French director Claude Lelouch - famous for his one-take joyride through Paris at dawn - is still going strong at age 75. 

1 Aug 2012 - 12:00 AM  UPDATED 1 Aug 2012 - 12:00 AM

by Stefan Dobroiu

Guest of honour at the Transylvania International Film Festival (June 1-10), French director Claude Lelouch received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the organizers, who also prepared a selection of his films to bescreened at Cluj-Napoca. Claude Lelouch told Cineuropa about his next project, his opinion on the more and more popular 3D and the difficulty to still make movies.

If I had all the money in the world I'd make a film with no money.

Cineuropa: You are getting ready for a new film, which you will approach differently. Can you give us more details?

Claude Lelouch: It's a film (Salaud, on t'aime!) about the four cardinal points of life: love, work, friendship and family. I really want to focus on the actors and aproach them in different ways from before. With the new tehnologies and new lenses it is possible to put the camera very far from the actors, so that they are not able to see it and are not put off by it. I want them to forget they are actors, I only want them to be human beings. When you see the camera, you know you are acting. It's like on the street: when the camera is hidden, people are themselves. When they see it, they act.

What do you think about 3D?
I think 3D is the future, but without glasses. As long as the glasses are there, I won't direct a 3D film. The glasses bother me, I always feel the need to remove them, then I put them back, they simply bother me. I have the feeling that there is something foreign between myself and the screen and that makes me lose my focus. I don't get in the film. And as I make films about human beings, I will wait until 3D will be better. Now I only feel it's a gadget that comes between us and what is essential. For children films the 3D is amazing, but for the grown-up films it's not ready yet.

You've been quoted as saying that you make films for the large audience because you need money. If you had all the money in the world, what kind of film you would make?
If I had all the money in the world I'd make a film with no money. A film with no stars, only unknowns. I would take all the liberties. I think happiness is free, only luxury costs so much. My film would be about happines, about simple things which have no cost at all. If I had all the money in the world I'd make the cheapest film in the world. It's much more simple to make an expensive film, with many stars, than a cheap one, with no stars. It's a paradox. Take Meryl Streep and Brad Pitt and the producers will flock to give you money. If you cast two unknowns nobody will want to take the risk. I like stars, but they are a constraint. As soon as a star tells you yes, the filmbecomes easier to make. Big films start shooting with the budget secured, small films do not, sometimes you even don't know if you are going to finish them...

You remade your most famous film, A Man and a Woman, in the United States . How would you describe the experience?
I wanted to check if the story is truly atemporal. I adapted the story into a western, which was a mistake, as western lovers do not like love films and vice versa. But as time has passed, I have grown fond of this film.

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