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Mia Hansen-Løve on L’Avenir (Things To Come)

I like it how you tell stories without actually talking about them. Even though people in your films talk a lot, it’s never to reveal the story. For example, we learn a great deal about Isabelle Huppert’s character from how she moves around, walks, puts things in the trash angrily, and so on.

It’s always about how something is said, what is being left out, what lies beneath, there’s always a subtext. I think — compared to other talky films, maybe — there are also long moments of silence. I think it’s about the balance, the feeling that comes from this movement back and forth between dialogue and silence.

I never told Isabelle Huppert to walk in a certain way, but I always give a lot of attention to the shoes the actors wear, because it changes the way of walking, and talking, too. It is true that in my films, you’ll see people walking a lot. I was often told I keep filming promenades, people strolling, and while I wasn’t aware of it, it made me realise that portraying people, capturing their presence has to do with thinking, talking, but also with how they look, not just the face, but also how they walk, their gait, how they appear physically, with their entire body. There is a landscape being formed by their presence.

I know that it keeps appearing in my films again and again, but I can’t imagine a portrait without seeing the character walking in the street, downstairs, and so on.



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