Christian Carion: Interview

Christian Carion: Interview

Christian Carion: Interview. By Richard Schertzer.

Christian Carion is an Academy Award-nominated French filmmaker and has written and directed such moving pictures as Joyeux Noel, Farewell, Come What May, My Son and his most recent film Driving Madeleine.

Richard: I know that you grew up with a family of farmers and you later joined an engineering school and you later quit that industry to go into film. Tell me what was the process like and the transition like? Did you transition to film easily?



Christian: No, it’s never easy to change your life. I was dreaming about being a filmmaker. I didn’t go to any school. I just shot some small short movies and I was lucky that one of them was selected in a film festival and people loved it and some producer asked me if I had a long story and so I made my first movie this way and it has been a great success in France. So, I decided to stop my career as an engineer and be a filmmaker.

Richard: As a filmmaker, who are some of your greatest inspirations?

Christian: I grew up with Alfred Hitchcock. I learned the grammar of cinema from him and the second one is John Ford for his humanism, his humor and the way he shot the landscape. I think the decade of the 70s was very exciting and new. In the U.S., a generation of Steven Spielberg, Coppola and George Lucas, they are coming from the 70s and the 70s which was my youth was to me a great inspiration about great movies. My school was to watch a lot of movies. I do believe by watching movies, you can understand how it’s possible to make movies.

Richard: Do you feel like you’re always learning film?

Christian: I hope I will never stop. When you stop, it means maybe you are going to die. You always have something to learn. I shot a movie named Mon Garcon and then a remake named My Son and the concept of the movie was when the main actor doesn’t have a script. The crew and the rest of the cast has a script but he doesn’t have it because he’s coming back. He’s a father and he’s coming back because his son has disappeared and he doesn’t know anything and I wanted him to be exactly like the character, so that he discovered everything in front of the camera. I learned a lot by shooting this way.


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