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One of the reasons we will never have a Blair Witch Project again is because we'll never have an early internet again. Going viral was difficult in 1999 – we barely had broadband, let alone social media – but it was also a time when people actually believed what they read on the internet... Looking at our current post-factual soup of fake news, conspiracy theory, bogus mythology and untrusted sources, trust in “stuff you read on the internet” is at an all-time low. Could it be that someone noted the efficacy of Blair Witch's viral campaign, based on falsehood, fear and gullibility, and decided it was too good for simply promoting movies? Maybe Blair Witch shaped our political landscape as well as our horror one. Maybe the curse was real after all.
Steve Rose, How The Blair Witch Project changed horror for ever, 8 April 2019

The being alone is the only way to start a movie. If you are not alone, how could an idea crystallize? Something has to be in the loneliness of my daydreaming moments, or in my night, or listening to music. It cannot start in a group. I cannot ask someone to work with me if I don't know what I'm going to do. [There] has to already be something in mind. Precise.
... I think it's because I don't have [pauses] …an understanding what's happening in my life, and in the lives of people I like without support. I have to guess, I have to understand, I have to figure it out. It's not that I want to make films difficult. I don't want to make films mysterious. I think I try to make my best, and I hate when things are explained to me twice, three times, four times, suddenly I'm, “I know, I know. I can't have no more.” Films were at one time not like that. Films were elusive, elliptic, the material of cinema is to put two elements together – if you put cement all around to hide the two elements [shakes her head disapprovingly]. There's a risk [in elliptical storytelling], but there's a good chance to tell the story in an emotional way.
Claire Denis, Inside a Master's Creative Process, 5 April 2019

In my childhood, cinema was like going into a temple. Now, it's more like going into a shopping mall... In the past I really cared if people understood my films, but when you grow older, you care less. You want to do something to please yourself. I feel like the film industry has trapped film-makers. They tell you you need to have a narrative structure, you need to do things a certain way. They limit the imaginations of film-makers. I often think about, what is the meaning of film? What does film want to say? The simple thing is, film is about images.
... Many people tell me I should have disappeared a long time ago.. In Asia right now, my audiences are more people in their teens and 20s than people of my generation. Maybe it's because they are the internet generation, they see so much information every day. So when they experience my films they maybe feel something different. They have no baggage about ‘what is film?'
Tsai Ming-liang, Tsai Ming-liang: master of long takes and watermelon sex, 5 April 2019

I'd asked for $100,000 and 2.5% of the box office [ for "A Clockwork Orange" ], which is what I'd got paid on my previous film. Stanley [Kubrick] told me Warner had refused the 2.5%. But when I was invited to meet the studio heads, they said: “You're going to be a very rich young man on the 2.5% we gave Stanley for you.” I knew he would never pay me. It was a terrible way to treat me after I'd given so much of myself, but I got over it. Doing this film has put me in movie history. Every new generation rediscovers it – not because of the violence, which is old hat compared to today, but the psychological violence. That debate, about a man's freedom of choice, is still current.
Malcolm McDowell, How we made A Clockwork Orange, 2 April 2019

 

 
 

 

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Varda's movies are aesthetically beautiful but they don't feel put on. Like you see the beauty but also the mistakes – she pokes fun at how she filmed something poorly or bemoans the fact that she missed a shot. Her work makes you feel better about being a messy human.
Shaina Feinberg, Miranda July, Greta Gerwig, and 15 Women Filmmakers on What Agnès Varda Meant to Them, 2 April 2019

I seriously doubt that Agnès Varda ever followed in anyone else's footsteps, in any corner of her life or her art…which were one in the same. She charted and walked her own path each step of the way, she and her camera. Every single one of her remarkable handmade pictures, so beautifully balanced between documentary and fiction, is like no one else's—every  image , every  cut … What a body of work she left behind: movies big and small, playful and tough, generous and solitary, lyrical and unflinching…and  alive . I saw her for the last time a couple of months ago. She knew that she didn't have much longer, and she made every second count: she didn't want to miss a thing. I feel so lucky to have known her. And to all young filmmakers: you  need  to watch Agnès Varda's pictures.
Martin Scorsese, Agnès Varda, Remembered: Barry Jenkins, Edgar Wright, JR, and More Post Tributes to French Icon, 29 March 2019

