Charlie Hebdo's lead editorial offers a vigorous defense of secular values, saying the staff laughed on hearing that the bells of the Cathedral of Notre Dame would ring in their honor.
The killings across Paris are sad beyond saying, and it is right that any surviving perpetrators meet the full force of the law. All the same, the justified outrage is accompanied by widespread acceptance of hate speech as a defence of freedom of expression. In European societies speech is (for the most part) free. Yet nigh on every group previously subject to discrimination and public harassment — women, homosexuals, people of other races, Jews, the Irish — are allowed to say, “Respect us, please. You have to respect us.”
Where is the outrage when—just one day before the march in Paris—al-Nusra genocidal bombers, financed and armed by Qatar and Turkey and their western allies, killed at least 7 people and wounded more than 30 in a cafe in Tripoli, Lebanon?
I'm not surprised that the US distributors have taken a decision to sell more copies by watering down the gay content [ in "Pride" ]. I'm not defending it, it's wrong and outmoded, but I'm not surprised.
People think a hundred times while talking against Islam. However, when it comes to Hinduism any one gets up and says anything, this is shameful.
Each one of these last four movies that we've been talking about, I did thinking [Mexico] had hit the bottom. That as bad as it was in that moment, it was impossible that things could get worse. I was naïve....
The four movies also had a simple message for the future: they say, 'Señores, things are bad. But they could become worse.' And in this, unfortunately, I've not been wrong.
["Magnolia" and "Punch-Drunk Love" ]
are musicals in the sense that the music is woven so strongly inside them. I think that's probably true of There Will Be Blood too. But starting with The Master , I was working on things that had a little more dialogue. You know, there's music in there, but the film isn't structured like a musical. This was more a matter of just driving to the set each day and listening to some stuff Jonny [
Greenwood ] had sent me, or listening to Can, or Neil Young over and over. That's what we were trying to do – to make a movie that felt like a Neil Young song, that has that sweet sadness to it.
Go back to bed, America. Your government has figured out how it all transpired. Go back to bed, America. Your government is in control again. Here. Here's American Gladiators. Watch this, shut up. Go back to bed, America. Here is American Gladiators. Here is 56 channels of it! Watch these pituitary retards bang their fucking skulls together and congratulate you on living in the land of freedom. Here you go, America! You are free to do what we tell you! You are free to do what we tell you!
“They hate us cuz they ain't us” is [Seth] Rogen's dismissal of his show's critics, and that philosophy extends to this film's worldview. Those that don't hate “us” are simply in awe, like the adorable North Korean official (Diana Bang) who can't keep her hands off Rogen. She is liberated in his bed and, later, at his side, gunning down her countrymen. But, again, that's nothing new. Everybody from Hope & Crosby to Eddie “Golden Child” Murphy to Ben “Tropic Thunder” Stiller have used the world's exotic locales to riff on American insularity without challenging it. Cute, but the question is, when will this formula get as old to popular filmmakers as it is to those of us who sense the complacency it encourages in a world that churns blithe dehumanization into the stuff dictators and profiteers thrive on?
We cannot have a society in which some dictator some place can start imposing censorship in the United States, because if somebody is able to intimidate us out of releasing a satirical movie, imagine what they start doing once they see a documentary that they don't like or news reports that they don't like. That's not who we are. That's not what America is about.
I think [“Death of a President” is ] despicable. I think it's absolutely outrageous. That anyone would even attempt to profit on such a horrible scenario makes me sick.
I deeply saddened to see this trivialisation and misuse of Nazi symbols in an official Thai movie. I was surprised that throughout the screening process this movie must have gone through to be approved for public broadcast, none of the smart, well-educated people checking it had identified it as being problematic and offensive. If we learn anything from this incident it is that Holocaust education, especially its global messages of tolerance, should be introduced into the Thai curriculum.
Freedom of speech is at stake here, don't you all see? If anything, we should ALL make cartoons of Mohammad, and show the terrorists and the extremists that we are all united in the belief that every person has a right to say what they want! Look, people, it's... been real easy for us to stand up for free speech lately. For the past few decades we haven't had to risk anything to defend it. But those times are going to come! And one of those times is right now. And if WE... aren't willing to RISK... what we have, then we just believe in free speech, but we don't defend it.
