It has been a rare occasion when I've actually met film makers. Sometimes it has been inadvertent. Walking through Venice it's not unusual to bump into a film set. I saw Donald Sutherland one morning, shooting what turned out to be the excremental Italian Job remake. Despite The Fighter, I'm still not entirely sure what the point of Mark Wahlberg actually is. I also saw Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp filming The Tourist, which was (it has to be said) another movie that steamed, not because it was sexy, but because it was like a freshly laid dog turd on a wintry morning pavement in January. Of course at festivals I've had the opportunity to actually talk to film makers, ask them questions about their films etc. Most are quite wary. The film has just been finished and they are uncertain as to the reaction it is going to get, and, if it has already screened, whether that festival reaction will translate into box office and critical acclaim elsewhere. At this year's festival I had the opportunity to interview two directors who I admire very much: Sono Sion and Yorgos Lanthimos. I found it difficult to formulate questions that weren't in some ways readings of their films, but in the end we had very stimulating conversations. Venice has the advantage of only showing world premieres and so this means that directors are very fresh, the reaction hasn't solidified and the answers they give are not rote learned. Surprisingly, neither Mr. Sion nor Mr. Lanthimos asked me to be in their next film. But on reflection I realized this was most probably because it was obvious I could speak neither Japanese nor Greek.
John Bleasdale is a writer. His work has appeared in The Guardian, The Independent, Il Manifesto, as well as CineVue.Com and theStudioExec.com. He has also written a number of plays, screenplays and novels.