>> The Gleaners and I was ahead of its time in its eco -consciousness.
I try to capture what is, in French, l'air du temps . As a visual artist, I do a lot of recycling. I don't know if you heard, but I build big shacks with the actual composite prints of my films. The last one I did [in 2018] was about the film Le Bonheur.
>> How do you feel about being called a New Wave pioneer ?
“The grandmother of the New Wave!” I found it funny, because I was 30 years old! Truffaut made The 400 Blows and Godard made Breathless, but I had done that five years before with [1955's] La Pointe Courte, my first film. When I was younger, people were inventing a new way of writing – James Joyce, Hemingway, Faulkner. And I thought we had to find a structure for cinema. I fought for a radical cinema, and I continued all my life.
>> What's the best piece of advice you've been given?
I remember meeting the photographer Brassaï. I was a young photographer. He said, “Take your time, look at things. Look carefully.” I liked the idea that it's not the act; it's what you have in mind before you take a picture.
Agnès Varda, Agnès Varda's last interview: 'I fought for radical cinema all my life', 29 March 2019

I read a couple of [ Alec Wilson's spy novels ], and specifically his most famous creation, which was the Wallace Mysteries. The central character in that was almost a glorified version of himself. I could see that certain exploits that he mentions in his novels were similar to things that we know he did in his life — [they] were similar to lies that he made up. I just think the whole thing got really twisted in his head and what may have started as professional deceit turned into personal deceit, turned into, ‘I don't know which bits are deceit anymore.'
Iain Glen, How Ruth Wilson Turned Her Family's Most Scandalous Secret Into the Suspenseful ‘Mrs. Wilson', 1 April 2019

Claire Denis and I were doing a talk once and she said, “I don't want to make ‘cinema,' I want to make a movie .” And, if I had started at a younger age I probably would have started by making ‘cinema.'
... There are a lot of ways to talk about why I made my first narrative feature at the age that I did, but one of those ways is to say that everything that I valued in cinema — everything that I valued in the original movies I loved — it was all about the kind of attention that you can bring to filmmaking. It had nothing to do with preconceived ideas. It was just about the work and a direct response to it, and I think there was a part of me that wanted to arrive at the moment in my life when I thought I was ready to think about my own movies that way.
... Working with Arnaud Desplechin on “Jimmy P.,” I remember writing some snappy dialogue and he was like: “You know, the dialogue here needs to be absolutely flat. Flat as a pancake. Because that'll bring the action alive.” It's the same kind of thing that Kubrick was going for when he went back and rewrote “Eyes Wide Shut” and [co-writer] Frederic Raphael was so disappointed. “You took out all my sparkling dialogue and witticisms!” And Kubrick was like: “Exactly.” It wasn't so dramatic between me and Arnaud, but I never forgot when Arnaud told me “A script is a really small thing. The movie is the thing.”
Kent Jones, ‘Diane' Director Kent Jones on How He Pulled Off the Perilous Transition from Film Critic to Filmmaker, 28 March 2019

[ Samuel L. Jackson admits to only allowing directors to film three takes of scenes in which he appears. Jackson said the decision was made partly because of his experience working with Joel Schumacher on the 1996 crime drama “A Time to Kill.” The actor filmed a scene in which his character, Carl Lee, explains that he committed murder out of a need to protect his daughter. Jackson said Schumacher edited out all of that context in post-production, which made the character appear as a murderer who “killed white people and connived to get away with it.” ]
... When I saw it, I was sitting there like, ‘Oh, that's right.' They're in control of the shit. It's a director's medium; they could do what they want to do to make it change. Which leads me to now, when I'm on a movie set and the motherfucker says, ‘Can we try this?' Sometimes I'll be like, ‘Naw.' I don't do more than three. I don't get to go to the editing room, but you do. And you're going to put that thing that you asked me to do in there, because that's the thing you like. So if I don't do it, I don't have to worry about you fucking with my performance.
Samuel L. Jackson, Samuel L. Jackson on Tarantino's Use of the N-Word and Only Allowing Three Takes Per Scene, 13 March 2019