Look at the first Matrix movie. It's a yogic movie. It says that this world is an illusion. It's about maya – that if we can cut through the illusions and connect with something larger we can do all sorts of things. Neo achieves the abilities of the advanced yogis Yogananda described, who can defy the laws of normal reality.
The two pioneering forces of modern sensibility are Jewish moral seriousness and homosexual aestheticism and irony.
I don't know if I can make any more films, and that worries me. There is no creative expression of artistic value that has ever been produced by ex-drunkards and ex-drug-addicts. Who the hell would bother with a Rolling Stones without booze or with a Jimi Hendrix without heroin?
In the film [The Imitation Game ], Turing works out that Cairncross is a spy; but Cairncross threatens to expose his sexuality. “If you tell him my secret, I'll tell him yours,” he says.
It was an appropriate time to raise the classic (and very funny) scene in his great film Uzak, or Distant , from 2002, when a man and his house guest are watching Andrei Tarkovsky's Stalker on video. When one falls asleep, the other puts on porn. Could he be satirising, ever so gently, our reverence for the great masters of cinema?
Jean-Luc takes images like a cook that goes to the market to buy produce such as apples, legumes, tomatoes, or plums. The cook or filmmaker stores all of these images in his fridge. And then he adds them together to create cinema.
With Lars, I've also benefited from it professionally in a way that I've been so encouraged to try things and be brave. That's when it becomes fun, because it's much more creative than if you are there to deliver something you decided on beforehand. Then you could work for Royal Mail.
The best advice I can offer to those heading into the world of film is not to wait for the system to finance your projects and for others to decide your fate. If you can't afford to make a million-dollar film, raise $10,000 and produce it yourself. That's all you need to make a feature film these days. Beware of useless, bottom-rung secretarial jobs in film-production companies. Instead, so long as you are able-bodied, head out to where the real world is. Roll up your sleeves and work as a bouncer in a sex club or a warden in a lunatic asylum or a machine operator in a slaughterhouse. Drive a taxi for six months and you'll have enough money to make a film. Walk on foot, learn languages and a craft or trade that has nothing to do with cinema. Filmmaking — like great literature — must have experience of life at its foundation. Read Conrad or Hemingway and you can tell how much real life is in those books. A lot of what you see in my films isn't invention; it's very much life itself, my own life. If you have an image in your head, hold on to it because — as remote as it might seem — at some point you might be able to use it in a film. I have always sought to transform my own experiences and fantasies into cinema.
In Psycho, when Anthony Perkins is playing Norman - cleaning out the blood in the motel bathroom, eating candy - he is left-handed. But when he's mother, using the knife - he's right-handed.
In some of Lav Diaz's earlier films (such as Evolution of a Filipino Family , 2004), this very Warholian air of emptiness and artlessness seemed to justify itself well enough: the space between the daily reality that he was staging and the means he was using to record it appeared so thin as to be almost non-existent. There was a certain thrill to this – the kind that persuades you to endure eight-hour screenings, in search of a new kind of filmic epiphany. But as the years pass and the Diaz ‘formula' hardens, it becomes more difficult to excuse the lack of inventiveness and craft in his work in the name of some spurious ‘neo-neorealism'. Diaz's most vocal fans do him no favours in this regard: he might become a better, more self-critical director if people stopped reassuring him that every new film he makes is a deathless masterpiece.
I believe art should replace religion - the sincere spiritual experience you have looking at a Van Gogh painting is worth all your readings of the Bible. I see Catholicism as theatre.
After you have been working for a while and discover how much material you have to call on, you end up saying, ‘Oh, thank god I had an unhappy childhood!' I suppose there are some good actors somewhere who have had a happy childhood, I just haven't met them yet.
That term ["punk"] is not really something that I thought very much about. I'm more interested in the specifics. When I made ["We Are The Best!" ] I thought lots about what it was like to be a 13-year-old in those days when punk was dying but still a little bit alive. It was a time where you could do something, and it didn't have to be very good. And I still have that engine inside of me. On a daily basis I doubt myself if I'm doing good things or bad things. But I never doubt that I should make them.
In fact, for me, part of the reason you make a movie is to experience something that intrigues you, perhaps disturbs you, you need to deal with it, experience it somehow but you need it to be at a distance from you. You need it to be safely encapsulated the way a grain of sand is encapsulated in a pearl by an oyster. It's an irritation. You hope you have created these movies that are like pearls but you wouldn't want to be inside them because inside them is that grain of sand or worse.
