Friday, August 26, 2016
More than a few writers give the impression that it requires a leap of faith to admire Kristen Stewart. A war is, it seems, still being fought with the 15-year-old male idiots who reviled the Twilight films because they were “girls’ stuff”. There is a sense of critics patting themselves on their backs for their open-mindedness.
You get little such qualification in France. At 26, Stewart is already a stalwart of the red carpet at Cannes. She stormed the Palais with On the Road in 2012 and Olivier Assayas’s Clouds of Sils Maria in 2014. Last May, she was back with Woody Allen’s Café Society, which opened the event, and Assayas’s Personal Shopper, which won the best director prize.
The French love her like they love cheese. That long face and those arched eyebrows summon up the very American cool of Elvis. But the on-screen insouciance would have suited the Nouvelle Vague nicely. In 2015, the Académie des Arts et Techniques du Cinéma presented her with the best supporting actress César award for Clouds of Sils Maria. She is the first American actress ever to win the French equivalent of the Oscar.
As we arrive at the Carlton Hotel – the grandest establishment on Cannes’s bossy Croisette – French magazines featuring her image are scattered on every enormous cushion.
“All my favourite directors I have worked with in the States are like European directors. The list of actors that have found a place here from the States are all people I idolise. So it’s great to be on that list. There is just a risk that’s taken here that stands out. That doesn’t happen so much in the States. It’s obvious why that would be cool.”
You would expect Stewart to be smart. Like her co-star Robert Pattinson, she used the massive success of Twilight to manoeuvre her way into interesting work by interesting directors. By 2010, she was squaring up to James Gandolfini in Welcome to the Rileys. She and Assayas, one of France’s most fashionable film-makers, seem to have formed a dynamic partnership.
What you might not expect is the amount of energy she spits out. There is no sense of the creative introversion she’s exploited throughout her career. Stewart hits her consonants vigorously while firing through answers as if working to an ever-contracting deadline.
So, does she recognise that she’s made an unlikely shift from teen vampire to art-house vamp?
“When I am asked questions like that I can step outside myself and say, ‘Yes, I can totally see what you guys see’. But I have brought the same energy to everything I’ve done from the get. I have thoughtlessly traversed my creative desires.
“That’s just how I fell off the truck. As I have got older I have realised how working with good directors provides good experiences and good films. But I feel like something psychic happens between people who are drawn together to make something. I have so much faith in that.”
Actually, “vamp” is neither fair nor accurate. Raised in California to parents who were both in the business, Stewart slipped into juvenile roles largely by accident. You can spot her in a number of TV projects and as Jodie Foster’s daughter in Panic Room. Still, she was unknown to most viewers when she emerged as the sullen millennial forced to wait for vampiric consummation in Twilight.
Woody Allen recently compared her to the young Elizabeth Taylor, but, in truth, no other female star has had quite the same oblique, reticent appeal. “Did he say that? I think that’s what his reference points are,” she says laughing. “Those are the people he really admires. That’s nice of him. It’s insane. It’s very cool. I know he admired all the great old Hollywood actresses. We talked about that a lot and you can see it in his movies.”
Dressed today in a great deal of white, Stewart manages an unlikely combination of post-beatnik cool and gleaming Californian good health. You can see why so many idealise K-Stew.
Her career appears to demonstrate that a young actor can triumph without indulging in triumphalism.
She has also proved that it is possible to live a life in the glare without seeming hounded or constrained. She recently confirmed that, following several relationships with men, she was dating visual-effects producer Alicia Cargile. Few got in a tizzy. No cars were overturned.
“Yeah I don’t want to be too guarded,” she says brightly. “Look I got really, exceedingly famous at 17. At that age you don’t know how to react with more than a couple of people. You are already trying to figure out what people’s perceptions of you are without all that.
“Can I affect all that? Should I think about all that? When it is thrust at you and that consideration is owned by the masses – not just by you and the people close to you – it starts this weird unnatural thought process. So, I really shut down and that doesn’t provide a fully lived life.”
In Café Society, Stewart plays a young woman, assistant to a movie mogul, who romances a young arrival (her frequent collaborator Jesse Eisenberg) in an idealised version of 1930s Hollywood.
