Director Boorman's 'Queen and Country' at Cannes could be his last

Fri May 23, 2014 11:51am EDT
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By Mike Davidson

CANNES France (Reuters) - John Boorman had always intended to make a sequel to Oscar-nominated "Hope and Glory", his 1987 semi-autobiography set in suburban London during World War Two, and it could very well be the 81-year-old director's last film, he said.

"Queen and Country", which premiered in the Director's Fortnight category at the Cannes film festival this week, fast-forwards the action of "Hope and Glory" to 1952, following the now 18-year-old protagonist Billy Rohan as he is conscripted to fight in the Korean War.

"I'm not sure I'll do any more," Boorman, who walks with a cane, told Reuters TV.

"Old age is a series of retreats. Many of the things, the pleasures of my life have been withdrawn. I played tennis all my life which I can't do anymore. You know, film-making is one of the few things I'm able to do, I'm still able to do."

But old age does have its advantages, said the director of "Deliverance" and "Point Blank", citing a conversation with legendary director Sir David Lean just before he died in 1991.

    "He said, 'I hope I get well enough to make this film' - you know, he was trying to make "Nostromo" which he didn't of course make. But he said, 'I hope ... because I'm just about beginning to get the hang of it'," Boorman said.

"I thought that was so wonderful and I think that most directors feel that ... you need to live to quite a great age in order to grasp everything that's required to make a film, to hold a whole film in your head."

With "Queen and Country", he used his signature directing style of shooting very little and rehearsing carefully.   Continued...

Director John Boorman and an unidentified guest arrive on the red carpet for the film "Vous n'Avez Encore Rien Vu" in competition at the 65th Cannes Film Festival, May 21, 2012.  REUTERS/Vincent Kessler