[America] need to have a female president next, and then after that, a gay president. That's the full journey from Obama's legacy onwards. There's a great Morrissey lyric from “America Is Not the World” from You Are the Quarry that goes, “In America, the land of the free, they said / And of opportunity, in a just and truthful way / But where the president is never black, female or gay, and until that day / You've got nothing to say to me, to help me believe.” It's quite an old song from before Obama took office, but you've done black, then you need to do female, then the next, gay.
How un-American that few American movies portray Whit Stillman types — unapologetically white middle-class conservative strivers. That “unapologetically” is due to Stillman's operating outside the usual filmmaking pretenses — Hollywood's peculiar racial politics, which sentimentalize most other struggling ethnicities but never White Anglo Saxon Protestants. He belongs to the rare tradition of wags including Philip Barry and Preston Sturges, but with a tone and dialogue style all his own.
I've come to realise that I can't shoot real environments. I prefer a hyperreality... It looks real but it's purified and condensed. I'm fascinated by how life's grandness, smallness and mortality appear much clearer this way.
Maybe I'm suspicious of absolutes. I mean, yes, there is something satisfying about watching an old film when the music rises up and the words come at you – The End. But it would seem absurd to do that at the end of one of my films. It would just make them feel lopsided, because they're all so short, they cover so little time. We don't know where these people were before. We spent a week with them and then on they went. My films are just glimpses of people passing through.
Jodorowsky remembers what Linklater forgets: childhood is about more than a time period...
Though "Boyhood" succeeds as a cinematic experiment (Linklater filmed the same actors every summer for 12 years to watch them mature onscreen), it ultimately fails to be meaningful. It's an empty shell, but the shell is lacquered with such splendor that it's easy to overlook the hollow core. In Boyhood , the magic of childhood isn't in its complex emotions, but in its glossy veneers. As Coltrane grows up, Gameboys turn into XBoxes, Cat Power eases into Wilco, Obama and McCain come and go, and the Beatles remain eternal. The characters' feelings are left to simmer somewhere else; Boyhood 's sentimentality rests on timely songs and Buzzfeed recollections rather than genuine emotions.
I don't see any difference between poetry and cinema. i don't see any difference between being naked in body and being naked in soul. That is where I am. In plain honesty, naked in body and soul, in plain poetry. The dance of reality. I don't want to make industrial films to earn money, to make a living. I want to make films to lose money, films that oblige me to search employment in other creations. The cinema to me is sacred. It must be of service to something, to open our consciousness, to unite us to the past, present and future, to save the world. Of course, we cannot change the world, but we can start to change it. Don't ask me to present my film. All beings are infinite, my film is a being, it speaks for itself. I give you my honesty, my truth, this limited coffin where my infinite soul resides.
Postmodernism is ironic and cynical; it started off as pastiche and collage, and quite wonderfully so. There's Blade Runner [that fits into that category,] and a lot of other great films from that era. But earnestness, sincerity, universals – all those [qualities] were rejected. There's no space for those in the realm of post-modernism. And we're doing a disservice to the mass population to not allow for those qualities.
I see it in society. I see it in movies, I see it in music. Everyone wants to be ironic. And there are aspects of that [ironic distance] that I do love. But I think it takes a brave person to say, “This is something that I think is important.”
I'm like Blanche DuBois, I hope in life that there's a certain amount of magic. Unfortunately, there's not enough. There are little, sporadic things one could think of as magical. But for the most part, it's grim reality...
Ive always viewed There Will Be Blood as a battle between the two driving forces in American society. Insatiable capitalism personified by the Day Lewis character and manipulative religion as seen in Paul Danos preacher. While they share a common interest they can grudgingly work together but eventually capitalism has to have everything and destroys everything that stands in its path. In the end religion, pushed aside, goes cap in hand grovelling but with nothing left to offer capitalism bludgeons it to death
If Miley Cyrus now capers about on stage, constantly pretending to masturbate, sometimes using a dwarf, and Lady Gaga gets pharmacokinetically raped by R Kelly to illustrate a song about physical abandon [
Do What U Want, video by Terry Richardson], then this is all because we've managed to overcome, via Her Madge [Madonna], all our old hangups about whether women liked sex or not.
