The City of Absurdity The Straight Story
Cannes Press Conference

May 21, 1999
Press Conference footage is available at the official web-site.
(choose May 21st) .

David Lynch: It was the emotion of the script that Mary Sweeney and John Roach wrote, and I think it's the phenomenon of forgiveness, it's what struck me.

Mary Sweeney: I read about it in the New York Times when he made the trip in 1994. There was a lot of press coverage on this trip and that's where I read about it.

John Roach: We talked with his family and checked his military records to research the film. Then we followed the route he took and talked to people who met him and that gave the film its richness.

David Lynch David Lynch: Well, it's a great cast and I think Harry Dean Stanton is the only one from Lost Angeles. Everybody else lives somewhere else and most of the actors came from Minneapolis or Chicago. People that are, you know, more familiar with the neck of the woods where we were filming, in Iowa and Wisconsin. So some great people are working in Minneapolis and Chicago and came and did a great job.
They, as you know, Richard is in pretty nearly every scene in the picture and sometimes you say people are born to play a role and if wherever there was the case it's this. And such a beautiful soul and spirit comes through with Richard with every word and every look and just a great presence and natural way of being. I was so lucky that Richard Farnsworth is in this picture.
And I've known Sissy, Sissy is married to my best friend Jack Fisk who is also the production designer, I always wanted to work with Sissy and she's like a chameleon, she can play everything and do a beautiful job of it. So it was great having Sissy Spacek in the picture.
And then there's Harry Dean who only has one scene but so important the scene is and what a beautiful job Harry did, so it's a good cast.

Lynch and Spacek Sissy Spacek: She [Rose] does. She had a speech impediment, I guess that's what you call it.

David Lynch: Sissy spent a week with Rose, or a week and a half and two weeks, I believe, with Diane.

David Lynch: Well, I'm not on any pilgrimage. I guess you'd have to say this is different from the things I've been doing lately. People react to things and I reacted to this script. It seemed like the right thing to do.

David Lynch: I think you've got to dig deep to do what Alvin did. He had to be stubborn, had to get over a lot of obstacles to prove to his brother he cared for him.

Richard Farnsworth: I said to my agent: 'But I walk with a cane.' And he said, 'You won't believe this but he walked with two canes.' and so I said, 'Golly, I think I can handle that.'

Freddie Francis: I said 'But David, I'm 80. I can't work 16 hours a day.' So he said, 'How many can you work?' I said I could work 10, and we stuck to it. And came in two days ahead of schedule."

David Lynch: It's true, many people fell by the side of the road, but not Freddie. He's a very efficient director of photography.

David Lynch: A gentleman named Tony called me up and said you've got a G rating. And I said, 'You gotta tell me again because it's the last time in my life I'll hear that'.

press conference time line (in French)


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