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Emission "Larry King Live"

Welcome back to Larry King Live. When it was released in 1967, the French film, "Belle de Jour", was considered so risque and shocking, it was taken out of distribution in the United States for more than two decades. It is now being re-released and presented by Martin Scorsese. Our guest tonight is enduring as this classic film, the ever-lovely Catherine Deneuve. I thank you very much for coming. Were you surprised that they're bringing this movie back ?
Yes, I was very surprised and very pleased, you know, to know that, especially an American company would develop something to have distribution of French films. I think it's a good thing.

Do you know Mr. Scorsese ?
I don't know him personally, no.

Have not met him ?
Not yet, no.

You're here now. I imagine you're going to meet him.
Yeah, very soon.

Were you surprised a little that a director of that eminence would get in front to bring back a movie that he had no interest in, other than a fan ?
I think he has an interest, you know, because I saw him recently on French television for the hundred years of films, and he was presenting all the American cinema. And the choice he had made, you know, about American films, and the way he talked about it, I was not so surprised, because- it reminded me very much of Francois Truffaut. You know, his passion is films more than life. It looks like that to me.

When you were making "Belle de Jour", did you know that this was a roll-the-dice, risky film ?
It was working with Buñuel. And that meant a lot to me, even at that time.

Because you were like 23, 24 ?
Yeah. And I didn't know it was risky. You know, as a person, I didn't mind so much about that. It's the old thing, you know, the subject of the film, because it's more an erotic film than anything. And I suppose also the- it's very difficult, I think, for people to say, "This film is not going to be released or shown", because the film is more erotic than really shocking on the images, you know. It says underneath-

Oh yeah.
-more than what it shows, you know. It's a very-

By today's standards, it's tame, isn't it ?
I don't think so. I mean, if you think of what you can show on the screen, I agree. But what the film says about sex, you know, and fantasies, is still, to me, very, very strong. And the fact it's done by Buñuel, and there is no... no possibility to think that he did the film for other reasons than to really talk about something without talking about it, you know, about sex and fantasies... I mean... what I mean is it's classic... I think it's still [unintelligible] today for women and men. It has to do with... it's out of time.

It's the bored housewife, prostitution.
She's not bored. I think she's frustrated, maybe, more than bored, you know.

Her husband is not very attentive ?
Her husband is attentive. He's very good-looking. He's living... making, you know, a very good living.

But ?
And she's in love with him. But, you know, it's like something intimate between them that she is not satisfied. But I don't think she's bored.

Was this difficult to play ?

Because ?
Because you have to say more than you have to show without showing, so it takes more of... it takes more of yourself, in a way. And also, because some scenes, you know, were difficult to do. And even Bunuel didn't want to show, you know, much in the film. And that's why you had to avoid, you know, so many things. It was quite- quite difficult, you know. And, despite what you could [unintelligible] on the set, I think that, when you have to do love scenes, you know, even the scenes you see today, I always find the actors and the crew much more tense and shy than what you would think. Nobody is laughing around and sort of walking around, you know, and eating food. It's not like that when you do those scenes.

It's also been said that it's hard to get turned on, really turned on, doing love scenes, because of all the crew around.
Yeah, that's what I would think. That's my feeling about it. But still, I'm very surprised to see...

No, but almost every year, an actor or an actress falling in love with his partner. But I'm not sure it's because of the love scene, actually. Maybe it's just the relation...

That did not happen to you?
No, no.

You paused a second. Ever close ?
No, really, it didn't happen to me. But maybe, you know, what can happen is the relation during the shooting, more than the love scene is maybe more important.

You're in a film with Malkovich, right ? Didn't you do a film with John...
Yeah, just recently.

That was "The Convent", right ?

When is that coming out ?
The film is going to be released in Europe in September, but I don't know here when it will come. You know how much- how much time it takes for French films to come to... it will be at the New York Film Festival.

