The way I see it: Claire Denis, director

Does art make a difference? Art is part of the world, it is already there. It is not a medicine. It is essential, not an ointment.

Should politics and art mix? They do. Should they? I don't know. All art contains a vision of the world.

Does money corrupt an artist? I don't think so. I was never corrupted by money. I wish I could experience a lot of money and find out if I were corrupted.

Is your work for the many or for the few? As many as I can; I am always sorry when it is few. It is naive to hope for many. For me, few is a horrible word - when you pronounce it in English, the mouth becomes a little movement of the lips. Many is better.

Which artist do you most admire?
William Faulkner or Jean-Michel Basquiat.

Which product, if any, would you advertise?
Some evening wine and some morning cortisone.

If you weren't an artist, what would you be?
I would be the same person.

If you were world leader, what would be your first law? When Barack Obama was elected, he spoke about social security and solidarity. This is what I believe in, a society that contributes to the benefit of the weakest.

Who would be your top advisers? When I am working in my world, preparing and filming, there is a budget, there are people; it is not frivolous. It is fragile and does not last long. It is as serious as a government. I would select my advisers on the same basis.

What would you censor? The exhibition of extreme religious attitudes. It is to be kept private.

What would you legalise? In Europe it would be pretentious to pretend that I have an answer for that: I have never been deprived of liberty.

What are the rules that you live by?
Number one - it begins in the morning - is to clarify my day. If I start my day late and messed up, then there will be chaos. I am
not a well-organised person, so I need rules. I try to organise my tomorrow, but today is always a mess.

What would you like your legacy to be?
If any part of my body can be used then it can be taken. When I am dead I won't care.

Do you love your country?
Love is not the right word. My country is a joke. France has many beautiful aspects, but
it is not really my country. I recognise that there are nice places, but love? No. To be European is to be lucky, as opposed to people who have a much harder life.

Are we all doomed?
Not at all, although sometimes it is great to feel that we are all doomed, as it creates a certain feeling of togetherness that is very strong, very masochistic. Doomed is one of my favourite words in English. It sounds like falling into a black hole, a grave. It makes me shiver. l

Claire Denis is the director of "Chocolat" and "Beau travail". Her latest film, "35 Shots of Rum", is out now (certificate 12A)

This article first appeared in the 24 August 2009 issue of the New Statesman, Is Google Evil?