I’ve been catching up on my Beineix (I’m ashamed to say I’ve only seen Diva) in a slate of films that are making the rounds in Los Angeles. I saw The Moon in the Gutter, the movie he made after the success of Diva where he thought he could do anything and found out he couldn’t. It stars a young and thin Gerard Depardieu who was probably right when he called it “movie in the gutter”. The director’s cut of Betty Blue (an extra hour in length) was a much more interesting film. It doesn’t always work, but it’s ultimately very moving.
But the main point of my blog here has to do with an interview in the LA Weekly in which Beineix came to the U.S. after Diva to see about making a film and was shown a script about Amelia Earhart. He was interested in the project, but didn’t think the script was quite right, so he wanted to have a go at it. The studio said fine, but wouldn’t pay for it. He thought they were trying to pull a fast one, and left town. I hate to say it, but I’m on the studio’s side. If Beineix disliked the script to the extent that he didn’t want to work with the original screenwriter, he should never have expressed interest in the project. To me, it was Beineix who sounded like he was trying to pull a fast one on the studio by getting them to pay for a screenplay when they already had one they had paid for that they were more or less satisfied with.