hurrengoa
winterbottom on winterbottom koldo almandoz   This year’s 51st Donostia-San Sebastian International Film Festival features a section on British director Michael Winterbottom. It’s not easy to define the type of cinema Winterbottom makes. Eclectic. Prolific. He tells all kinds of stories and he’s also made cinema on all kinds of budgets. When he set up Revolution Films, he created an independent method of film-making. He’s worked on publicity, fiction and documentaries in order to bring his own film-making revolution about. If we take the commercial viewpoint so necessary to cinema into consideration, he’s come up with a really interesting angle on making films. All his films will be screened, so we’ve decided to skip all the usual reviews and critiques that will undoubtedly abound as the festival draws nearer, and instead we’ve dipped into interviews Winterbottom has given here and there and assembled the blow selection of quotes. Winterbottom on Winterbottom.

We had a special bunch of actors in the film The Claim. They all agreed to get paid the same. There was a great atmosphere between us all. There were no ego fights. There’s nothing worse than waking up on location and having to face someone you can’t stand the sight of first thing in the morning...

When we made the film In this world, we went off on a trip with the cast. We were open to anything. You have got to be ready to take on any difficulties that may arise while travelling. A journey is like a collection of people and the film is a reflection of that collection. In the collection you can find the people who helped us and those who put obstacles in our way.

You pick a story because it grabs your interest. Later on, when you start working on the story, it should be capable of stirring up it’s own new emotions in you. Butterfly Kiss is a dark film because the characters are dark and 24 hour party people is full of light because everybody had a ball at the time the film centres on and this comes across in the film. All the same, the films that are given to me as optimistic don’t normally make me feel very happy...

I don’t like only showing people from their class side. I don’t want to just make films about the working class. People also try and fight off loneliness. We need to form ties, we need to love somebody, a lover, parents, children, anybody. And that feeling is the same for everybody. I like to make films with those of ingredients.

It’s nice to work on small films. If you could work on films like the way we did on Wonderland – but with a normal budget and distribution, well, that would be great. The problem is that if you make a small film and two critics don’t like it, you’ll have spent a year of your life on a film for ten people to go along and watch...

I’ve always got a next project in my head. The next one will be called Code 46 and it’s a love story. With a bit of luck I’ll get it done quite quickly with Samantha Morton and Tim Robbins in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Dubai and London. We want to start in January but we haven’t tied up all the financial ends just yet.