My films have always been very interested in sex and sexuality. … In those moments of intimacy, you get to know a character and secrets about a character, and you get a view of somebody that nobody else knows. Everybody has their public face that they put on. People who've had sex with you know you in a completely different way, and as a director, that's what influenced me.
Gregg Araki, Gregg Araki on How David Lynch Inspired His Sexy Starz Show ‘Now Apocalypse', 12 March 2019

The movie [ “Silence of the Lambs” ] didn't scare me, but Anthony Hopkins (Lecter) scared me. You'll notice, if you look at the movie again, … instead of the person looking at the person off-screen, that the actors are actually looking down the lens. And that means I am there, but way behind the camera and I'm just a voice, he can't see me. And the same is true on my side. So when I'm doing scenes with Dr. Lecter, I just hear this disembodied, scary voice, but I don't actually see his face. I have to look into the camera and pretend that he's in the camera.
... The last day of shooting, we were having lunch, I was having my tuna fish sandwich and he's next to me, and I said to him like, ‘I was really scared of you,' because I never talked to him the whole movie, and he was like, ‘I was really scared of you.'
Jodie Foster, Jodie Foster Was Terrified of Acting and Anthony Hopkins, But Never of Directing, 12 March 2019

The new streaming services all like to say they don't work like Hollywood. But, actually, by suggesting a director works with a particular team, or asking why you are not using a female cinematographer, or wondering whether the film should have an upbeat ending, they are behaving in a traditional Hollywood, Louis B Mayer-way and it is totally unacceptable.
... The next lot of young directors face such a long wait to get any project off the ground. That's my biggest worry. I've talked to two of them in the last few weeks and one said she expected it to take six years to get her first feature together. That's terrible, and it is because you have got this whole new breed or culture of executives and producers who will not simply press the button, and say ‘go for it and see what happens.'
Mike Leigh, Mike Leigh Calls Netflix and Amazon's Meddling ‘Totally Unacceptable', 12 March 2019

 

 
 

 

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On the broader stroke of things, this movie ["Us" ] is about this country. And when I decided to write this movie, I was stricken by the fact we are in a time where we fear the other. Whether it is the mysterious invader that we think is going to come and kill us, take our jobs, or the faction that we don't live near that voted a different way than us. We're all about pointing the finger and I wanted to suggest that maybe the monster we really need to look at has our face. Maybe the evil is us.
Jordan Peele, ‘Us': Jordan Peele Breaks Down the Political Message Behind His New Film, 9 March 2019

We are our own worst enemy, not just as individuals but more importantly as a group, as a family, as a society, as a country, as a world. We are afraid of the shadowy, mysterious ‘other' that's gonna come and kill us and take our jobs and do whatever, but what we're really afraid of is the thing we're suppressing: our sin, our guilt, our contribution to our own demise … No one's taking responsibility for where we're at. Owning up, blaming ourselves for our part in the problems of the world is something I'm not seeing.
Jordan Peele, Jordan Peele on Us: ‘This is a very different movie from Get Out', 9 March 2019

We want filmmakers that can help us focus on and elevate character journey so it doesn't get lost amongst the spectacle.
Kevin Feige, Marvel Maintains Its Dominance Because of Indie Filmmakers, 8 March 2019

I wanted to do it again because I was curious: What if I could get that same sort of same magical experience that happened on “El Mariachi”? Things show up on the set that just totally surprise you. When the movie comes out, it's better than you'd ever expect. That's the creative element of the unknown. But when you have money and resources, and have a crew, and you're flying in actors, the attitude's totally different. Everyone's like, “Magic better fucking happen.” I mean, we're spending all this money, we've got all these people here, flying people in. You don't expect it on a movie where you've got nothing, and what happens is that you get blessed more because you're trying something that's so impossible. The less you have, the better the film actually seems to come out.
... There's really no magical script floating around that doesn't just need so much work that you just might as well start from scratch. I just work off the George Lucas model. He wanted to make “Flash Gordon” but couldn't get the rights so he wrote “Star Wars” instead. So I thought, “That's what I'm gonna do.” Plus, I had so many boxes to check. I wanted my films to be more diverse, I wanted to be all kinds of things, so I figured I might as well just write it myself and put that kind of work into something only I control. So I'm actually one of the few writer-directors who has created so many franchises himself because of that. You have to make yourself do that instead of going around looking for someone else's property.
Robert Rodriguez, Robert Rodriguez on Advice From James Cameron and How ‘Alita: Battle Angel' Brought Him Back to His Roots, 7 March 2019

