Thursday, June 23, 2016

Love & Friendship: “I always thought that Kate Beckinsale is the best Lady Susan” – Screenrush

With Love and Friendship, Whit Stillman captures Jane Austen’s universe and shows a rare comic facet. He finds the duo of Latter Days of Disco, Kate Beckinsale and Chloë Sevigny. Meeting in Paris with a Francophile filmmaker.

Allociné: What is your relationship with the city of Paris? You will have lived

Whit Stillman, director: I have shot the pilot of the series The Cosmopolitans in February 2014. J ‘ have made to and from Paris since. Before that, I lived here between 1998 and 2007. I live here. This is my town now.

Is Paris is an inspiration for you?

No for this film, even if it ended here. It was fitting here. But my Cosmopolitans The series comes in connection with Paris. We did an episode in Paris in 2014, and I am currently writing new episodes. But the series will not only be located in Paris, we go in Europe. But the characters come from there.

About Love and Friendship. At first I wondered how you discovered this new Jane Austen, who also is not called like that in reality.

Yes, I ‘ I changed the title. Love and Friendship sounds more like Jane Austen. She had used that title Love and Friendship for another new rather insignificant she had written when she was a child. The title Lady Susan was not his choice and I do not like that title. So the first step of the adaptation was to change the title.

This is a very funny story of Jane Austen. This is quite different from the rest of his work, although there is the comic in his work, but that is often lost when adapted. I thought it was a chance to show the funny side of Jane Austen.

Do you think that the adjustments are usually not very funny?

Normally it is classic and romantic in the way it’s done. But in truth it was not romantic at all! She did not show much emotion

Love & amp. Friendship Trailer

how you filmed this story, you also are sought to bring some modernity

I have not tried that actually. The reason for that is that the late eighteenth century was actually very modern. I think we are closer to our way of thinking of the eighteenth century nineteenth.

Jane Austen has become sort of the epitome of pre-Victorian era. So much for moral things from the beginning of the Victorian era, Jane Austen was precursor. For example, when she wrote Mansfield Park , this would be quite acceptable from a Victorian point of view, but it came out before, when she was still imbued with the spirit of the eighteenth century. I think it was a kind of Dangerous Liaisons comic.

Besides, many people think that Lady Susan had a French influence. She had a cousin who had a little scandal, married to a French aristocrat. The woman’s husband had indeed been executed during the Terror so completely unfair. There was a lot of paranoia during the Terror. He was accused of plotting to starve the population because he had forsaken her farmhands. In fact he had left his fields fallow. Was executed. This cousin who was a widow left with Austen and it was quite sophisticated. She flirted with the favorite brother of Jane Austen. So this dynamic of this sister trying to protect his brother from this seductive woman wanting to flirt with him was this cousin wanting to marry the French. But in fact nothing is known of this cousin, it is not known if it was amoral. So Lady Susan can be seen as a funny story that took place in his family

A Love & amp extract. Friendship

Love & amp; Friendship Video sample

I have read that this project was done over a period of time long enough …

When people know how long I worked on this project, he thought it was a project that I could barely move. But in fact the opposite. It was sort of a project that I went when I had a break when it was not necessary that I work on a food project.

I walked on this project for myself . It was like my “fun” project. So I advanced light heart over a long period before any change to the epistolary structure of the new home. I wanted to have a dramatic structure, which involved changes of place and characters. I knew it would be something I will not do well if I had a time constraint, in a period of 6 months. So I did a very long version of the script. Over time, it took the form of a film.

When did you start the project exactly?

Specifically, I started in 2004. There are 12 so years. But I think I had even begun before, I began to think about

Have you managed to find a producer from?

Fortunately, no! I was talking with someone in London who helped me to talk about me. But I never really signed with a producer from. But that’s because I discovered it was better if I wrote one scenario, without a contract. Otherwise you are bound to complicated things, legal issues and money.

It’s important when you are a filmmaker to keep in mind as you make a movie and not someone waiting to to be paid. It is hard because it means that you do not touch money for a while, but if you win someone’s trust, you can survive and lead your own project you control.

Do you have other projects like this, you are working continuously?

Now, I will try to all my projects this way. Projects that I do not speak, I just work on it, and when it’s ready, I show it to someone.

In the case of Love and Friendship, I had a good producer who did not let go. For 3 years, she did not let go, from the beginning of our cooperation, almost two years so that it faces, and the film’s release.

And I guess it had to help when Kate Beckinsale and Chloë Sevigny were associated with the project. Were you kept in touch with them since The Last Days of Disco? How did they come to the project?

I was in contact with Chloë for various reasons. She plays in the pilot I did for The Cosmopolitans. It was the first to join the film. I always thought that Kate would be the best Lady Susan. His agent had enjoyed the project; he wanted her to. So it was a fun idea when the opportunity to bring together emerged. And for us, the presence of Stephen Fry was also important. It has a very small role, it’s just a cameo, he just a big stage. But Stephen Fry investment in the project was crucial.

The director Whit Stillman and Kate Beckinsale

do you find they had changed a lot since you shot with it the first time?

No. When I read the news the first time, I immediately thought that Kate would be great in Lady Susan, but at the time, in 2003-2004, it would have been too young to play. But over time, she ended up with the right age to play the role.

I think we were much more relaxed on this film. I was more in touch with the actors.

Are The Last Days of Disco is the film which most talked about you? I feel that there is a kind of cult around this film.

I love it. When the film was released in the beginning, we suffered a bit. And with time, I think we gained some cult status. But I love it, because before, they spoke to me of Metropolitan. Before, it was Metropolitan, Metropolitan, Metropolitan. After you make other films that have value to you, you want people to enjoy the new movies. So it’s good if it becomes Disco. I do not know if it’s cult in France, but the US is the case. The film is much been on TV.

Chloë Sevigny and Kate Beckinsale in the Last days of disco Whit Stillman (1999)

you said earlier that now you would speak more films you are working, then …

The thing I can say is that I work on this series that takes place in Europe for Amazon. I just wrote 6 new scenarios.

In the first episode, the idea was that everything happens in Paris. But since I had another idea that takes the characters elsewhere. Most members of the pilot cast will return, as available. I had a very big cast for the pilot but I’m not sure they will be there all throughout the series. There will be a small regular group, and when more will be available, they will return.

To write a series, was it also a way for you to try your a new form of writing? We often read than to write for TV provides greater creative freedom …

This is totally false, totally false. My problem is not the lack of creative freedom in film. If you make films independently, your freedom is guaranteed. Really. I ended up loving the process of television, with Amazon, it was great. But I had never had so much supervision. So far, I have always had the opportunity to recruit that I wanted, either editors or others. But then, I had to negotiate every time. It’s their system. It went very well. They helped me a lot, but I was very surprised at first. So there is a form of freedom but compared to other TV channels. But I have never had experience with other TV. I wrote scripts for other TV channels, but it never went beyond the script stage.

Interview by Brigitte Baronnet in Paris June 14 2016


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