Monday 24 April 2023



If you are still considering attending here’s a set of links to the program notes for the first three days on our Cinema Reborn website and to THE RITZ CINEMAS webpage


The session times for each film are on both sites and the Program notes pages have a link to buy tickets. Just click on these links below. Otherwise there are seats available at the door for all sessions



SHOESHINE Program Notes


SHOESHINE bookings


IEOH ISLAND program notes


IEOH ISLAND bookings   






LA PISCINE Program notes


LA PISCINE Bookings  


Mauvais Sang

MAUVAIS SANG Program  notes




I BY DAY YOU BY NIGHT Program notes




DETOUR Program notes


DETOUR Bookings


RUGGLES OF RED GAP Program notes



It's not too late to make Tax Deductible Charitable Donation

Cinema Reborn is an organisation devoted exclusively to exploring the Cinema's heritage. It is managed and organised by a group of dedicated film professionals here working solely on a voluntary basis to assemble an annual selection of cinema classics from around the world.

Cinema Reborn has relied, since its inception, on the generosity of donors who support our aims and are committed to the annual project of bringing cinema classics back to a big screen in perfect new digital copies. Without such support the event could not be presented.


To make a large or small tax deductible donation to support our work CLICK HERE TO GO TO THE AUSTRALIAN CULTURAL FUND


Saturday 22 April 2023

CINEMA REBORN - Counting Down - Spotlight on the World Premiere of MAUVAIS SANG (Leos Carax, 1986)

Photo Gallery, Juliette Binoche in
Mauvais Sang

Just four days to go before  Cinema Reborn 2023 kicks off with a screening of Vittorio De Sica’s neo-realist masterpiece from 1946 SHOESHINE introduced by Noa Steimatsky, a film historian now writing a book on Cinecittà at War. Noa is the author of The Face on Film (2017) and Italian Locations (2008).


Key films follow in quick succession and some of them have got some recent special attention in the media. Philippa Hawker has written a superb appreciation of THE MOTHER AND THE WHORE in The Saturday Paper and Jason Di Rosso and Margot Nash had a terrific conversation on Radio National about THE LONG FAREWELL (begins at about 38” if you want to cut to the chase).  


In the meantime Cinema Reborn’s great friends Adrian Martin and Eddie Cockrell have been combined to write about Leos Carax and our World Premiere of the 4K restoration of his second feature from 1986 MAUVAIS SANG. This was the Carax movie that made the world sit up – It features French stars Juliette Binoche, Denis Lavant, Julie Delpy and Michel Piccoli, a plot involving  a mysterious epidemic which exclusively threatens young people who have impersonal sex, mixed in with the trappings of a heist movie that seems to be channelling both Jean Cocteau and Jean-Luc Godard. Who could ask for more...


Eddie's conclusion about this, the most inventive and freewheeling of all of the modern French cineastes is that Mauvais Sang  displays Leos at the height of his passion and his powers. ... Unmissable.



Streaming on Binge, Foxtel Now - Rod Bishop highly recommends the Australian rom-com COLIN FROM ACCOUNTS (Patrick Brammall, Harriet Dyer, Australia, 2022)

This is a surprise - a genuinely original Australian rom-com series that isn’t afraid to be edgy. It’s also keenly observed and effortlessly alternates between being very funny and painfully poignant.

Like many rom-coms, it has a “meet-cute” set-up and this is all over in the first five minutes. Gordon (Patrick Brammall) is a hipster micro-brewer in his 40s and is driving to work in his vintage Toyota Cressida through inner city Sydney. He encounters a pedestrian, the 29-year-old medical student Ashley (Harriet Dyer). 

Distracted, he hits a dog. It’s badly injured and, guilt-struck, Ashley and Gordon take it to a vet where they bond and decide to share responsibility for the now “high-needs” dog, which they name Colin (from Accounts).

From here, the real-life husband and wife team of Dyer and Brammall take on a plethora of issues, seemingly unafraid of much at all. They include intergenerational love; unbearable parents; woke-jokes; sleepwalking that ends in embarrassing urination; inappropriate trans jokes; ‘husband stitches’ added during female perineum-repair; obnoxious Millennials; feral animal shelters; gender-fluidity; cancer survivor collectives; ‘dexy’ snorting; ketamine consumption; and mistakes in texting dick pics.

