Bertrand Bonello is a cinephile filmmaker of equal caliber to Martin Scorsese or Quentin Tarantino and as brilliant at threading his fascinations into an original tapestry––he just so happens to work in French and a far-dimmer spotlight. Thus it was great, while preparing to screen his unbelievable House of Tolerance at New York’s Roxy Cinema on March 16 and 17, stumbling upon an interview (conducted by Gabe Klinger around the 2011 Cannes premiere) wherein Bonello outlined his dizzying combination of influences––I wasn’t kidding when I called House a lovechild between Tarantino’s Death Proof and Hou’s Flowers of Shanghai.

I’ll add, relevant to our Roxy showing, something Bonello said at the time of release: “I wanted something very, very, very, very soft. I wanted that we could feel the skin of the girls––the costumes, the hair. That’s why the film is shot in 35. That’s why you have these very slow movements to try to capture the atmosphere.” Next weekend will be House‘s first New York 35mm screening in five years. Who knows when it’ll play again?

As for Bonello’s influences:

“Death Proof for the vengeance.”

The Godfather for the operatic qualities.”

Casino for the rhythm that never stops.”

Flowers of Shanghai. It’s a film I haven’t seen recently, but when it came out I saw it so many times that it influenced me deeply. One of my uncertainties was the atmosphere of the brothel in my film. I didn’t want that French, 1900s [makes a fanfare noise]… Moulin Rouge, etc. So I went directly to that opium den mood in Hou Hsiao-hsien’s film, because it keeps the sensuality but is not hysterical.”

No more articles