why is Hate in black & white?
did want the movie to be in black & white, but
for economic reasons it was shot in color. Christophe
said to me that for a b&w movie we would get 4
million francs ($600k). For a color feature we could
get 15 million ($2m). The deal was that if the movie
went ok we would let it in b&w, else we would
issue the color version.
you think black & white is under-used in cinema?
& white is beautiful, especially when you don't
have money. It hides many miserable tricks. If you
cannot have a "Darius Khondji" cinematography
(5), you shoot your movie in black & white and
it turns out "Khondji" black & white.
Nevertheless color is better.
shooting easier than on Métisse?
were more risks because there was more money in it.
Much more pressure.
there problems with the locations and the social context?
worked a lot with the guys whose place we were to
use so that they understand exactly what we wanted
to do and so that we won't get thrown out after two
days of shooting. We rent a flat on the spot with
the actors two months before shooting began. We slept
there, spoke with the guys living there. It all went
very smoothly during shooting, even if it was always
'borderline'. We were thrown stones but they were
kids playing. However if the gaffer would blow his
stack and slap a kid we could be thrown out right
away. We never knew, in fact, if we could shoot on
the following day. For example, we were to shoot one
Monday... I was in Paris on Sunday and just as I was
getting out of a cinema an inhabitant called me to
say there was a riot where we planned to shoot the
you had a problem with the flying cam (6). How did
was too much wind and the guys could not control the
machine. We tried three times, we were being insulted,
but we went through it.
long did it take to carry out the superb sequence
shot where you cross the city with a steadycam?
long. It takes between half-day and a day. Afterwards,
these are the actors who must adapt to this very precise
Why don't you have a more significant role
Because the only role that I could play was that of
Vincent and I preferred that it was him who did it.
I also preferred to be more concentrated on the mise-en-scène.
did you make the famous scene with the bottle crushing
we planned to have a passage of C.R.S [riot police]
in front of the poster. Right after we would throw
the molotov and the poster would burst on fire. But
that would have cost too much dough, so we put the
poster on the ground, poured gas on it and then drop
the bottle from 5-6 meters up.
the Eiffel Tower that dies out?
was a stopwatch to know how long there remained, but
it did not die out when we wanted. In fact, after
the actors had left off-camera, we waited 40 more
seconds before the tower does die out. On the screen
we discreetly cut in the black to shorten.
did you realize Hate had become a sensation?
the end... When all the mess was over. A few months
later, I realized that what had occurred was quite
incredible. But all that, that was more significant
for people than for me. That does not interest me
too much and it's why I was taken in sometimes. I
did not know the system.
felt that the film was slightly slipping from you?
from me, but a lot of people did misunderstood it...
it could have slipped from you...
for me I knew what I did. I tried to phrase it to
people, but people did not listen. Especially journalists.
It is not that it slipped from me, it is that it was
what about your puppet on the TV show 'Spitting Image'?
was not very well made. I think they had taken an
old one because it's so much expensive to do a new
one... I was really astonished to see my puppet. I
thought that they would do no good with it. I thought
it was just a transient craze, I was the freak-of-the-month
then it would be over. But it seems to me that they
thought I was going to play the game and become a
What about Jean-François Richet's reaction
(director of Documentaries and features on the life
in da 'hood)?
did he say?
Hate, it was science fiction...
had a discussion after with Jean-François...
They all hit the ceiling. I had about fifty buddies
from the suburbs and when Hate was released I was
insulted. Finally I ended up with only 5 true friends.
it the first time you ever worked on AVID (virtual
Yes. It is grand. It is the same jump forward as switching
from handwriting to word processing.
Hate the movie you are the most proud of?
the one I am really proud is Assassin(s)...
now? Though in the interview you made with Jan Kounen
for Premiere, you slaughtered it...
it's a movie with its flaws, but the fact is I am
very proud to have made it. It is easier to make Hate
is meaning of the scene with the grandfather stepping
out the toilets in Hate?
was to say that there were people with deeper problems...
It is necessary to match these things. It's better
than having an old little man say the characters:
"It is no good Boys, thou shalt not do that...
". It is a story which really occurred to this
old little man. He meets these three jerks with a
piece and he pulls them down for a short dip in their
How did Hate do in Europe?
did very well in the whole world and was very well
the reactions any different?
reactions were much less 'epidermal' than in France.
you notice a different reception from critics?
don't care about the hype or about who's the director.
They do not know me so they watch more of the movie.
I had more problems with Assassin(s).
did you convince Vincent Lindon to make a cameo?
is a kind of an insane compulsive workaholic. At the
time he wanted to work on every movie. He had invited
me so as to get the role of Vince. I said to him that
it was not possible because he was too old and whatever
it was not ok. On the other hand I wrote him a bit
he seen Métisse?
sees everything... He is really into it all.
we consider that the scene in the theatre in Hate
is an embryo of the subject matter of Assassin(s)?
you can say so...
did you chose the archive footage?
was Dirty Harry, Predator... In fact, what happens
is the character goes from screen to screen and each
time there are violent movies. It finishes with a
cartoon and Vince shoots the screen. The small kid
next seat imitates his gesture. That's a way to say
children imitate adults.