Louis XIII, In Association with The Film Foundation, Organizes Unique “East Meets West” Conversation Between Iconic Filmmakers Stanley Kwan and Alexander Payne


During the 65th annual Cannes Film Festival, LOUIS XIII® hosted an intimate gathering at the beautiful Majestic Beach. For the first time, American director Alexander Payne and Asian director Stanley Kwan had the opportunity to discuss film and their creative vision in an event titled EAST MEETS WEST in front of more than 80 journalists and cinephiles.

LOUIS XIII® Cognac, the world's most esteemed spirit from the House of Rémy Martin®, an official supplier of the Cannes Film Festival, forged an exciting partnership in 2011 with The Film Foundation, the leading non-profit organization dedicated to film preservation founded by Martin Scorsese.

Coming from different horizons, the two world-renowned filmmakers shared their thoughts on cinema, discussed their professional individual journeys and answered questions.

Stanley Kwan discussed a scene from Ozu's movie TOKYO STORY and explained "I remember the first time I saw TOKYO STORY: basically, in this movie 'less is more'. I was a kid and I really experienced a movie's power."


Alexander Payne commented, "Ozu never made a bad film. He worked in many different genres; in the silent period he made comedies and thrillers. Essentially he's a comedy director, even in his sentimental work in the 1950s. He has a profound bittersweet sense of human comedy. He's an important director not just for Stanley and myself but for many cineastes. Even when shooting THE DESCENDANTS, I was thinking of Ozu, with shots of the landscape - the moments of rest - between the dramatic scenes."


Payne then showed a clip from Sergio Leone's ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST, a film that was restored by The Film Foundation.  "Sergio Leone's ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST speaks to the thrill of cinema. For Leone, the story is an excuse to enter the realm of cinema, to splash around. I chose the opening credit sequence - which is so playful, beautiful and thrilling - because it talks of the thirst for cinema."


The two filmmakers ended their discussion by speaking about the nature of film making. "The flash of the little idea that can be a movie....that this idea could be a film, that leads you through the years of actually making the film, of seeking the financing...and then talking about it afterwards to audiences - if you're lucky to get distribution. If the audience senses a good concept in the film, then they know that they are in good hands with the director," said Payne to Kwan.

Kwan responded by saying "A woman . . . seated next to me in a café, some words from her, can inspire me; that can be a character in my next film."

To highlight the quality in LOUIS XIII® that inspires creativity, Stanley Kwan brought his own "touch" to the East Meets West conversation by revealing a teaser of his new directorial webisode featuring Zhuang Yong, the Chinese freestyle gold-medal winner at the Barcelona Olympic Games.

Following the East Meets West conversation, Augustin Depardon, Global Brand director, invited guests to share a LOUIS XIII® Experience. "LOUIS XIII® is an assemblage of 1,200 different eaux-de-vies", introduced Depardon. "The youngest is 40 years old, the oldest is over 100 years old, so I would like to raise a glass and toast to the art of preservation, to the art of creation, and to our two fantastic filmmakers!"

Through the success of its first East Meets West conversation at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival, LOUIS XIII® has officially staked a claim in the art of cinema, preservation and creation. Here's to many more LOUIS XIII® moments!

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