French director Claude Lelouch gave an upbeat message on the future of the business in Korea to film students, and was warmly applauded for his overwhelmingly positive outlook on cinema.
“I love the kind of cinema that makes people love life and that gives them the strength to love life. Cinema is like taking a vitamin pill, it’s the best medicine,” said Lelouch, who is bestknown for his 1966 romantic comedy “A Man and a Woman,” which also won him an Oscar for writing, and a nom for directing.
“I think Korea has the potential to produce truly great cineastes,” Lelouch told film students at a Master Class at the Pusan film festival.
He told of how, as the son of an Algerian-Jewish confectioner, he spent the earliest years of his childhood hiding from the Nazis with his mother –in a cinema. They were eventually captured and sent to Dachau concentration camp three months before the end of World War II.
“I have a need to believe in things. It’s not easy to live life and film helps us to live,” he said, adding how he had never adapted a book in his career, preferring to focus on his observations of life.
His positive message was in stark contrast to the “cinema is dead” comments by British director Peter Greenaway at the same forum the day before, which prompted questions from the floor. Lelouche, who has previously said that the best days of cinema are yet to come, was diplomatic.
“There are realists and those against realism, there are different kinds of film. Everyone can make a film these days with the freedom provided by video and the Internet, so go out and take risks,” he said.
Asked what kind of movie he would make about the film festival, he said he would make a film about love.
“It’s the universal language. All my films are about love,” he said.