Patrick Brammall (l), Colin from Accounts (c), Harriet Dyer

Despite the edgy material, Dyer and Brammall successfully maintain the rom-com format and the chemistry between them stays palpable throughout the eight 30-minute episodes. There’s also a lot of laugh-out-loud humour.

And, much like the hilarious Millennial party that takes over Gordon’s micro-brewery for Ashley’s 30th birthday in episode seven, Colin from Accounts is definitely binge-worthy viewing. 

Wednesday 19 April 2023


The Long Farewell


This week's Screen Show and podcast by Jason Di Rosso on Radio National is already posted and you can listen to it IF YOU CLICK HERE

The show features a fascinating discussion between Jason and film-maker Margot Nash about Kira Muratova's The Long Farewell  a highlight  of Cinema Reborn 2023 and  one of the first public screenings in Sydney of any film by this remarkable Ukrainian director who worked both before and after the Soviet era and made over twenty films.

Margot will be introducing the film, at what we think may be the film's first ever public screening in Australia,  at the session at 10.45 am on Saturday 29 April. There is a second screening at 6.15 pm on Tuesday 2 May. If you want some further preparation, Adrian Martin Martin has written some brilliant program notes about Muratova and the film which are posted HERE ON THE CINEMA REBORN WEBSITE


This year's Cinema Reborn catalogue runs to 92 pages and contains extensive commentary on all nineteen of the films we are screening in 2023. A limited number of copies have been printed and will be on sale at the Cinema Reborn Information Desk in the Ritz foyer. Price is $5 cash only. If you wish to reserve a copy for collection and payment at the desk send an email to 

One of the contributors to the catalogue is Cinema Reborn's friend Marshall Deutelbaum. Marshall is Professor Emeritus in English at Purdue University in Indiana. Marshall has contributed a superb short essay on our silent masterpiece Sunrise (F W Murnau, USA, 1927) recently voted eleventh greatest film of all time in the recent Sight & Sound poll. Marshall's response to the printed catalogue was succinct: "The printed program is fantastic! It's so substantial. What a rich gift for its readers! I love how you have illustrated familiar films with fresh, unfamiliar images. Their freshness underlines the care with which the entire program has been thought through and assembled. Congratulations."

We have already posted the entire catalogue online so if you want to get started on reading about each of our films or download it for ready reference for ever you can do so IF YOU CLICK HERE 


Cinema Reborn has had an interest in African cinema since our first year in 2018 when we showed two remarkable films by the Egyptian film-maker Shadi Abdelsalam. In 2022 we screened the first feature film made by a woman in Africa, Sarah Maldoror’s Sambizanga. This year our attention turns to Senegal and a program of three films made by the country’s two most renowned film-makers Ousmane Sembene and Djibril Diop Mambety. If you would like to read the superb program notes on the films on our website written by Hamish Ford, senior lecturer in Screen and Cultural Studies at the University of Newcastle CLICK HERE.


In addition to Hamish’s notes those who attend the program will have the benefit of a video introduction by one of the world’s foremost authorities on Ousmane Sembene and Africa Cinema, Professor Samba Gadjigo of Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts.  The introduction was set up and recorded by Cinema Reborn Organising Committee member Angelica Waite and has been edited by film-maker and serious cinephile Ben Cho. Thanks go to all for the effort that was needed to get this done


Samba is Helen Day Gould Professor of French at Mount Holyoke College. His research focuses on French-speaking Africa, particularly the work of filmmaker Ousmane Sembene. His 2015 documentary, Sembene!, co-directed by Jason Silverman, is a biopic focusing on Sembene’s life and work, exploring the themes developed in the biography through interviews and extensive footage from Senegal, Burkina Faso, and France.


In 2016, Samba received the Faculty Award for Scholarship in recognition of his ‘international, multi-disciplinary career – a career throughout which his own story-telling has merged with that of Sembene’s, interweaving African literature, film, history, politics, and indeed these with language and with life itself.’ His writing has appeared in African Cinema and Human Rights, Research in African Literatures, and Contributions in Black Studies.


All of the African films screened at Cinema Reborn have been supplied to us thanks to Cineteca di Bologna/ L’Immagine Ritrovata laboratory which has undertaken an extensive program of African cinema restoration using funding provided by The Film Foundation’s World Cinema Project, the Doha Film Institute and The Hobson/Lucas Family Foundation. This work is part of the African Film Heritage Project, an initiative created by The Film Foundation’s World Cinema Project, the Pan African Federation of Filmmakers and UNESCO – in collaboration with Cineteca di Bologna – to help locate, restore, and disseminate African cinema.


