The enigma of CS Leigh, one of the most obscure filmmakers of the last twenty years, seems to be a legend constructed through the indifference of Leigh himself and a number of different people setting their energies on creating the myth he has become. After many years of silence, CS broke the silence in this interview with Desistfilm, in which he debunks the legend people has made of him. Welcome to the universe of one of the most talented filmmakers you probably haven’t heard of.
Perhaps you’ve heard the rumours about CS Leigh, the filmmaker whose work remains barely seen despite him having worked with Beatrice Dalle, Marianne Faithful, Cat Power, John Cale and Humbert Balsan? The rumours that he is notoriously difficult, a fraud or a recluse, or that he vanished without trace for several years after abandoning a successful career as an art curator?
But when I met Leigh this summer, in a secluded corner of the bar at London’s National Theatre, the impression was of anything but a recluse, instead he spoke openly and enthusiastically about his career, and about films, art and music he admires.
Leigh dismisses the claims that he disappeared for several years as “utter rubbish”; he simply was out of media contact in a pre-web 2.0, pre-smartphone era. He admits that it makes a good story though. And as to his films lack of exposure, he attributes that to a “refusal to play the festival game”.