Moviegoing Memories is a series of short interviews with filmmakers about going to the movies. Agnieszka Holland's Mr. Jones is MUBI GO's Film of the Week of February 7, 2020.
NOTEBOOK: How would you describe your movie in the least amount of words?
AGNIESZKA HOLLAND: It is a story of a young courageous Welsh journalist who wanted to report the atrocity of the famine orchestrated by Stalin in Ukraine in 1933.
NOTEBOOK: Where and what is your favorite movie theater? Why is it your favorite?
HOLLAND: Lots of my favorites are not existing anymore. I always liked the small theatres, the one screen or two screen theatres. One in Warsaw I really like is called Muranów. In Paris it was Cinema Rex, which I like—it’s a huge cinema, but I’m not sure if it’s open now. And I like some American cinemas in different cities, but they are also closed. I don’t like the big cinemas in the malls but they’re convenient of course, so I understand why business-wise they work.
NOTEBOOK: What is the most memorable movie screening of your life? Why is it memorable?
HOLLAND: The most memorable movie screening was… actually it was two screenings of two movies at the Venice Film Festival at the beginning of the 80s or mid-80s, I don’t remember the year. Fellini and Bergman were screening their new movies; And The Ship Sails On was Fellini, and Bergman’s was Fanny and Alexander. I’ve never felt such a powerful, magical experience of artistic cinema than on this occasion.
NOTEBOOK: If you could choose one classic film to watch on the big screen, what would it be and why?
HOLLAND: I’ve tried to think about it several times and I was never able to come to one. In a banal way, it would be Citizen Kane because it was so innovative, but it is not one that made the strongest impact on my emotions—but let’s say Citizen Kane. Another film which really influenced me a lot—which I saw for the very first time when I was a child—was the film Odd Man Out, which was directed by Carol Reed, with James Mason. And the third one will probably be Andrei Tarkovsky’s first film, Ivan’s Childhood.