Actor Brady Corbet on Francophiles, Old-School Filmmaking, and Au Hasard Balthazar

BCorbet 2.JPG
Brady Corbet.
If you want to see the power of cinema at its best, watch a film by Robert Bresson. The young actor/director Brady Corbet knows this, and he will take advantage of his pedestal at this year's Miami International Film Festival to express it by presenting what he thinks is one of the French director's masterpieces: Au Hasard Balthazar.

Corbet spoke to New Times about his desire to present the film in 35mm. He says he expects the festival to have a pristine print supplied by Rialto Pictures for the one-night-only event at the Tower Theater in Little Havana this Friday night.

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The 24-year-old actor, who once directed a short film on 35mm that screened at the 2008 Miami International Film Festival (Protect You + Me), might seem young to fully appreciate the 1966 film, but he was indoctrinated into cinephilia as a child thanks to his mother. He also has a knack for having appeared in some well-regarded films by some modern master directors, including Lars von Trier (Melancholia) and Michael Haneke (Funny Games).

New Times: Pardon the question, but what qualifies you to introduce Au Hasard Balthazar?
Brady Corbet: Actually, it's a fair question. I would say that I've been a pretty hard-core cinephile all my life, and I've devoted much of my life to the medium, so I suppose I have as much as a qualification as someone could, at my age.

Why do you think this film is important?
Well, for quite a few reasons. It happens to be from one of maybe ten filmmakers who really shaped the way I sort of saw moviemaking and its potential, its subtlety, and breadth of vision. It also just happens to be a film that I saw at a very young age that really made a big impact on me.

How old were you when you saw it?
Probably when I was 11 or 12. I grew up watching a lot of international films mostly because of my mother, because, first of all, she's a cinephile, but she's also a real Francophile... She lived there for many years. She went to college there, her ex-husband is from there, she speaks French fluently. I don't, unfortunately. I spent a lot of time there, and I worked there before, but my French is just OK. It's not great.

Well, this is a very visual film, so what's great is that it transcends the language.
Oh, yeah, certainly, certainly. I suppose most of Bresson's films do, and to tell you the truth, there were a lot of films about animals that I fell in love with when I was young. I liked animals growing up. So I was also a huge fan of Claire Denis's second movie, which is about cock fighting, called S'en Fout la Mort, which is a very, very beautiful movie. It was made in the early '90s... Sometimes I was attracted to watching certain movies because of a sort of element as base as that [it had animals].

Location Info

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Tower Theater

1508 SW 8th St., Miami, FL

Category: Film

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