Is Xavier Dolan Finally Saying ‘Adieu’ to Filmmaking?

Is Xavier Dolan Finally Saying ‘Adieu’ to Filmmaking?

After repeatedly expressing his disillusionment with filmmaking, Xavier Dolan suggests he’s finally folding up his director’s chair. The 34-year-old Québécois writer-director recently told a Spanish media outlet, El Pais that he no longer feels like “committing two years to a project that barely anyone sees. I put too much passion into it to have these disappointments. It makes me wonder if my filmmaking is bad, and I know it’s not.”

“I don’t understand what is the point of telling stories when everything around us is falling apart. Art is useless and dedicating oneself to the cinema, a waste of time…,” Dolan added in a burst of existential pique, if not outright nausée.

But in an Instagram posting on July 6, Dolan claimed his words had been misinterpreted: “Of course art matters. Of course cinema isn’t a waste of time. Sometimes words are taken out of context and things are lost in translation. I’ll explain myself soon. Also, I’m fine lol.”

This is not the first time Dolan has been venting his angoisse about his cinematic condition.  Last year, he had told the Journal de Montréal: “I don’t really want to do this job anymore. I’m tired. We are in 2022, and the world has changed drastically. Me, in that world, I no longer necessarily feel the need to tell stories and to relate to myself.”

He added: “I want to take time to be with my friends and family. I want to shoot commercials and build myself a house in the country one day when I have enough money saved. I don’t say that in a sad way at all. I just want to live something else, other experiences.”

Some industry observers are suggesting that Dolan’s remarks may have been motivated by the tepid response to some of his recent films, including It’s Only the End of the World, The Death and Life of John F. Donovan, and Matthias & Maxime. The Donovan film was his English-language debut. Some of his earlier films had been premiered at Cannes, where they’d won several awards. His 2014 entry Mommy won the Cannes Jury Prize along with Jean-Luc Godard’s Adieu au langage; his 2016 offering Juste la fin du monde captured the Grand Prix there.

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