Actors bring contrasting reports from Allen sets. Some say he gives barely any direction. Others say he gives no direction at all.
“The script was so perfect that the most direction we got from him was: ‘This is pretty self-explanatory. Go on.’ And it was self-explanatory,” she says.
“It is all explained quite well. Olivier doesn’t talk to me a whole lot either. There are directors who are themselves the spark and they then like to see the fire burn. They are both like that. They don’t like to affect your thought process that much. What they’ve done is kick-start that process and they just want to capture it. That is awesome. You do feel that it’s a true collaboration. That was shocking to me.”
Stewart is currently playing the game very adeptly. Café Society has been reasonably well received. The forthcoming Personal Shopper, a class of meta-ghost story set in suave Paris, had, from an actor’s perspective, the best possible response at Cannes: bovine boos followed by egg-head raves. Later this year, she appears in Ang Lee’s much-anticipated Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk.
So, she is sticking with this notion of forging a “psychic connection” with directors? “I have so much faith in that. I will always follow that. I will definitely make a few missteps and maybe make a few bad movies. I will make things that aren’t so sure. That’s why I like making films with people who have reckless intentions.”
Is it too much to argue that Stewart is a new sort of movie star? Charlotte Rampling meandered off to Europe when still young, but she never had the following that Stewart has maintained.
This relaxed engagement with the media also seems new. “There are ways to interact with media. And there are ways to interact with the public,” she says. “Beyond that, there are ways to interact with human beings. These are different things. I have found balance of ignoring the things I find worthless and letting in the stuff that feels human. It’s to do with being honest and acknowledging why someone might ask that question.”
She rises to her feet and prepares to leave.
“So, go write your article.”
Thursday, August 25, 2016
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Lindsey Byrnes When Kristen Stewart asked if I wanted to come visit her in Japan, where she was working on a film, I didn’t hesitate; I grabbed my camera and went. Well, there was a little coordinating but that part is really boring.
Never did I think I’d be on the set of an actual feature film, let alone be in Japan and with one of my closest friends. But in the end of 2014, that’s exactly where I was. Specifically, I visited Tokyo, Kyoto, and Awaji Island, three of the locations where Equals, a science fiction-romantic-drama hybrid was shot.
Nicholas Hoult and Kristen Stewart play two people living in a world where emotions are not allowed to exist. When they both become infected with a disease that gives them back their ability to feel compassion and love, the film turns into a sort of futuristic Romeo and Juliet. Hanging out behind the scenes, I got a glimpse into a whole other side of the filmmaking process: the quiet moments, the in-between thoughtfulness.
Tuesday, August 23, 2016
The New York Film Festival’s Special Events section always lives up to its name, and this year is no different. The lineup for the 54th edition of the festival is anchored by conversations with Kristen Stewart and Adam Driver as part of our “An Evening With…” benefit series.
The annual “An Evening With…” events recognize the work of individuals who have made significant artistic contributions to film culture, and this year’s honorees are Kristen Stewart and Adam Driver, two of the brightest young actors working today. Driver gives a remarkable performance in Jim Jarmusch’s Paterson, and Stewart shines in three New York Film Festival titles: Kelly Reichardt’s Certain Women, Olivier Assayas’s Personal Shopper, and Ang Lee’s Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, previously announced as a special World Premiere presentation in the Special Events section. Each of the evenings will include dinner and an intimate conversation between the award-winning actors and NYFF Director Kent Jones, and will serve as a benefit for the Film Society.
“An Evening with . . .” Benefits:
The New York Film Festival tradition known as “An Evening with” is a limited-seating event that includes an intimate dinner and conversation between an important star of the film world and NYFF Director Kent Jones. Past honorees include Pedro Almodóvar, Cate Blanchett, Ralph Fiennes, Nicole Kidman, Kate Winslet, and more. We’re pleased to announce that this year we are offering two of these special nights, featuring two of the brightest young actors working today.
