a) Interests in Alien as a youth
Jan, a film maker in the French film industry remembered well dribbling as a fourteen year old all over the special Alien issue of the magazine Métal Hurlant (the French magazine that was the forerunner to the American magazine Heavy Metal) where the information was distilled in dribs and drabs.
So he knew everything before he saw it.
He thought of the Alien as perhaps the most successful monster although perhaps next to the a dinosaurs of the movie Fantasia that he saw as a five year old, he still had the images in his head as an adult, and again he would see in his nightmares the Triceratops being killed by the Tyrannosaurus Rex
Jan came to some prominance in 1994 with a short film called Vibroboy about an old aztec statue brought back from Mexico to France by a transvestite and an acrobat, and this suddenly releases El Vibro, a.k.a. Vibroboy, a superhero endowed with a phallic drill. Concept art was supplied by Marc Caro.
c) Alien Resurrection and Hollywood
Years later he would be talking to his friend Jean-Pierre Jeunet as he went to visit him on the shoot of Alien Resurrection, seeing the sets and the studio for real in Hollywood and there was this director of the Alien movie talking to Jan about his plans and showing him the rushes.
Jan was very curious to see how it would do in the cinema, perhaps as much as he was interested in the success of Luc Besson's new film at the time The Fifth Element, because he wanted to see it possible to make SF movies in France.
However the Alien Resurrection production seemed like one giant commercial with customers who mess around. So there was the question about the importance of making an Alien film in the air, but he himself found the situation not refusable.
He was however slightly apprehensive about shooting a movie in America himself because he feared that they would take away his control, and was happier to make his films in France. When Alien Resurrection was released, Kounen came out with his cult hit Dobermann starring Vincent Cassel
d) If Jan were offered an Alien movie?
There was Jan's further statement about what he would do if he was offered Alien but I would have to buy an old copy of Chasseurs de Rêves 3 to find out exactly what he said because that is where the interview on the internet left off to get people to read the rest in the magazine
In 2004, Jan released a movie loosely based on Jean-Michel Charlier and Jean Giraud / Moebius' comic book story Blueberry (renamed Renegade for the American Markets) set in the wild west.
Perhaps there wasn't much in the film to connect it with the Blueberry story in the comic books at all.
One main thing to note was something that perhaps ought to have been Peyote vision in the film had been turned into an Ayahuasca vision by Jan Kounen changed the whole story to reflect his Ayahuasca experiences.
Perhaps one can say that these images have something in common with the paintings of HR Giger.
See hallucination scene from movie here on youtube
The visions from were so impressive that Mac Guff, the company responsible for the visual for Blueberry had been contacted by producer John Landau for Cameron's visionary sequences of Avatar. James Cameron had enjoyed the visions of Blueberry.
There was a meeting in Los Angeles but finally, the project failed.
However this episode showed James Cameron's desire to go even more concrete evidence of human-nature interface present in shamanism.
(see also Jan Kounen's Interests in Cameron's Avatar)
|HR Giger and Jan Kounen meet in Paris, (Facebook, 6th February 2009 )
- Ecran Noire: Les itinéraires de Jeunet ou Besson avec leurs super-productions US à
effets spéciaux, c'est quelque chose que tu envies, que tu veux, ou ça
routes of Jeunet or Besson with their blockbusters US with special
effects, it is something that you envy, that you want, or are you
Jan Kounen: Ça m'excite beaucoup surtout pour Jeunet que je connais bien; je suis allé le voir sur son tournage c'est génial de voir un copain faire un film mythique... je me rappelais môme quand je bavais sur le numéro spécial Alien de Métal Hurlant où l'info était distillée au compte goutte, là je suis avec le réalisateur qui me raconte ses plans et ses galères. Ça démysthifie un max, je suis très curieux de voir aussi, comme tout le monde, le film de Besson; j'espère que ces deux films de SF fait par des français vont cartonner et que ca va permettre de faire de la SF en France. Pour ce qui est de tourner là bas j'ai un peu peur du manque de contrôle, j'ai des propositions mais je les decline car je sens que je me ferais bouffer, et puis si je peux faire d'autres films ici, alors à part si on me fout dehors...pourquoi partir ? Translation:It excites me a lot especially for Jeunet whom I know well. I went to see him on his shoot . Otis great to see a buddy to a mythical movie ..… I remembered kid when I dribbled on the Alien special issue of Métal Hurlant where information was distilled in dribs and drab, there I am with the director who tells me his plans and his galleys. That demystifies a max, I am very curious to also see, like everyone, the film of Besson; I hope that these two films of SF makes by French will case and that will make it possible to make SF in France. In terms of shooting over there I 'm afraid the lack of control, I have proposals but I decline because I feel that I would be taken over , and then if I can do other films here, so except if it freaks me out ... why leave? (http://www.ecrannoir.fr/entrevues/entrevue.php?e=61)
- Metro: Et quelle a donc été votre plus grande peur ? (Translation)And what has been your greatest fear?