[Now Apocalypse] is kinda my dream show. I sat down one day thinking about, if I ever did a show, what would it be? A queer Sex in the City with Twin Peaks and an alien mixed in. That's kind of, for me, what the show is, but the queer aspect has always been super important. It wasn't like I was ready to make a watered-down version or a version where it's just like, “Oh, they're queer, but they're not really too queer.” This is exactly what I want to do, and this is exactly how I want to do it. It's exactly the queer vision I wanted to put out there.
... As you get older, you get much more comfortable in your own skin. My life is really about no drama. It's really about just being happy and figuring out who you are. As you get older, you become more [of] the person that you're meant to be. At the same time, your life is not dramatic at all. That's, creatively, not that exciting, at times, to document. I think that's why I keep getting drawn back to these stories of these younger people.Their lives are much more tumultuous, because that's much more dramatic and much more cinematic, I think.
Gregg Araki, Drug-Fueled Sex Romp Now Apocalypse Is Gregg Araki's 'Dream Show', 7 March 2019

Mario Puzo was dubious about the idea that it was Fredo who betrayed Michael [ in “The Godfather Part II” ] ; he didn't think it was plausible. But he was absolutely against Michael ordering his own brother to be killed. It was a stalemate for a while, as nothing would happen unless we both agreed.
... I tossed him the idea that Michael wouldn't have Fredo killed until their mother died. He thought about this for a moment, and then said okay, it would work for him. He was the arbiter of what the novel's characters would do, while I was offering a kind of interpretation from the perspective of what a movie director would do.
Francis Ford Coppola, Francis Ford Coppola on the Iconic ‘Godfather' Scenes Mario Puzo Pushed Back On, 6 March 2019

Most of the women I saw on TV didn't seem like people I actually knew. They felt like ideas of what women are. They never got to be nasty or competitive or hungry or angry. They were often just the loving wife or the nice friend. But who gets to be the bitch? Who gets to be the three-dimensional woman?
Shonda Rhimes, Screen queens: the funny, fearless women who revolutionised TV, 3 March 2019

Where once it was down to women to float around flashing their flesh in spy dramas and so on, there's a sense in 2019, that that is not ok, that it might be at best anti-feminist and at worst exploitative. The industry is, rightly, even more on its guard about how it treats female performers on and off screen. But they know they still need some sex in there to hook an audience. By making men strip off, shows can deliver the frisson of flesh and still look ‘woke'.
Alice Jones, ‘Sex sells': The new age of explicit TV, 25 February 2019

But with the couple of names you've mentioned, people I've worked with, both of them [Kevin Spacey and Bryan Singer] were in the closet. And hence all their problems as people and their relationships with other people, if they had been able to be open about themselves and their desires, they wouldn't have started abusing people in the way they've been accused.
... Whether they should be forced to stop working, that's debatable. I rather think that's up to the public. Do you want to see someone who has been accused of something that you don't approve of again? If the answer's no, then you won't buy a ticket, you won't turn on the television. But there may be others for who that's not a consideration. And it's difficult to be exactly black and white.
Ian Mckellen, Ian McKellen “waiting for someone to accuse” him of sexual misconduct, 25 February 2019

I really feel that why people go to the movies has changed since 9/11. My feeling is that what people want when they go to a movie shifted more toward escapist fare. And as a result, most of the more “serious” adult fare, what I would pejoratively refer to as “Oscar bait,” all gets pushed into October, November, December.
Steven Soderbergh, Steven Soderbergh's ‘Crackpot Theories' on How Moviegoing Has Changed, 13 February 2019

 
 

 

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