An Evening with Kristen Stewart
For the past few years, Kristen Stewart has been quietly amassing an impressive body of work, starring in enigmatic roles in complex films, including the NYFF52 selection Clouds of Sils Maria, directed by Olivier Assayas, for which she became the first American actor to win the French César award. This year feels like a culmination of this extraordinary phase of her career: she starred in five movies in 2016, the best of which are featured at NYFF: Assayas’s Personal Shopper, in which she appears in nearly every shot; Kelly Reichardt’s Certain Women; and Ang Lee’s Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk. All three films speak to an actor constantly willing to challenge herself and her fans.
Wednesday, October 5
"Personal Shopper" will screen at the Hamburg Film Festival in Germany.
The film festival runs from 29 September - 8 October 2016.
For more details check there site here.
"Personal Shopper" will screen at the Film Fest Gent in Belgium.
The film festival runs from 11 - 21 October 2016.
For tickets and more details check out their site here.
The Deauville American Film Festival in France runs from 2 - 11 September this year.
We will add the schedule here as soon as its available.
For more details on the film festival, check out their site here.
Monday, August 22, 2016
Ang Lee’s highly anticipated Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk will screen as a Special World Premiere Presentation of the 54th New York Film Festival on Friday, October 14, at AMC Lincoln Square (1998 Broadway, New York, NY 10023).
New York Film Festival Director and Selection Committee Chair Kent Jones said, “Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk astonished me, and it moved me deeply—in the grandest way, as a story of America in the years after the invasion of Iraq, and on the most intimate person-to-person wavelength. Ang Lee has always gone deep into the nuances of the emotions between his characters, and that’s exactly what drove him to push cinema technology to new levels. It’s all about the faces, the smallest emotional shifts. In every way, Billy Lynn is the work of a master.”
Billy Lynn is also a giant step forward in the art of cinema, made with a cinematographic process years ahead of its time. The film, from TriStar Pictures and Studio 8 in association with LStar Capital, Film4, Bona Film Group, and Fosun Media, is the first full-length narrative film shot in 4K, native 3D at the ultra high rate of 120 frames-per-second. The NYFF event will be the first time ever the format will be screened publicly. Creating the film in this immersive format required technical invention at each stage of the process—prep, shooting, and postproduction. The commercial run of the film will play in a variety of 2D and 3D formats, all of which display the new techniques with which the film was made.
Lee’s stunning adaptation of Ben Fountain’s novel is the story of an Iraq war hero (newcomer Joe Alwyn) who comes home with his fellow members of Bravo Company for a victory tour. This ends with a halftime show at a Thanksgiving Day football game—a high-intensity media extravaganza summoning memories of the trauma of losing his beloved sergeant in a firefight. Lee’s brave, heartbreaking film goes right to the heart of a great division that haunts this country: between the ideal image of things as they should be and the ongoing reality of things as they are. With a brilliant supporting cast, including Kristen Stewart, Chris Tucker, Garrett Hedlund with Vin Diesel and Steve Martin.
“I’m very grateful to the New York Film Festival for selecting our film and giving it such a unique platform,” said Lee. “The New York Film Festival has been such an important event for me both as a New Yorker and a filmmaker, and I am honored to be represented this year with Billy Lynn. With each film, I try to learn fresh ways to connect with the audience and with myself. Since Life of Pi, I have been working with my team towards a new cinematic approach that I hope will revitalize that connection. But technology is merely a tool; it should always be in service of artistic expression, to make it strong and fresh, because story and drama matter most. I thought Billy’s journey, which is both intimate and epic, and told almost entirely from his point of view, lent itself particularly well to the emotion and intensity that this new approach fosters. At least I hope so, as many people have worked long and hard to help me try to make the future a reality today. I am thankful to them all.”
Ang Lee at the 50th New York Film Festival with Life of Pi. Photo by Olga Bas.Ang Lee at the 50th New York Film Festival with Life of Pi. Photo by Olga Bas.
Lee has a long history with the festival. Most recently, his Oscar-winning Life of Pi was Opening Night of NYFF50 in 2012. His 1997 film The Ice Storm opened NYFF35, and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon was Closing Night of the 38th festival in 2000.
Directed by Ang Lee and produced by Marc Platt, Ang Lee, Rhodri Thomas, and Stephen Cornwell, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk is based on the widely acclaimed, best-selling novel by Ben Fountain, with a screenplay by Jean-Christophe Castelli.
Saturday, August 20, 2016
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Interview - Translation (English)
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