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The L: You actually use some Morandi paintings.
LG: We shot fake Morandis. Nobody would have allowed real Morandis to be used in the movie, also the insurance would have been so strong. But Morandi is another great reference. What is the mystery in those bottles? What it is? Maybe it's doubt, or maybe it's like the universe, the cosmos, in one frame.
The L: And you use it in an interesting way, along with the photographs of the family. Those Morandis are interesting—what is the mystery of something so stationary but over a long period of time? And I think you imply that same sense of time over stationary space with the family, with those old photographs. You know what I mean?
LG: I do know, and I agree with you.
The L: You do so much in that quick transition, from the photographs to the Morandis to spaces of the house and back to the dinner table, it's such a history, in a few shots. What do you think is the point of view there?
The L: It's no one character? It's the point of view of the legacy?
LG: It's the point of view of Legacy. It's the point of view of the family and the social class. I like the idea of attempting to reproduce the essence of class, the way an essay can do, without the complicated language of an essay, but with the power of a flow of images.
The L: So you call this a "social melodrama," and I want to talk about the melodrama, but now that we're talking about the social... You do present this in a way that's beyond words. The character of Eva, for instance, is so interesting.
LG: Thank you. I like that character. And that actress (Diane Fleri) was fantastic, wasn't she?
The L: She was perfect, but so were the clothes. You presented that character almost entirely through her clothes.
LG: I tell you, I believe in the power of hair, make-up and costume—as a director. Many colleagues, they don't know anything about make-up and hair or costume work. They think it's about being pretty. It's not true! A director must know how a hairdo can express a character, or how the clothing can do this.
The L: Maybe that's why I told you I think it's a feminine film. Because of the textures and the clothes and the hair...
LG: I'm obsessed with these things. Obsessed! I am like a pain-in-the ass, when it comes to that.
The L: You do so much with, for instance, that Hermes orange that the Swinton character, Emma, wears. And the fact that fact that Eva...
LG: That white Yohji Yamamoto Y-3 dress that she wears when she goes to the restaurant with her future mother and grandmother in-law?!
The L: It's perfect. It's so tacky and sexy...
LG: It's tacky and sexy and it's hip, because the movie takes place in 2003, and that's the third collection of Y-3. And me and my costume designer were banging our heads to find that piece. Because we wanted Eva do be this hip, contemporary girl, right in the middle of things—no taste—but very feminine, and cannot help choosing the wrong thing at this important event: that ponytail hairdo, and this generous body in those sporty clothes—this is hip. I like this.
The L: And this legacy ends. With her, alone. It's amazing.
LG: Yes, I like this.
The L: And yet, I could tell that you're not entirely sympathetic with this character, yet that particular ending feels gleeful and triumphant.