Bruno Dumont Poster

Quotes (13)

  • You see, I feel I have a political duty to reach out to the general public. I want to make films that the people want to see. So if the people want to see Johnny Depp or Tom Cruise, then it is really my job to incorporate them into my films.
  • The people follow what the media say. So if you said that Bruno Dumont is fantastic, it follows that more people would go to see my films. I have no wish to remain on the sidelines. I have no wish to make films that are only seen by bohemians in London and Paris.
  • Cinemascope is a format I like a lot because it is very hard to handle. Because there's too much. There's too much on the sides, it's hard to do a close-up, for example, because you pick up the sides, but I find it's quite correct in the balance we were talking about. I mean that it's possible to do 'thinking shots'. Because it's no longer in the geometry of our thinking. So it's a constraint, but the constraint is quite fair since it brings in the outside, the sides, all the organic material of things and it relativizes the character. I think characters need to be relativized. The 'Scope shot does it naturally. [2014]
  • [on Camille Claudel 1915 (2013)] In my tradition, one can heroize any individual. That's a revolution that isn't so much pictorial, as it is philosophical. All my films are about this path. Like in the paintings by Hugo van der Goes [1440-1482] or Pieter Brughel [1525-1569] one can take any individuals and make heroes out of them. [2014]
  • I'm not a naturalistic filmmaker at all. My work is all about transfiguration. It's an entirely poetic world. It's totally surrealist. But the only way to strive for reality is to go through reality. That's the paradox. [2014]
  • When youngsters tell me they want to go to film school to become a director, I say: "Film school ? It's good for learning the technical side but I'm not sure it's much use for becoming a director.... Concentrate on developing your spirit". Beyond knowing where to place the camera, you've got to have something to say. (...) Even my recent comic works came out of a philosophical reflection, rather than a desire to make people laugh, and questions I ask myself about human nature. [2017]
  • I'm not really a cinephile. It's [studying] philosophy, rather than cinema, and the questions surrounding philosophy - touching on the mystic, on religion - which pushed me to make films. It became an extraordinary tool allowing me to look beyond the visible to explore something that reason can't. [2017]
  • [on working with non-professional actors] One day, I thought, why don't I just use a worker rather than an actor ? He was intimidated by the camera but he had presence and looked 'the part' better than any actor. And while the arrogance of some of the actors had left me feeling ill at ease, I found the atmosphere on set was better with non-professionals. [2017]
  • The choice of actor is one of the most important things for me... When I write a character, it's a sketch. I don't think you can completely build a character in the script. When I start casting, I'm looking for someone who corresponds approximately to my sketch, not an exact fit. [2017]
  • You have to make a local film to make it universal. [2016]
  • [press conference for France (2021) at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival] I always look for opportunities that may just spontaneously arise. I didn't know that Léa [Léa Seydoux] was so funny, so I amplify this fact in the film. Tragedy/comedy is the real matrix that underpins my work. I always dig deeper into this kind of thing, particularly when addressing the topic you see in the film. There's criticism of the media but I had to go beyond mere criticism - it's quite a serious topic. I like seriousness; I like the grotesque dimension of things. But one still has to be able to stand back and laugh, even if the topic is serious. We agree that cinema is a form of fiction and I think that TV and all screens are fiction. It's nothing real - it's reality, but slightly modified. It may not be far from reality but it enters the field of fiction. So I can make a film with a TV character - this kind of thing very much lends itself to the cinema. You can make this good material for the cinema because I go beyond when I'm filming. I'm not saying that TV is no good - that's not my purpose - what I want to show is that individuals can show great resistance within a profession that would otherwise be alienating. That's why I like working with Léa. I do close-ups because I think things vibrate from within - she's aware of what she's doing and what she's doing is quite terrifying, but there's someone very real there and I wanted to bring out that very real person. I'm ultimately a very optimistic director.
  • [Cannes press conference for France (2021)] This is an imaginary Paris. It's not reality that really interests me in the film. Her apartment is totally mad. I wanted to show that it wasn't real. It's not far from reality, but it's not actually real. The flat shows that she belongs to a given environment or profession. Most journalists don't actually live in apartments like that. The TV set is like a space ship - it's something that is quite odd. You have the impression that they're in a space ship and they're looking at the real world through a tiny porthole. She's someone who's problematical for me - like Freddy in La vie de Jésus (1997). I love these kinds of characters. Characters who're in "clair-obscur" are the most interesting to depict. I think you can always enhance them. There's something very beautiful in France, in spite of everything. There's something that's very lovely. The film is seeking out this beauty right up until the end. I believe that there's a kind of elevation which is really beautiful.
  • [presenting his L'Empire project] This 'space and earth opera', is a galactic metaphor for the internal struggle, in the heart of each human being, between 0 and 1, evil and good... The physical and metaphysical struggle of nothingness and being, while at the same time being a synthesis of auteur cinema - with its naturalism - and of the blockbuster - with its sophistication of spectacular entertainment. [2022]