German helmer Volker Schloendorff passed on insights into making movies to a group of Korean film students on Sunday, but said no matter what changes technology brings, there was no substitute for story.
“The films you make will be so different from the ones we made in the last century,” Schloendorff said during a director’s master class at the Pusan Film Festival.
Schloendorff, whose current film, “Ulzhan,” is screening in Pusan this year, said, “An era in the art of film ended this summer with the death of Antonioni and Bergman. We are surrounded by pictures now and we live in an audiovisual universe. When I was 16, I’d only seen six films, including ‘Bambi’ and a Western with John Wayne.”
The 68-year-old helmer cited the example of the Austrian-born filmmaker Billy Wilder, a major influence despite the stark differences in style and content between the two.
He used Wilder’s “The Apartment” as a template for plot development and story.
Schloendorff hailed the Pusan festival as a valuable forum for Western filmmakers coming to Asia but said he hoped it kept its sense of scale.
“Pusan has become a festival like Cannes and Berlin but it’s a real experience for us coming here from the West who don’t know it,” he said. “An Asian film is still something exotic for us Europeans, but when you come here you see how vibrant things are.”
The festival reminded Schloendorff of Cannes in the early days in the way it afforded an opportunity to talk to young directors.
“Let Pusan grow but not too much. It is the destiny of the dinosaurs like Cannes and Berlin that you can get too big and lose the personal element.”