Vilmos Zsigmond When you get around to reading the following interview I did with the French documentarian, Pierre Filmon, I want you to keep in mind that Pierre has a very strong French accent. You got that? Good. Now I want you to pull up a croissant and get a load of this baguette. Bon appetit.

Vilmos Zsigmond on Amazon

1) What are your own origins, Pierre?   My origins are quite modest, and fairly far removed from cinema in general. My late father was a land surveyor, where as my mother took care of me and my brother and sister, whilst also taking care of our artistic inclinations (at that remote time, it was music for me). 

I first discovered cinema quite late in my life, at night, on French TV, when they would show these Charlie Chaplin and Alfred Hitchcock retrospectives. Then later on, in my twenties, cinema would strike me once again like lightning in a thunderstorm. 

In short, I suppose I spent the next ten years trying to make my first short films. I did four in total. China Blue, that nearly no longer exists. Then I spent ten years trying to make my first feature film out of several scripts, among of which one in particular enabled me to meet Vilmos Zsigmond, who became like my guardian angel.

Close Encounters with Vilmos Zsigmond2) What inspired the creation of ‘Close Encounters with Vilmos Zsigmond’?   Having loved the cult films Vilmos photographed for many years, such as Deliverance, McCabe & Mrs Miller, Scarecrow, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and Blow Out, when I met him, it was like meeting your dream pop star in real life. Honestly. As soon as I knew I could spend some time with him, I decided to share my CLOSE ENCOUNTERS with him, and make out of it a documentary portrait, where I got the chance to film and interview him as well as some of his closest friends, like Haskell Wexler, Vittorio Storaro, John Boorman, Peter Fonda, and John Travolta.

At the moment I'm actually directing, co-producing, and editing this documentary down to size, which should be 100 minutes long, and will be released in France in the fall of 2015.

3) In your own words how would you describe this documentary?   It’s a declaration of love and utmost respect for one of cinema’s greatest living talents and one of the finest gentleman I have ever had the chance to spend some time with.

4) If this film omitted a collective odour, what would it smell like and why?   I would love for my film to exhale a very delicate and profound smell like the essence of a rare flower. I hope to succeed to bring this smell out. You’ll tell me, no?

5) What song would you say best represents your wares and why?   'I Love You For Sentimental Reasons' by Jacky Terrasson. And I say this because Jacky’s class, talent, and generosity (as an artist and as a human being) are what I'm aiming at showing in this film work of mine, with energy and an entertaining spirit.

Pierre Filmon
[ Vilmos Zsigmond on Amazon ]
6) What were the main obstacles you had to contend with along the way?   I'd say there were many obstacles, and as of yet, I have not been able to technically overcome all of them. But don't worry. I've managed to overcome many. Some obstacles were linked to jealousy. Some were linked to the age of the people I interviewed. And some were linked to money, which is so usually the case.

7) If you’ve got a personal motto, what do you think it would be?   Always turn your weakness into strength.

And on that note, dear reader, I'd like to thank Pierre for telling us about his documentary, 'Close Encounters with Vilmos Zsigmond', before directing you towards his website, facebook, and twitter pages. 

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