It's a French film ?
No, it's a Portuguese film. Manuel De Oliveira is Portuguese. And everyone spoke in his own language, you know. He was speaking English to John Malkovich, but the film was shot in English, French, and Portuguese. All actors were speaking their language, and there are subtitles sometimes.

How did you like working with Malkovich ?
Very much, but we had not that many scenes together, in a way.

Oh, you're not...
I'm his wife, but there I'm bored. That's a film where, you know, I play a wife that is bored. And she's also jealous of her husband's activity.

How would you describe...
If I'd describe...

How would you describe the French film ? The French is [sic] unique filmmakers, and they have given us some of the great films ever made. What is- how would we, if possible, describe the French school ?
I think... to me, a major difference between American films and French film is that we... it talks much more in French films about what we should do and what we are going to do. When I think in American films, people talk about what they are doing, you know. There is much more action in American films than in French films, where it's more about reflection and more...

More movement in American films ?
Yes, much more. Yes. But that's not the only thing. I think also we have maybe sometimes more freedom, you know, to be able to do a reasonable sized film, you know, that gives more freedom to the director. If the films are not too big, not too expensive, you have much more freedom. Also, with a small crew, you know, it's easier to do very difficult things. Big films are, I'm sure, for directors sometimes, a big weight.

We're going to take a break. And when we come back with Catherine Deneuve, we'll take your phone calls. "Belle de Jour" first came out in 1967. It is considered a classic. It is being re-released by Miramax. It's going to open in New York and Los Angeles next Wednesday, and nationwide right after the Fourth of July. Here, by the way, as we break, is a scene from "Belle de Jour".

[Clip from " Belle de Jour "]

[Commercial break]

Our guest is Catherine Deneuve. They're going to re-release "Belle de Jour". She made her film debut at age 13. She starred in Roman Polanski's "Repulsion", in "Indochine", in "The Hunger". And "Belle de Jour" is being re-released by Miramax, which bought the rights. That's a Disney company, by the way, one of 1,700 Disney companies. Miramax, a very adventuresome company. The film will be presented by Martin Scorsese. They asked him to present it because he is a major advocate of this as one of the great movies of all-time. We'll take your calls for Catherine Deneuve. Gautier, Mississippi. Hello.

[Gautier, Mississippi] Good evening.

[Gautier, Mississippi] Ms. Deneuve, can you please tell me why I can no longer buy your perfume line here in the United States ? It is the best.
That's a difficult answer because I am not responsible for it. I am not responsible for the perfume not to exist any longer. And I agree with you. I still have maybe one bottle, but no more.

So it's not anywhere ? It's not in...
No, no, no.

To Beijing, China. Hello.

[Beijing, China] Yes, Ms. Deneuve. I met you when you launched your fragrance in Los Angeles. And I have seen all of your films personally. And I have been a long-time fan. And my question is, what is your personal favorite film that you have starred in ?
I think that "Umbrellas of Cherbourg" was a major film for me because I was very young, and it has been a very important and very successful film. And also, great meeting between a role and myself. So I suppose it was very... I had a very strong relation with the director, Jacques Demy. And I would say that was a major thing to me.

Michel Legrand's music, right ?

Not bad, either.
Not bad, either. That was really part of the film.

What is life like for you these days ? You still live in France ?
Yes, I live in Paris.

You've always lived in France ?
Yes, always.

Born in... you were born when the Germans occupied Paris.
The end. I don't remember much, you know.

But still live there ?
Yes, I still live there.

Still making films a lot ?
Not a lot. I try not to do too much, because in France, we have a lot of films, you know, now on screen, [unintelligible] on television. And I think you want people to go on screen, you have not to be not too much on television with films.

Lake Oswego, Oregon [sic]. Hello.

[Lake Oswego, Oregon] Yes, hi, Catherine.

