You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Berlinale: Stanley Tucci Defends the Arts as Trump Looms

On Saturday, Stanley Tucci became the latest star to blast U.S. President Donald Trump in Berlin, saying that if his administration has its way, it would “eviscerate funding for the arts.”

The actor, writer, and director spoke at a press conference following the screening of “Final Portrait,” which stars Geoffrey Rush as Swiss artist Alberto Giacometti and Armie Hammer as art critic James Lord in an adaption of the latter’s biography “A Giacometti Portrait.” Clémence Poésy also stars.

Asked if his film and the work of filmmakers could influence the Trump administration’s plans to cut funding for the National Endowment of the Arts, Tucci said, “I don’t think our film can influence the president in any way, shape, or form. There, government has always had an ambiguous relationship to the arts in the U.S. … I can imagine if this administration has its way, they will eviscerate the arts. Art should be an intrinsic part of life, but many people don’t see art as an important part of education. This administration may not even see education as important.”

Tucci testified before members of the U.S. House of Representatives in 2012 on behalf of increased funding of the National Endowment of the Arts.

Discussing his film, Tucci said Lord’s book offered “a great articulation of the artistic process. Lord articulated it beautifully and in Giacometti’s own words.”

Like the book, the film revolves around the process of Giacometti painting a portrait of Lord over an 18-day period some two years before the artist’s death. Tucci described Giacometti as both “ancient and modern. There’s nothing quite like it — it’s truthfulness, abstract, and figurative.”

The filmmaker spent years developing the project since first reading Lord’s book as a young a man, and spent a decade raising the money for the film. Tucci sought to shoot the film, which is set in 1964 Paris, in a New Wave style, using two handheld cameras simultaneously. “Part of me wanted to shoot it in black and white, but that would not have been possible.”

Asked about his own relationship to art, Hammer said, “I like to consider myself an artist, and it’s an honor to work with great artists like the people who worked on this film. I hope some of that rubs off on me by proxy.”

Like his character in the film, who sits across an artist he idolizes and watches him paint, Hammer said he too got work with one of the actors he most admires. “All I did was sit in front of one of my idols enthralled.”

More Film

  • Arca, Cacerola, Viento del Norte, Panda

    Arca, Cacerola, Viento del Norte, Panda Team on ‘Mental Health Not Included’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    BUENOS AIRES — In a return to film production after serving as president of Argentina’s National Institute of Film and the Audiovisual Arts (INCAA) and then as a member of parliament, film producer Liliana Mazure is teaming with prestigious counterparts in Mexico and Brazil on a three-part, pan-regional dark comedy, “Mental Health Not Included.” Lead [...]

  • IFFAM and Variety Celebrate Asian Talent

    IFFAM and Variety Celebrate Asian Talent Up Next

    The International Film Festival and Awards Macao and Variety combined forces for the second year running to put a spotlight on Asia’s acting talent. A well-attended meet-the-stars press event on Friday afternoon in Macau was addressed by leading local official, Maria Helena Senna de Fernandes. She turned the microphone over the five actors from different [...]

  • Panorama, Delicious Team for Bernardo de

    Panorama, Delicious Team for Bernardo de la Rosa’s ‘Mario’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    BUENOS AIRES — One of Mexico’s highest-flying production houses whose latest movie production, “I’m No Longer Here,” screens as a work on progress at Ventana Sur, Gerardo Gática and Alberto Muffelmann’s Panorama Global, will produce “Mario,” a bio series directed by Bernardo de la Rosa which underscores Latin America’s building drive into bilingual, bi-country U.S.-Mexico [...]

  • Backtrace Review

    Film Review: 'Backtrace'

    “You can’t kill me! I died seven years ago!” It’s very much to the credit of Matthew Modine that he persuasively sells this melodramatic scrap of dialogue, and every other aspect of his trickily written lead character, in “Backtrace,” a better-than-average VOD-centric thriller that likely wouldn’t work nearly so well without the veteran actor’s totally [...]

  • Brett Leonard Boards 'Elijah'

    Film News Roundup: 'Lawnmower Man' Director Brett Leonard Boards 'Elijah'

    In today’s film news roundup, “Elijah” gets a director, a French fry documentary starts shooting and “Uglydolls” moves its release date forward. PROJECT LAUNCH Brett Leonard, best known for directing ”The Lawnmower Man” and “Virtuosity,” will direct the supernatural feature film “Elijah,” based on the Old Testament prophet. The project is set up at Winter [...]


    SAG-AFTRA Commercial Negotiations Set for February

    With no fanfare, SAG-AFTRA and the ad industry have set a mid-February start for negotiations for a successor deal to the union’s master contract, Variety has learned. The current three-year deal — which covers about $1 billion in annual earnings — expires on March 31. SAG-AFTRA and the Joint Policy Committee of the ad industry [...]


    Oscar Nominee Sondra Locke Dies at 74

    Actress and director Sondra Locke, who received a supporting actress Oscar nomination in her first movie role for “The Heart is a Lonely Hunter,” died Nov. 3 at 74. The Los Angeles County Public Health Department confirmed her death. She died due to breast and bone cancer, according to Radar Online, which reported that she [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content