French icon Huppert praises Asian cinema
Two-time Cannes winner and muse of Europe's top directors, Isabelle Huppert delighted fans in Busan this week as she said the best surprises in cinema were coming from the East.
"The great new cinematography from the last 20 years has come from Asia", the French icon said during an open talk at the region's leading film festival in South Korea.
Huppert, whose career spans more than 90 films since her screen debut in 1971, has worked with the likes of Michael Haneke, Claude Chabrol and Maurice Pialat in Europe and twice scooped the best actress award at Cannes.
At the 16th Busan International Film Festival (BIFF), where she the will attend the screening of her latest film "My Little Princess," Huppert said she had long been taken by what was happening in the region's film industry.
"I think the new good surprises (in cinema) don't come from the West they come from the East.
"When you are European, people keep asking you about the American dream and American fantasies, but it has been a long time since I have thought that the good new things are coming from Asia."
Huppert has recently collaborated with some of Asia's cutting-edge filmmakers, from her lead role in Filipino Brillante Mendoza's thriller "Captured" to her work with South Korean Hong Sang-soo in his next feature.
"I think there is a strong connection between French cinema and Korean cinema", she said.
"I can't explain really why but this is something I feel very deeply. There is a simplicity to the filming here which I think sometimes is quite French."
But the 58-year-old Huppert ruled out a more permanent move to the region.
"I am still a French actress," she said. "I am just being curious."
Huppert also gave a rare insight into her life to fans at the festival through a photo exhibition titled "Woman of Many Faces."
International guests joining her in Busan include compatriot Luc Besson, who is bringing his biopic of Myanmar democracy activist Aung San Suu Kyi "The Lady" to the festival, along with its star from Malaysia, Michelle Yeoh.
Rising Hollywood actor Logan Lerman is also coming to town with his latest production, the 3D blockbuster "The Three Musketeers" in which he plays D'Artagnan.
Heading Asia's A-list is Taiwanese heart-throb Takeshi Kaneshiro and China's Tang Wei, who starred in Ang Lee's "Lust, Caution", attending to promote the Peter Chan-directed martial arts blockbuster "Wu Xia".
The festival continues till Friday.
© 2011 AFP