I wanted to confront someone with something he had done as a child. That was the general idea, guilt and consequences. Then I wanted to make a film with Daniel Auteuil. And the third thing, I saw a documentary about the 1961 massacre. I was stunned that in a country like France it could be buried for so long.
[on what interests him as a moviegoer] I'm interested in seeing films that confront me with new things, with films that make me question myself, with films that help me to reflect on subjects that I hadn't thought about before, films that help me progress and advance. Those are the kinds of films that interest me. For me, personally, I think watching a movie that simply confirms my feelings is a waste of time. That applies not only to movies, but also to books and every form of art.
My films are intended as polemical statements against the American 'barrel down' cinema and its dis-empowerment of the spectator. They are an appeal for a cinema of insistent questions instead of false (because too quick) answers, for clarifying distance in place of violating closeness, for provocation and dialogue instead of consumption and consensus.
There are those who see film and take it seriously as an artistic medium, and others who go to have a good time, to simply be entertained. I have to be careful , because it sounds like I am condemning, or criticizing what people are doing. I have nothing against that, in the same way that some people like rock music or to go dancing, and other people like to go to a Beethoven concert. It's just that I'm more interested in the one than the other.
I don't really ask myself too much where the ideas come from. When things touch you or anger you, you are moved to want to examine them, to reflect on them. But yes, I guess you could say ['Amour'] is a memento mori, though it would never occur to me to use that term, since it might sound a little bit sentimental.