LA PISCINE (Jacques Deray, France, 1969)

THE TRIAL  (Orson Welles, France, 1962)

THE LAST EMPEROR (Bernardo Bertolucci, UK/Italy, 1987)

BLIND SPOT + SERIOUS UNDERTAKINGS (Claudia von Alemann, West Germany, 1980 & Helen Grace, Australia, 1983)

THE MOTHER AND THE WHORE (Jean Eustache, France, 1973)

Click on the the film title to go to the Cinema Reborn website program notes, links for bookings, restoration details and more

Serious Undertakings

Tax Deductible Charitable Donations

Cinema Reborn is an organisation devoted exclusively to exploring the Cinema's heritage. It is managed and organised by a group of dedicated film professionals here working solely on a voluntary basis to assemble an annual selection of cinema classics from around the world.

Cinema Reborn has relied, since its inception, on the generosity of donors who support our aims and are committed to the annual project of bringing cinema classics back to a big screen in perfect new digital copies. Without such support the event could not be presented.


To make a large or small tax deductible donation to support our work CLICK HERE TO GO TO THE AUSTRALIAN CULTURAL FUND

Tuesday 11 April 2023


Play the Cinema Reborn trailer 

Just ten days   to go until Cinema Reborn 2023 


It has taken some time but we've almost settled just who will be introducing each of our programs at their main evening or weekend screenings.

Here's the rundown as we know it. You can check session times and make bookings for all films at the Ritz website IF YOU CLICK HERE

SHOESHINE will be introduced by Noa Steimatsky film historian and author of The Face on Film  and Italian Locations: Re-inhabiting the Past in Postwar Cinema

IEOH ISLAND will be introduced by Dr Russell Edwards currently teaching film studies at Monash University and a former advisor to the Busan International Film Festival

I BY DAY YOU BY NIGHT will be introduced by John McDonald film critic for the Australian Financial Review and art critic for the Sydney Morning Herald

THE MOTHER AND THE WHORE will be introduced by David Roe who has worked on some of the most renowned Australian films since the 1970s

DETOUR will be introduced by Richard Brennan whose producer credits include Homesdale, Mad Dog Morgan, Love letters from Teralba Road, Long Weekend and Newsfront

RUGGLES OF RED GAP will be introduced by Geoff Gardner, Chair of the Organising Committee of Cinema Reborn

LA PISCINE will be introduced by John Duigan director of The year My Voice Broke, Flirting, Lawn Dogs  and Careless Love among many others.

MAUVAIS SANG will be introduced by Ivan Cerecina an independent researcher and film writer who is currenbtly writing a book on the idea of montage in post-war French Cinema

THE LONG FAREWELL will be introduced by Margot Nash a film-maker and Visiting Fellow in Communications at the University of Technology in Sydney

BLACK GIRL will be introduced on video by Samba Gadjigo, Professor of French at Mount Holyoke College Massachusetts and the director of a documentary on Ousmane Sembene

THE TRIAL will be introduced by Lynden Barber a Sydney based freelance journalist specialising in film and a former Director of the Sydney Film Festival

VARIETY will be introduced by Angelica Waite a film programmer and member of the Organising Committee of Cinema Reborn

THE LAST EMPEROR will be introduced by both Linda Jaivin and Professor Jing Han, two experts in Chinese cultural and political affairs

SUNRISE will be introduced by Quentin Turnour a specialist in silent film programming and a member of the Organising Committee of Cinema Reborn

BLIND SPOT and SERIOUS UNDERTAKINGS will be introduced by Professor Jane Mills an author with a wide range of experience in film production and Helen Grace director of Serious Undertakings

TENDER MERCIES will be introduced by the film's director Bruce Beresford


With a touch of pride that each of these has been entrusted to us we can advise that the screenings of MAUVAIS SANG, SERIOUS UNDERTAKINGS and RUGGLES OF RED GAP will be world premieres of 4k restorations. In the case of our sole Australian film Helen Grace’s SERIOUS UNDERTAKINGS, which plays in a double bill with Claudia von Alemann’s 1980 German feminist classic BLIND SPOT/DIE REISE NACH LYON the restoration work has been supervised by Helen, her Director of Photography Erika Addis and Ray Argall of Piccolo Films in Sydney.

