I think many women understand the film very well, but they wouldn’t say that in front of their men. Many gay men identified themselves with the girl too. However, I think many men were shocked by the fact that such beauty can have this kind of behavior. I spoke with a psychologist and he said there is a kind of syndrome of beautiful women whose beauty is like a weight on them, kind of like Catherine in Belle de Jour who wants to get dirty and be with old men. He told me about girls who have this desire, and it did have some links with that character—a kind of masochist, but very a strange masochist. When you’re that way, you can have the power, and Marine is very powerful and she tries to control everything.
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“Late Spring is very personal for me, very close to that relationship between my mother and my grandfather. I took my mother once to an Ozu retrospective to see Late Spring, and she thought it was beautiful—she said ‘I didn’t know you could make a film with such a simple story.’ So I made up my mind. I wanted to make that film for her.”
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Looking back, needless to say it was very, very intense, but I feel very fortunate to have survived it and very fortunate that I was hard-wired in a certain way that allowed me gravitate towards something like cinema. Had I not had an interest in cinema, or anything remotely artistic, I have no idea how I would have processed half of it, to be honest. So the whole thing is, once you step away from that, you go into the real world. You’re forced to deal with people, and you realize that the way people are communicating is fundamentally different than the way you’ve been communicating in your close-knit family. You either have enough insight to reprogram yourself from it in some way shape or form—the difference between this is the way the world is and this is not the way the world was inside house that you grew up in. So there was definitely a transitional thing that I had to go through for a very long time until I understood things better and had more persecutive on how the world functions.
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