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The Big Picture


Filmmaker. I think the last thing is. What is it? The article experience is what is the definition of it? Now is it five hundred people in the theater is it a hundred is it fifty is a two people on a Friday night in front of a flat screen to me. It is that's the theatrical experience to me if it's one person. I mean, I think that the experience is the definition of it has changed. It's going to have to that's the world we live. Yeah. And your movie to you you have movie stars. And it has the feeling of kind of like an event movie in some ways from the eighties of the ninety s very sort of mid budget. Hi, Jan rutta, and that we were talking about others movies have disappeared from the Cineplex. And Netflix says obviously making strides to bring a lot of those kinds of movies back. Is there any part of you that will miss the kind of like boxoffice quality around some of this stuff or just sort of the pomp and circumstance that comes with the theatrical. It's to me it's always enjoyable to watch a film in theater or other people are laughing and join in crying, but we live in a world where where the traditional studios have centered much of their energy on Brandon, entertainment and. I'm not judging. That's what they're doing. That's their business model. And I think as you just sorta pointed out they've left behind an enormous narrative entertainment world that many people want and Netflix, God bless them have stepped in. And with great care and love has are fostering Roma. It's my favorite film of the year. Yeah. I I'm going to vote for the award people may not agree. But I feel it is. And I would like to think that when they win the Academy Award. This argument of whether net flicks makes films or not will be put the bed. It's that arguments over they make films they make films that are worthy of any award. That people are giving you this. I'm you know, if Roma wins and other films win, I think in the year two is this not even argument discussion is going to be ancient history, which it should be at this point. There's other aspect of this too. So interesting to me, I feel like there's a new part of the equation with a Netflix movie where I don't know how much of the bird box kind of phenomenon valid, but is it is it relevant to you. If you're movie kind of becomes like a mean or something on the internet that is significant because I feel like one. Felt buzzsaw has a lot of things that people could pull out and could become very memorable moments. But to is that like a new barometer for success in a way, if people have creep are creating content around the story that you've told I certainly I'm aware of the marketing of a film in these days memes. And and things taken from films are part of the marketing, so it's relevant on that way. I would like to see that for Netflix sick. They they entrusted me with some of money. And and and I respect that. And I hope it does. Well for them. I'm not really that interested in it. I hope people like it. I at this point, I'm sort of making movies as much for myself as for other people, and I've sort of turned a corner a little bit for better or worse. Hopefully, I don't stray too far that sounds like a really peaceful place to be in while you know, where it came from. I dive discussed this few times before but I worked on superman lives, which was the debacle of all time. So so epic that they made a documentary about it. I've seen it as fascinating. Right. So I I worked for a year and a half on Soumailla's. And as we getting down the wire they pull the plug two weeks before. A lot of money. But I went into the office. They pull the plug and it was living. My worst nightmare for a year. Like, this was gonna happen. I got my car job down Zanu Monica. I'm sitting on the beach, and I'm just processing everything that just happened over the last year. And I'm and I suddenly realized watching the ways that I could have written the words on the sand and the waves could have just washed away. That's how relevant was. And that was a shocking concept. And then I don't know a half hour later. I'm still singing I thought it doesn't matter. I got something that is process. I this was something I did as much for myself. This was not an invalid thing that just happened. And when I finally stood up its onset, I resolved. I was in at this point doing this as much for myself as for other people in these notions are in velvet buzzsaw the end of valid buzzsaw ends with Jewish John Malkovich. Which is literally what I experienced the idea that there is an outsider artist who's who's who's creating art as a cathartic experience for childhood trauma. Art can be as much for the artist as it can be for the audience. And I think in this film, I was really interested in the relationship between commerce and art in today's world. And the relationship is a very rocky won the quality of a work can't be judged by the number of clicks, reviews or dollar paid. I'm not saying that success diminishes the work. But it didn't no way defines it some. I'm sort of speaking to two different groups are speaking of people monetize art, saying art is more than a commodity assign ever forget that. Because I think sometimes we do. And I'm also speaking artists if you can become a brand you can beat yourself become a brand. God bless you. If that's what you want. That's fine. I don't judge that at all. But I think they're I I look at creativity as sort of a knife edge, and you can blunt it if you're not careful with repetition, and these are themes that are in the film. So I'm sort of I'm throwing ideas at their amidst the satire that you've experienced. Yeah. It's so interesting. I wonder if you have heard from anyone in the art world since you've started showing the film to people and what their reaction to it is. I haven't heard yet. I feel very secure in our research and all the almonds, and I'll tell you last week. I finally watched the price of everything on HBO. I was gonna ask you if you've seen it. I saw it a week ago and everything that these titans in the industry talk about are things that are in our film. I find that. I really asked down in my notes here. I it's so. Eerie how so much of what you are hitting on, you know, essentially, mocking there are people doing in real time in this documentary. It's fascinating. And Jake's character one point says when Toni Collette is asking about money, and where where it's all going in Texas on the money question. It's on everybody's talking about it. And in my research. Everybody is talking about what they're time at the present anything. Everybody knows that something's wrong is somehow it's not like they don't know what I don't think it can be stopped when he can't be stopped the more money the more fuel. It's like trying to stop a bonfire. It's not gonna stop. But people are trying to figure out where it's going. What is it? What does it mean? Does it diminish? Does it do this? It's a very interesting time for contemporary, art, anything. Yeah. I mean, do you see some of the same struggles for yourself as a filmmaker do feel any kind of crunch, even though you're in this peaceful moment, the only the crunch. I feel is is is that I'm an industry, which is which is in a transition phase