OSCAR WINNERS - Something for Everyone

Robert Duvall, Best Actor Oscar, 1983

Beresford’s triumphant first American film earned Oscars for Robert Duvall as Best Actor and Horton Foote for Best Original Screenplay. Beresford was nominated for Best Director and the film was nominated for Best Picture. In her extensive and informative notes on the film which you can find on the Cinema Reborn website Helen Goritsas says “Tender Mercies is a nuanced work that captures the intricacy and beauty of daily life through a subtle and stirring study of the value of small and incidental acts of kindness and the bonds they form.”

As Rod Bishop notes in the commentary on the Cinema Reborn website: “Thirty-five years ago, this film swept up nine Academy Awards. It has aged majestically, and cinema today is no more lavish; its imagery no more ravishing; nor its historical scope more compelling than The Last Emperor.

The list of its Oscars, Globes and BAFTAs is breathtaking. Academy Awards:
Best Picture, Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Art Direction, Best Cinematography, Best Costume Design, Best Film Editing, Best Original Score, Best Sound. Golden Globes Best Motion Picture, Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Original Score. BAFTAS Best Film, Best Costume Design, Best Make-Up.

THE LAST EMPEROR is this year’s Saturday Centrepiece and THE AUSTRALIAN PREMIERE OF THE NEW 4K RESTORATION will screen in the Ritz’s magnificent Cinema One.

Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans

Sunrise won the Academy Award for Unique and Artistic Picture at the 1st Academy Awards in 1929. Janet Gaynor won the first Academy Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role for her performance in the film (the award was also for her performances in 1927's 7th Heaven and 1928's Street Angel). 

SHOESHINE (Vittorio De Sica, Italy, 1946)
In 1948, Shoeshine received an Honorary Award at the Academy Awards for its high quality. This award was the precursor of what would later become the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film

Tax Deductible Charitable Donations

Cinema Reborn is an organisation devoted exclusively to exploring the Cinema's heritage. It is managed and organised by a group of dedicated film professionals here working solely on a voluntary basis to assemble an annual selection of cinema classics from around the world.

Cinema Reborn has relied, since its inception, on the generosity of donors who support our aims and are committed to the annual project of bringing cinema classics back to a big screen in perfect new digital copies. Without such support the event could not be presented.


To make a large or small tax deductible donation to support our work CLICK HERE TO GO TO THE AUSTRALIAN CULTURAL FUND


The Last Emperor

Just ten days until Cinema Reborn 2023 gets going. 

All you should need to decide whether to see films from major figures in the cinema like Orson Welles, Leos Carax, Bruce Beresford, FW Murnau and Leo McCarey plus loads of informative material on such figures as Ousmane Sembene, Kira Muratova, Claudia von Alemann plus the amazing phenomena of a German musical of the 30s, the greatest B movie ever made, and a dark feminist classic from the 80s set among the porn houses of New York. Its all now part of the CINEMA REBORN WEBSITE  

There you will find short introductory notes to each film by Rod Bishop, links to the Ritz website for bookings and (fanfare) a full set of very extensive and informative program notes by the group of very serious scholars, cinephiles and Cinema Reborn enthusiasts listed below

For daily news Follow or Like our Facebook and Instagram pages.

Organising Committee Member Angelica Waite has been working very hard to get all this done and it fills in another piece of our jigsaw. We love the films but we are also in awe of the amount of work that goes in to its presentation on the Randwick Ritz screen – the selection, the restored copies mostly in brilliant 4K, the program notes and the introductions. 


Poster for The Long Farewell

In the meantime here are the links to the notes for each film. Just click on any line to go through to our site. 

Rebecca Pauly, Blind Spot


Dan Harper and Peter von Bagh on SHOESHINE


Darcy Paquet on IEOH ISLAND


Helen Goritsas on TENDER MERCIES

Lukas Foerster on I BY DAY YOU BY NIGHT

Eddie Cockrell on DETOUR


Scott Murray on LA PISCINE

Adrian Martin and Eddie Cockrell on MAUVAIS SANG

Adrian Martin on THE LONG FAREWELL

Adrian Danks on THE TRIAL

Anne Rutherford on VARIETY

Hamish Ford on BLACK GIRL

Jacob Agius on SUNRISE

Claudia von Alemann on BLIND SPOT and Susan Lambert on SERIOUS UNDERTAKINGS

Orson Welles, Romy Schneider, The Trial`

Tax Deductible Charitable Donations

Cinema Reborn is an organisation devoted exclusively to exploring the Cinema's heritage. It is managed and organised by a group of dedicated film professionals here working solely on a voluntary basis to assemble an annual selection of cinema classics from around the world.

