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THE TRUTH ABOUT CHARLIE

About The Production
With The Truth About Charlie, his 16th feature film, director Jonathan Demme offers a new take on Stanley Donen's 1963 film, Charade.

"Charade was a huge hit that has pretty much become an enduring classic," said Demme, who also co-wrote and produced The Truth About Charlie. "It's a terrific story with rich characters and settings. I love the way it combines mystery and suspense with relationships and humor. I asked Stanley Donen how he would feel about Charade being remade and I was thrilled when he gave me his blessing.

"Charade was made in 1963 and depicted Paris in appropriately charming, stylish, elegant terms," Demme continued. "When approaching the remake, I was excited by the fact that at the same time as Stanley Donen was filming Charade in Paris, the New Wave directors were blasting out their shoot-from-the-hip pictures like A Woman Is a Woman (Godard), Shoot the Piano Player (Truffaut), Cleo from 5 to 7 (Varda), The Cousins (Chabrol), and Lola (Jacques Demy) right around the corner. So The Truth About Charlie provided a chance for us to play with the notion of a kind of latter-day New Wave spinoff on Donen's high style."

The films of the French New Wave proved a seminal force in the history of modern cinema, and have always exerted a special hold on Demme.

"The first New Wave movie I ever saw was Francois Truffaut's Shoot the Piano Player with Charles Aznavour," Demme recalled. "There's a moment in the film when one of the characters confesses something to someone, and adds, ‘And if I'm lying, may my mother drop dead.' And the movie cuts to an old woman clutching her chest and keeling over backwards! That was one of the most exciting moments I ever had in a movie theater. I didn't know movies could do that kind of thing!

"So it was really exciting to consider a new version of Charade from a New Wave visual perspective," he continued. "Today the New Wave is as influential as ever - and probably always will be. So many new films all over the world, as diverse as those of Wong Kar-wai, Lars von Trier, Quentin Tarantino, Paul Thomas Anderson, to name just a few, are directly influenced by those of the original New Wave auteurs."

Demme also observed their influence in Tom Tykwer's bold 1999 hit Run, Lola, Run.

"I loved the way Lola gave flashes of what was going on inside people's minds. I thought ‘Hey! The Truth About Charlie could have a subliminal dimension that would be a lot of fun, as it was in Lola. In fact, we named Lisa Gay's character ‘Lola' as a salute to that picture!"

Using new technology also appealed to Demme. "We decided to play around with the look by shooting the subliminal material digitally so it would have a different look, a totally different feel from the rest of the picture." Finally, Demme settled on the overall approach that was in keeping with his various sources of inspiration. "The idea for us all was to try and shoot the kind of movie we would have liked to do fresh out of film school. It seemed like a fun approach for the style of movie we wanted to make, and it brought a real kind of excitement to the process."

Editor Carol Littleton, a frequent Demme collaborator, agreed. "Not that any of us had attended film school!" she laughed. "But the idea

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