wonder they say that the French are the most romantic
people in the world – they bring love wherever they
go. A chat with French director Frederic Auburtin on the
topic of love is a testament to that.
can encounter love anywhere, and it’s the power
of the mind and the entire experience of love that makes
it exciting,” the well-mannered Frenchman tells
Moviexclusive.com in a cozy café in Hilton Hotel.
“Love is about freedom, fun, respect, and not
forgetting the sex,” he adds cheekily with a chuckle.
Such wise words of love indeed, we’d say.
Auburtin was in Singapore recently to promote Paris
Je T’aime, a film which he directs with 19 other
acclaimed directors like Olivier Assayas, Tom Twyker
and Alfonso Cuaron. Set in the romantic city of Paris,
the opening film at last year’s Cannes Film Festival
weaves numerous stories directed by different filmmakers
together. Big names like Natalie Portman, Nick Nolte
and Juliette Binoche star in the different short segments
of the fascinating film about love.
Auburtin co-directs one segment with veteran French
actor Gerard Depardieu. He is also in charge of the
transitions that bring the shorts together cohesively
– and this proved to be a challenge for him.
In his accented English, he emphasizes: “It’s
my job to make sure they all blend together, and I had
to bring out the best in each of them.
need not know what went into a tasty meal; they just
need to know that it’s delicious. So I guess it’s
not important to know the difficult process in putting
the film together, you just need to know that it’s
a good film.”
The talented director whose credits also include being
a composer, a production manager and even an actor adds
that it has been an extreme pleasure to work with such
a large group of talented people. Amongst them are other
well-known directors like the Coen brothers and Alexander
He recalls the fun times he had when he went to Cannes
with actor Elijah Wood. He also laughs when he talks
about his driving trip with Payne. “There we were,
two men in a car, talking non-stop about wine. It was
just like his movie Sideways.”
Then there is co-director Depardieu and screen legend
Gena Rowlands, who wrote the story for their segment
entitled “Quartier Latin”.
Working with Depardieu was a breeze according to Auburtin,
because the French actor has appeared in four out of
his five works. It also helps that they have known each
other for more than 20 years.
Seeing that the director is casually dressed in a long
sleeved shirt, and with a jazz singer performing on
stage behind us, we seized the opportunity to ask Auburtin
how romantic Singapore is as a city compared to Paris.
“Seriously, you must visit Paris,” he says
firmly. “The place is so exotic; it’ll have
a powerful impact on you.”
Referring to our garden city, Auburtin tells us: “The
traffic jam and the hot weather haven’t changed
since the last time I came here 17 years ago. But it’s
so beautiful and charming that I can feel the excitement
and appetites of culture and love.”
Yes, and that’s why we all love the French.
PARIS JE T'AIME opens nationwide 22 Feb 07!
here for our review!