Exclusive Video Interviews – THE DIVING BELL AND THE BUTTERFLY

     November 30, 2007

A great movie that’s capturing award after award is “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly,” the new film from Julian Schnabel (“Before Night Falls” and “Basquiat”). The film is based on the true story of Jean-Dominique Bauby (played by Mathieu Amalric), the successful and charismatic editor-in-chief of FrenchElle.

When the film begins we find Jean-Dominique Bauby living his life to the fullest. But suddenly, without warning, he suffers a severe stroke and it leaves him in a life changing state. And while the physical challenges leave him with littlehope for the future, he begins to discover how his life’s passions, his rich memories and hisnewfound imagination can help him achieve a life without boundaries.

The thing to know about Jean-Dominique Bauby is that he suffers from a condition called locked-in syndrome. This is where your brain works perfectly and you can see and hear, but you’re completely parallelized so you can’t communicate with anyone. It’s a condition that affects hundreds of people worldwide, and it’s scary to even think about.

But what’s amazing about “Diving Bell” is the way it addresses his “locked-in” condition. The camera acts as his eyes and we feel as if we’re inside his body. I cannot explain how effective the film is at making you feel as if you’re inside his head. It’s a remarkable achievement.

Starring in the film is Mathieu Amalric, Emmanuelle Seigner, Marie-Josée Croze, Anne Consigny, Patrick Chesnais and Max Von Sydow. And the other thing to know is the cinematography was done by Janusz Kaminski. Look him up. Now you know why the trailer and clips look so amazing.

Anyway, I was able to interview a lot of the cast and director Julian Schnabel. All the interviews are below and they have my usual summary above.

“The Diving Bell and the Butterfly” opened today in limited release. It’s a film not to be missed.

Mathieu Amalric

  • How he became involved in the project

  • He talks about getting read to play the character and what he did to get ready

Julian Schnabel

  • He talks about seeing the new version of the book for the first time

  • I ask since he is an artist and a filmmaker, how does he divide up his time each day

  • He talks a bit on Berlin – the new Lou Reed film he did

  • I ask about the camera work and when did he know the way he would make the film look

  • He talks about working with the different actors and the rehearsal process

Max Von Sydow, Emmanuelle Seigner & Marie-Josée Croze on page 2 ——>


Max Von Sydow

  • Was he familiar with the story and how did he get involved

  • When he is reading a script, how quickly does he know he would want to be involved with the project?

  • Lack of rehearsals on the set

  • What was Julian Schnabel like as a director?

  • Is he especially proud of a previous project and does he have a favorite Bergman movie

  • I ask about Bergman and why was he such a great director

  • Many people take something from the movie they work on – a costume, prop, etc.. I ask he ever takes anything from the set

Emmanuelle Seigner& Marie-Josée Croze

  • I ask if they were familiar with the story before they got involved

  • With the story being real, how did that help them get ready to play their parts

  • How was working on a film without many rehearsals

  • I ask since you never, ever get to look at the camera directly on a movie…how was it to stare right into it

  • They talk about their upcoming projects

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