At the moment, James Gray, writer/director of Marion Cotillard’s upcoming movie ‘The Nightingale‘ is part of the jury at the Marrakech International Film Festival. The Playlist spoke to him and got more details about the movie. He finished the movie last week and saw the first print before heading to Marrakech. He hopes to premiere the movie at the Cannes Film Festival next May, “if they’ll have [him].”
The Playlist will post some further stories around the origins of the film and the shooting experience later but for now we get the story about the title confusion:
“It was originally ‘Lowlife’ and is probably going to be called ‘Lowlife,’ ” Gray said. He further clarifies: “It has nothing to do with the Luc Sante book [of a similar name]. What happened was they had classifications for people coming in through Ellis Island. Believe it or not, ‘moron,’ ‘cretin’ all this stuff, they’re technical terms, which seems ridiculous. And you didn’t want to be classified a ‘lowlife,’ — they also called it ‘liable to become public charge’ — which meant that you were going to be a ward of the state and they would not allow you into the United States. So I called the movie ‘Lowlife’ and Jim Jarmusch who’s a friend of mine said I should read his friend Luc Sante’s book ‘Low Life’ because I was talking about Luc Sante’s book ‘Evidence,’ which is a series of crime photographs.”
“And I remembered it had come out maybe twenty years before and I read it, and it was the wrong time period; it was New York around when Marty Scorsese’s picture takes place, ‘Gangs of New York,’ which was about sixty or seventy years before the film I was writing takes place,” Gray continued. “But it was still very interesting, I used very little of it, and then I spoke to Luc Sante, who’s brilliant, and he said ‘I don’t want you using the title.’ So I said ‘What do you mean? My movie’s not based on your book and you can’t copyright a title; it’s called ‘Lowlife’ — it’s not even two words, it’s one.’ So the legal department said, ‘No you can’t call it ‘Lowlife’ because you communicated with him in an email. So I said ‘Rght, his email to me said ‘I can’t really help you with any of your research and don’t call your movie ‘Lowlife.” That’s hardly a contact with him. And they said, ‘But it is a contact.’ ”
“So then it became ‘The Untitled James Gray Movie,’ which is completely awful because unintentionally for legal reasons you sound like a megalomaniac,” Gray laughed. “The editing room would call up and it was [mimics sing-song phone-answering voice] ‘Untitled James Gray Movie!’ It was like that for a while, and then there’s a speech that an actress gives in which she says that ‘the nightingale sings sweetest when it’s darkest,’ and I thought ‘Well, that’s nice, if I can’t call it ‘Lowlife’ I’ll call it that.’ ”
“And then everybody else decided they hated that title, and I said, ‘Screw it, let’s just call it ‘Lowlife’ which it’s supposed to be called’ and that’s where we are right now. I wish I could be more detailed than that,” he adds wryly, “but you now know what I know.”
I can’t wait to hear more about this movie. James Gray also said that people who like his movies and have seen this one say it’s his best film.
Today begins Florence Cassez’s 8th year of imprisonement in Mexico. Marion Cotillard is one of her supportes who believe that she’s innocent. Back in April she visited her in her prison in Tepepan and it was reported that she frequently talks to her on the phone. On Thursday, Marion Cotillard together with France’s first lady Valérie Trierweiler and journalist and news anchor Mélissa Theuriau lent their support to Florence Cassez by attending the opening of an exhibition of her paintings – made in prison – together with her parents and her lawyer at the town hall of the 12th district in Paris. Marion Cotillard spoke to Canal+:
I’ve always been convinced that she’s innocent – from the beginning. I couldn’t really explain why. And then I really studied her file and I realized that there was nothing in the file that hold up. We are both the same age, so I think… Well, I don’t know if this is what touched me… I saw pictures of her and something happened, I can’t really explain what but she’s a very dear friend now. I just can’t wait for her to be released.
001 Other Public Appearances > Florence Cassez
I added HQ screencaptures and the clips of Marion Cotillard on the Popcorn show with Rolling Stone movie critic Peter Travers. It looks like this, the Charlie Rose show & the MTV interviews were all taped on the Monday before the Times Talk. Anyway, I love this interview. The topics are both serious and interesting while at the same time there are questions to lighten up the mood. Peter Travers seemed to be very familiar with Marion’s career – which is of course a bonus – and he also asked her about the Hawskley Workman collaboration. As he makes his guests sing a little snippet of a song that means something to them Marion Cotillard beautifully sang a line from Elvis’ Fools Rush In, which she sings to her son to put him to sleep.
I finally added the lovely interview with Marion Cotillard on the Charlie Rose Show from last week. She talked about why she became an actress, her role in ‘Rust and Bone‘ – of course – and why confidence will never really be part of her life as an actress. It’s a good interview albeit too short. Let’s hope Charlie Rose’s invitation to have her back on the show to talk longer will work.
Usually, New York Times Magazine’s The Hollwyood Issue also is accompanied by behind the scenes videos. This year, they’re entitled “Wide-Awake” and feature the actresses’s dreams and transformations photoshoots. Watch them all here.
Gallery: 031 Behind the Scenes > 2012 – New York Times Magazine
Video: 001 Magazines, Photoshoots > New York Times Magazine