‘Son of Saul’s László Nemes: ‘Our civilisation is preparing for its own destruction’

INTRO:

The day before we met, László Nemes went to see a superhero movie. He didn’t last long. “I found it unwatchable and false, boring and self-referential, a world of ideal people who don’t behave as humans but more like machines.”

He smiles. It’s tea-time in the Islington, north London branch of Caffè Nero and Nemes gently explains that such films infantilise viewers in two ways. The plots let them defer responsibility for the fate of the world to demigods; the way they are shot – lots of signposting, everything carefully controlled – offers a false sense of omniscience.

Working as a librarian gave me post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms

INTRO

Months before its release, friends and family began sending me links to the movie trailer for “The Public.” It made them think of me, they said.

In the film, a passion project of actor-director Emilio Estevez, homeless patrons, unable to face another night in the subzero Cincinnati winter, refuse to leave, and “occupy” the public library. While critics and moviegoers may view aspects of “The Public” as dramatic license, for me it was the first time I ever saw my job reflected on the screen accurately.