Cultural life: Neil Jordan, film director

'Having a lot of time, I've been rereading Tolstoy's War And Peace'

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The Independent Culture


Because of a close encounter with a bus, my knee has been in a brace and I haven't been able to sit in a cinema. So I've been watching films I remembered as pivotal years ago. Godard, Bergman, Bresson, Melville. It's amazing how differently they have aged. Some of Godard, in particular, seems so unfocused now, random – even repetitive. Maybe because the jump-cutting has become part of our way of seeing things. Pierre Le Fou annoyed the hell out of me, which I couldn't have imagined saying 30 years ago. And, oddly enough, Le Mepris seemed like a clairvoyant masterpiece. I finally managed to get to the cinema last night and saw Paulo Sorrentino's The Great Beauty, which was amazing.


Having a lot of time, I've been rereading Tolstoy's War And Peace. I realised I had skipped all of the political/historical stuff the first time round. So I hadn't read the book at all.


I have been watching some anime with my son. And I can't work out why all of the backgrounds seem so European and medieval. Maybe they're recycled.


I have been listening to Tim Maia, a great, late Brazilian soul singer. Again, I was introduced to him by my kids. It's like rediscovering the early Seventies, but from another planet.

Neil Jordan's 'Byzantium' is released on DVD and Blu ray on 23 Sept.