Official | Update : 13.02.18 . 10:55 AM

Press Conference: “We Own the Night”

Conf Gray

Conf Gray © AFP

Presented in the Official Competition, We Own the Night by James Gray was put to journalist question in a daily exercise of press conferences. Present were the director James Gray, actors Joaquin Phoenix, Robert Duvall, and Eva Mendes, along with producers Mark Butan and Nick Wechsler. Excerpts follow.

James Gray on working with Joaquin Phoenix: “Working with Joaquin is a trip to the home of Marquis de Sade. It’s very fun. It’s somewhere between “Alice in Wonderland” and Salo by Pasolini. He’s a wonderful artist and …a great actor.”

Eva Mendes on what it was like working with this wonderful cast: “I only had a couple of scenes with Mr. Duvall and I look forward to the future where I can actually work on a film with him where we have more to work with because I’m a huge Duvall fan. Joaquin I think is one of the best actors of our generation. I respect him so much…This is the first film where I feel I have really been challenged on a daily basis. It’s my favourite experience in my career so far.”

James Gray on the continuity of his work: “If you’re lucky, you get to make the same film over and over again. What I want to do hopefully is to have a certain progression, like with the two-brother thing; it’s what you draw upon to make it authentic. You want the film to be deeply felt and to me, the only way I know how to do it is to try and mime my own life for some things. Genre is only the excuse. What you’re really trying to get at is the emotionality of it. I think it has to be personal. So if you’re making the same film over and over again, then it’s a good thing. My favourite director of all time is Fellini. How different is Les Vitelloni to Amarcord that was made 20 years later?

James Gray on the financing: “Making a movie is always a very complex endeavour. It’s like say four friends and you can never ever decide where to go to eat, which restaurant. Imagine 200 people for two years all having to get together, costing millions of dollars to get this thing made. It’s really a difficult unwieldy thing. I wanted to make it at a certain budget range, because what I like best is a combination of truth and spectacle. That to me, just to make something very small, I could do it, but that costs money. And to get all of the elements combined costs money.”

Photo copyright AFP

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