Chloé Zhao: “I wanted 'The Eternals' to be a very immersive experience” [Interview]

” height=”1500″ src=”https:// 2ce7d9ee0c3f4117b8b7a804d9af5696/ccmcms-internaute/8004214.jpg” width=”1500″>Chloé Zhao: After receiving the Oscar for best direction for Nomadland, Chloé Zhao directed the Marvel film “The Eternals”. A great total gap for the filmmaker whom we met during her visit to Paris.

1500 is definitely the year of Chloé Zhao. After having received the consecration of her peers by winning the Oscars for best direction for Nomadland in March, the Chinese-American filmmaker presents the latest Marvel film, The Eternals. n November 3rd 1500, this action blockbuster appears to be a twist in the director’s filmography, more accustomed to more confidential films of American auteur cinema.

But as a big fan of the MCU, Chloé Zhao could not refuse the proposal made by Kevin Feige, the studios president. By hiring a director of this ilk, it is a proposal very different from the other productions of the studio that is promised to the spectators. We met the director of The Eternals during her visit to Paris at the beginning of November, to discuss the genesis of this feature film, her vision and the lessons she was able to learn from the Marvel machine. Interview.

As a fan of the MCU, you have never hidden your joy of making a Marvel movie. Q what appeals to you about Marvel productions ?

I love the feeling, as a spectator, of being part of a huge story, of a big family, and that every month or every year, we find and fall in love with new characters, while learning more about the old ones that we love. People love to talk about Marvel as big action movies, but to me, those movies are more character-driven, and I love them. Especially Bucky Barnes and Steve Rogers.

What was the vision you wanted to convey to the public when you started to work on The Eternals?

I wanted “The Eternals” is a very immersive experience for the spectators.

The Eternals takes place on several years, in several places around the world, there are about ten characters to introduce, many sets… What was the most difficult to finalize on the set?

There are a lot of things… First of all, it taught me to be patient: everything takes more time to set up, such as when trying to change objectives on an all-CGI Deviants shot. Unfortunately, it doesn’t happen in a snap, and when it does, it’s very satisfying. Another difficulty was the fact that we had these great characters in great scenes, but we had to make choices and some had to be cut during editing. This is particularly the case of very beautiful scenes with Sprite and Makkari. That was hard.

What did you learn in working on the Eternals?

First, as I told you , being patient. If we talk about skills, also working with special effects, which I love. I learned techniques for action scenes too… But above all, I learned how to lead such a large team. I was already leading my teams on my previous films, but it was amplified on this one: I had to learn to lead my team with love and kindness (laughs). I try to channel the Sersi [l’un des personnages des Eternels, NDLR] that is in me: “lead with love”.

“It’s a political act to show such a heterogeneous group of characters […] and to say that it is a family” Chloé Zhao

And from a personal point of view?

Politically, there are several themes in The Eternals that each viewer can grasp. For me, it’s a political act to show such a heterogeneous group of characters, who come from different backgrounds, who are different physically, who speak differently, who love differently… and that they form, despite everything, a family. I think it’s a political act to put those differences aside and say, “We’re human first.” Also, what I wanted to say about the ecological message… ( thinks) If humans are the most important in the universe, if our survival is more important than that of wolves, or the rainforest, or even that of our planet, then we have to do much better than what we are doing now. .

Who is the Eternal with whom you identify the most?

I try not to answer these kinds of questions, because I feel like I have to choose between my children. But I think there’s a bit of Thena (Angelina Jolie) in me, a bit of Makkari (Lauren Ridloff) too and Ikaris (Richard Madden). A little of each. I wish I was more like Sersi (Gemma Chan), but she’s so perfect, it’s very hard to be like her.

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Did you find it difficult to match your directing style and of narration to Marvel’s specifications?

It’s less difficult than terrifying at times. When you’re in the middle of nowhere, with ten actors including some of the biggest stars in the world, and you have 622 people who are waiting, and you are asking everyone to wait for hours without doing anything to finalize the last hour and a half of filming… You better that the rendering is good, you have to be up to it. But I was lucky, the weather god was on my side, so we made it. And towards the end of filming, when it happened again, there was less worry on the faces of the crew (laughs). We were more reassured.

At the end of the film, it is specified that “The Eternals” will be back. Will you be with them?

I love everyone that I was able to work with at Marvel, so if the story is good, I will do it again without hesitation. Now, “The Eternals” belongs more to the public than to me, so we’ll wait to see how the film is received, and we’ll see what happens next.


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