Cinema Reborn has relied, since its inception, on the generosity of donors who support our aims and are committed to the annual project of bringing cinema classics back to a big screen in perfect new digital copies. Without such support the event could not be presented.


To make a large or small tax deductible donation to support our work CLICK HERE TO GO TO THE AUSTRALIAN CULTURAL FUND

Monday 10 April 2023

“I want to make films that are political and social... Films that dare to ask.” - Part Two of Tom Ryan and Philippa Hawker's interview with JULIETTE BINOCHE from 2005

Juliette Binoche, Mary (Abel Ferrara, 2005)

TR: What about Mary (2005), the Abel Ferrara project, attracted you? 


When I read the script I was very surprised because ten years earlier I was asked to do Mary Magdalene and I don’t think I was ready at the time. So when it came back on my table, I read it and I loved the script. I just loved the script. And I was able to say the gospel, the Mary Magdalene gospel, and for me that was for me a big wink and at the same time a privilege. Because nobody had said it and, even though it’s very short in the movie – he cut a lot of it … there were too many words for him – it was very inviting. So when I read the script, and knowing… I was very keen on having the specific translation of the gospel… Abel and I really worked beautifully together. 

He was wondering how he was going to work with me because I don’t take any drugs, I don’t smoke. You know, I feel like a very boring girl for him.


PH: So it was a new journey for him…


Yeah. So he was wondering at the same time… We talked about the gospel and Mary Magdalene and everything, and after I left apparently he cried because he’d never met somebody who was so aware of the situation, the whole story… because he thought he was the only one… [Laughs] Just kidding. No, you know, because he had made it especially in America and all that. So…


It’s kind of nice that, alongside The Da Vinci Code [2006] there’s another Mary Magdalene story out there, don’t you think?


Yeah, but in The Da Vinci Code, even though the journey is about trying to find this Mary Magdalene, it’s an adventure. But it’s very invented. In Mary, the essence of the Mary Magdalene research is there, which is beautiful.

I really loved Abel because he doesn’t take any shit. And on the set he manages to be sane, somehow, so he can have his mind with him. And he would go for his vision and the truth of the vision. So he catches something, he sees something, and he stays with it. It’s very hard to describe because he screams a lot, but he really goes for it, he goes for his vision, and at the end he embraces the floor and your feet and he’s so happy… It was fun; it was fun to work with him.


TR: There’s always been a political aspect to your work. But it’s become increasingly forthright. I’m not sure that’s because you’ve become more public with things you’ve had to say, but has this been something – given your position now – that you feel that you need to go with?


I think my choices when I started as an actress were more related to my needs. You know, my story and my childhood. Now my choices are still related to me but in a different way somehow. I’m more… is the word “serving” the right one? I wonder. It’s more about my feelings towards the others more than towards myself. 

Daniel Auteuil, Binoche, Caché 

So, yes, I want to make films that are political and social. Films with a message or an idea. Films that dare to ask. But at the same time, with Caché  for example, even though there's a political aspect, the need for truth was the most important thing for me. And also having the face of a character who's been humiliated and betrayed and who's angry. It's something i've never played before. And being in a couple with with a tired relationship that gets tense in a second. But, at the same time, it was more related to the viewpoint of an auteur somehow.

As for John Boorman, even though I love him, it was really the subject matter [of In My Country, 2004] I wanted to address. What is racism? You know, you feel you’re not racist, but actually you can be without knowing it. You’ve got to discover it about yourself because you’ve been thinking, “I’m clean. I’m all clean. I’ve never done anything wrong.” And then suddenly you realise, well, I was educated. Others were not educated.


Caché  has something of that element too. You know, we’re good people and this has nothing to do with us…


Absolutely. I knew that Caché  was coming and I was in preparation for In My Country but I decided to go – I was invited actually – to Algeria. I went there with some journalists because it was the 40th anniversary of the liberation of Algiers and I wanted to address the need for forgiveness. And I felt like, me Juliette, I needed to do that. 

