Quotables from the latest round of interviews and profiles:
So there really is then, such a thing as a Woody Allen movie?
"I myself don’t think there is, but people will talk about my kind of movie and being able to identify it, and if they’re criticizing it they’ll say it has a sameness and if they like it they’ll say it’s an auteur movie.
"The truth of the matter is to me they’re all very different, but it’s like Chinese food. You can eat differently every night of the year in a Chinese restaurant but in the end it’s all Chinese food. . . You’re in the mood for it tonight or you’re not."
"I believe in signals. You meet someone once, then the week after you meet them a second time. I like to believe in that, I don’t know if it is true. It was also a question of timing. It was a good moment for Jamel [Debbouze], he is a comic. He is known for that. But he was wounded when he was 13. (Debbouze has lost an arm.) He has all this pain inside him. And he starts to feel the desire to express it. Just once in a while to do something different and serious. And here I come, with a script that he loved."
"Oh, I’m so Hollywoody now," he tells me. On Conan, he announced that heâ€™s selling out with a sequel called "The 41-Year-Old Whore . . . It’ll be a hard X." "I’m a jerk," he told Matt Lauer. "I’m huge; I’ve totally changed."
Recently it was reported that two backers of "QuinceaÃ±era" â€” Nicholas T. Boyias and Avi Raccah, both listed as executive producers â€” work behind the scenes in pornographic films. At the mention of this nugget of unintended publicity, Mr. Westmoreland’s quick smile faded a little, and his thin shoulders drooped. Then, he rallied.
"I call it my ‘Blue Period,’ " he said, crediting the four years he spent filming direct-to-video sex movies as a sort of renegade cinema school. "It was really like working on Roger Corman movies or being a B-movie director in the 40’s, where you get to write and direct very fast and practice your skills."
What is your definition of "independent film"?
I think that this notion has become very difficult to define. It used to describe films that were made outside the studio system and without the same kinds of pressures that movies made within that system face. I think of Spike Lee‘s early films and Robert Rodriguez paying for everything with a credit card. Now it seems to me that the same pressures apply to so-called independent films to stack the cast with as many celebrities as you can get and with an equal number of executive producers. It sounds really hateful, but now I actually use the word "indie" as a negative. It usually means to me a family drama with the same actors who were in the last family drama with a title that sounds unusual but which will be explained by the time the film is over.
At the moment Neill is filming Henry VIII in Ireland – he plays Cardinal Wolsey. "The good thing about the part is I can put on as much weight as I like for reasons of historical veracity. It’s not hard in Ireland. The Guinness is so good. I see paintings of Wolsey and he really was a fat bastard, and conflicted. Dealing with the whims of a prince – it’s a man’s job."
Ozon found his calling at age 16 when he confiscated the family’s Super-8 after deciding that his father was botching their home movies. One of Ozon’s first efforts depicts his brother killing their parents.
"My mother and father said, ‘OK, we’ll do it because we prefer you kill us in a film and not in reality.’ My mother was killed with poison and my father with a coffin on his face." It took some grilling to establish that he meant pillow. A coffin might have really done his dad in.
"…[P]eople ask me a lot, ‘What’s it feel like to be a character actor?’ I say that when I work, I always see my character as the main character in his life story, even if it’s a small part or a cameo.â€™"
"Then people ask me, do you ever want to be center stage?â€™" he said. "I don’t feel that way. But people say it. Should I?â€™"
"I’ve been trying to do it [comedy] for 20 years and nobody would give me a job. I’ve always known I would be good at it if anybody would let me do it. I read scripts and I wanted to do them but they wouldn’t consider me – only other people that you know who do those kinds of movies all the time. I couldn’t even get auditions for certain things. So this is very exciting for me and I’m hoping that I can do more like this. Because actually this is much more fun for me and much closer to me and I’ve more to draw from playing quirky crazy girls obsessed with relationships than I do women who carry samurai swords."
+ For Woody Allen, the big picture involves maintaining autonomy (Boston Globe)
+ Is cool-hand Luc a hostage to success? (London Times)
+ Steve Carell’s Smokin’! (New York)
+ Keith Fulton, Co-Director of "Brothers of the Head" (indieWIRE)
+ Not Fat, Not Greek, Not a Wedding, but What a Party (NY Times)
+ Put it away, Sam… (Guardian)
+ French connection (San Francisco Chronicle)
+ One of These Days Audiences May Remember John C. Reillyâ€™s Name (NY Times)
+ Uma Thurman: Wonder woman (Independent)