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  • ALEXANDER PAYNE 3
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  • A.-Payne-B.-Dern

Ekskluzivni festivalski intervju sa Aleksandrom Pejnom

Poštovani gospodine Pejn, ovo je zvaničan intervju za Festival nezavisnog američkog filma. Recite nam šta očekujete od Vaše prve posete Beogradu, a šta od publike na festivalu?

Očekujem da ću se odlično provesti. Radujem se svom prvom dolasku u Beograd, kao i susretu sa ljubiteljima filma poput mene. Veoma sam počastvovan pozivom.

Gde tačno postoji konflikt između američkog nezavisnog filma i Holivuda, izuzimajući visinu budžeta? Da li je holivudska Amerika idealno mesto, daleko od realnosti?

Veoma je teško, u kratkom razgovoru, odgovoriti na to pitanje. Morali bismo jasno definisati pojmove „konflikt“, „nezavisnost“, čak i „realnost“. U mom slučaju, smatraju me za režisera nezavisnih američkih filmova, ali sve moje filmove finansirali su studiji. S druge strane, možete pronaći „stvarno“ nezavisne američke filmove malih budžeta, čija je jedina poruka: „Molim vas, angažujte me da napravim veliki film“. Očigledno je danas glavni konflikt  u tome što holivudski studiji finansiraju samo velike, često glupe i nasilne filmove, na štetu edukativnijih, zrelijih filmova. To je sramota i zbog toga naša kultura trpi.

„Citizen Ruth“ je hrabra komedija o veoma ozbiljnoj temi. Evropski “arthaus” filmovi danas su uglavnom, mračne drame. Kako se teške teme mogu predstaviti na vedriji način? Možete li nam dati neki savet?

Istina je da samo nekolicina filmadžija snima komedije, a još manji broj njih vidi komediju kao ozbiljnu filmsku formu, za mene najozbiljniju filmsku formu, pogodnu za bavljenje teškim i mračnim temama. Komedija, ironija, satira, koju god reč želite da upotrebite, stvaraju odličan efekat, koji dozvoljava ljudima da teške teme sagledaju sa određene distance i tako im pristupe nepristrasnije. Kao što je Oskar Vajld umeo da kaže, „Kada govorite ljudima istinu, morate ih u isto vreme i nasmejati. U suprotnom, ubiće vas.“

Zaista ne mogu da ponudim savet kako stvarati komedije, ili kako ja volim da ih zovem „socijalne komedije“. Moraju prirodno izaći iz vas. Ali svakako možete dobiti inspiraciju gledajući Čaplinovog „Velikog diktatora“, „Biti ili ne biti“, češke filmove Miloša Formana, ili veliki broj italijanskih komedija iz pedesetih i šezdesetih godina.

Koji deo evropske kinematografije je imao snažniji uticaj na Vas?

Ovo je veoma teško pitanje, s obzirom na to da sam pogledao mnogo, mnogo filmova iz više evropskih zemalja. U Evropi, dve zemlje koje mi prve padaju na pamet su Italija i Španija. Italijanska kinematografija u periodu od 40ih do 70ih godina nudi beskonačnu zalihu divnih i inspirišućih, ljudskih filmova. Što se tiče Španije, uživam u dramatičnom i grotesknom – "Virdiana" je jedan od mojih omiljenih filmova za sva vremena. Naravno da je to Bunjuel, jedinstveni filmski genije, ali obožavam i druge španske reditelje. Pogledao i dosta francuskih filmova, ali mi se ne dopadaju kao ostali. Takođe bih izvojio češku kinematografiju 60ih godina. Nisam ih pogledao onoliko koliko bih želeo ali poezija i humor su odlika mnogih od tih filmova.

Pomenuli ste da je Barak Obama dva puta naveo "Election" kao svoj omiljeni politički film. Smatram da su i "Citizen Ruth" i "Election" revolucionarni filmovi koji koriste satiru kao sredstvo za priču sa socijalnom i političkom pozadinom. Da li ste već tada osećali da je vaš filmski pristup originalan?

Sebe uvek optužujem da snimam satire koje nisu dovoljno britke. Previše sam lepo vaspitan i mislim da to škodi mom radu. Na "Citizen Ruth" je jako uticao film Bilija Vajldera "Ace in The Hole" iz 1951. ali mislim da mu nedostaju zubi tog malog remek-dela. "Election" je film za koji sam mislio da ima originalan pristup, ali ne toliko u sadržaju, kao što implicirate, već u formi: višestruko preklapanje glasova. Drago mi je jer ljudi misle da je to satira, ali sam tada samo mislio da pravim komediju.

U većini Vaših ostvarenja (posebno u filmovima "Nebraska", "Sideways" i "Descendants") očigledno je da neke istine o životu, a vezane za likove, ostavljaju snažan emocionalni utisak na publiku. Na koji način stvarate likove?

To je veoma teško pitanje, jer me tera da nametnem predumišljaj i svesni izbor pre procesa koji je u stvari spontan i nesvestan. Naravno da me raduje to što mislite da ti filmovi ostavljaju emocionalni utisak na publiku, ali to verovatno dolazi od mog interesovanja za likove. Tokom procesa stvaranja filma, oni postaju deo mene, počinjem da ih percipiram kao prave ljude a ne kao likove. I onda, tokom pisanja scenarija i režiranja, mislim jedino o tome šta je duhovito, šta je iznenađujuće i šta je inspirišuće.

