You see, I feel I have a political duty to reach out to the general public. I want to make films that the people want to see. So if the people want to see Johnny Depp or Tom Cruise, then it is really my job to incorporate them into my films.
The people follow what the media say. So if you said that Bruno Dumont is fantastic, it follows that more people would go to see my films. I have no wish to remain on the sidelines. I have no wish to make films that are only seen by bohemians in London and Paris.
Cinemascope is a format I like a lot because it is very hard to handle. Because there's too much. There's too much on the sides, it's hard to do a close-up, for example, because you pick up the sides, but I find it's quite correct in the balance we were talking about. I mean that it's possible to do 'thinking shots'. Because it's no longer in the geometry of our thinking. So it's a constraint, but the constraint is quite fair since it brings in the outside, the sides, all the organic material of things and it relativizes the character. I think characters need to be relativized. The 'Scope shot does it naturally. 
[on Camille Claudel 1915 (2013)] In my tradition, one can heroize any individual. That's a revolution that isn't so much pictorial, as it is philosophical. All my films are about this path. Like in the paintings by Hugo van der Goes [1440-1482] or Pieter Brughel [1525-1569] one can take any individuals and make heroes out of them. 
I'm not a naturalistic filmmaker at all. My work is all about transfiguration. It's an entirely poetic world. It's totally surrealist. But the only way to strive for reality is to go through reality. That's the paradox. 
When youngsters tell me they want to go to film school to become a director, I say: "Film school ? It's good for learning the technical side but I'm not sure it's much use for becoming a director.... Concentrate on developing your spirit". Beyond knowing where to place the camera, you've got to have something to say. (...) Even my recent comic works came out of a philosophical reflection, rather than a desire to make people laugh, and questions I ask myself about human nature. 
I'm not really a cinephile. It's [studying] philosophy, rather than cinema, and the questions surrounding philosophy - touching on the mystic, on religion - which pushed me to make films. It became an extraordinary tool allowing me to look beyond the visible to explore something that reason can't. 
[on working with non-professional actors] One day, I thought, why don't I just use a worker rather than an actor. He was intimidated by the camera but he had presence and looked 'the part' better than any actor. And while the arrogance of some of the actors had left me feeling ill at ease, I found the atmosphere on set was better with non-professionals. 
The choice of actor is one of the most important things for me... When I write a character, it's a sketch. I don't think you can completely build a character in the script. When I start casting, I'm looking for someone who corresponds approximately to my sketch, not an exact fit. 
You have to make a local film to make it universal.