With international ticket sales such a huge part of Hollywood's profit margin, the studios can't run the risk of offending an entire nation or their allies, or even projecting a jingoistic or xenophobic image of America by pitting superheroes against foreign enemies. This is a major shift since the last great era of action movies – the 1980s – when the Cold War was ramping up again and depicting the Soviets as villains was good business. Movies like Red Dawn, Red Heat, and even Die Hard pitted their good ol' American heroes against menaces from the Soviet Bloc. Nowadays, movies that feature foreign villains are a bad box office bet...
The guy from Cannes said: 'Why are you making such an unimaginative adaptation?' If I had made Macbeth a pimp and set it in a Bangkok red-light district, Lady M as a whorehouse madam, the Witches transvestite drag queens, it would have gone everywhere.
Did Mary Poppins ever seem old-time dykey to you? With that severe hairstyle, perfect lipstick, and her unyielding martinet manner, she could have floated in from that girls' school in the German lesbian classic Maedchen in Uniform . Well, wait ‘til you see Angelina Jolie in Maleficent . La Jolie gives new definition to lipstick lesbian severity, especially her CGI cheekbones as high and sharp as the arms on a wingback chair and then those horns! Scaled-down from Tim Curry's oversized tusks when he played the demon in Ridley Scott's Legend , Angelina's antlers stand erect like curved, pointed ebony phalluses—a reminder that antlers usually grow on males of a species which would make Maleficent some kind of pansexual anti-deity.
I'll tell you, I feel quite good when the films come out, because the important thing to do is not to confuse whether something is good with whether it is well received. They are two completely different things. And if you're worried that one equals the other, then I don't think that's healthy. For me I know one isn't the other. All I care about I whether it's good. Whether it is well received or badly received is irrelevant to me. What's relevant is that I think it's good. And if I think it's good then there will be other people out there who will also at some point find it and think it's good too. And that's okay, and if it takes a month or ten or fifteen or twenty years, that doesn't matter.
Ah, so idiotic. Of course I did. There's nothing to like.
["Room 237" is ] just dumb. I mean [the filmmaker] obviously waited until Kubrick died. This happened to him in many cases, also this whole story about him doing a fake moon landing. This was only possible after he was dead. People come like worms; they creep out and take advantage of a guy who can't sue from the grave. At any rate, I don't worry about things like that.
When I first had the idea and was writing [ Idiocracy ], I was at Disneyland. My daughters were young and I was at the teacups ride with them. And this woman had had an altercation with another woman before, I guess, and they were right behind me. And this other woman passes by and they just started [going after each other] … and they're just cussing in front of their kids. And I'm there with my daughters thinking, "I don't think this is how Walt Disney imagined it."
It's not newsworthy that Wes Anderson would create protagonists so closely related to himself, but it does speak to that one enduring criticism of the otherwise celebrated director: that his work is held back by a certain solipsism. With each passing film, Anderson seems to go deeper and deeper into his own universe, and reality gets pushed further and further to the edges of the screen. The Grand Budapest Hotel , for example, is set in a fictional hotel in a fictional country fighting a fictional war, and every frame of the film looks more like an elegant comic strip than anything resembling reality. His talented and experienced company of actors – Jeff Goldblum, Tilda Swinton, and Edward Norton, for example – are nothing more than another set of props to Anderson, wonderful to look at but still inanimate.
As Fight Club mocks society at the bottom, the brand of comedy is essentially gross-out by another name, encouraging you to laugh at utter despair and degradation, and at regular everyday life — your life. From the point of view of a disturbed, possibly sociopathic ‘hero', Fight Club mocks that stability, that taking pleasure in little victories that comes with living in the real world. It's a mean-spirited type of comedy, reliant on schadenfreude and the suggestion that you laugh at the unpleasantries of its characters' existence, as well as your own . Only the people telling you through this film that your mundane life sucks are all part of Hollywood's elite...
How can Fight Club tell you to reject the system when it's obviously still a part of it?
To me ["Stranger by the Lake" is ] not so much about the self-destruction. I see it more in the traditional romantic view - romanticism in the sense that one wants to explore and go to the end with a partner and experience as much as one can, even if it involves transgression, even if it involves risks. It's about passion, it's about going as far as one can, into death. But it's true that since the arrival of Aids, the fact of wanting to go to the end with that dramatic passionate love, and experience as much as possible, may have destructive elements.
