John Carpenter: "A scream in the room is the measure of success"



The director, ignored by the Hollywood industry, receives the Carrosse d'Or and declares himself terrified by the horror film his country is living.

John Carpenter on the way to the tribute gala.

That the official section of Cannes opens a zombie film and the Directors' Fortnight (the parallel event that presumes of radicalism) starts with a recognition-revitalization of one of the fathers of modern horror cinema it only admits one of three: a) we live in monstrous times; b) a Frenchman likes to epatar more than a Spanish election, or c) cinema in general has run out of metaphors about the fear of modern times. That or the three options at the same time. "Actually, the films that I have made throughout my life were never intended for Cannes, I have always shown that my only impulse to make movies was the desire to shoot. This festival celebrates art and rehearsal and I am clear that I am not a director of genre films ", says John Carpenter, the honoree, from the distance and height that 71 years have been achieved with the most elegant white ponytail in the cinema.

In effect, that the director of films like The halloween night, 1997: Rescue in New York or Vampires receive the prize and treatment that they previously obtained in the same scenario and before the same (or almost) public as Agns Varda, Clint Eastwood or, last year, Martin Scorsese before that symptom of nothing extraordinary seems simple sense. And so he wanted to make it clear a Cannes delivered to the director, to the cause and to The thing, the 1982 film that is projected as the prelude to everything else. We talk about remake of the Howard Hawks film that, from the hand of some as spectacular as everlasting special effects, is not only able to retain the breath of the spectator with a perfect and glida fever administration but, and this is more important, got to read the uncertainty of his time to become a political manifesto and perfect reading of the common mood and imaginary. Zeitgeist they call it.

"The film," recalls Carpenter, "is released two weeks after E.T. The two films deal with aliens, but they are opposite. What if I consider myself the antispielberg …? (re) Let's say I admire your ability to make the public fall in love. My work is rather the opposite. In addition, the success that he obtained with his film was almost as great as my failure. In a way, I consider the projection of the film a little revenge now. "And when he arrives here, he dares to laugh at a man who does not hide his shyness, his unwillingness to talk, or his desire to end the meeting with The press, at the same time, continues: "In any case, the only measure of success is a scream in the room …"

The last sentence gives the key. l, in the company of George A. Romero (The night of the Living Dead, 1968), Wes Craven (The last house on the left, 1972), Tobe Hopper (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, 1974) or Brian de Palma (Carrie, 1976), they achieved a violent, crude and explicit cinema, which touched the fiber of deeper and more universal fears than classic monster movies. It was about putting the accent on the unknown, the incomprehensible, leaving behind any kind of explanation about the motivations of evil. The attraction for the frightful thing, in addition, has something of catrtico, of salvfico quiz, of return to the childhood. Like the religion itself, the terror reinvented in the 70s places the believer, or the spectator, in the proud acceptance of their helplessness. We are as vulnerable when we admit the secret of faith as when we abandon ourselves to the overwhelming certainty of the unknown. And it is that pleasant defenselessness that reassures us.

"Until our generation," he explains. "The monster's territory was the shadow, I wanted it to be seen, to bring it to light". What mattered was to draw the agony perfectly until it coincided with the sensation that was lived outside the screen. It was and continues to be a political cinema. "That's why it irritated me so much when a group of neo-Nazis appropriated Are alive and they wanted to present the film as an image of the control exercised by the Jews in society. It seemed like a joke. It is just the opposite. My cinema has always been on the side of the working class, the losers, the Indians … I see what is happening now in my country with Trump and I despair. But, on the other hand, I want to believe that it is transitory. I am optimistic. The future will be better ".

Account that l always considered "a free electronic"that his obsession was always living directing, not that he hired any studies; that he likes to be treated like a vagabond in Hollywood and like an author in France, and, as soon as he gets up, he enjoys like a kid remembering how the biggest of his failures ended up being the biggest of his successes: "I only received bad criticism, there was only one copy and for each release, a bad critique. Until a reporter from New York said it was a masterpiece. And until today. "He talks about Halloweeen night. In Cannes.

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(tagsToTranslate) culture / cinema (t) Festival de Cannes

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