Fifty years after his masterpiece, Z, the filmmaker Costa-Gavras revisits his favorite genre – the political thriller – bringing to the screen the book Conversations between adults, which takes us behind the scenes of the economic crisis that has hit his Greece home in 2015. The Journal spoke by phone with the famous filmmaker of 87 years.
Pandemic is forcing, your new film, Conversations between adults, leaves Quebec in a virtual way. Is this disappointing for a filmmaker not to be able to present his new creation on the big screen ?
“Yes, but it is a great problem of our time:” one sees too many movies on small screens and phones. This does not correspond to the way we make films and how he must see them, in my opinion. ”
Conversations between adults is an adaptation of the book of the same title written by the ex-Finance minister of Greece, Yanis Varoufakis, who was at the forefront of negotiations with the european Union during the Greek crisis of 2015. What is it that appeals to you about in this story ?
“What I was most interested in the book, this is the part that corresponds to its negotiations with the ministers of the Economy of european nations. During these meetings, we find a Europe that we did not know. The author of the book has recorded all of these meetings because he realized that they were never saved and that all the people who were there would later tell of what they wanted to the media. ”
The film-maker franco-Greek Costa-Gavras (Z, Amen, Missing), on the set of his latest film, Conversations between adults.
The film is also very hard to the place of the members of the european Union…
“What struck me, is to see to what extent these people do not care about the people. They are concerned only of finance. This behavior is unbearable. My generation was born in Europe and we had tremendous hope. But after a few years, you find that it has become a kind of supermarket. It is far from the Europe of social or cultural in nature of which we dreamed. The dream of a united Europe never became a reality. We see in this moment with the pandemic. The countries have not faced this problem together. It was every man for himself. ”
Is it risky from the point of view film putting in scene a film that has so much dialogues ?
“It is always a problem, the dialogues and the cinema. But in this case, I judged that they were sufficiently dramatic. The suspense in this movie, going by the dialogues and what is happening between the characters.”
Before the temporary closure of cinemas, movie-goers have no other choice than to turn to the video-on-demand. The future of the cinema hall you are worried about it ?
“The cinema will continue to exist because people need images and stories, and that it, it is the cinema and the audiovisual sector which allow. The risk, as you point out, is that the platforms for online streaming such as Netflix absorb fully the audience and kill the cinema. The concern of these platforms is not cultural or artistic. It is purely economic. What interests, it is to increase their number of subscriptions. What are the decision-makers of these platforms who decide what movies they have. The rooms are all the more important because they allow a kind of freedom which is indispensable to the existence of a national cinema. It is absolutely necessary to save them. ”
You live in Paris for more than 60 years. How have you lived the last months of confinement ?
“I saw him personally quite well, because I have the chance, with my wife, to have a large house where we have space. But I have a thought for the millions of people who live in small apartments and for which it is much more difficult. Unfortunately, as is often the case, this crisis is a punishment for the poor and people who do not have the means. ”
► Conversations between adults and is distributed first on the site of the Cinema Park and, as of 2 June, on the digital platforms.