As always on first exposure to a new Lars von Trier ['s film], you're aware that the film doesn't really exist until the wider critical controversy has blossomed; as always, you have to end by saying, "Now discuss."
But here's an interesting thing. I found that the first depiction of fangs in cinematic vampires, doesn't come until the 1950s in a Mexican vampire film. Schreck's Nosferatu doesn't have fangs... He's got some funny teeth... Anyway, every movie adds its own myth to the vampire - the holy water, the cross, the garlic - so our addition was the gloves they wear [ in "Only Lovers Left Alive" ].
When I first did Night of the Living Dead, I didn't call them zombies... Zombies weren't dead before. I thought, "These people are going to be dead and they're not going to be able to dig their way out of graves because they are too weak". My zombies have never eaten brains! I don't know where that came from...
My mother and father used to beat me with a belt, and if I talk to my mother about it now, she says it was because she was beaten with a belt - can you imagine? Those things get taken from slavery, which are never broken - which I'm breaking now because I can never imagine beating my child. There are those physical things which are so in-grained, that need to be dealt with. People laugh about it, but that's what people used to have to go to school with. This film ["12 Years a Slave" ] is of then, but it is a reflection of now in a way.
These movies convince us that we are engaging with progressive ideas, but, really, they control the discussion and ensure that it never gets too serious. After all, commercial cinema rarely leaves you wanting to go out and make change. Rather, each of these films gives you a happy ending that make sure you'll leave the theater with a warm, satisfied feeling, rather than a potentially dangerous thought.
A Prophet pinpointed a real problem in French cinema, to do with the representation of minorities. It really changed things. But I don't like the term 'minorities', it stigmatises. I've always refused to play terrorists. If it helps change things, OK – but not if it maintains the status quo of what appears in the media.
Indeed some moviegoers outside Indonesia have laughed at the sheer absurdity [of "The Act of Killing" ] – a markedly different reaction to that of the Indonesian audience.
Cinema programmers are more willing to play a film with high sexual content. Demand is there, especially when people are given the green light that it's a film worth seeing, and not just smut... We support a lot of independent film-makers from the start of their projects. Travis Mathews's films contain real sex, but also had theatrical presence. So it has given Travis the idea that this is something audiences are hungry for. It's close to him, he wants to make films about sex and love. Nobody is afraid any more, when you see there is an audience for it.
[ Indonesia ] is portrayed as a cruel and lawless nation ... The film
[ The Act of Killing ] portrayed Indonesia as backwards, as in the 1960s. That is not appropriate, not fitting. It must be remembered [that] Indonesia has gone through a reformation. Many things have changed ... One's perception should not be so heavily influenced by just that one film.
They're desperately trying to run away from the reality of what they've done. You celebrate mass killing so you don't have to look yourself in the mirror in the morning and see a murderer. You keep your victims oppressed so that they don't challenge your story. When you put the justification – the celebration – under a microscope, you don't necessarily see a lack of remorse, but you start to see an unravelling of the killers' conscience. So what appears to be the symptom of a lack of remorse is in fact the opposite. It's a sign of their humanity.
I saw [ Blue Is the Warmest Colour ] about the love life of a young woman, Adele, at the London Film Festival. For its first hour or so, I loved the fact that it was shot mostly in close-up. Its faces, and Adele's suffering, reminded me of Carl Theodor Dreyer's The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928). In staying close to its actors, Blue Is the Warmest Colour had a rigorous and subjective intimacy. It wasn't playing on a wide terrain, or showing a boarder society.
When I'm making documentaries, I film to see what I want to film; it's like a journey. With The Missing Picture, we'd shot for a year and a half already, and the first time I saw the figurine, this idea of the life that comes from the earth, it changed everything. You can see immediately how strong, how poetic the images are: they're adullt, but like something children have made. Only great artists - Chagall, Kadinsky, Picasso sometimes, at the end; Miro - can do that, make paintings like children but so beautiful. I think they kept something from their childhood, this innocence. that we lose every day...
But coming back to Hollywood's interest in slavery – curiously, we have more historical scholarship about the slave trade than ever before. Thanks to people like Professor David Eltis, we now know there were more than 36,000 voyages from Africa to the new world. The detail of the data is really quite remarkable. So the slave trade is a subject whose time has come. Steve says it's the Obama effect. Many people have said there is a renaissance in black film. I think it's partly about the coming of age of the affirmative-action generation, the people who were able to get into white institutions and then start black studies programmes in the university. My generation or the students after us. That is probably the most important factor in terms of the nation. You have to remember the black middle class has quadrupled. So that's also a big increase in consumers.