Jan Kounen: Alien ! Je l’ai vu à l’âge de 14 ans. J’avais au préalable acheté un numéro spécial de Métal Hurlant consacré à sa sortie. Je connaissais donc tout avant même d’aller le voir. J’en rêvais, je l’attendais avec impatience. C’était une épreuve pour moi, comme monter un mur d’escalade alors qu’on a le vertige. (Translation) Alien! I saw him at the age of 14. I had purchased prior to a special issue of Heavy Metal dedicated to its output. So I knew everything before they go see it. I dreamed, I was waiting impatiently. It was a test for me, like climbing a climbing wall when we have vertigo.
Metro: Quel est le monstre de cinéma le plus réussi selon vous ? (Translation)What is the most successful movie monster to you?
Jan Kounen: On m’a souvent posé cette question mais je n’ai pas trouvé la réponse. (il réfléchit longuement) Encore une fois, Alien. C’est la première fois que j’y croyais vraiment. Par la suite, je dirais que ce sont les dinosaures de Fantasia. J’avais 5 ans. J’ai encore les images dans ma tête. Je revoyais dans mes cauchemars la mise à mort du triceratops par le tyrannosaure. (Translation) I have often been asked this question but I have not found the answer. (thinks long) Again, Alien. This is the first time I really thought. Subsequently, I would say that it is the dinosaurs of Fantasia. I was 5 years old. I still have images in my head. I saw again in my nightmares killing the triceratops by the Tyrannosaurus. (www.metronews.fr//)
- Chasseurs de Rêves: Est-ce que tu as des nouvelles de Jean-Pierre Jeunet ? (Translation) Do you have news of Jean -Pierre Jeunet ?
Jan Kounen: Oui, il finit Alien, le montage, le son. Il est content. Je suis allé voir les décors, le studio " pour de vrai ". Une gigantesque pub, avec les clients qui font chier un peu. (Translation) Yes , he finishes ends Alien , editing , sound. He is happy. I went to see the sets, the studio " for real" . A gigantic commmercial, with customers who make shit a little.
Chasseurs de Rêves: Ca ne dénature pas un peu ? (Translation) It does not alter a little?
Jan Kounen: Oui, mais ce n’est pas refusable Alien. Moi, si on me proposait Alien... (Translation) Yes, but it is not refusable Alien . Me, if I were offered Alien ... ("Chasseurs de Rêves 3"(http://chasseurs.ovh.org/kounen.)
- Jan Kounen: Aux Etats-Unis, non-seulement je n’aurais pas pu faire ce film pour des raisons morales, mais pour le flingages, on aurait été coincé par la sécurité: Jeunet, sur le tournage d’Alien 4, a d’ailleurs galéré comme un fou. Nous, on se mettait de bouts de carton et on allumait! . Translate: In the United States , not only I would not have made this film (Dobermann) for moral reasons , but for the flingages , we would have been stuck by safety : Jeunet on the set of Alien 4 , has also struggled like a crazy. We , we put bits of cardboard and was lit !(Premiere, July 1997, p52)