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Jean-Luc Godard

  1. Roger Vadim, Into The Night, 1984.   Loudmouth director John Landis had his fetishes. Certain phrases (“See you next Wedneday” - it’s from 2001) and cameo roles for director buddies. (Remember Spielberg at the very end of The Bluse Brothers?)  Now he had invited M Nouvelle Vague, himself, to join the latest party.  “Everything was fine,” recalled Landis in 2015.  “Then two weeks before we started, he called to say he couldn’t come - he had to make a film.” Said Landis: “How do you say ‘Fuck you!’ in  French?” He already had cameos for Jack Arnold, Paul Bartel, David Cronenberg, Jonathan Demme, Richard Franklin, Amy Heckerling, Jim Henson, Colin Higgins, Lawrence Kasdan, Jonathan Lynn, Paul Mazursky, Daniel Petrie, Don Siegel… and himself. But he  insisted on one more - and French. But who? That’s when  someone said Roger Vadim was living in Santa Monica. “He agreed and he was great, a very good actor.” Landis remembers it well. Of course, he does.  After the dizzy heights of An American Werewolf In London, Animal House, The Blues Brothers, Trading Places, etc., this was his first flop. 
  2. François Berléand, Romance, France, 1998.   “Believe it or not,” as the auteur,herself, says, Catherine Brerllat had offered the role of the old S&M dabbler to the New Wave icon. “Hewrote me a long letter to tell me (and Truffaut had theorised about this matter) that the sexual act could not be filmed. [which explains why  Jean-Paul Belmondo and Jean Seberg only sat on  their bed in Àbout de souffléall those nouvelle vagueyears ago]. I, for one, can’t see why you can film somebody having a cup of coffee… and retain the Godard or the Truffaut signature. But somebody making love could only bear the porn stamp. That’s granting too much power to the porn industry and its directors, denying the fact that a film director has a point of view. As far as I’m concerned, when I make love with somebody I love, I am not doing porn! What porn lacks is emotion… You’re always afraid that actors may refuse to do what they committed themselves to. They are allowed, legally, to refuse to do something even if it was written loud and clear in the script from the start. Berléand did that! Notwithstanding his contract, he refused to put his finger in Caroline Ducey’s sexe[vagina] and I had to call a porn actor to do that. Berléand was mad as hell and called me a traitor. I hadn’t betrayed him. He had. His contract stipulated it was the only porn thing he had to do. Him - and nobody else but him. I don’t see why I should be censored by someone who, anyway, is nothing but an actor.” Owch!    [Catherine Breillat was talking to my good friend Frederic Albert Levy in Paris for the 2018 Severin Films blue-ray bonus].


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