great.
He carries the whole film with a role that is not easy.
That’s crazy ! Besides, he sings himself, his stand-up scenes are crazy. Completely crazy. but really. The actor who really stuck with me recently is him.
And on the side of directors?
I really like Sean Baker, who is competing this year. I had loved Tangerine and The Florida Project is truly one of the films that I have liked the most in recent years in American cinema. So I can’t wait to see his new film in competition, Red Rocket.
What was your last American crush?
There is a movie that I saw not so long ago: Whiplash, which I missed when it was released. And I found that very good.
Interview by Maximilien Pierrette in Deauville on September 5, 2021