CANNES, Elia Suleiman is a case. And not just as a filmmaker. Born in Nazareth, a christian arab israeli considers himself a Palestinian. Of course, his work bears witness to that. Divine Intervention, jury Prize at Cannes in 2002, is meant to be an ironic critique of the absurdity of the geopolitical situation in Palestine. Then it was back on the Croisette last year, The Sun spoke with the 59 year old man in the aftermath of the first world That is the paradise? (It Must Be Heaven).
The artist is tired after celebrating until 5am, but lends itself especially voluntarily in the game of the interview, even if it cabotine a bit, that ten years separate this new comedy of the Time that’s left. He doesn’t know it yet, but his work will allow him to leave with a special mention of the jury and the international critics ‘ prize.
But for now, he enjoys more the fact of having seen his film, “on a very big screen”, the Theatre of Light, that the standing ovation of 10 minutes that it has for him. “When I entered, I was very emotional. In the end, it was very sincere and enthusiastic, but I was wondering when it would end, before the people to have sore hands…”
This feature film, and the previous ones, bring their share of comparisons to Buster Keaton and Jacques Tati, because of his sense of humor physically absurd. The developer disclaims any influence, even if he loves their movies.
“I can see excerpts from Tati a thousand times and smile even at the end. I started to make films that approached it before knowing who they were. In this world with billion people, it is normal to find physical and sensibilities are similar. It does not surprise me that I can use gestures to Keaton or stylistic effects to the Tati.”
Elia Suleiman reveals that his desire of cinema takes its source in the work of Yasujirō Ozu (1903-1963), japanese director, and Robert Bresson (1901-1999), Costa-Gavras… there is no similarity in aesthetic with its body, “but they have given me the confidence to launch myself. We are also influenced by our life experiences and our readings. Books that do not have the same tone as my work, but the sum of these influences that are mixed in your subconscious mind influence your way of narrating and see. Your personality also plays a major role in your way of expressing yourself.”