Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Watch: Joaquin Phoenix Gets His Stoner Detective Groove On In Trailer For Paul Thomas Anderson’s ‘Inherent Vice’ Watch: Joaquin Phoenix Gets His Stoner Detective Groove On In Trailer For Paul Thomas Anderson’s ‘Inherent Vice’ David Fincher Will Direct The Entire First Season Of HBO's 'Utopia' In 2015 David Fincher Will Direct The Entire First Season Of HBO's 'Utopia' In 2015 Brad Pitt Says 'Fury' Co-Star Shia LaBeouf Is "One Of The Best Actors I've Ever Seen" Brad Pitt Says 'Fury' Co-Star Shia LaBeouf Is "One Of The Best Actors I've Ever Seen" First Look: Kristen Stewart & Nicholas Hoult In Drake Doremus’ Sci-Fi Film ‘Equals’ First Look: Kristen Stewart & Nicholas Hoult In Drake Doremus’ Sci-Fi Film ‘Equals’ John Cusack Says Hollywood Is A "Whorehouse" That "Eats Young Actors Up And Spits Them Out" John Cusack Says Hollywood Is A "Whorehouse" That "Eats Young Actors Up And Spits Them Out" New Image From 'Inherent Vice,' Paul Thomas Anderson Completely Changed The Ending From Thomas Pynchon's Book New Image From 'Inherent Vice,' Paul Thomas Anderson Completely Changed The Ending From Thomas Pynchon's Book Why 'You're The Worst' Turned Out To Be The Best TV Show Of The Summer Why 'You're The Worst' Turned Out To Be The Best TV Show Of The Summer Watch: Ellen Page And Kate Mara Are 'Tiny Detectives' In Hilarious 'True Detective' Parody Watch: Ellen Page And Kate Mara Are 'Tiny Detectives' In Hilarious 'True Detective' Parody New Look: Reese Witherspoon And Joaquin Phoenix In Paul Thomas Anderson's 'Inherent Vice' New Look: Reese Witherspoon And Joaquin Phoenix In Paul Thomas Anderson's 'Inherent Vice' Review: David Fincher's 'Gone Girl' Starring Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, Tyler Perry, Neil Patrick Harris, Kim Dickens & More Review: David Fincher's 'Gone Girl' Starring Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, Tyler Perry, Neil Patrick Harris, Kim Dickens & More 10 Female Directors Who Deserve More Attention From Hollywood 10 Female Directors Who Deserve More Attention From Hollywood Miles Teller Says Role In 'Divergent' Made Him Feel "Dead Inside," And He Took Movie "For Business Reasons" Miles Teller Says Role In 'Divergent' Made Him Feel "Dead Inside," And He Took Movie "For Business Reasons" While You're Waiting For 'Interstellar,' Here's Over 100 Behind-The-Scenes Photos From 'The Dark Knight' Trilogy While You're Waiting For 'Interstellar,' Here's Over 100 Behind-The-Scenes Photos From 'The Dark Knight' Trilogy First Look At 'The Dying Of The Light,' Paul Schrader Quits Film Over What Nicolas Winding Refn Calls "Artistic Disrespect" First Look At 'The Dying Of The Light,' Paul Schrader Quits Film Over What Nicolas Winding Refn Calls "Artistic Disrespect" New Images From 'Interstellar' Arrive, Christopher Nolan Says The Film Is A "Mirror" Of 'Inception' New Images From 'Interstellar' Arrive, Christopher Nolan Says The Film Is A "Mirror" Of 'Inception' Watch: Have A Threesome With Very NSFW Clip From 'Maps To The Stars' With Julianne Moore & John Cusack Watch: Have A Threesome With Very NSFW Clip From 'Maps To The Stars' With Julianne Moore & John Cusack The Best Documentaries Of 2014 So Far The Best Documentaries Of 2014 So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The Best Films Of 2014 So Far... The Best Films Of 2014 So Far... The 10 Best & Worst Movie Sex Scenes The 10 Best & Worst Movie Sex Scenes

NYFF Interview: Olivier Assayas Talks Music, The Occupy Movement & The Movies That Inspired 'Something In The Air'

The Playlist By Christopher Bell | The Playlist October 11, 2012 at 3:04PM

Sex, drugs, riots, and rock 'n' roll are just a few of the cultural elements within Olivier Assayas’ latest film, “Something in the Air.” Following high-school revolutionary Gilles (Clément Métayer) and his various friends, the filmmaker tracks burgeoning French political awakening and a coming-of-age story with a keen eye, basing much of the plot on his own life in the 1970s. Gilles wavers between radical commitment and more personal, artistic aspirations while also grappling with love and loss. We caught the movie at the Venice Film Festival and dug it, complementing the movie on its substance and sharp look.
0
Oliver Assayas, Something In The Air

Sex, drugs, riots, and rock 'n' roll are just a few of the cultural elements within Olivier Assayas’ latest film, “Something in the Air.” Following high-school revolutionary Gilles (Clément Métayer) and his various friends, the filmmaker tracks burgeoning French political awakening and a coming-of-age story with a keen eye, basing much of the plot on his own life in the 1970s. Gilles wavers between radical commitment and more personal, artistic aspirations while also grappling with love and loss. We caught the movie at the Venice Film Festival and dug it, complementing the movie on its substance and sharp look.

In support of its screening at the New York Film Festival, Assayas sat down with us to talk about the way music shaped the film, his view on the Occupy movement, and a few movies he kept in the back of his mind during production. IFC will be handling its theatrical release, but in the meantime, check out the international trailer right here.

Music Lover
Music plays a prominent role in ‘Air’ for obvious reasons -- what politically charged teenager isn’t obsessing over albums at that age? Featuring songs from progressive '70s psych-rock/psych-folk bands like Amazing Blondel, Tangerine Dream, Soft Machine and The Incredible String Band, Assayas has always been influenced by his favorite tunes but often found himself playing trial and error in the editing room, as the songs he was originally inspired by made their way into the film in other ways -- thus including the actual songs felt redundant. His new film, though, was a different story. “Here there's no space between the music and the narrative. It's the music of those times: I wanted to have a Syd Barrett song, same with Nick Drake. That was the music that I actually listened to when I was drawing, so it's like they belonged there,” he said. The choice of tunes also reflected a bigger idea he wanted to put forth, a sort-of “tribute” to the 1970s. “In its own way I wanted it to represent the underground culture in the '70s. I knew I didn't want anything that was mainstream, I wanted to use stuff that people never use in movies.” The film also includes songs by Phil Ochs, Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band and The Incredible String Band founder Robin Williamson.

Something In The Air
Autobiographical Aspects & Protesting
It’s difficult to talk about the film without noting that it’s likely autobiographical -- it’s centered on the exact decade that Assayas grew up in, and the lead character goes from revolutionary sprout to painter to filmmaker along the course of the movie. The filmmaker does admit that it is based off of his own life, but stresses that he eventually allowed ‘Air’ to veer off and become its own creature. “To recreate the mood of those times and to get it right, I used incidents of my youth because at least I was able to work on something solid. I kind of built the film from there, which means I constantly moved away from autobiography because you don't really do a biography on film. It's like fiction. When you write fiction you start from your own experience and you use your own emotions and that's what makes it genuine in a certain way,” he stated. As for whether he was involved with the various riots and protesting, Assayas had one simple answer. “You had to, there was no choice,” he declared.

This article is related to: Olivier Assayas, Something In The Air, Interview, Interviews


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates