Juliette Binoche is worth drooling over.She is among the very few actress in the world who has worked with the master directors of her time (Kieslowski, Kiarostami and Haneke to name a few) and produced a body of work that just demands to be seen.When the annual French Film Festival arrived in Singapore this year, I was very thrilled to know that Ms Binoche will be attending and that there might be an opportunity to see her and perhaps even interact with her.To me Binoche is a real star, a rare combination of raw acting talent, beauty and screen presence (she won a Best Actress Oscar for The English Patient which she admits is not exactly an Oscar worthy role).
The personal appearance followed a documentary filmed by her sister Marion Stalens called “Juliette Binoche- Sketches for a Portrait” which is an intimate 52 minute look at Ms Binoche at work.But the difference here is that she is not acting.We see Ms Binoche taking risks as an artist, throwing herself into the unknown territory of painting and dance.Thanks to the close access that only a family member can enjoy, Marion Stanlens presets us with the portrait of a remarkably honest and fearless woman, not afraid to experiment, to learn and to share herself generously with the world.
These were the same qualities that she demonstrated in her personal appearance after the documentary screening.Accompanied by my equally star struck wife, I had a difficult time juggling my camera, listening to her speak and just soaking in the magnetism of her dazzling presence.She had barely twenty minutes in which she was to be interviewed but insisted on taking questions from the audience despite the exasperation of the organisers who were supposed to whisk her way to another venue.
The hunger to interact with a foreign audience so far from home and her immense charm completely bowled over everyone in the room.I share with my readers some images I captured of her, totally immersed in dialogue with her admirers. Enjoy!!