From abstract art to Albert Camus and the Rue de Seine to John Steinbeck, we find out about the authors, actors, artists and areas that mean most to Maurice Lévy, guest editor of The Drum's Cannes issue.
Like many students, I discovered the French writer through my professors. I was struck by the strength of his thoughts and the very simple writing. The stories, the messages, were much stronger than the style. At least to me. And after reading an essay, a novel, I had to read it again until I fully lived with the story, the message...
Rues (Buci, Guénégard, Seine)
Paris photography by Julian Hanford
I love walking in the streets and particularly in this part of Paris, with the art galleries, the bistrots, the small restaurants... There is a flavour of Paris that is quite unique, inimitable, with scents, ambiance, people... The best way to understand is to go and spend time walking around with no specific goal.
There are many Clint Eastwood films I could have mentioned. I have been fascinated by his career: starting in the Italian ‘spaghetti westerns’ as we called them, to becoming an icon of American movies with some incredible stories. American Sniper may not be his best movie, but one can’t help but be touched by this patriot who is killing because it is his way of defending the values of his country and then is confronted with all the questions one can have.
It was as early as the beginning of the 70s that I fell in love with the work of Soulages, the painter who has been able to make black a colour and reflect the light in black. Abstract? Yes, certainly. Emotion? Undoubtedly.
Of Mice and Men
I discovered American literature at the age of 12, reading in English. And I had been asked to read Faulkner, Twain, etc. The first book I read was Of Mice and Men by Steinbeck. It is only at age 16, rereading it, that I believe I started to understand the beauty of the story...
Since his first movie, I have been a great admirer of Polanski. The Pianist is a masterpiece.
I was irreversibly convinced by Robert Badinter calling for the abolition of the death penalty when I read this. The friendship we established reinforced my admiration for this man of conviction.
This feature was first published in The Drum's special Cannes issue, guest edited by Maurice Lévy.