because of the traditional studios going one way, and Netflix and other people coming in Philly that that's interesting to me it the idea as as as somebody who creates. It's that like I said I'm trying to create more for myself now than for other people. I'm trying to turn my back a little bit on all the noise, and China, I feel that if you create if look night took me a long time, but a night Carl I feel like I've found my voice, whatever my voice is a night crawler. I believe it's enrollment. I believe it's an so I'm just trying to follow my voice, I'm trying to create things that that that are relevant to me. And that brings its own piece it at this point, tell me a little bit about Roman because I don't think that there is enough conversation about it. I think it was a little bit overlooked, even though Denzel was acknowledged. And he's really interesting movie. Really well made what's your sort of? How do you look back on it? Now a few years removed from it on tremendously proud of it for myself and for all the people who worked on particularly for Denzel. I mean, I mean, I discuss this when it was out, but really Roman to me is is the story of the burden of of belief. It's it's it's he's a character. Who's carried a a sort of symbolic cross for so long, and he can't hold it up anymore, and he's going to drop it into me. That is the most of all things we are all going to not meet our standards at some point. And the ultimate message Roman is about redemption. It's it's not about failure. It's about finding a way out of out of something when you can turn when you turn your back on everything you believe in and you suddenly say, oh my God. How could this have happened? Where can you go and forgiving yourself and forgiving circumstances? That is an elevating experience that I was interested in. It's I'm very proud of the film when you're writing does the theme comforters. Does the the idea this setup confide? He always comes. First father is a writer told us from a very early age never bore you cannot bore. So I honestly think the first and foremost job of any artist on some level is to engage you can put slash entertain. But you have to engage people, and I'm looking for vehicles at engaging audience, and that become sort of Christmas trees that I can hang ideas on let me ask you a it struck me as I was watching this movie, you have a real knack for name. Tmz you your character names are very creative in this film in particular, they're sort of really elevated, but we're does stuff like that. Come from. Do you spend a lot of time trying to grab something that will really while people or puts, you know, kind of knocked him off their feet. The idea comes from. I I am an enormous Charles Dickens fan and one of the things I loved about dickens was he saw he saw a name as a vehicle to tell you something about the character. So I could spend a day on a character's name, and I have spent eight is been days on a character's name. I have lists of names. I have files of names, I'm put names one name. And I'm always experimenting looking more Vanderbilt. John Don, Don, reduce your Hayes. I just these these are names that I like, I just love names yen. I find the characters are saying those names frequently in the film, you know, it's so much fun. Not to have to ring out in some way. I find that you miss. That's great Dan couple more questions one. I'm curious. What's the last movie you've seen that you're jealous of I am jealous? Of roma. Yeah. What what was it about that? He is reminded Koran reminded us that there's nothing more dramatic than human small events framed in the right way that threw me there are scenes in Roma that rival any spectacle being made on any budget level. It just I was grossed in that film as it went as anything that I've ever seen. And and these are these are these are deep undercurrents that are not evident. They seem like they shouldn't be so important. But, but when you frame them the way he's framed them, so masterfully they become so powerful. And I just think it's it's it's a reminder of of the of of the potential for drama among people away from spectacle. And I'm only jealous in the sense that I'm not jealous. I I I'm at Meyer that he picked up the mantle and said look people life. This is this is this is really dynamite stuff if you can look at it the right way. Don't forget about it. Do you have a checklist of the kinds of films that you want to be able to make future in your career? None. Do you figure out where to go it all just an idea it just suddenly ideas on these seems really relevant? I have ideas for really dumb broad comedies that that. I once in a while I threatened to do I haven't I should write an action film. I wanna do I have I it's just an idea comes to you. I like I remember watching Slumdog millionaire, and I thought man that writer 'cause I based on a book, I must have been so excited the day. They came up with the idea of the game show quiz that became a vehicle to tell a story in flashback. That's like if I come up with that idea. I just wouldn't. That's just too cool. An idea ideas are have the shapes to them, and and you and if you look at them relevant to us on the you can see them other people can't see them. But but ideas, suddenly just leap out and go look at me, they sort of have structured to them, and and you become on my God. That's just like cool little thing. I could it's like a toy you can play with. So what are you doing next? I'm writing in original spec. Another one set in Los Angeles. At night. God help me at night s another night move in LA thought you would have learned by now. I will you. It's funny shooting at night in LA's fantastic after ten o'clock. There's no traffic. I noticed there were a couple of very good LA moments in in the new film as well. Yeah, we we shot, but I love shooting Elliott night. It's empty it's deserted. It's got this cool energy to it. It's cooler, literally, cooler, it's really interesting wild energy. Let's get dinner. I end every show by asking filmmakers. What's the last? Great thing they've seen. So maybe not that you're jealous of. But just a great thing that you saw I am an enormous fan of Ben Stiller as as gave him down tomorrow. Yeah. Guy was blown away. I I heard that he took two years on it. Then if you're listening, it was a really well spent two years, it's an incredible piece Patricia and Paul and Benito these performances are one of the writing was great to six six or seven parts on the did you see it? I did on the fifth or sixth episode when that thing happens, and you all my God, this was because it structurally, so brilliant to put that they're not in the front where it would have so differently affect. The peace, and I would have been so proud to do that piece. I thought it was remarkable. That's a great answer. I had so much fun watching Belva bus ident-. Thank you. Thank you. I appreciate. Thanks so much, Dan Gilroy. And thank you to you. For listening to this week's episode of the big picture, please tune in next week when we will have a brand new Oscar show that we've dubbed the wife of palooza, Amanda Dobbins, and I finally saw the wife, and we are ready to talk about it. And we have so much to say what we'll see you next Tuesday.

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