The Diving Bell and the Butterfly- Julian Schnabel

The film Julian Schnabel ‘had to’ make.

The picture in question, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, premiered at Cannes on Tuesday to sustained applause. (Kenneth Turan LAtimes)


youtube clip in which you can catch Julian Schnabel speaking French.

“The Diving Bell and the Butterfly” I’ve already hyped the hell out of Julian Schnabel’s French-language film about a severely paralyzed magazine editor (played by the great Mathieu Amalric). It remains my personal pick for the Palme d’Or. But let me just insist that this is a picture that needs to be seen to be believed, and that it’s not an earnest, vitamin-enriched film about overcoming disability and the triumph of the human spirit. OK, it is about those things. But it’s also fun, funny, exciting to watch and driven by a luminous, worldly spirituality. (Andrew O’Hehir from Salon)

They wanted Johnny Depp to do it, and he said he would if Julian Schnabel directed it, the man said of his actor friend. But then the pirate thing came up; he couldn’t shave, it was more pressure that he didn’t need.

Schnabel, a confident, charismatic man who learned French to do this film, went instead with top French actor Mathieu Amalric.

(Coincidentally yesterday I saw Mathieu Amalric in “Kings and Queen” directed by Arnaud Desplechin. )

Julian Schnabel does not want us to forget that he is a painter. View his painting Democracy , Jane Birkin and three more here.

This film’s plot, style and structure reminds me of Orhan Pamuk‘s mesmerizing novels. And he’s in the jury. Hmm… (comment from here.)

Update: Julian Schnabel received best director award at Cannes 2007.