The Blu-ray release of Cosmopolis is coming out in the heart of Oscar-campaign season. I get the sense it doesn’t bug you too much that this film isn’t being discussed more as a contender.
Yes. Every year I try to be as disconnected as possible. This year it’s been very easy because we haven’t been nominated for any awards. It’s not sour grapes, it’s not compensation; it’s a relief. It’s very easy to get caught up in it if you are nominated. The people who are releasing the movie get excited, they want you to do more, and you understand it because the awards can maybe get more people to see the film. This, on its face, is a good thing. However, it is all bullshit, it is all annoying and it is all very problematical. But it gives people stuff to write about, gives structure, we understand. But I won’t be watching any of the awards shows.
End of the year lists, though — Cosmopolis did end up placing second in Cahiers du Cinema‘s top ten of the year.
Yes and on Sight and Sound‘s list, as well.
So the snooty-pants Euros are digging the movie. And, it’ll no doubt end up somewhere on my top 20, I think. [Note: it came in at #12.]
If I gave you money would you put it higher?
Depends how much money. C’mon, let’s talk. A hundred grand goes a long way.
Would you give me a hundred grand to write that Cosmopolis is the best movie of the year?
No! [Laughs.] But it’s a thought.
Let’s be honest — at this stage in your career, let’s say you met the most reputable critic in the world, you met him at a bar and he said, “Oh, man, I’m in a real money crunch right now, I will make Cosmopolis my #1 of the year for X amount of dollars,” do you consider it for a second?
No. But that’s because I’m too cheap. But… fact is, I have been on those lists, New York Times has been very positive on my last few movies, we got three great reviews from three critics at the New York Times for A Dangerous Method. But we still didn’t get…[laughs]…it didn’t…
Still nobody in the States sees your damn movies, it’s Europeans only!
That’s right. It doesn’t do much. But, listen, you like the validation, especially when they are intelligent people who write beautifully and when they applaud your movie it is terrific and gratifying. Pragmatically, it doesn’t do much. Better to get good reviews over bad, obviously, but we all know terrible movies that got terrible reviews that made a lot of money. There’s no one to one relationship. You just have to get very ’60s… just go with the flow.
Cosmopolis is coming to Blu-ray and – OW! Oh, crap, the cat just jumped on me.
I like cats.
Yeah, he’s adorable, but very heavy. Sorry, so… Cosmopolis on Blu-ray. Special deleted scenes on here?
I’m usually reluctant to include deleted scenes. They’re deleted for a reason. I like the the magic. On A History of Violence I included one or two because they were unusual, but that’s the only time I’ve done that. On the other hand, I really appreciate a good “making of” documentary. I find that film students and film fans who might otherwise never get on a film set might really see something if you, the creator, are honest. Of course, I’m not doing the “making of” myself — I’m too busy making the movie — but I do encourage the reality principle. I don’t want the “making of” to just be a promotional spot. Similarly, when I do a commentary, as I’ve done for Cosmopolis, I don’t bullshit. I don’t just say how wonderful is to work with or how much fun we had at the wrap party. I talk about the making of that particular moment we’re looking at.
Cosmopolis is all green or blue screen and interiors designed to look like exteriors, correct?
Yes. There were hybrid sets with street furniture, then beyond that was all green screen. It’s amazing how convincing it is. For me, the best special effects are the ones that are invisible. I’ve created creatures, like for eXistenZ and other films, but mostly special effects are a wonderful tool for invisible things like that are very convincing that you couldn’t have done before.
Is your next project ready to go?
Finishing my novel right now, and I hope to be shooting Maps of the Stars in May, written by Bruce Wagner. However, it is an indie project which means, therefore, that it could fall apart.
Well, the novel is just you and the page, so you’ll have no easy excuses there.
That’s it. I’m hoping it is published at the end of next year.
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