Quentin Dupieux on Rubber
Explain to people that one of the most interesting films of the last couple of years involved a sentient tire who was blowing up people's heads with the power of its mind, and you leave many of those people with, well, their minds blown. But that was the story of "Rubber," the 2012 movie from Quentin Dupieux, the French director also known by his DJ name, Mr. Oizo. Dupieux is back now with "Wrong," a film that's perhaps even harder to wrap your brain around than "Rubber," because it has so much going on. Dolph (Jack Plotnick) wakes up one morning to discover that his dog Paul has gone missing. His gardener, Victor (Eric Judor), informs him that a palm tree has turned into a pine, and the girl who answers the phone at the pizza place has fallen in love with him. He's still going to work in an office where it rains, carrying out a job he was fired from months ago. And then there's Master Chang (William Fichtner), who knows about his dog's disappearance, and who connects poor Dolph with Detective Ronnie (Steve Little), who is doing his best to sort out what has happened to poor Paul. "Wrong" is absurd, certainly, a satire on modern life, but it also has a strange, dreamy quality that is consistent with Dupieux's vision. It doesn't all necessarily make sense—but that, says the director in an interview with Upcoming-Movies.com, is precisely the point. "Wrong" opens in theaters on March 29, and is also available via Video on Demand.
Upcoming-Movies.com: Your work is so unique. What is the genesis for "Wrong?" Or any of your work?
Quentin Dupieux: Usually everything comes from a visual idea. It's hard to describe, but it's not even a story, it's like an impression, like a vibe. It's almost like music. You feel something, and that's the guide. You're trying to find that feeling. But usually, even though it's really hard to describe, I start with a visual idea. That can be a tire rolling by itself in the desert, or it could be a boring office filled with rain. Stuff like that. I'm a dreamer, and usually what I'm looking for in a movie is something I don't see in real life.
At the same time, all of this is tied to real life, just off by a little bit. It's like you're taking the music of real life and skewering it.
Quentin Dupieux: Yes, of course, of course. That's exactly what it is. We tend to try to find meaning everywhere, but in real life, usually, I find everything absurd, in many ways. When you look at it, it's absurd. So it's a little bit of this. But I have to be connected to real life, or it's just random.
What I often felt, in watching "Wrong," is the randomness of real life. As you say, we're always trying to find meaning, but that seems to go against your work. Does that make sense?
Quentin Dupieux: It does, actually. We tend to think that everything is logical and makes sense. That's why I don't really enjoy mainstream movies. Though I still watch them. I'm like everybody else. I like to be entertained. But what I don't like is that everything makes sense. At the end, you feel satisfied in a way, because everything is connected and everything makes sense. It's a little too simple, and I think life is much more complicated. You can't find a good guy who is just a good guy. That doesn't exist. I'm not buying it. As a viewer, I know it's a movie, I know it's supposed to be entertaining, but I'm not buying the character. It's just too simple. I think human beings are much more complicated.
So, within your process of putting this together, to these characters come first, or do you find your actors first?
Quentin Dupieux: It depends. It's different for every character. I wrote the part for Jack Plotnick. He played a small part in "Rubber," and I loved the guy. I loved working with him. I think he's a genius. So I just wrote the movie for him. This was pretty easy. When you write a part for someone you know, you don't even need to talk about the part. It makes sense for everybody. It was easy to work with Jack, because he got it, very quickly. Then, like I said, it's different for every actor. Basically, you just know if the actor gets it or not. When someone gets the script, if they get it, usually I want to work with them.
With all of this said, is there something you think an audience should take away from "Wrong," or your other films?
Quentin Dupieux: I'm sure you saw the poster for "Wrong." We only use five percent of our brains, and I'm really interested in that. It's like the way you connect things in your dreams, that's fascinating. Sometimes you wake up and you don't understand why this person was connected to another one. But in a way it makes sense. It's hard to describe why, even if the dream is completely meaningless. Something's just right about dreams. Most of the time, when you have a strong dream, you're actually disappointed to wake up. You still have it in your mind, and you're trying to understand it. It's like going somewhere else. What I'm trying to do is make everybody enjoy the movie, but not like a movie. We know the classic structure. We've watched thousands of movies, and we know the structure. In a regular movie, when the end is approaching, you can feel it. Why is that? It's because everything is scripted the same way, and everything is based on the same structure. I have no problem with this, but we need more lost dreams.
Cast + Crew:
Starring: Jack Plotnick, Eric Judor, Alexis Dziena, Steve Little and William Fichtner
Director/s: Quentin Dupieux
Written By: Quentin Dupieux
Produced By: Gregory Bernard, Josef Lieck, Nicolas Lhermitte and Charles-Marie Anthonioz
March 29, 2013 (Showtimes & Tickets)
From the helmer of the "Rubber" comedy, "Wrong" tells of Dolph Springer (Plotnick) who wakes up one morning to realize he has lost the love of his life, his dog, Paul. During his quest to get Paul (and his life) back, Dolph radically changes the lives of others -- risking his sanity all the while.
More Info on This Release:
Distributor: Drafthouse Films
Production Company: Realitism Films
Web Site: Official Site