Sunday, July 6, 2014

Olivier Assayas talks about 'Clouds of Sils Maria' & mentions Kristen (CineforumWeb)


At this point it is natural to ask about Kristen Stewart and her character Valentine, the most ambiguous and elusive of the film. As you wrote a figure so fleeting and indefinite & able to disappear from the scene, but at the same time to leave the indelible mark of the absence of the mystery. 

Olivier: All the characters of Sils Maria were written in a very precise way, but at the same time modified by their actors. The part of Valentine was actually designed for Mia Wasikowska - and I'm sure even she would have worked fine - but when Kristen took over (which to be honest was the initial choice, then skipped for various reasons and returned in vogue at the moment when Mia was forced to give up the film to contract issues with another production) it had taken a new form. The ambiguity of the character obviously has to do with what I wrote, but also with Kristen's interpretation; if it is appropriate in a subtle, intelligent, and I have limited myself to suggest to interpret a character so pragmatic and almost brutal, but also affectionate. For me it was important to feel empathy towards Valentine, because the recognition of the viewer towards her is essential. In Sils Maria in the identifing  moves continuously from one character to another, but Valentine is privileged; in a sense I have that I feel closer to her than to the character of Juliette, despite the age difference. What interested me in her disappearance was her echo, its resonance: Valentine disappears from the scene, but this not end in the movie, the viewer can continue to think of her when she once came out...

Regarding the relationship between the body and the absence, do not you think that over the years your films have been made less direct and more physical and discursive, also because of the dive in the television narrative of Carlos? In this sense, it seems to me that Sils Maria achieves a delicate synthesis between these aspects of your films, that anthropocentric, say, and the narrative...

Olivier: The truth is that yes Carlos is a TV movie, but the film I've done: in reaction to the television format, in fact, I felt the need to push me to the cinema. I used larger lenses and wider, because I wanted to shoot landscapes, apartments and spaces where the décor is crucial. Until that moment I had only used long lenses, with an abstract effect, but with Carlos I was forced to open as much as possible, open, open, open...until you get to reinvent my relationship with space. From then on I have not changed, I want to film with more perspective and have a greater presence of the body in the shots. Before filming faces only, I was only interested in those, but now I take the whole body into a new and more satisfying for me.

This was of paramount importance with Kristen, for example, because she uses her body as a dancer. She has an extraordinary mobility and modernity in the use of the physical, it almost seems that it works, but how you rest on the scene is magnetic, really impressive.

Read the full interview with Olivier at

Source Translation Via Thank you.

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