[ENTERTAINMENT]Leading French Director Resists Hollywood

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[ENTERTAINMENT]Leading French Director Resists Hollywood

The 55-year-old French director Jean-Jacques Beineix recently arrived in Korea, accompanied by his long-awaited new film "Mortal Transfert." The director and movie arrived here for the 1st Seoul French Film Festival, which ended Friday.

Beineix is the internationally renowned director who, along with Luc Besson of "The Fifth Element" fame and Leos Carax of "The Lovers on the Bridge," steered the French film scene to prosperity in the 1980s. Beineix is particularly well-known for his films "Diva" (1980) and "Betty Blue" (1986), both of which he used to describe the enthusiasm of human beings in a dazzling palette of colors. In a candid interview, the director talked about his new film and his fight against the gigantic powers of Hollywood.

"Mortal Transfert" is a labyrinthine thriller about sexually unstable modern people unable to communicate with one another. In the story of a psychiatrist treating a masochistic female patient, Beineix said that he tried to depict a comical point of view. He maintained his signature blue-tinged cinematography, but this time he toned down the effect.

This is Beineix's first film in eight years. He said, "I did not feel like doing anything. I even suffered from melancholia, for I could not get any inspiration. Now, I feel much better. I want to make films again."

These days Beineix finds resisting Hollywood even more important than making movies. Beineix said, "I tried every means possible to protect the French screen quota against American films destroying small films under the name of globalization." Although he sounded hostile to Hollywood when he said its economic and industrial aim was to destroy art, he said that he did not have any personal feelings. He went on to say, "Those who are behind the scenes in Hollywood are no more than a hundred in number. For me, it does not make sense that a worldwide movie industry should make a sacrifice for that very little group."

In spite of this opposition, Beineix said that in some ways he is actually envious of his fellow French director Besson, who made the switch to Hollywood. Beineix said he dreamed about doing the same thing when young. However, Beineix emphasized that it is most important for Hollywood blockbusters and experimental films to coexist. "We should break the established rules, like stereotypes, and that is what filmmakers should do," he added. Beineix said that he is not the only one who feels this way. Some American filmmakers whom he recently met in Seattle and Los Angeles, such as Quentin Tarantino, agree with his own concerns about Hollywood, where films are produced like identical, manufactured products.

"Korean films should focus on something authentically Korean," said Beineix. "A film works best when it is an expression of the country where it was made."

by Park Jeong-ho

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