Krysztof Kieslowski's new film, ``Red,'' features two of Europe's most popular performers - Irene Jacob, who also starred in ``The Double Life of Veronique,'' and Jean-Louis Trintignant, whose distinguished career stretches from such classics as ``The Conformist'' and ``My Night at Maud's'' to lighter fare like ``A Man and a Woman'' and the recent ``See How They Fall.''
Interviewed at the Cannes filmfest, both indicated that working with Kieslowski in ``Red'' was an invigorating experience - especially given the allusive, intuitive nature of the unusual story whose main characters they play.
``Krzysztof would never speak about his movie to us because he was afraid we would play it `poetic,' Ms. Jacob reports. It's like a dream, however. Dreams are fiction, but they're made of real things: You see an elephant, and then you are running in the street, and then cutting a flower. It's very strange, but it all comes from real things. Krzysztof's fiction is a little like this. It has a poetry in the end, but all the way through, everything is precise.''
Mr. Trintignant found his own way of dealing with Kieslowski's impressionistic story.
``I'm not an actor who tries to be `intelligent, that's not what I'm trying to do,'' he says. ``There were things I didn't understand, but I didn't try to. As an actor, I do what I'm told.... It's not that I'm afraid to ask or afraid of looking like a fool ... but I'm afraid that if I ask the director, and he has to answer me, he might be wasting energy he requires for other things. I've worked as a director myself, and this is how I felt when I had to take time for explaining things to actors.''
Given his own filmmaking experience, did Trintignant always agree with Kieslowski's decisions behind the camera?
``There are differences between us,'' the star answers, ``and the most important one is that he's a far better director than I am.
``To be absolutely sincere, there are things I would have done differently if I were in his shoes, although I shouldn't be saying this.... I may be wrong, however, and since I have much admiration for him, I know he must have had his reasons for doing as he did.''