To be and to stay yourself
Time will come when history of predatory capitalism will be viewed from a different perspective, different than this one right now, and it will not look good
The European Film Academy has decided that the encounters of filmmakers from all over Europe, "A Sunday in the Country", should be organized this year at Palić, in collaboration with the European Film Festival, and its guest is the famous Irish director Jim Sheridan.
What knowledge will you transfer to students and filmmakers during "A Sunday in the Country" programme?
I will try to teach them to be and to stay themselves. I will teach them about what I know. It isn’t going to be only theory, but also facts of finding emotional truth in stories. So, how to find the root of the story.
You shot three films with the actor Daniel Day-Lewis, and a role in your film MY LEFT FOOT granted him his first Oscar. Can we expect another mutual cooperation between the two of you in future?
I ran into Daniel about three or four days ago, and I’m always looking for a story, but it’s as if we have already recorded all the stories that we could have done in Ireland. I do not know if I'll find a story for him, I would like to. And he would also like me to. But it's not easy. He was old for the role in the film IN AMERICA and for one of the roles in the film BROTHERS. Day-Lewis has to be the main character in the film, he's not made for the second lead role because he has such a particularity, but if I find a story for him, we will certainly shoot another film together.In addition to Day-Lewis, for years Irishmen Liam Neeson and Brendan Gleeson have been popular and engaged. In the last 10 years it’s been Colin Farrell, Killian Murphy, and most recently Michael Fassbender. Why are Irish actors so wanted and popular?
That’s because they are good actors. I don’t know why they are such good actors. It must be because of the tradition and the country. They have a kind of openness and warmth, which you usually don’t get from English actors. The English are very precise and brilliant, while Irish actors have somewhat rough edges.British films are often characterized by the so-called social kitchen sink melodrama, in the works by Loach, Lee and of the more recent Andrea Arnold. Why is this genre so popular?
My first films MY LEFT FOOT and THE FIELD, according to many, also seemed a bit like the best school of American TV film or as they call it there disease of the powerless. The main reason is that there is not enough space on TV for films of this type. My early films also had such mild kitchen sink flavor. There is also the theatre tradition that is transferred to the film, as well as some family dramas which seem theatre like.Irish authors often deal with topics such as the IRA and the Irish mafia ...
I think it's life and death, high stakes, meaning of life, colonialism and anti-colonialism, freedom fighters and terrorists, and all these issues are still ongoing around the world. Time will come when history of predatory capitalism will be viewed from a different perspective, different than this one right now, and it will not look good. Since it is currently the power of the world, people are not shooting negative films about it, but I think they should.According to you, what is the current British ciematography like?
Directors that you mentioned Mike Leigh and Ken Loach are great. Their work could also go by as TV films because of the close-ups and the people who keep talking, and they are brilliantly filmed. The problem is the films that have begun to engage in sensationalism.
Visual cinematic story also didn’t produce anything spectacular and good in the rest of the world in recent years. What I want from my next film is to also be visually good. Richard Curtis (LOVE ACTUALLY, NOTTING HILL) is a great storyteller, on the other side, Guy Ritchie’s films, particularly TWO SMOKING BARRELS was the first gangster movie after a long time and THE KRAYS. The problem is that the language of the British working class and ordinary people is not so understandable to someone in the U.S. or the rest of the world. But the advantage is that they are in English, that they are understandable in most parts of the world and could become the world hits, more so than films made in other languages could. That’s how it is today. Let’s not forget that THE ARTIST, France's biggest hit in recent years, was a silent film.