Phase9 Entertainment

THE INTRUDER aka L'INTRUS - Q&A with director Claire Denis

Movie Interview by Neils Hesse

Claire, how would you classify this film, is it a drama or a thriller?

It's a dream that turned into a nightmare. I don't classify my films because no classifications are accurate.

Do you prefer directing to writing?

It's the same for me, no difference really. When I am writing a film it is not the same as writing for theatre. When I am directing a movie I concentrate on directing the movie - that's all.

Are the visuals of the movie more important to you than the movie itself?

No they are not. I do not have much interest in what I would call the visual aspect. The visual aspect is a façade, a movie is a combination of sound, visuals and emotions. I believe that the story itself is a visual. A lot of films are like radio plays - they do not have much to them.

What feeling did you have when you watched the final cut?

I don't watch the final cut, it's the process of editing and then there comes a time when you have to stop and for me that is it. I also have to do the mixing and timing, so I normally just get a feeling that reminds me that now it's time to stop. That then marks the end of my relation with the film. I would not consciously make a decision to watch one of my films, life is short and I just feel that by watching my own work I would be in danger of being narcissistic.

Would you like to do a Hollywood movie?

I have been offered films and yes why not, I would do it. I think that Hollywood film is not really cinema but there are some good films that come out of Hollywood. I am a tolerant person so there are certain Hollywood films that I like. I like Tim Burton's films and also David Cronenberg's. The thing about Hollywood films is that a lot of them are not appreciative of the art of films.

Which French talent do you appreciate in the business?

In France it's not a business it's a passion. I like the director of AMELIE but I do not like the movie, there are many other talented people in French films.

Did you have to do any cutting on this movie?

I am responsible for the budget, so I would not record six hours of film. But it does happen when you shoot for a long time, you may record much more than you need. In my case I simply do not have the budget to do that.

Would you like to work with any particular British actor?

It would have to be during the writing process, but I do like Kate Winslet.