In My Country

It’s like when I played in Lovers of the Bridge [1991], I went outside with the tramps because I needed to go where they go. Because otherwise why would you do it? Because there has to be some kind of personal and mysterious relationship between you and the intimacy of the characters you’re playing. Because otherwise what’s the deal, you know?


A lot of actors say that the most exciting thing is not actually acting but researching the roles.


Oh, yes. I mean acting is wonderful because it’s about forgetting yourself and finding the miracle that happens when you forget yourself. When you reach that, it’s really a feeling of connection with the others.

Lovers of the Bridge


But how can that be true when you’re making a film? When you’re only forgetting yourself for a short take? When you’re sitting around waiting for them to set up the next shot, or fixing the lighting? The whole artifice of the situation.


Everything is artificial. I mean, you’re sitting on a chair in a hotel…. Everything is artificial. It’s the way you live it that is not. So it’s the same thing.


So – I’m just thinking of the practicalities of it – between takes you would stay in character?


It depends. It depends on the character. It depends on the crew. It depends on so many things. I myself need to have a prep before because… It depends. For Caché , for example, I didn’t do any prep. It was my choice. It was my choice to jump straight in. Also it was a period of time where I didn’t want to work. I don’t know why. My desire had left me. So I said, “OK, I’ll do it like that.” 

I did a short film for Paris, je t’aime [2006] with one of the directors, a Japanese director, [Nobuhiro] Suwa. And I didn’t do any preparation for that too, which is strange because this woman has just lost a child. But for In My Country, I did prep for quite a long time.


With Caché , though, I can imagine it wouldn’t be right to be prepared for that role anyway. Because it’s all about the world catching up with characters…


It’s not always true because as an actor you have to recreate reality. So both ways can work. On Rendez-vous [1985] which is one of my first films, I was chosen, like, three days before. For The Unbearable Lightness of Being [1988], I was chosen a week before. So I had no time. I was just jumping inside of it. I would have loved to have had three months of preparation. 

At the same time, when one is taken by surprise, you just have to throw yourself in. There’s no time to think. Thinking is a good thing, but for the actor it can be a very bad thing sometimes. You can’t put the intellect right in the middle of the action. But you have to think too, you know, to analyse a little bit what’s going on.


PH: So you went through that period where you didn’t want to work for a while, but that’s obviously changed?


Yeah. The desire came back. But I think it’s necessary. You know, a painter doesn’t want to paint for a while. It’s necessary. It’s like winter. You have the wintertime and you have summer and you need the cycles. It’s a back-and-forth thing. You’ve gotta need in order to come back. And you come back in a stronger way or in a better way or in a different way… Or in a worse way. [Laughs] Who knows? But you’ve felt something. It’s like in love, you know. It’s the same thing. You’ve gotta go away in order to come back, otherwise you suffocate.


Had that happened to you before?


No, it was the first time. Like that, the first time. 


Did it worry you?


Yeah, yeah. It’s not a pleasant moment.


Is it like writers’ block?


There’s something about not wanting to expose yourself. Because you can’t give. You can’t receive, you can’t give. It’s kind of tonal, but at the same time you’ve gotta be patient. It’s the only thing you can give to yourself in such a situation: patience. 


OK. But can you push yourself out of it?


Well, I pushed myself in making Caché . I didn’t want to do it. I wanted to work with Haneke and that’s why I did it… somehow. But at the same time, it was a little violent… While I was in the work, I was in the work. I loved it. Because I love the experience of acting. It’s so amazing. It’s like playing ping-pong. When you love it, you’re with the person: it’s going back-and-forth. It’s so in the movement and alive and interesting. At the same time, I had to reach those terrible feelings of being betrayed and angry. It’s not an easy journey, you know. You don’t always feel good about yourself. Even though, we laughed with Daniel Auteuil.



TR: Did they know that you were going through this?


No. They didn’t need to know. Michael knew a little bit.


PH: So when you work with someone for a second time, does the relationship change very much from project to project?


You know, it is different. I worked for Leos twice, with Techine, with Michael… Um…


Let me try to help here. [Laughter] With Kieslowski?


No, that was really only the one film.


So working with someone for a second time, the difference in the projects can…


Oh, of course. Minghella. Anthony Minghella.


