“I’m just excited about seeing LGBT cinema in which the relationships with the parents can be less problematic as they have been made before,” Dhont said. “If you look at a lot of young people who watch cinema or watch movies, and if those relationships with parents are represented as problematic, you take something from that.”
… there’s this element of surprise in life and in life you don’t know what’s going to come next,” she said. “This shouldn’t scare you, sometimes it’s even so much more interesting and more nurturing to you as a filmmaker to go with the flow and go with what life is giving you at that moment.” “Organized chaos sometimes is so important for us, I think, as filmmakers.
One of his goals was to depict the supportive relationship she had with her father, especially given that parents of LGBT individuals are often portrayed in the media as “problematic figures.” The inspiration for Dhont’s “Girl” was a transgender girl he met who wanted to be a classically trained dancer.
Even though she spent four years doing research for the film, she said if filmmakers know their material well enough, they must allow themselves to be spontaneous. Other directors also used unconventional techniques when making their films: Kore-eda didn’t begin with an idea. Labaki said she didn’t give her actors scripts and often she didn’t know what they were going to shoot the next day, figuring things out along the way. Instead, he filmed the actors interacting naturally on the beach, and created a story based on that.
We have to make this world a better place for them,” she said. “Governments and systems forget the sacred nature of a child, a child is not anything that you just bring in the world and you expect them to survive.
Labaki’s “Capernaum,” like many of the nominated foreign films, has themes centered around family and how the personal can become the political. “Capernaum” takes a personal drama, of a young child suing his negligent parents for leaving him out on the street, and highlights how parents and governments around the world have failed “a billion children” and allowed them to slip through the cracks.
One of the most emotionally harrowing scenes of “Roma” almost turned out differently, and director Alfonso Cuaron said it was due to star Yalitza Aparicio’s improvised reaction. But throughout filming, he never gave actors full scripts in order to elicit raw reactions, and thus Aparicio responded genuinely to the devastating news in the moment, and chose to see the child. He kept it that way in the final cut. Toward the end of the film (spoiler alert), Cuaron had planned for Aparicio’s Cleo to reject seeing her stillborn baby in the hospital.
Ahead of the Golden Globes Awards on Sunday, the Mexican director spoke at the HFPA and the American Cinematheque's Foreign Language Nominees Screening Series and Symposium, as part of the line-up of directors of the best foreign film nominees. Also present were Hirokazu Kore-eda (“Shoplifters” – Japan), Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck (“Never Look Away” – Germany), Nadine Labaki (“Capernaum” – Lebanon), and Lukas Dhont (“Girl” – Belgium).

I also have a feature film script, a dramatic thriller, ready to go.” /> I have two other series concepts that I’ve developed quite far. [The adaptation of the Belgian fantasy comic “Thorgal”] is high up on the priority list for the next project.
This role of the artist is someone who mainly observes other people doing things. I needed someone who was magnetic and subtle enough to have a strong effect on the viewer, even without any dialogue, and he had that. Tom does it wonderfully. It’s a very difficult role because he says almost nothing throughout the film. It’s very hard for an actor to make that interesting.
In a way, this is a little bit of a companion piece and a mirror image in that it explores how all the terrible things that happen in our lives can somehow shape art and how we have this strange and our wonderful ability as humans to turn our suffering into something great. “The Lives of Others” explored how a person can be changed by art, how a person’s life can be impacted by art. It’s almost like alchemy in a way, that we can turn the lead of our own trauma into the gold of art.
What’s next?
I think I would have made my agents at CAA happier if I’d made the film in English and had cast an English-speaking actor, but I really felt that this had to be done in German to be authentic. Absolutely. I immediately thought of Sebastian Koch for the role because he has the ability to make even an insanely villainous character so charming. He’s just an amazing actor. All the great directors who’ve worked with him, be it Paul Verhoeven, Steven Spielberg or Tom Hooper, have told me how amazing it was to work with him, and I feel the same way.
How did the collaboration with Caleb Deschanel come about?
The first time that I understood that cinematography is great art was as a child. Plus, he has a great understanding of and great love for actors. Since we were making a film about art, I needed the greatest artist, so I called Caleb. I love so many of his films. Every single image was like a painting and I understood: Wow, this really is art. I watched “The Black Stallion” at an open-air movie theater in New York. I’m so happy that he was able to find such a thrilling visual language for our movie. I couldn’t imagine anyone else shooting this. …In addition to creating incredible images, the actors feel so safe with him, and that was a complete and total joy.
What made Tom Schilling ideal for this role?
Was Sebastian Koch your first choice for the role of the antagonist?
How are the themes of this film similar to those of “The Lives of Others”?
“Never Look Away,” his latest work, is a high-tension drama that spans three turbulent eras of German history as it follows the life of a young artist, the woman he loves and the man bent on destroying their relationship. German filmmaker Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck made a major splash with his 2006 drama “The Lives of Others.” The film, which garnered major international awards, including the Oscar for best foreign-language film, propelled Henckel von Donnersmarck into the upper echelons of Hollywood, where he made the 2010 thriller “The Tourist” with Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp and went on to set up Allegory Films with Sam Raimi. He operates Pergamon Film in Munich with partner Jan Mojto.
In what ways is the film inspired by German artist Gerhard Richter?
It’s not a biopic. We used a few elements from Richter’s biography as a starting point, but it’s drama, it’s fiction. I didn’t want to have to stick to facts because I really believe that good fiction is a lot more thrilling, a lot more exciting, a lot more satisfying and somehow even a lot truer than fact. It was an interesting starting point for a drama about family secrets, about how criminals and victims can live together in one family.