Director Olivier Assayas Recovering from the Trauma of “Idols Eye” Collapsing @thefilmstage

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I’m glad that you appear to have resurrected Idol’s Eye, which, of course, was right on the cusp of shooting before being shut down.

Well, I’m crossing my fingers.

You wrote Personal Shopper after that fell apart. Does the film feel like it grew out of that experience?

I suppose, yeah, it could have grown out of the trauma. I was recovering from a trauma; I can’t deny that. I suppose, in one way or another, it’s there — in the background. Yeah. There was something — I’m not sure if we discussed it — but I had a hard time. Sometimes, movies don’t happen. I went through that, and it’s part of the job. I don’t like it, but sometimes you write a movie and it just, for some reason, can’t get off the ground. Looking back on it, you understand why. On the spot, you don’t; looking back, you think, “This was not ready for shooting,” or, “This was not the right time,” or, “These were not the right actors.” Whatever. That kind of stuff happens months before shooting. Worst case, you just start putting the film into place and, gradually, you realize you are not going to get the full financing of the film. It’s okay. I don’t have a problem with that.

But spending $5 million, preparing the film for months, and, all of a sudden — like, the day before shooting, when the equipment is in the trucks, when the actors are there, when the whole styling of the film is done — that’s weird. It’s weird, it’s irrational, and it’s frustrating. It’s frustrating because, in the case of that film, it’s not like it’s weird. For some reason, if a movie like Personal Shopper doesn’t happen, I kind of understand. A financier will find it too weird, it’s too abstract — whatever. At least I get it. I don’t agree with it, but I get it. In the case of Idol’s Eye, it’s ridiculous. The film is a very exciting project by any standards, with a great cast. It’s as much of a classic genre film as I will ever make. There’s no reason that this film would never happen. That’s the most frustrating part. So, yes, when I was making Personal Shopper, there was this kind of “fuck you” feeling in the background. [Laughs]

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