Louis Malle (1932 – 1995) was a French film director, screenwriter, and producer.
“The more one goes on in life, the more the past becomes a burden. In my life and films. I have always tried to cut off from the past and start again. But each time, it requires greater effort. It is only by breaking with habit that one can get rid of all that is anecdotal. If not, you let a mask come between you and the reality of your situation. It is a protection, like clothes. But it is wonderful to be naked from time to time, and it's also a good idea to change one's clothes of context.”
Three times in his career, Louis Malle has worked from an impossible proposition: The first was Zazie dans le Metro (1960) when he attempted to translate the exclusively verbal games of Queneau into cinematic images; the second was Black Moon, where he strove to retain the authentic, primary vision of dreams and the contradictory logic of his unconscious without submitting it to interpretation or adopting a visual language shared by the public. Malle's third impossible proposition was to attempt to make an American comedy, Crakers, when he moved to the United States. I met him as he was preparing to leave Paris to live in America.
"I work in the opposite way to most film directors. Often, they elaborate on a variation of a classical theme. I take my starting point as an unacceptable, impossible, and shocking idea and try to render it acceptable."
"In life, people behave incredibly irrationally. But in so-called realism, people eliminate the irrational. Myself, each time I come to a turning point in my life, either in work of personally, I make irrational decisions. People want fiction to be more 'real' than life which means they want to eliminate the illogical. But it is precisely this which interests me."
"Making films can be a job. For some directors, being on a set is the most satisfying moment of their life. For me, making a film is not enough. I need difficulties, a challenge, a constraint to overcome. A film is a way of getting rid of an interrogation."
Read the full excerpt from Through Parisian Eyes [PDF]