Pictures and Scripts

Woody Allen is in the place of honour. He has just opened the Cannes festival, without competition, with his new film "Hollywood Ending". Unanimously acclaimed by the critics, this film is already being shown in cinemas and will surely be a popular success, amusing and witty.

It is the first time in his career that he has been present at Cannes. Before the screening, the director had received the Palme of Palmes for the entire work.

The relationship between Woody Allen and France is very close: He often speaks of his love for the country. In the film he plays the role of a producer who has been rejected by his own country and dreams of going to live in Paris, there where he is appreciated. It is perhaps a bit paranoid on his part – we know that there are many of you in the United States who appreciate him – but all the same one can perhaps discern an autobiographical element in it. Woody loves France and repays her well. The release of his latest film is always very well received, he makes many appearances. Why this close liaison? We have asked some of his admirers to give their ideas on it.

I think that he is much marginalised in the United States. Perhaps it’s because of that. He is labelled for his Jewish humour which he is stuck with. He often films in New York, so, perhaps other Americans feel lost in his environment. We see it from the outside, which is not the same… I don’t know.

The Americans loved Amalie Poulain, and well us, we love Woody Allen. I would say….. it is always a pleasure to have a change of surroundings, of liking a…..of liking someone who has come from somewhere else, because one doesn’t have all the baggage of the country with its priorities about this and that, the etiquette, the… all that we think about this and that…..I think that we appreciate him for his humour, for many things, and a view that he has on America… so roughly speaking, briefly, that’s what I can tell you.

Well, I think that… I don’t know… he represents perhaps a kind of… Partly an image of the intellectual New Yorker, which he has given to himself, in fact. So it is a place for a game of mirrors. And then perhaps he makes cinema which is more accessible for Europeans, and in particular for the French; they make less Blockbusters, it is closer to us, the cinema of the enthusiasts which we love here. And so we like to have the mirror held out to the United States. So, there it is roughly…

It is said that he is more popular in France than in the United States.

Yes, I think so and then as well it is an illusion, in fact, in the film, it’s true that it caused a lot of laughter in the cinema when he said: "Yeah, in France… happily the French exist, and all that… yeah, yeah, I think so yeah…!


I don’t know. I don’t know the complete work sufficiently. Perhaps because he also loves France (you see) and he says so in his films… perhaps that pleases the French.

He plays on that, at the end he makes a pirouette with his films, which pleases the French as they are the only public capable of understanding his cinema, which is funny, yes.

I appreciate his humour, and then I love his direction of the actors, …..The way in which the people seem natural, even in extravagant situations, at the end there is always a realistic side which….where one says to oneself, "why not?" And yes, I find that pleasing, I like his world very much.

The Cannes festival this year as with every year causes a stir amongst film enthusiasts. It took place under the presidency of David Lynch in the presence of famous film stars from all over the world who have come to marvel at and admire the Croisette. Each day rumours filter out about the newly presented films. One begins to make predictions on the future prize winners. This year the "Palme d’Or has been presented to Roman Polanski for "The Pianist".

The interest aroused by the festival demonstrates the essential place which is occupied by the seventh art form in contemporary culture. The ways of life, the cultures, the behaviours are shown daily, analysed minutely more and more in films. The trend is for realism. The producers try to out do one another, each in his own style to expose the most feasible characters and what motivates them.

But the picture must not be supreme, and must not obliterate the script. La Petite Bibliotheque des Cahiers du Cinema is a collection which publishes the scripts in French. There you find the classics, those of true worth like "Contes des 4 Saisons" by Eric Rohmer, "A ma soeur" by Catherine Breillat, etc. More than thirty titles in total have already appeared. And what is more, in the same collection some bilingual scripts have been published in French which are of particular interest to students. "Breaking the Waves" by Lars Von Trier, "Lost Highway" by David Lynch in American and French versions or "Tout sur ma Mere" by Pedro Almodovar in Spanish and in French are available as well as many others. You have therefore on one page the dialogues in the original version and opposite is the very precise French translation.

Linguistically speaking, "La Petite Bibliotheque des Cahiers du Cinema" presents an enormous advantage for spreading living French, contemporary and spontaneous, since this cinema reproduces life. You are then really dealing with spoken French. There you don’t find the weightiness that you sometimes have with literal translations. There you find French as it is spoken naturally today.

The latest in the bilingual series is that of "Hollywood Ending" by Woody Allen.

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