Is that the one you’ve just finished?

Breaking and Entering


Yes. [Breaking and Entering, 2005]… Sorry, I cut you off.


That’s alright. I was wondering: is it just the project that makes the real difference the second time? Is it a bit like renewing an acquaintance or does the fact that you’re working on a different project change it?


It’s hard to generalise because each person’s different. Each director because it was a different period of time. I was living with Leos, so it was a different story. The first time, it wasn’t written for me. It was an idealised version of a woman. The second time, with Les Amants, it was written for me, so it was more of a journey together because it took such a long time. And I became one of the producers.

With Andre, there was a big gap in-between. It was after the Oscars and I wanted to go back home. It was like a homey feeling that I needed. Like “Big Dad, please tell me it’s OK.” So the journey was different, and also he chose a younger actor who’s never done anything before and he was more focused on the boy and had to work more with him. So I felt like he trusted me. And it was strange in a way because I felt like: where was the Andre I knew at the beginning, who was always whispering in my ear and with whom I had such an intimate relationship? It felt like he was gone. So I felt a little abandoned at the same time as it was “OK, I’m growing up.”

With Anthony Minghella, I’d say the relationship was even deeper. Because we hadn’t worked with one another for a few years and the gap was not ten years but almost. But the relationship was just as trusting. He directed me less but at the same time he’s the master of receiving. He’s really wonderful at receiving. 

And with Michael, the main character was Daniel. And it was him. So for him, the relationship was more male-male and I was the woman put aside a little bit, which was perfect for my character. It helped me in a way.


TR: Has the degree of success you’ve achieved become liberating or imprisoning?


(Long pause) I think the liberty or the imprisonment comes from oneself. I don’t believe the world around… Because it really starts from inside. So it’s how I take things that makes a difference, and if I wanna go to an awards celebration in a nightgown it’s my responsibility.


Everybody else would start to dress the same…


Yeah. But I’m completely free at the same time. It depends on how you wanna take things. And it’s true that most of the time, us girls, we tend to not take our liberty as much as we could. Because there’s a convention we wanna be part of. There’s always the need to be part of something. Especially because it’s such difficult work, you know. The dream of being an actor when you’re in the street and doing jobs here and there in order to survive. There’s such a big gap between the dream and the reality and when it comes true, when you do the job you’ve always wanted to, then you have to let go and say, “OK, I can risk that. Maybe I’m gonna lose it, but so what?”


Do you ever feel used and exploited by people like us who, you know, we’re here…?


Well, you started with a camera. And I said, hey! No! No! We don’t know one another. I’m not a thing. I’m a beautiful flower, but…. [Laughter] You see what I’m saying. I’m not a vase with… you know. So now we’ll make a picture together because it’s about a relationship and not about being a thing, being exposed.


PH: Mm, that’s true. It’s about how incredibly powerful images are. About how when you’re an actress you’re giving so much to people who don’t know you. That’s what you want to be doing. That’s the idea, isn’t it? And yet there must be something disconcerting about that… Something that comes the other way, about what they thought they got from you as well.


Absolutely. There’s something about exposing yourself. But it’s about giving. And you’ve gotta know that it’s why directors who know actors respect and love them because they know how difficult it is for them. Like Michael, he knows, because he’s been in the theatre so many, many years. And some directors who, you know, use the actors, for me it’s because they don’t know their work.

Code Unknown


In Code Unknown, there’s that scene where she’s doing the film which really highlights that for me…


It’s such an interesting journey because you have to be vulnerable, you have to be able to open up. It’s like an operation: you’ve gotta show what’s inside in order for people to see the mirror and understand it. At the same time, you’ve gotta be strong because you can’t have one without the other. 

So all the range of going from one to the next one needs strength and the ability to be completely on the floor crying. And I really believe it comes from childhood, and that most actors are terrible children. [Laughs] Because they have to know. And you know, when you’re small, you know the injustice, you know the truth. You know it so well. 

And after that, with the education, with the thought, you tend to put things into place and order them and control them. And you lose the child inside of you. I think the actor has to work on letting the child happen and be alive. And it’s a risk. But at the same time, it’s a need, a need of telling.


TR: We should stop. Thank you very much for your time.


You’re welcome... You want a picture?… We should have one together.


Tom Ryan (l) Juliette Binoche (r)


Photograph by Philippa Hawker