×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Christopher Walken, Hugh Hudson, Barry Levinson Look Back at Careers at R7al

R7al, a new film event in Lausanne, Switzerland, dedicated to classic films, wrapped Wednesday, with Christopher Walken receiving an honory award onstage, and one of his films, Abel Ferrara’s “The Funeral,” playing as the closing night movie.

Among the other guests were directors Darren Aronofsky, Barry Levinson, Thomas Vinterberg, Susanne Bier, Michel Hazanavicius, Hugh Hudson and Tim Pope, composer Alexandre Desplat, Cannes festival director Thierry Fremaux, author Stephen Apkon, and actresses Lea Seydoux, Rossy De Palma and Fanny Ardant. The event was founded by actor Vincent Perez.

R7al screened 40 films as well as staging a multitude of discussions during which filmmakers could talk about their work.

At a screening of “The Deer Hunter,” Walken explained that two weeks before filming started director Michael Cimino brought together the principal actors at the film’s first location, Cleveland, Ohio, to get to know each other. “We spent at least 10 days together. We went to weddings, we ate together, we were always together, and we got to know each other pretty well, which was a great way to make a movie and I never did it again that way,” he said.

Hudson reflected on the hostile reception he received for “Revolution,” starring Al Pacino. “This film was crucified by the Americans. It should have come out in France first and then it would have been more successful in America,” he said. “They couldn’t understand a number of things. That an Englishman made the story. Because they think it is their story. In fact the story happens when America was an English colony, so it is an English story; it is my history too. They couldn’t understand why I shot it in England, not in America. Well, because in America there are no buildings that are protected, that are left as they were, or they are museums like Williamsburg.”

Other criticism were aimed at Donald Sutherland for having a “funny” accent. “They criticized Al Pacino for wearing a costume – for not being a policeman or a gangster,” Hudson said. “They couldn’t understand why he dressed like that. They absolutely attacked him to the extent he didn’t work for four years at all after the film, and he was at the height of his career. They attacked everything. They attacked why I shot an epic film hand-held.”

“It’s my best film,” Hudson said. “It’s my most unusual film, and it’s my most daring film. The critics in this case were very ignorant in America, and everybody else copied them.”

Levinson claimed that the reason MGM didn’t interfere with his breakout film “Diner” was that “they thought it was so bad that they couldn’t fix it.” It almost disappeared without a trace and it was only thanks to an intervention by The New Yorker film critic Pauline Kael that the studio was shamed into re-releasing the movie.

Talking about “Rain Man,” Levinson claimed, “You could never get anything like that made anymore.” While the script was being rewritten a writers’ strike started, so they had to start shooting without a finished script. “A lot of the script was improvised on location,” he said.

Levinson explained how he had started out training to be an actor before moving into writing and then directing, and this helped him when working with actors, such as Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise on “Rain Man.” “There is always a hesitancy with actors and inhibitions can get into the work, so you have to figure out how to make it feel so loose that you can do anything, and if it is not right that is okay because we’ll do it again. We’ll just play around and we’ll get to it, rather than saying I’ve got to do my scene. The more pressure that an actor puts on himself, the harder it is to deliver behavior that’s interesting and so I just try to find a way without talking too much. I just try to make it as easy as it can possibly be and not make it seem that it is going to be a big important moment.” He said that he likes to create moments when “the audience leans forward in the chair.”

More Film

  • Italy's Notorious Pictures on Buying Spree

    Cannes: Italy's Notorious Pictures on Buying Spree Takes 'Vivarium,' Ups Production (EXCLUSIVE)

    Italian distribution, production, and exhibition company Notorious Pictures is on a buying spree at the Cannes Film Market where they’ve acquired four high-profile titles, including Jesse Eisenberg and Imogen Poots sci-fi-fier “Vivarium,” which world-premiered in Critics’ Week. On the production side the expanding outfit has teamed up with Belgium’s Tarantula Productions on Islamic terrorism thriller [...]

  • Marco Bellocchio The Traitor Cannes

    Director Marco Bellocchio Talks About Cannes Mafia Drama 'The Traitor'

    Cannes veteran Marco Bellocchio’s vast body of work spans from “Fists in the Pockets” (1965) to “Sweet Dreams,” which launched at Directors’ Fortnight in 2016. The auteur known for psychodramas and for bringing the complexities of Italian history, and hypocrisy, to the big screen is back, this time in competition, with “The Traitor,” a biopic [...]

  • Director Tudor Giurgiu on Transylvania Film

    Director Tudor Giurgiu on Transilvania Film Festival Opening Film ‘Parking’

    CANNES–A poet, a romantic, and a stranger in a strange land, Adrian is a Romanian immigrant working as a night watchman at a car dealership in Cordoba. After leaving his old life behind, he falls in love with a Spanish singer who offers him a shot at reinvention. But when a money-making scheme by his [...]

  • Their Algeria

    Lina Soualem’s ‘Their Algeria’ Wins First Docs-in-Progress Award

    CANNES–Lina Soualem’s “Their Algeria” won the inaugural Docs-in-Progress Award, a €10,000 ($11,300) cash prize given out by the Cannes Film Market’s Doc Corner with the support of the Intl. Film Talent Association (IEFTA), which was presented Tuesday at a ceremony at the Plage des Palmes. Soualem’s directorial debut was chosen out of the 24 works-in-progress [...]

  • Film Review: The Orphanage

    Cannes Film Review: 'The Orphanage'

    Amusing, at times poignant Bollywood re-creations are used in “The Orphanage” much as Afghan director Shahrbanoo Sadat mixed folklore with realism in her award-winning “Wolf and Sheep,” in both cases to add heightened levels of cultural significance and an element of fantasy as necessary correlatives to hardscrabble lives. While Sadat’s second feature is something of [...]

  • Three Identical Strangers

    Film News Roundup: 'Three Identical Strangers' Feature Adaptation Taps 'Bohemian Rhapsody' Writer

    In today’s film news roundup, “Three Identical Strangers” is moving ahead, Skeet Ulrich has been cast with Tom Hanks, the “Minions” sequel has been titled and “Vegas Dave” is getting a movie. MCCARTEN ATTACHED “Bohemian Rhapsody” screenwriter Anthony McCarten will write and produce the feature adaptation of the documentary “Three Identical Strangers.” Raw, Film4 and [...]

  • Bong Joon-ho, Choi Woo-shik. Director Bong

    Bong Joon-ho's 'Parasite' Earns Five-Minute Cannes Ovation

    Just days after the announcement of the selection of “Parasite” for main competition at the Cannes Film Festival, South Korean director Bong Joon-ho warned members of the local press not to expect his film to win the Palme d’Or. He also suggested that the film was “hyper local” and possibly difficult for foreign audiences to [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content