I hadn't realised slavery was that bad. There's been a kind of amnesia or not wanting to focus on this, because of it being so painful. It's kind of crazy. We can deal with the second world war and the Holocaust and so forth and what not, but this side of history, maybe because it was so hideous, people just do not want to see. People do not want to engage...
You can tell a lot about what a country finds shameful in its history by looking at how long it took for that country's popular art to begin seriously addressing that history. The first films about slavery (as opposed to films about the American south that happened to include slave characters) didn't appear until the 1960s, six decades after the creation of motion pictures. Most of them had elements of genre or exploitation. Very few addressed the subject in a straightforward way. Even the most high-profile recent film about slavery, "Django Unchained," gave itself a cushion of cowboy action and revenge fantasy, even as it depicted the casual physical savagery of slavery with an unprecedented (for Hollywood) frankness.
You'd never know from the look of Nebraska that
Payne grew up in the American Midwest. The imagery (photographed by Phedon Papamichael who gave splendor to Wim Wenders' The Million Dollar Hotel ) is so stylized it is distant from American external reality and the combination of open-air space and strip-mall banality results in unmistakable condescension.
We are definitely, like anthropologists, invested in the real world and the vagaries and different varieties of lived experiences and cultures. But we're interested in working with documentary in ways that pulls away from its affinity with boardcast journalism and talking heads to discuss the world rather than experienceing it. Even though we're working against conventional narrative structures, I think our works have a lot more affinity with cinema as a whole rather than just straight-up documentary.
There's a whole genre of people reciting what filmmakers say about their own films, so it just becomes propaganda. Directors reel off the same cliches again and again, making it easier for critics or viewer to engage with what the filmmakers says rather than with the film itself.
My films talk a lot about loneliness and lonely people. people who have a problem dealing with others. But I think it's also their choice to be alone. It's easier, if you have to be alive, sometimes not to relate to other people but to build up your own world and your own obsessions.
It would not be a hard argument to make that this country is the most violent country in the world today. This country was built on violence. The enslavement of black people and the genocide of the Native Americans were the two things on which this country was founded. Where are the Native Americans today? They're not on reservations. They're more like concentration camps. We never hear anything about Native Americans except John Wayne and John Ford movies where they're treated as savages.
Rage doesn't have to fester for years, but revenge? That stuff takes time. It's the oldest staple of films, in stories. It goes back to the Bible...
I can't do it. I can't do it. Violence has a very strange place in American society today. I can't do violence as a cartoon where you get shot, you get up again, and you get more points. Josh and I talked about how we were going to present the violence in this film: It could not be cartoonish. It had to be realistic. But it could not be gratuitous.
In Titanic you know, it's almost ridiculous. All the rich people are mostly corrupted, the lower [down the decks and classes] you go, the more people are authentic, honest, all that... It's not even a love story! It's this idea that rich people need from time to time contact with poor, authentic people, to suck their blood to re-establish their life energy, and then they can drop them. In the film he is not so much [Kate Winslet's] lover, Leonardo DiCaprio, his function is to restore her ego and self-image, literally - you remember he draws her portrait, and when he does his job he can disappear!
I always believe that any learning comes through concentration and patience, and that you have to train yourself to have that patience and to perceive. That [so-called "slow cinema"] isn't slow to me, that's hard work. It may be slow in the movement of things but it isn't slow in the stuff that's going on in your mind when you watch something for a long time and you see very minimal changes: you start to learn from that. So time is a function of becoming more intelligent, I think; you need to take time. The word 'slow' seems to belittle that process. How can you rush that?
The production manager came and said there was this old lady that was laughing at the [shocking] end [of ‘Bastards' ].... I said, ‘Old lady? With white hair? That's my mother.' And she came out of the theater with this big smile, saying: ‘Ha! You have guts. I'm proud.' Yeah, it's family, you know. Family is weird.
