Jean-Pierre Melville Drops Some Wisdom on Film in 1970

Here the great French writer-director Jean-Pierre Melville is interviewed in the burned ruins of his film studio compound about his philosophy of cinema, how he works, how he came to love film and more.

Some of the pearls that issue forth here:

"I think your first film should be made with your own blood."

"Filming is absolutely horrible. I call it "tedious formality."

"I think the greatest difficulty is portraying sexuality. I represent virtue. In terms of censorship, I'm a puritan. That said, I can forgive anything as long as it has quality."

(Asked if seeing so many films hampers his filmmaking) "No, it's my sustenance. I could never live without it. Besides I hardly see anything these days, compared to 32, 33 years ago. Back then, I'd usually see five films a day. Fewer than five and I'd get withdrawal symptoms."