June 2014. Munich Festival

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I met up again with Kyle Catlett. A beautiful 3D projection, despite the “RealD” system. I sat next to the mayor of Munich who texted during the entire projection. I wonder what would happen if I did the same during one of his speeches… Wim Wenders was as lovely as ever, and congratulated me. I was pleased because he filmed in Montreal after me and used my favorite technicians, whom I had recommended. Along the way a quick visit to the sublime “Allianz Arena”. TS will make an honorable showing in Germany, like all of my films.

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When Harvey Weinstein…

… signed TS Spivet for the United States, he had seen the finished film. And Gaumont had made it clear that since I had the final cut, I would not change even the smallest detail. A fact that didn’t stop him from trying to bully his way into redoing the film in his own way. As he always does with films.

He had already tried to do so in 1991 with Delicatessen. An English editor came to me with a list of all suggested cuts. He was going to remove the scene with the creaking bed, Ms. Interligator’s suicide… in short, all the funniest scenes. Caro and I patiently listened and then suggested one more cut: “removing our names from the credits”. The editor left shaking his finger at us, “You haven’t heard the last from Harvey Weinstein!” After that I expected to find my dog’s head on my bed one morning … Finally, having not yet signed with UGC, the film was released without the cuts, in spite of Mr Weinstein…and would eventually become a cult film. 10 years later the same thing happened with Amelie. We had five Oscar nominations. But we were out of luck. That was the year that the Academy, tired of Weinstein’s vote-collecting “abuse”, decided to boycott his films. “We will not vote for Amélie”, wrote the American industry magazines. Whoopy Goldberg, president of the ceremony, spent the entire ceremony making fun of Weinstein. The result being, out of 19 nominations, he won only one Oscar.

Weinstein is like a gallery owner that says to a painter: “Americans don’t like green, so I’ll ask the framer to use blue” … Weinstein is actually all about power. Like a dog marking a tree, he MUST change all the movies he buys.

In addition, he forced a “holdback” on Gaumont, which meant that no non-Francophone country could release the film before him. So Spivet remained blocked for 8 months. As the holdback ended in June, in some countries, like England or Spain, it was released in the middle of the World Cup. Flop.

Nouveau projet

L’extravagant voyage du jeune et prodigieux T.S. Spivet (en Anglais The selected works of T.S. Spivet) est un livre magnifique de Reif Larsen dont je suis en train d’acheter les droits. Plutôt que de mal en parler, je vous invite à visiter le site extraordinaire de ce livre extraordinaire :


J’ai rencontré Reif Larsen il y a deux semaines à New York et ai eu l’impression de découvrir un frère jumeau juste vingt-huit ans plus jeune que moi. Il m’a dit : “Quand j’ai vu Amélie, j’ai eu l’impression que quelqu’un avait gratté au fond de mon crâne”… Quant à moi, j’ai été conquis dès la sixième ligne du livre :

Le téléphone a sonné un après-midi du mois d’août, alors que ma sœur Gracie et moi étions sur la véranda en train d’éplucher le maïs doux dont les grands seaux en fer-blanc. Les seaux étaient criblés de petites marques de cros qui dataient du printemps dernier, quand Merveilleux, notre chien de ranch, avait fait une dépression et s’était dit à manger du métal.

Ce film-là, si l’aventure va jusqu’au bout, sera un film tourné aux USA, avec des acteurs américains.
Ci-dessus couverture du livre et photo de Reif Larsen.