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Tilda Swinton on working with Joanna Hough, Pedro Almodóvar



Marrakech – Tilda Swinton, sheer, pretty Elf, wears a striped Chanel caftan, and wears a shimmering floral apron. The quirky white shirt collar and boyish blonde haircut add a touch of seriousness to the Scottish actress’ original sense of style, befitting her clever flow of words that roll smoothly from her mouth to describe her career.

Swinton is interviewed at the Marrakech Film Festival (November 11-19) prior to the closing ceremony. As chair of the festival’s jury in 2019, she returns, this year, with her older friend and first-time director Joanna Hogg, to present the ghost story “The Eternal Daughter”. This year, she also received one of the festival’s honorary Golden Star awards.

Swinton sits alongside Hogg (“The Souvenir”), playing two roles in the film, their third consecutive collaboration, following Hogg’s two “Souvenir” films.

Set in a house-turned-hotel where a mother and daughter reunite, the film was shown at the festival in a special screening slot. It premiered in Venice in September before being shown in Toronto. It is scheduled for release on December 2 on VOD and in theaters by distributor A24.

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Swinton is a big fan of the Marrakesh Festival.

“It’s something special. Being honored at this festival is so much fun,” she said when asked when asked when asked what makes it special. The fact that there are so many emerging filmmakers from regions where filmmaking is showing itself. Filmmaking in Africa, in particular, is not It is really represented at other festivals the way it is here.”

Describing her own work in authentic terms, Swinton suggests that some of the posed questions be asked of the real cast, who are not what she appears to be. She’s so alert and eloquent that it’s absolutely surreal to hear Tilda Swinton talk about Tilda Swinton, and act in general. Because it is not often that you hear things said beautifully.

For Swinton, acting starts with relationships.

“I learned with Derek Jarman, who I worked with for nine years, and with Joanna, with whom I made my first film. That, for me, working with friends is the only way to go,” said Swinton.

Swinton starred in ‘Caprice’, Hough’s 1986 graduate film at the National Film and Television School. She made her film debut in Jarman’s ‘Caravaggio’ that same year.

“For years, I worked in a similar way. I created the relationship. The project would emerge from a conversation that that relationship forms. Then, at a certain point, there would be a question of what am I going to do with it? But it’s a lot about the order of the flick. This movie is an example of that. For a long time, I was going to play the young woman. Then this whole thing escalated. But the conversation with Joanna was the most important thing. Then the movie. Then the movie material. Then you think for real actors,[the role]was the most important thing, but for me it’s the least important thing “.

It would be difficult to pick a role that you particularly enjoy, but instead there are arcs in the storytelling, and in life, that you enjoy.

Her credits include “Orlando,” “The Chronicles of Narnia,” “The French Dispatch,” “The Budapest Hotel,” the list is long. She controversially played The Ancient One in Marvel Studio’s Doctor Strange.

“It’s like asking people who their favorite child is,” she said. “Overall, I’ve come to realize that I’m really interested in transformation. I don’t mean as a performer, I mean in people’s lives. The reality of transformation, or the way people change. I’m very interested in stories where it might be that someone’s image is going in some direction, and then it’s going to get to Kind of an abyss, and it has to change, it has to make a detour. I’m especially fascinated by those narratives and those kinds of predicaments.”

She says making shapes is what Swinton does for a living. It is not in restriction mode.

“Working with energy and making shapes, making new shapes that might be helpful for people in seeing new shapes, I think, is kind of what we’re involved in. Trying to open up little gaps, picking up corners of the rug that we haven’t seen before. I feel like it’s none of our business, as artists.” , to care about boundaries. I feel like one of us would try to act like they don’t exist, and then they’d come along and smack us on the nose, and we’d realize they really do exist. So being concerned with boundaries might be counterproductive because one might say, ‘Oh no, that’s impossible.”

“The Eternal Daughter” is a case in point.

“Maybe it takes close friends like me and Joanna to dare do what we dare do with this,” she added. Most people would say: don’t be silly. How can you play someone who ends up in their 90s? Doreen. how is that possible? But you dare when you’re in this kind of relationship.”

For Swinton, working with Hough again was a homecoming.

“Going away and practicing in the world and making other contacts. Experimenting in other working relationships. For me, as an artist, I make different shapes. Then, as it were, coming home, after all this time, to my oldest friend, which I feel Its really, no skin. It’s so ineffective. Unrepresentative. It’s great. And in a way, it’s even better because we had to wait for it.”

Next up for Swinton is a musical directed by Joshua Oppenheimer, “The End.”

“I’ve been working for the past year on a project with Oppenheimer, and it’s a musical about the end of the world that we’re going to shoot next year, but there are various other seeds in the ground and crops are growing, but it’s too early to say.”

Returning to action with the Spanish captain is another possibility. Pedro Almodóvar and Swinton collaborated on a short film based on Jean Cocteau’s play, The Human Voice, in 2020. It was the director’s English-language debut. It premiered in Venice that year.

“There are filmmakers I’ve worked with that I’m proud to call my colleague, with whom I keep talking about other projects, and Pedro is one of them,” she said.

Swinton has taken such risks working with directors she could never have imagined.

“Almodovar has always admired me as a director. I really revere him, but I considered his world not possible to be in. The same experience I had with Bela Tarr. (I acted in his movie The Man from London in 2007). I worshiped Bela Tarr, but I didn’t I could imagine being in his frame, but with Pedro I felt I knew his cinema slang. It felt very familiar to me, in terms of delicacy. But in terms of its form, it felt completely foreign to me.”

It’s not quite his type.

“There is no one in his films who looks like me,” she said. “I’m not Spanish. I’m kind of thin and translucent and I have pale eyelashes, and I don’t speak Spanish. And I have a kind of calm that’s not readily available in many of his pictures. I had to do ‘Pedro’s Woman’ when I was working with him. I had to go up to Pedro’s stage. She’s an actress.” In a way I’m not. I found him as a professional student working with him on it. Because I couldn’t rely on my instincts. I had to follow him. If you’re going to follow someone’s instincts, it’s good to follow them. I felt like a session musician working on a record.”

Do the roles you play stay with her? “I feel like I’m saying you need to ask the real cast about that,” she said. “When I hear real actors talk about getting lost in roles. That’s not my experience. It’s not my modus operandi. I would worry, or rather have concerns, and questions for performers who feel the only way they can do their work is to let themselves anchor out of the role and get lost. They didn’t.” I never get lost.”

Hough and Swinton imagine collaborating in the future.

“I think so, and one would like to think it is true of all business, and it probably is, but one thing I can guarantee you, when Joanna and I work together, is that the business of two people who are so curious about what we’re doing, but at the same time don’t know Sort of what we do. And that must be so much fun. We didn’t solve it a month ago, we wrote it, we told our team, and then we go in the morning, and we say tick, tick, done. We don’t get things done that way. We just throw ourselves out the window in Every moment. Relationship is key to us. We suggest things that matter to us. We are very lucky to have colleagues and A24 studio. It’s like the penis of God. We both hold on to it and follow our noses. I hope that’s what the audience feels like. Two people following their noses.”

With that said, Swinton poses for a few photos. When I asked her what she was wearing, she said with a playful smile, “It’s my Chanel.” Then, like a naughty elf who has taken out stolen treasure and dressed it when no one is looking, the Chanel ambassador is carried away, and her skimpy clothes are carried through the inner rooms of the festival headquarters as the closing ceremony approaches. Started.