One of the shocks of “12 Years a Slave” is that it reminds you how infrequently stories about slavery have been told on the big screen, which is why it's easy to name exceptions, like Richard Fleischer's demented, at times dazzling 1975 film, “Mandingo.” The greater jolt, though, is that “12 Years a Slave” isn't about another Scarlett O'Hara, but about a man who could be one of those anonymous, bent-over black bodies hoeing fields in the opening credits of “Gone With the Wind,” a very different “story of the Old South.”
There was an arthouse cinema in Dallas that I started going to around the age of 14 to see a type of movie I never knew existed before. Stranger Than Paradise, Wim Wenders, Aki Kaurismäki. Prince Avalanche references that era of my enthusiasm. They weren't necessarily comedies, but you could tell the directors were smiling on set...
There are similarities between the characters of wuxia
pictures and stories of the past and the people in these contemporary stories [
“A Touch of Sin” ] . In facing destruction and corruption, and when their survival was threatened, these characters also used violence against the violence inflicted upon them. So I've always looked at wuxia films as political allegories...
The modern art movement was born out of the tension between aristocratic academic art and the industrialization of society. Modern artists, who were often formally trained in the academic community, began to rebel against the views of the academy and its focus on creating realistic, objective, and highly polished paintings . The modernists believed that academic art was steeped in conservative, religious morality, and too closely tied to nationalism . Modernists sought a new form of art that could better represent the new world that was being formed by the Industrial Revolution.
It's almost a feeling of anguish, a feeling of desolation, in not being able to really grasp what it is that a woman feels... When I perceive things that I can't explain, I try to picture them through images, through an interaction or an encounter. Cinema is an amazing tool for expressing these perceptions.
Maybe if Ron Howard hadn't been the most adorable child actor in Hollywood history, he wouldn't have gone on to be a filmmaker who makes everything banal–cutesifying every story, no matter the topic, into movies so dull and unoriginal reviewers reflexively–mistakingly–call them “well crafted.”
>>> In an article on Kurosawa's films you spoke of this oriental quality in art. Would Kurosawa fit into your view of Eastern art?
I really believe there are things nobody would see if I didn't photograph them.
"The World's End" is more like a cautionary tale about the dangers of nostalgia. Gary is literally running away from change. What he's running from, they don't see themselves as being sinister or evil. They see themselves as representing progress, efficiency. Gary wants to be a rebel, rough around the edges, forever. But terrible things happen when you try to turn back the clock.
I am deeply troubled by the current attitude toward and treatment of gay men and women by the Russian government ... I cannot in good conscience participate in a celebratory occasion hosted by a country where people like myself are being systematically denied their basic right to live and love openly.
It's about the third world trying to get into the first... I want to show you a version of America where maybe the tables are turned, maybe you live in poverty and this is what it looks like.
It's kind of a lost art. I mean, I don't think anybody's interested in it any more. I'm always surprised when I get critical reactions saying my films are sleazy. What's sleazy about them? They say they're 'erotic European trash'. I'm like, 'What are they talking about? These women look fantastic. I spent a lot of time making them look as stylish as possible!
12 Years a Slave (Steve McQueen)
I look at my career more like a character actor would. Sometimes you do something just because it'd be a blast and you get paid, sometimes you do it because it's very passionate and personal and you'd do anything to have it exposed to the world. I would hate to put my heart on my sleeve for every project because after a few times, it wouldn't be honest.
Well [next project] "Joe" is very much a companion piece to "Prince Avalanche." It's like it's dark, nasty, older brother... "Avalanche" is about the aftermath of a genocide of trees, and "Joe" is about tree poisoners. It's all very much the balance of man and nature, and the conflicts he has with himself. It's just "Joe" 's the saltier, grittier, more of hard southern kind of tale.
Some people don’t like their heart beating fast and the uncertainty of how it’s going to go and what she’s going to say. I got rejected from prom my senior year in high school, and ever since I’ve loved that feeling. I asked the homecoming queen to prom, and she said no, and it was the best thing that ever happened to me.
The whole idea at the end of "Snake Eyes" was deus ex machina—we were dealing with such a corrupt world that the only way to solve the problem is to have a hurricane come through and wipe it all away. That was my initial idea. And the problem is that people don't believe in that [laughing]. They don't believe in God looking down from above and saying, "The only way to deal with this is a flood. There's so much corruption here, let's wipe it all away and get an ark out and start from scratch." But it didn't work in the previews so we did this other ending which I don't think is as effective. We did shoot this big wave that swept through the casino but we ultimately cut it out.