bons mots

Three Interviews With Julian Schnabel


Photo: Getty Images

Intel crush Julian Schnabel has been making the promotional rounds for the Diving Bell and the Butterfly, and after reading through a few of his interviews, we can report that whether he’s “picking at a crab cake” in Philadelphia, “stretched on the floor in his blue silk pajamas,” or “propped up by cushions like some flannel-shirted artist’s model” in a Toronto hotel, he’s just as Schnabulous as ever. A few of our favorite bits:

On his preferred interviewing style: “Lie down, like I said. Please, just try it, just try it. OK. I will do the same. Put your head down. Now you can just relax and ask me anything you want, and we will be on the same plane.”
On artists David Salle and Robert Longo, who made films that didn’t do as well as Diving Bell and the Butterfly: “Well, they’re not very good painters (either).”

On not winning the Palme d’Or at Cannes: “Actually, they were giving me the Palme d’Or until about 2 o’clock that day … The reason I know that is because they asked all the actresses to come and they wouldn’t have done that just for the Best Director award. I guess there was a little bargaining going on … It gets very political and polemical. [They say,] ‘Okay, we’ll give Schnabel the Best Director and that’ll settle that and we’ll give the Romanian guy the Palme d’Or.’”(Or maybe it was because Michel Piccoli, the French actor who was among the jurors at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, was a no-fun “communist.”) “He probably didn’t vote for me because he thought I was too successful, or having too much fun.”
On life: “Nobody knows better than you what you need to do, even if you don’t know what you’re doing.”

Filmmaker as artist: With so much talent, what’s a little ego? [Philadelphia Inquirer]
Beautiful mind? Just ask Diving Bell director [Toronto Star]
The Art of Julian Schnabel [USAT]

Three Interviews With Julian Schnabel