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LG: I don't like to judge people. I mean, I can judge the public action of people who have responsibilities in our world—I can be very harsh on that. But how can you judge someone like Eva? She's like that. And they're judging Eva.
The L: I see, you're not judging but looking at the judgement of Eva...
LG: And you know how many Evas I have as friends? More than Emmas! (Laughs.) Because the world is of the Evas.
The L: So lets go back to melodramas. What drew you to that genre, the melodrama?
LG: I like cinema! And what is better than melodrama to express a love of cinema?
The L: And do you think there's been a successful melodrama lately, in say the last thirty years?
LG: In the last thirty years? Oh yeah! Beloved by Jonathan Demme. Masterpiece. Flower of My Secret by Pedro Almodovar is a masterpiece. The Age of Innocence. Masterpiece. But, again, I try not to judge. I know that melodrama is a neglected genre now...
The L: Well, people keep comparing you with Visconti. But to me it's much more Minnelli.
LG: Oh, I love it. You remember the movie Il bruto e la bella. But I don't know the name is in English.
The L: Two Weeks in Another Town? [I had no idea what he said, so suggested the only film I could think of that takes place in Italy. He meant The Bad and the Beautiful.]
LG: Also, also... Minnelli, Minnelli, Minnelli, Minnelli. My God, Minnelli. You know how much I love Minnelli? It's so amazing, it's so strong. Why people don't make movies like that anymore...?
The L: I know. I don't know! For me, what makes it such a Minnelli movie is the risks you take.
LG: You have to take risks. Nick Ray! He was taking so much risks. You must take risks if you do a movie. You cannot play it safe. What's that? What the hell is that? Do you have to keep your bank account safe? I don't understand! It's not a job for people who want to be rich, to be a movie director. You can become rich, or not, but you if you think of making a movie and not taking risks... Look at Tarantino. He's still taking risks.
The L: You're taking risks towards emotion, though. But it is a neglected genre, and you've done a kind of redemption of the melodrama. But I'm very curious, what do you think of Lars Von Trier, another director who's worked in this genre?
[He looks at me for a minute, as if to gauge if what he's about to say is safe.]
LG: Can I say something unpopular here? I think Lars Von Trier is a fraud. I think that Lars Von Trier is a commercial director. He has the skills and the intelligence and the capacity and the talent of a copywriter of a great commercial advertising agency. He's like that for me. He is one of the most important advertisers in the world. He's like the thirteen-year-old boy who wants to impress the mother by putting his finger in his own shit. That's him. I'm not interested in that boy, and I'm not interested in that shit. Basically, I'm bored watching his movies. And I think this redundant, boring use of narcissism against women and this mysogonism... Lars Von Trier is irrelevant, and I've spent too many words to describe this cinema.