Xavier Dolan Source: The Canadian Press/AP, Andrew Medichini

Out Filmmaker Xavier Dolan Giving Up on Movies, Says Cinema 'A Waste of Time'

Kilian Melloy READ TIME: 2 MIN.

Openly gay French-Canadian filmmaker Xavier Dolan – the auteur behind queer gems like "I Killed My Mother" and "Heartbeats" – says he is retiring from filmmaking at the age of 34, according to Dazed.

"I don't feel like committing two years to a project that barely anyone sees," Dolan told Spanish newspaper El Pais in a July 4 article.

"I put too much passion into it to have these disappointments," Dolan added. "It makes me wonder if my filmmaking is bad, and I know it's not."

Since his 2009 feature film debut, "I Killed My Mother," Dolan, a former child actor, has made eight features and a limited series for television. Among his work is 2012's "Laurence Anyways," 2016's "It's Only the End of the World," and 2019's "Matthais & Maxime."

Dolan struck a pessimistic note in his comments to El Pais, pointing out rising political tensions in deeply divided nations, Far Out Magazine relayed.

Contending that he was "afraid of a civil war caused by intolerance," Dolan said, "I don't understand what is the point of telling stories when everything around us is falling apart."

"Art is useless and dedicating oneself to the cinema, a waste of time," Dolan said, according to Far Out Magazine.

Not all of his output has excited critical acclaim, Dazed noted, recalling that "'It's Only the End of the World' won the Grand Prix at Cannes, but was met with wildly polarized reviews," while "'The Life & Death of John F Donovan,' released in 2018, was widely panned."

"Matthias & Maxim," the outlet added, "fared a little better, but it was hardly a critical triumph.

"Still," Dazed noted, "Dolan's contribution to queer cinema cannot be understated: films like '[Heartbeats],' [and] 'Mommy' ... are already firmly part of the canon. It's a sad testament to the challenges facing independent filmmakers today that a director of such evident talent has felt the need to abandon his craft."

This is not the first time the director has publicly mulled quitting the camera. "Back in 2022, Dolan stated his desire to step away from the industry," Far Out Magazine recalled.

"'I don't really want to do this job anymore. I'm tired,' Dolan told Le Journal de Montréal. 'We are in 2022, and the world has changed drastically. Me, in that world, I no longer necessarily feel the need to tell stories and to relate to myself.'"

by Kilian Melloy , EDGE Staff Reporter

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Associate Arts Editor and Staff Contributor. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.

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