‘In the story, the man who died had said, "Those who love me can take the train'”

Train of events

After the international success of La Reine Margot, top French director PATRICE CHEREAU has turned inward with Those Who Love Me Can Take The Train. ‘.'.’<>'<:s: Tom Dawson

The turning point in Patrice (‘hereau’s filmmaking career came halfway through the shoot of his ambitious Ioth century epic. l.u Reine .Ilurgui. ‘Before that I wasn't sure if I could do filmsf says Chereau. ‘But after about three months of filming I suddenly felt a freedom. I felt I could inyent cinema every day without preparation. I knew exactly what I wanted.‘

(‘hereau’s confidence with the medium is apparent in his latest feature. Those Who I.()t‘(’ .II(' (in: lake The Train. an intense melodrama about a group of disparate indiyiduals mourning the death of a minor painter. ‘It was a story that my scriptw'riter told me.~ recalls ('hereau. ‘She had gone to the funeral of a friend of hers. She told me many details that we used in the film: 'I'here were a group of people taking the train to Limoges. It was a rough day. but also a beautiful day. full of love and energy.

'So we started to write the script based on this story.' he continues. ‘I was yery free. I hadn‘t experienced the funeral as she had. She brought her memories of this day and I brought my memories of other funerals. We knew we had to set some of it on a train to Limoges. And we also knew the title. In the story. the man who died had said. "Those who on c me can take the train". and I thought that would be perfect.’

Not only does (’hereau haye an impressiye

'I felt I could invent cinema hc every day without preparation. I knew exactly what I wanted.’

Patrice Chereau

background in directing theatre and opera (he appeared at the lidinburgh International liestiyal in [)(HH' [(1 .s‘U/IllH/t‘ (/(‘.\' t‘lIrlIlI/M‘ (/(’ ('UIUII it] I996). htll he has also appeared in sey'cral films. including Lust (Ill/1v .Iln/iimm and Lucie rill/H'tlt'. He maintains. howeyer. that he doesn’t consider screen acting to be one of his fortes: ‘I am not comfortable in front of the camera. It doesn't give me as much satisfaction as being behind the camera.’

But does he not feel these experiences haye enabled him to be a better director of the actors in his lilm'.’ '.\'o. But from the theatre I haye learned to giye lots of direction. I am quite heayy with actors. I often need more from them than they initially giye me. I try to be really specific. becattse l belieye eyery actor needs to be pushed. The group in llmsv Il'lm Low .\I(’ was fantastic though. because they were all together in practically ey'ery shot.‘

;\ director who seems to relish challenges. (‘hereau spent fourteen days filming on a moving train where. with the cast. crew and extras. it was impossible to mow around. And he boldly decided to film these sequences in handheld (‘inemascope. a format with which he seems enamoured. ‘It’s fantastic.. ‘It's a most beautiful frame. The lenses are better. The depth behind the character is beautiful. You can haye a lot of information in the same frame. I will do all my films in Scope. My big mistake was not [Odo/11 Ix’r'illr' .l/(l/fg'ul in Scope.‘

(‘hereau has already completed filming his adaptation of Hand Kureishi’s liiliiiimy. the writer’s red-raw account of a man separating from his wife and children. ‘\\'hat I liked about the book.‘ says the director. 'is that the character is without pity for himself. He‘s hard and strong. but he has a sense of humour.‘ .-\nd did (‘hereau enjoy making a film in Iininsh'.’ ‘\\'ell as you know my Iinglish is ()K. The important thing was that I worked well with the actors |.\Iarianne I‘aithfull. Kerry I‘ox. 'I‘imothy Spalll. If they're following you. you can go to the top of the mountain.'


Edinburgh: Filmhouse from Fri 29 Sep. See review.

preview FILM

Rough cuts

Lights, camera, action . . .

THE SCREENWORKS 2000 filmS, produced through G-MAC, are being screened at the GFT on Saturday 23 September, followed by celebrations at the CCA. The shorts Scouse Kids And Bowling Greens, Little Big Man, When The Weather ls Loud Up North, Labour Of Love, Lighting Up, Hoof- will be screened again on Wednesday 18 October at G-MAC with previous Screenworks winning films Hotel Central and Apparatus. Directors Matt Hulse and Holger Mohaupt will be on hand to discuss filmmaking opportunities. Further info through the GFT or G-MAC on 0141 553 2620.

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THE HOUSE OF MIRTH'S executive producer Bob Last introduces a preview screening of Terence Davies’ Edith Wharton adaptation, which stars Gillian Anderson and was filmed in Glasgow (see review next issue), at the GFT on Sunday 1 October. This is the second in the Glasgow Connections series featuring guest speakers which aims to promote Glasgow as the city of film. Same day, same venue American filmmaker Jonathon Weiss introduces The Atrocity Exhibition, his adaptation of the novel by 1.6. Ballard who recently published Super-Cannes and whose writing has been adapted for the Tramway show, Myths Of The Near Future.

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BUDWEISER BIGGER PICTURE free tickets are still available at, but only until Sunday 24 September. Then you can sit back on sofas, sipping beer at Leith's Corn Exchange and watch Pulp Fiction and LA Confidential before the club Dls get to work.

Fergus Jacobs' Screenworks film, Hoof

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