[Lake Oswego, Oregon] I was curious how your working relationship was with Roman Polanski in the very interesting film "Repulsion".
It's someone, you know, that I see sometimes, because Roman Polanski is not living any longer in the States and is living in Paris. So, I see him once in a while, and I meet him to screenings, you know. It's someone I admire very much. And I really felt very sorry for what happened to him. I think it was something very, very unfair, you know, really very unfair. And I like- you know, I like his work. But as a person, I think he's a very sensitive man, and he was really very hurt by what happened. I think he had too much for one man in one life.

How good a director ?
Very good director. To me, he's a very good director. And he loves actors, because he was an actor before he was a director.

A pretty good actor, too ?

I know it's Alabama, but I didn't... Auburn, Alabama with Catherine Deneuve. Hello.

[Auburn, Alabama] Hi, yes, I wanted to say, first of all, that you were once described as the most beautiful woman in the world, and I think that's still true. Gerard Depardieu was quoted once as saying that you are the man that he would love to be. And I wanted to know what you thought of that, and how you would describe yourself. What did he mean by that ?
I think he meant... he's a very... as a lot of actors, actually, you know, he's a very feminine actor. And, don't misunderstand me from feminine, you know. What I mean feminine, I think there is a sensibility in one man, anyway, but in one actor, shown a little more of his femininity. And I think he thinks I'm a very sort of strong, direct, and man-like woman, you know. Like, not too much fuss, not too much...

So what did he mean in saying you were...
Well, if he had to be a girl, I think he would have liked to be the type of girl like me, you know.

Strong ?
Weak and strong.

Weak and strong. We'll be back with our remaining moments with Catherine Deneuve. "Belle de Jour", it's coming to L.A. and New York next week, and then wide in July. Don't go away.

[Commercial break]

Luis Buñuel, by the way, was the director of "Belle de Jour", someone you admire.

Back to the calls. San Antonio for Catherine Deneuve. Hello.

[San Antonio, Texas] I thought that your movie, "Mayerling", was one of the better movies that I had ever seen. Did you think so ? And how did you like working with Omar Sharif ? And why have you never made another movie with him ?
So three questions in one ?

Yes, it's a film I like very much because it's a very romantic film. And it's true that it's very rare people mention it to me, sometimes through letters, but not really through other ways, you know. And I didn't work with Omar Sharif because we never had a chance to do a film after that together. But I like Omar Sharif. He's living in Paris. And he's a very nice man. He did a film with my sister a long time ago.

He's a wonderful actor, too.

He has a grace about him.
Yeah. Very warm. And he likes very much women.

You like that, right, men who like women ?
Yeah, like I like women to like women, and I like men to like women, as well. Yes. It's something nice to feel. There is no seduction about it. It's just a man that is really, you know, ready to like a woman.

Coquimbo, Chile. Hello.

[Coquimbo, Chile] Hello, Ms. Deneuve.

[Coquimbo, Chile] Let me tell you, first of all, that you are one of my favorite actresses.
Well, I'm glad I'm there, then.

[Coquimbo, Chile] And you still are very beautiful.

She sure is.
Still ?

[Coquimbo, Chile] My question is the following. Have you ever thought of making a film by a Latin American director ?
To tell you the truth, yes, I have thought about it. And I did some films in America with American directors, and even in Europe. But it's not in my power, you know, to decide if I'm going to do an American film.

Have you been to Chile ? Have you been to South America ?
I've been to South America, but I haven't been to Chile yet.

Any director you'd really love to work with ? I guess Scorsese would be...
Yes, of course. But it's embarrassing to say that down. I am going to meet him in New York, and it seems very opportunist. But it's true. He's someone I admire very much, yes. He is one of the directors. You know what I like about him, as I said before, it's his passion. But it's also the fact that he knows and appreciates very much European films. He knows very much about European films.

He's a student of film, yeah. Thank you, Catherine.
Thank you.

Great seeing you again.
Bye bye.


Par : Larry King

Films associés : Belle de jour, Le couvent, Les parapluies de Cherbourg


Documents associés