As Sally Potter travels around the world with 'YES'
she is keeping a diary exclusively for this web site
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ZURICH – 23/05/05


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In the evening we went to dinner with This Brunner. YES will be playing in the cinemas he runs in Zurich . This has a huge and wonderfully varied art collection including many Warhol prints (he knew Andy Warhol well) and some very interesting photographs. He guided me around the images, which are crowded into every nook and cranny in his apartment, and talked animatedly about them. It is good to meet an enthusiast. The dinner he cooked was very good too.

Looking back over these last few diary entries there seems to be a lot about food. But why not?

It is always interesting to note the different relationship with food that develops during a shoot. I usually start to forget to eat. When someone notices and forces me to sit down and have a meal I soon become drowsy, which is dangerous when trying to be clear, decisive, and endlessly energetic, so I revert to the diet of air and laughter. But once the shoot is over and it is time to go into the dark of the cutting room, my appetite returns, magnified. Chocolate suddenly seems particularly attractive.

The art of the table is something I have discussed many times with different members of my crew. Each culture has its own preoccupations, rituals and habits around food, and because I work with so many different nationalities (for example, on YES, with cinematographer Alexei Rodionov from Russia, production designer Carlos Conti from Argentina, sound recordist Jean-Paul Mugel from France, and of course Joan Allen from the USA and Simon Abkarian from Armenia and the Lebanon) there are many distinctive points of view. For Simon the happy rituals of cooking and eating are central to his life.

In the last few days he and I have spoken repeatedly on the phone about the question of ‘realism’ in cinema and theatre, provoked by a question to me on this website, and a ‘review’ written by the same questioner. Our discussions led to him writing a beautiful piece about reality and belief which is posted on the Q&A section of the message boards.

These are early days in the life of this website, given that the film has not yet opened in the cinemas anywhere in the world, but already the discussions which are beginning to emerge on the message boards (vastly outnumbered by the emails sent to me privately, which sometimes I feel would be better shared on these pages) are proving far more challenging and interesting than I had ever anticipated.

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This Brunner

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Text © Sally Potter. All pictures © Adventure Pictures unless otherwise indicated