Oscar-winning All Quiet On The Western Front director Edward Berger told a Venice masterclass on Sunday that he hoped the Hollywood strikes would be resolved soon for the sake of everyone working in the film business.
“I am terrible judge of it because I am not at the heart of that. First of all, the DGA has made a deal with the Producers Guild, the AMPTP and we can continue to work together,” he said when quizzed on his thoughts about the industrial action.
“I hope the two parties can find a common way very soon, and I think it will be very soon, where everyone feel treated fairly and everyone can go home and feel good about what they do and live off it. We’ve had strikes before and they always get resolved.”
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Berger was talking in a joint Venice masterclass with Canadian director Philippe Fardeau (Monsieur Lazhar, The Good Lie), organized by the festival’s industry-focused Venice Production Bridge.
The German director also spoke in sympathy for film professionals being impacted collaterally by the strikes as productions are put on hold.
“To me, it’s mainly about the people who now, the grips, the electricians, who are not able to work and need to continue working. I hope we can resolve it soon,” he added.
“Philippe and I are going to be fine. I am sure Margot Robbie is going to be fine if she doesn’t work three months… even the prop rental houses are suffering right now.”
Berger and Fardeau also shared their thoughts about the future of feature film in a multi-platform world.
“It’s always that big question that no one really can answer and my anxiety towards the future cinema, I can’t let that get in the way of creating my next film.” said Fardeau.
“What I know is that literature and theatre has been around for 2,000 years. So those are probably okay. And what we’re really talking about is format and where we look at films.”
Berger picked up on Fardeau’s words.
“He said that wonderful sentence that his anxiety about the state of cinema is not going to keep him from making his next one. There’s going to be a ton of filmmakers who have exactly urge,” he said.
Referring to himself as a “terrible optimist”, Berger pointed to the recent success of Barbie and Oppenheimer and cited Francis Ford Coppola’s celebration of their success.
“I read this wonderful headline by Coppola… they’re two movies that brought people back to the cinema in massive way and they’re wholly original movies,” he said.
The Oscar-winning director named Yorgos Lanthimos’s Venice Golden Lion Contender Poor Things – which is already generating early awards buzz – as another original film with the same potential.
“I saw a movie, Poor Things, here. I’ve never seen anything like that before. It blows my mind. It actually wants to push me away, but pulls me in at the same time and never lets me go until I celebrate it at the end,“ he said.
“I can guarantee you that that film will be super successful because it’s new, it’s different, and we’ve never seen it before and it’s bold,” he said.
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