Dosta Vaših filmova je bazirano na knjigama različitih autora. Šta svako od tih ostvarenja čini da ipak izgledju kao filmovi Aleksandra Pejna?

Kao što sam gore naveo, imam svoje, lično interesovanje za živote likova u svojim filmovima. I zato nije bitno odakle ideja za film dolazi – iz knjige, iz drugog scenarija ili iz sopstvenog scenarija. Svi filmovi prolaze kroz utrobu reditelja, tako da oslikavaju jedino njega ili nju. Ne zaboravite da su skoro svi filmovi Stenlija Kjubrika bili adaptacije romana, ali su i dalje nepogrešivo njegovi.

Ako bi bilo moguće spasiti planetu, da li biste se smanjili?

Nema spasa planeti.

Razgovarali: Hristina Hadžiharalabus & Radoslav Pavković

IndieBelgrade Festival Interview with Alexander Payne

Dear Mr. Payne, this is the official festival interview. Tell us what do you expect from your first visit to Belgrade and from the festival audience?

I fully expect to have a wonderful time both visiting Belgrade for the first time and meeting fellow film lovers like myself. I’m very flattered that they’ve asked me to visit.

Where exactly lies the “conflict” between American Independent Cinema and Hollywood, except the size of the budget? Is Hollywood’s America an ideal place far from the reality?

This is a very hard question to discuss in a short interview. We would have to define the terms “conflict,” “independent,” and even “reality.” In my case, I’m considered an “independent” American director, but all of my films have been financed by studios. Then you also find low-budget, truly “independent” American films whose only message is “Please hire me to do a big movie.” Obviously the main “conflict” today is that the studios want to finance only the big, often stupid and violent movies at the expense of making more literate, adult movies. This is a shame, and our culture suffers.

“Citizen Ruth” is a brave comedy about a very serious topic. In today’s European art-house cinema is all about heavy drama. How can a “difficult” subject go lighter? Can you give us some tips?

The truth is that relatively few filmmakers make comedies, and of those even fewer see comedy as a very serious form – for me, the most serious form – for the discussion of difficult or heavy topics. Comedy, irony, satire – whatever word you want to use – provide such a wonderful instrument of distance, one that allows people to take a step back from a serious subject and perhaps examine it more impartially. And as Oscar Wilde famously used to say, “When you tell people the truth, you have to make them laugh at the time. Or else, they kill you.” And one can’t really offer “tips” about making comedies, or, as I like to call them, “social comedies.” It has to come out of you naturally. But you can certainly derive inspiration from watching Chaplin’s “The Great Dictator,” Lubitsch’s “To Be or Not To Be,” Milos Forman’s Czech films, and a large number of Italian comedies from the 50s and 60s.

Which part of European cinema had a stronger impact on you?

This is a difficult question to answer, since I’ve seen many, many films from many different countries. In Europe, the two countries that leap first to mind are Italy and Spain. Italian cinema from the 1940s to the 1970s offers an endless supply of delightful and moving films, human films. From Spain I enjoy the sense of the dramatic and the sense of the grotesque – “Viridiana” is one of my favorite films of all time. Of course that’s Buñuel, a unique genius, but I adore other Spanish directors as well. I’ve seen a lot of French films as well, but in general they don’t get under my skin as much as other films do. I could also mention Czech cinema from the 1960s. I have not seen as many as I would like, but there are both poetry and hilarity in many of those films.

You have mentioned that Barack Obama twice named „ Election as his favorite political film. I find both „Citizen Ruth“ and „Election“ revolutionary, using satire as a vehicle for a social and political impact story. Did you sense back then that your cinematic approach was something really original?

I always accuse myself of not making satires that are fierce enough. I’m too polite, and I think it hurts my work. “Citizen Ruth” was very influenced by Billy Wilder’s “Ace in the Hole” (1951) but I think lacks the bite of that small masterpiece. “Election” is a movie I thought had something of an original approach, not so much in the content, as you imply, but in the form: multiple voice-over. I’m happy people think it’s a satire, but at the time, I just thought I was making a comedy.

In most of your movies (especially Nebraska, Sideways and Descendants) it is obvious that some truths of life inside the characters bring strong emotional impact on the audience. What is the way you compose your characters?

This is a very difficult question to answer, since it asks me to impose premeditation and concious choice upon a process which is spontaneous and unconscious. I’m of course very happy that you think those films have an emotional impact on the audience, but that probably comes from my own personal interest in the characters. During the process of making the films, the characters become a part of me, and I think of them not as characters in a movie but as real people. Then, during both screenwriting and directing, I’m only always thinking about what is funny, what is surprising, and what is moving.

A lot of your films are based on books of different authors. What makes each of these films looking like an Alexandre Payne movie?

As I say above, I take a very personal interest in the lives of the characters in my movies. And it makes no difference where the idea for a movie comes from – book, other screenplay, or one’s own screenplay. All movies are pushed through the intestines of the filmmaker, so the film can only reflect him or her. Don’t forget that almost all of Stanley Kubrick’s films were adaptations of novels, but they are unmistakably his.

If it would be possible to save the planet, would you go downsizing?

There is no saving the planet.

Interview by: Chistina Hadjicharalambous & Radoslav Pavkovic