Béla Tarr on the death of producer Humbert Balsan in mid-shooting: "This film had been in gestation for quite a long time. The worst setback was the loss of producer Humbert Balsan. Not only was it a tragedy for the production, it was also traumatic for us as individuals: we lost a friend, a courageous and sensitive man, who had always fought for cinema. For that reason, we dedicated the film to him. It took us a long time to recover and get back to work, and I want to thank all those who helped us. No one jumped ship, despite the crises. We're very grateful for this friendship and solidarity."
John Simenon on the adaptation: "It's the first time I've ever seen an adaptation of one of my father's novels where the viewer is able to get inside the mind and thinking of the character. It corresponds perfectly to what my father was trying to do with his writing."
Béla Tarr on his intentions: "The thing that interested me about this story is that it's the story of a human being, above all. The reader's interest is aroused, not by the money, or the suitcase, but by human dignity."
Tilda Swinton on how modern the film is: "Anyone interested in modern cinema, anyone seeking out the cinema of tomorrow, should study all the films Béla Tarr has made, and especially this film. The energy it contains is what makes this film modern."
On the contribution of film editor and co-director Agnès Hranitzky
Ágnès Hranitzky: "My work doesn't merely consist of splicing shots together. I'm there from the beginning of the process until the end. I try to give support to Béla."
Miroslav Krobot: "The work they do together is decisive. She watches everything, and says something if a cut is needed… It's a very deep relationship. They conceive of everything as a pair."
Tilda Swinton on having her voice dubbed: "I found this work very interesting. As a child, I was fascinated by Fellini's films, in which different languages are spoken. In The Man from London, there were scenes when I had to shout in English, while Miroslav shouted in Czech and Béla was speaking to us in Hungarian. For a film that's about how hard it is for humans to communicate, it was ideal."
Photo Copyright AFP