Once again, we pull quotes from those who’ve lately braved the interview circuit:
Patrick Macias at the Japan Times (in a slighter older piece) interviews Michael Arias about how a kid from Southern California ended up being the first foreigner to direct an anime feature â€” "Tekkon kinkreet," an adaptation of Taiyo Matsumoto‘s manga "Black and White."
We absolutely could not have made this film in America. I know because we tried. [Anime director] Koji Morimoto and I made a pilot film back in 1999 and we shopped it around to studios in the U.S. The pilot won a lot of awards and was treated very nicely in Japan and Europe, but the reaction in America was just what you’d expect. Studio execs would look at our work and say, "Great movie, but can you turn the little boy into a little girl?" or "Can you make these characters teenagers?" without even a hint of irony. They’d missed the point completely. But we also wouldn’t have been able to make this film in the U.S. simply because traditional animation is pretty much dead over there. So Japan was really the place to do it.
When I ask if he was affected as a youth by the dominant images of his home country â€” portrayed by Hollywood as a dangerous place full of sleazy people â€” he shrugs off the suggestion. â€œDepends on the day. Depends how youâ€™re feeling. Usually, you donâ€™t give a shit. Itâ€™s just movies. Youâ€™re aware of those images, but you donâ€™t want to give them undue importance. Should we start a revolution because people are making bad films about us? We should instead make our own movies, and make them good. Indirectly, a film like Babel is the best way of balancing things.â€
Here’s what elevates projects…MONEY. The money draws the real professionals and makes sure they are fairly compensated. This is muy importante! Whatever shortcomings I have as a filmmaker (and they’re significant!) are easily remedied by having the top people in the business associated with my movie. Tom Cruise is a great case in point, since I believe he took NARC on his back and saved it from being relegated to the art house circuit and forced Paramount to open the movie, just like any other movie opening. This was huge and I owe a huge debt of gratitude to him today.
It’s too easy to call Infamous a gay love story, but the erotic tension between Craig and [Toby] Jones has you on the floor. ‘There was never any self-consciousness about it,’ says Craig. ‘I always think that’s how a love story needs to play out anyway, because it’s just this friendship that starts growing, and if it turns into sex, it turns into sex; but it’s not like two young men meet in a bar, go out back and fuck. This is about two human beings really sitting down and trying to figure each other out.’
What was the conflict with Allen Klein [John Lennon‘s manager and the owner of the rights to the film]?
He wanted me to make a picture and I didn’t want to do it so I escaped. So he said, "If you escape like this, no one will see your picture [El Topo] anymore." We fought for a lot of years, and I gave away videos of the film. But after all these years, we talked on the telephone and realized we were spending a lot of money because we don’t hate each other. We made peace. So I went there to see my old enemy. When he opened the door, he said to me, "You are beautiful. You are not a monster." I say to him, "You are also not a monster, you are like a spiritual master." We are old now. It is 30 years later. So now we are friends… Your best friend is your worst enemy always.
Born in Brooklyn and raised in Maryland, Lee says he faces awkward moments when residents of L.A.’s Koreatown presume he is a Korean national. Says Lee, "I have no idea what they are talking about."
Wired: How do you feel taking your work onto the internet years ago has changed you as a filmmaker?
Lynch: Well, it’s huge, because I like to conduct
experiments…. And because of the internet I’ve learned about
AfterEffects, Flash animation and discovered and fallen in love with
digital video. So I just think that going onto the web was so good for
me. It’s just sort of starting, but it’s a beautiful world…. I always
like random access, and I like the idea that one thing relates to
another. And this is part of the internet: It’s so huge, that it is
really an unbounded world. And I think that if we keep our thinking
caps strapped on, we could find something beautiful out there in the
That’s as minimalist as it gets.
That is a masterpiece of minimalism. Forget the film, even. It took such balls for Billy Bob Thornton to give a performance like that. Do you have any idea, as an actor, how courageous you have to be to give that performance?
Zhang says he’s become more conscious of appealing to audiences, including foreign ones. "Times have changed," he says.
"If you’re always trying to make personal films, they may win prizes, but lose audiences. Then the result is that Hollywood products take over the market. There are many directors in China, including some from the Sixth Generation, who do make these small-scale personal films," he says. "But only a handful can make large-scale films. It’s a matter of who has the experience, and who can get the financial backing for such films. If I can make some of these films, that’s all right with me."
"If [another Bridget Jones film] were to happen, then the least of my concerns would be putting the weight on again. I’ve said it before, I like it when I look a little more voluptuous," says the wafer-thin actress who spends most of our interview eyeing a plate of grapes, although resisting taking a single bite.
+ Anime through an American eye (Japan Times)
+ The Mexican rave (London Times)
+ SMOKIN’ JOE CARNAHAN ANSWERS YOUR QUESTIONS – PART 6 (CHUD)
+ Agent provocateur (Observer)
+ Q&A: Alejandro Jodorowsky (Premiere)
+ Remake king Lee takes bigger bite (Variety)
+ David Lynch’s Weird, Wired World (Wired)
+ Edward Norton (AV Club)
+ Director with a Midas touch (LA Times)
+ RenÃ©e finds her soulmate (Independent)