Official | Update : 13.02.18 . 1:14 PM

Andrea Arnold: "My head has always been full of ideas for films"

Andrea Arnold © AFP

Andrea Arnold © AFP

Andrea Arnold , a firm representative of British social cinema, chose to set her first two films in the heart of the suburbs to depict the distress. Red Road and Fish Tank won the Jury Prize at the Festival de Cannes in 2006 and 2009 respectively. The film-maker talks about her relation with cinema.

What is your first memory of cinema?
Mary Poppins. I was about five years old and had never been to the cinema. I came out of there completely devastated, angry with this real world devoid of magic. I remember having cried a lot because of Mary Poppins. The film, despite never having influenced my work, left a deep mark on my childhood.

Do you have a cult film?
I'm not the kind of person who will watch a film over and over, but I love Stalker, by Andreï Tarkovski. The film is a million miles away from Mary Poppins, but it takes us to a world filled with magic. The strength of cinema lies in its ability to transport us, regardless of its roots.

What made you become a film director?
I have always loved exploring and composing. In one way or another, life has inevitably brought me to cinema. It corresponds to my way of thinking and doing things. My head has always been full of ideas for films.

In your opinion, does cinema help change things?
I'm sure of this deep down, but I never set out to do this when I begin a film, as I don't like guiding the public. I sincerely think that change is possible if the right explanations are given. I'm always influenced by the films I see, whether positively or negatively. There is something about cinema which makes us think that it can change things.

Do you think that it is easier to handle some delicate subjects through fiction and cinema?
Cinema is one of the most important means we have to face life and human beings. I attach a lot of importance to those films which make this their priority, and I like it when they manage to attract people's attention to delicate subjects. The problem is that most people want entertainment.

What is your opinion on British cinema?
It is going through a difficult phase as it tried to imitate American cinema for a very long time. Us British film-makers are finding it hard to discover our identity. French film directors do not have to think about how their films will be embraced in the USA. As a result, a lot of great British films are never released. What is more, not many film directors show what it is like to live in Great Britian. More money should be given for films which really try to reflect our culture.

Instinct plays a major role in your work process. Why?
Cinema leaves a lot of room for instinct. It's often the best way to make the right decisions, the ones which let you get as close as possible to the truth. A film requires such an investment that it is sometimes detrimental to think too much.

Interview directed by BP

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Andrea Arnold: "My head has always been full of ideas for films"

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