Personal Shopper18 Oct 2016
When directors talk about collaborating with actors to make a film, I have a hard time imagining what that means. Perhaps because I mostly take writers to be vessels for the words and direction, I’ve never quite wrapped my head around famed actor/director collaborations like DiCaprio/Scorcese, Soderbergh/Damon, Wright/Pegg, PTA/Seymour Hoffman.
Seeing Personal Shopper on the heels of last year’s Clouds of Sils Maria, Assayas seemed eager to collaborate again with Kristen Stewart. What actresses like Juliette Binoche and Isabelle Huppert have done for directors for decades, Stewart seemed to do for Assayas. Namely, inspire within him a creative spirit. At the screening I attended, he spoke of this desire, and how he wrote this film and was eager to share it with Stewart. She agreed to make the film, and what we get is a wonderful film about identity, technology, grief, and jealousy among other things.
Identity, for both Stewart and Assayas, is an endlessly interesting topic, it seems. They played with the idea in Clouds and they play with it again here in Personal Shopper. I look forward to continuing collaborations between these two on topics like identity and whatever else strikes their creative interests.