Xavier Dolan says goodbye to cinema: “I no longer have the strength”

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Enough, I retire from the cinema”. In an interview with the Spanish newspaper El País Xavier Dolan34, confessed of wanting to prematurely end his career as a director started at just 19 with the debut film J’ai tué ma mère. Since then, the Canadian artist has not only made seven other films in ten years, including two awards at Cannes Film Festival Mommywinner of the Jury Prize in 2014, ed It’s just the end of the worldwinner of the Special Grand Prix of the Jury in 2016, but also made the video of Hello Of Adele, which got two billion views. On the occasion of the presentation of the miniseries The Night Logan Woke Up, currently out only in Canada, France, Japan and Spain, Dolan wondered, however: “Why hasn’t anyone else bought it? Why is it in French? Why does it only have five episodes?”. A broader reflection arose from the discouragement: “I no longer have the strength or the desire to commit myself for two years to projects that no one sees. I put a lot of passion into it and then I come out deeply disappointed. I know I’m a good director, but all of this leads me to believe that I’m not.” Dolan’s dissatisfaction spread not only on the ideological side, because “I don’t understand what is the point of starting to tell stories while everything else around us is falling apart. Art is useless and dedicating yourself to cinema is a waste of time”, but also on the economic one, because with the new job “I didn’t earn anything, I invested my salary in production and had to ask my father for a loan. It’s work without gratification, I’m tired and discouraged. The simplest solution is to direct commercials and build me a house.” After reading the statements, followers on Instagram tried to dissuade the actor and director from abandoning his intention to desist from the creation of new masterpieces, considered instead a source of inspiration for many young filmmakers.


Already as a child Dolan began the career of actor in commercials, and at the age of eight he welcomed the turn towards the direction born from watching the film Titanic: “That’s the film that made me want to make films, even though at the time I actually left the theater thinking I wanted to write a letter to Leonardo DiCaprio,” he said on the occasion of the Rome Film Fest in 2017. “ It may not be an intellectual work but the films that shaped me are Jumanji, Piano lesson, and today I am no longer ashamed to say it,” he continued. Among the popular titles at the time, Dolan had also mentioned Call Me By Your Name by Luca Guadagnino, a work consistent with the proximity perceived by the director for the “stories about dreamers and fighters who struggle to be what they want, society has a problem with those who try to be authentic because their presence highlights the fiction of the others. All my films are about people like this who want to become a woman if they were born a man, get out of a difficult mother-son relationship or seek a place in the world. My films will always be about them, sometimes they’ll get what they want, sometimes they won’t, but the responsibility for this lies with life, not with them, who will never stop fighting”. Among the last films shot by Dolan appear Matthias & Maximea story about the transformation of a male friendship into a different feeling, e My Life with John F. Donovan with the face of Game of thrones Kit Harington and with the actresses Susan Sarandon and Natalie Portman on the epistolary relationship between a boy and a star who died of an overdose at a very young age. “What should we know about an artist? What should he reveal about himself? And why is it important to us?” asks the grown-up protagonist at the end of the film, in an almost premonitory question that today seems to fit precisely with Dolan’s premature retirement.