Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Denys Arcand Doesn't Plan to Retire as He Promotes 'An Eye for Beauty'

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Denys Arcand Doesn't Plan to Retire as He Promotes 'An Eye for Beauty'

Article excerpt

Denys Arcand has no plans to retire

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TORONTO - Oscar-winning Montreal filmmaker Denys Arcand just can't bring himself to retire.

"My wife won't let me, and my daughter," the 73-year-old said with a hearty howl in an interview at the Toronto International Film Festival, where his French/English drama "An Eye for Beauty" screened.

"I have an 18-year-old daughter that I have to keep watch on, so instead of just staying at home doing nothing, I write scripts and eventually shoot them."

"An Eye for Beauty" -- starring Eric Bruneau as a renowned Quebec architect who cheats on his depressed wife (Melanie Thierry) with a Toronto colleague (Melanie Merkosky) -- comes seven years after Arcand's last feature, the Genie-nominated "Days of Darkness."

Arcand said back then he planned to make just one more film, using childhood memories as the theme, and then retire to a life of relaxation in Europe.

But several factors got in the way of those plans.

"I'm married to a producer who's a workaholic, so she works all the time, and my daughter needs tender loving care," he said. "So rather than just doing nothing, I'd rather shoot films. And it's available to me. It's possible for me to do it.

"So instead of travelling to Italy and spending my winters in Spain or something like that, I stay in crummy Montreal and shoot movies," he added jokingly.

Plus, he's "having fun," he said.

"Deep down, it's probably because I like it. Shooting this film, I felt exactly the same exhilaration as when I did my first film at 25 or something like that."

As for his plan to make a film reflecting on the past, he "worked on it" but it didn't pan out.

"In fact, at first I said to myself, 'I'm going to try and write a novel or a memoir, one or the other,' and I wrote about 100 pages and it was very boring," said Arcand, laughing again.

"If you want to work on your childhood, for it to be interesting you have to have, I think, a very miserable childhood. Most childhood stories that are interesting -- if you think of Dickens and all these terrible childhood stories -- it concerns people who were very unhappy in their childhood. …

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