Julia Ducournau discusses next steps after Titane, NYC writing residency and collaboration with Juliette Binoche on The New Look – The Deadline Q&A

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French director Julia Ducournau is at the Marrakech International Film Festival this week, where she will talk about her career and work so far in an In Conversation event on Tuesday.

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The trip to Morocco comes nearly a year after an unforgettable 2021 for the filmmaker, in which she won the Palme d’Or at Cannes for her genre- and gender-defying second film titaniumThis makes her only the second woman in the history of the festival after Jane Campion.

The film enjoyed a vibrant career at international film festivals, received rave reviews at film festivals in New York and London, among others, and made a strong showing at the US box office for Neon. It was also selected as the French entry for Best International Film, but was not shortlisted.

I filmed two episodes of the Apple TV+ series this summer the new look, With Ben Mendelsohn as Christian Dior and Juliette Binoche as Coco Chanel, she prepares to participate in France’s Villa Albertine artist residency program in New York.

meeting spoke to the director in the gardens of the famous luxury hotel Mamounia in Marrakech before their In Conversation meeting.

DEADLINE: How are you decompressing after your eventful 2021?

JULIA DUCORNAU: I’ve been taping a TV show that isn’t mine all summer The new look for apple. I directed two episodes. That meant I was on set, which is great. I do it because I write, but if you’re just writing and you don’t set foot on a set for three or four years, it’s terrible. So it is good to jump on such a project. Now I write again.

DEADLINE: What’s it like to direct someone else’s material?

DUCORNAU: I’ve done it on other things, like M. Night Shyamalan maid. Directing is also a way of telling a story, and it’s not that different from writing, you just have different tools. As long as I have a connection and the characters speak to me and I believe I can film them with love, I can do it.

DEADLINE: What drew you to The New Look?

DUCORNAU: Many things. it was created by Todd A. Kessler. He played along a bit. He is very persuasive and a very sensitive person, which I really appreciate. The two leads are two actors I wanted to work with, Juliette Binoche and Ben Mendelsohn. I was damn happy about that. It was wonderful. When you have actors like that, you feel like you’ve struck gold. I’m not saying it’s easy, but they allow themselves to go far, to take risks.

DEADLINE: Is the series very different from your genre-driven works Raw and Titane?

DUCORNAU: I don’t need a genre or horror to relate to a story or character and have ideas about how to portray those emotions. They are just characters, whether there is a genre or not.

DEADLINE: I read that you are doing a residency in the US with the French Villa Albertine program, what does that entail?

DUCORNAU: In 2023, I will go to SXSW and then to New York for the residency for three months

DEADLINE: The blurb on the Villa Albertine website says you will be Explore the world of skin surgery at LA’s Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and meet tattoo artists at the NY Empire State Tattoo Expo. Is this still correct?

DUCORNAU: No, it’s a hospital in New York. The most famous.

DEADLINE: Can you give more details?

DUCORNAU: I can’t talk about it [laughs]. The profile is deliberately misleading. I’m a bit naughty when it comes to things like this. I don’t know if you remember Cannes titanium was done for a few months, but the synopsis I gave to Cannes was the definition of what titanium is. In this I am a rock. I never say anything

DEADLINE: Will the stay result in a job?

DUCORNAU: none The Villa Albertine is a writer’s residence like the Villa Medici in Rome which I did Raw. You have several places of residence in the USA and I chose New York. Actually it is for research. i go there [to the hospital], I will meet people and I will write. I will not spend time alone in the hospital. There are several other environments I need to explore, but that doesn’t cover everything [the next film] takes place in New York.

DEADLINE: Return to Titane, the film was snubbed at the French César Awards earlier this year after not being nominated in the Best Picture category. It was the first time in the history of the award that a French Palme d’Or was not included in the category. How did it make you feel?

DUCORNAU: I wasn’t expecting anything that great because I didn’t want to go up and give a speech on stage that’s really scary. Why wasn’t I surprised? Because I know the type of films that are usually awarded and titanium didn’t fit the mold at all.

I assumed that the Palme d’Or must have enraged people who didn’t like my film at all. I don’t know, it’s just nothing that surprises me as a Frenchman. For example, I have a bigger fan base in the US, which is great.

It’s just cultural. I know my country and its cultural likes and dislikes. The first, as you know, is that the genre is not very developed in France.

DEADLINE: Do you think you’ll ever make English-language films on that basis? Is it an ambition?

DUCORNAU: It’s not really a career goal. In fact, I find it easy to write in English. it is very easy for me. There is more action in the English language. It’s simpler, it’s a very visual language that works very well in screenwriting. But for my next project, I don’t know yet. It may go one way or another, but at some point I will definitely write something in English.

DEADLINE: But it sounds like you’re comfortable in the US and like spending time there.

DUCORNAU: Yes, I honestly have a great team with Neon. I like them a lot, but then again, there’s something about the genre that’s so much more ingrained in the culture than it is in France. People ask me less to explain what I do and why I do things a certain way. It is beautiful.

DEADLINE: In time for the 2021 release of Titans, you’ve talked a lot about the mental and emotional pain you went through writing the script after your 2016 feature debut Raw. Do you think it will be just as difficult to get your next movie on the upcoming side?

DUCORNAU: It doesn’t get any easier and I’m not sure the Palme d’Or helps, you know [laughs]. This is a big event. You try to get rid of it, you have to get rid of it, you have to, otherwise you’re not going to do anything. It [writing] will surely always be a torment.

It’s really funny because I’ve talked to a lot of directors here and I think it’s always like that, but some people really hate it. I enjoy this discomfort. I think I have a very masochistic approach to writing. The harder it is, the more fun it is, because you feel like you’re going very, very deep inside yourself.

DEADLINE: You just directed episodes of The New Look. Did you receive many more offers after winning the Palme d’Or for Titane?

DUCORNAU: Yes, it was a bit like that Raw, but on a larger scale. I have a very good agent in France, Valéry Guibal from Film Talents. It filters a lot and keeps me from being overwhelmed. I set my own priorities and my priority now is my next film.

DEADLINE: Do you have an American agent?

DUCORNAU: None for now. I think it comes naturally when I have an English language project. Then it would be natural to have an agent in LA.

Writer: Melanie Goodfellow

Source: Deadline

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