Cannes Q&A: Roger Corman
The Hollywood Reporter: Do you have a favorite memory from Cannes?
Roger Corman: I was one of the producers on (1982's) "Fitzcarraldo," starring Klaus Kinski. I was at the big party for the film with the director, Werner Herzog, and he said to me, "That crazy Klaus Kinski. We have him at a hotel two blocks away, and he won't walk the two blocks. He wants us to send a limousine." And we were short for money. I said, "You're right." A few minutes later, Klaus came up to me at the party and said, "Werner is too cheap." I said to him, "You are absolutely right, Klaus." I agreed with both of them, because they were both right.
THR: What will you be bringing to Cannes this year?
Corman: Frank (Moreno, who handles sales for my company Concorde-New Horizons,) will be there with "Cheerleader Massacre 2." The other film we'll be selling is "Cyclops." I also have a picture, "Road Raiders," starting in Manila (Philippines) in May. It's an ecological picture that takes place in a post-apocalyptic world in which the most valuable commodity is water.
THR: One of your most popular films was 1975's post-apocalyptic "Death Race 2000." Is the apocalypse even more relevant today?
Corman: Yes, I think more so now than ever, with global warming, pollution and the exhaustion of our energy resources. Actually, "Death Race 2000" is being remade now for $80 million, starring Jason Statham. I'm executive producer.
THR: Do French audiences receive your films differently than American audiences?
Corman: They did at one time, when I was directing in the '60s. The American critics were not bothering to review low-budget films. The French, especially the Nouvelle Vague critics, thought much more of the American independent films. "Machine-Gun Kelly" (1958), starring Charles Bronson, got extraordinary reviews in France. I really appreciate how they received that film.
THR: Does it continue today?
Corman: Well, the French gave rise to the auteur theory of crediting the director, and I am not a director anymore. I have been a producer, so I don't really qualify for their attention. But now in the latter stages of my career, I understand that the attention is being given to younger filmmakers. And that's as it should be.