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6 Highlights From Xavier Dolan’s Cannes Press Conference

6 Highlights From Xavier Dolan's Cannes Press Conference

Fingers are crossed for Xavier Dolan’s “Mommy” tomorrow, when the jury at the Cannes Film Festival will decide whether or not he’ll become the first Canadian, second youngest (after Louis Malle) and third openly gay (after Apichatpong Weerasethakul and Gus Van Sant — though correct us if we’re wrong there) winner of the Palme d’Or.  In the meantime, enjoy these highlights from yesterday’s press conference, where Dolan talked about everything from the constant mention of how young he is to his Quebecois/Canadian identity to the inspiration of “Titanic”:

On the constant mention of his young age:  “There’s no proper age to start telling stories. I feel neither young nor old I just feel like I’m trying to do the right thing in order to tell a story that haunts me somehow.”

On where he comes from (and alluding to the squabbles between Quebec and Canada): “I’m from Quebec and Quebec is in Canada and that is a fact, that’s one thing we know for sure. Whatever my political views are, I feel like my movie is very Quebecois, but it would certainly be an international victory. It’s not about a country or province, or old dilemmas that my generation doesn’t associate with anymore. It would just be an extraordinary message to the people my age and of my generation. My movie, I’d like to think, is about hope.”

On his relationship with his mother, and whether “Mommy” is autobiographical: “My relationship with my mother inspired the mother in my first film [“I Killed My Mother”], which is autobiographical. This film has nothing to do with my life, however, or my mother.”

On the “father figure”: The father figure doesn’t impress me. I have a very friendly relationship with my father, but that wasn’t always the case. My mother had custody and I only saw him every other weekend. I never knew him well enough for him to inspire me. It’s become a habit to make films where the father is absent. My father impresses me, but the father figure does not.”

On the inspiration of James Cameron’s “Titanic”: “I feel like we should talk about Titanic. It was so ambitious that it gave me the faith in crazy and ambitious ideas, and I’m not afraid of that. I’m not afraid of ambition. I’m not scared that people won’t like it, or will hate it. I have fears: I have the fear of falling on those red steps outside, I have the fear of stuttering when I shouldn’t, but I don’t have the fear of telling a story and creating it with people that inspire me.”

On his plans for the fall: “I’m going back in the fall to kill that wait, to try to have a bit of a more normal life and go back to hanging out with people my age. And hopefully kissing them a little.”

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