Episode 367: Errol Morris


Hey before we get going. I WanNa tell you about a master's program in new art journalism at the School of Art Institute of Chicago. What is canoe art journalism? It allows you to take journalism classes along with other kinds of writing classes along with all kinds of interdisciplinary interdisciplinary stuff alert decode. You'll learn adobe I you learn how to make websites how to write for the web how to pitch a story and then make make an immersive story with all kinds of multimedia episodes you might even learn how to make a podcast like this one right here. The application deadline is January newry tenth. That is coming up January tenth. And before that you've got apply as a I C dot edu slash long form arm. Get yourself a master's in new arts journalism at the School of Art Institute of Chicago. Thank you to them For sponsoring this week's show. I also need to tell you about a new podcast and it's actually not that new. It's been around just like the festival. Then it's based on. It's the aspen ideas ideas to go. podcast features in depth conversations with all kinds of innovative thinkers who speak at the Aspen Ideas Festival. You can get a front row. GROSSI to talks from artists scientists. Business leaders policymakers. And other really interesting people you might not have heard of Subscribe to the Aspen Ideas. He is to go podcast. Whatever podcast APP? You're currently listening to this. podcast on or good aspen ideas dot org slash podcast. Thank you very very much to Aspen. Ideas to go go subscribe. Let's do the show. Hello Hello Welcome to the forum podcast. I'm Aaron Lamour I am here not actually here but on the phone with my good friend Max Linski. Hello Max How are you Sir Edmund? Zana signed back on it man. He's in an another undisclosed location reporting I was at an undisclosed. Does location this week interviewing errol Morris for this very fast AEROMAR has a movie coming out called American Dharma it. It is A bunch of conversations between him and Steve Bannon But it's more than that. It's kind of an essay about interviewing Steve Steve Bannon and it also has a lot of clips from old movies in it and highly recommended Aaron. I don't know that we've talked about this on the show before. But you and I have talked without microphones about about how the long-form podcast often feels like a scam for us. Cher like because there's microphones because we do this thing. We have these conversations with people who would one hundred percent want to talk to in any other aspect of our lives also and I feel like the fact that you got to go. Sit Down with Errol Morris as we talk about how he makes movies and how he asks questions as a It's like It's part of the scam. Real scam is Is this related to our NASCENT FESTIVAL CON CON. Lankan long coming to you in two thousand twenty law a long con- slash kind kind coming soon. Buy Your tickets now. Just buy tickets. Let's we'll be announcing more information Aeromar was excellent. He's the kind of person who has so many interests breasts. It's hard to fit them into a single person. And if you're that kind of person with a lot of different interests why not share them with the the world with a newsletter from Champ They make it really easy. You can always you can always change along the way you know you start your newsletter about one the thing becomes about something else going to sue you Those the rare self segue men that was well done self segue okay. Here's Aaron with Arab horse. What were your first experiences with interviewing like like what was the first time you set up mics and tape someone? Can I even remember. I do remember fairly well when I started recording interviews with murderers I imagined and for whatever misguided reason that I was going to do a PhD thesis on the Insanity which interested me that it still interests dress me in. Saudi is a really interesting concept and those days had very little little money. Has Sony Tape Recorder Cassette Tape Recorder. I would put it down on a table usually was already running. I would very rarely ask permission. May I tape this. Is that okay with you. Instead I would put tape recorder down already running clearly visible clearly visible as tape recorder and proceed. It's slow the better way to describe it. It's the shut the fuck up school of Interviewing based on shutting the fuck up and letting other people talk. Because you never know what you're going to hear just watched your newest movie American Dharma. Yes and the first thing I was thinking about in in the wake of watching it was that Shut the fuck up and listen edict and the points in the movie movie where you do so although I do less of that in American Dharma than in most of the films that I've made but please do well. That was what I was going to ask. Skew about is what are the exceptions to the shut the fuck up and listen role. How do you choose how active to be in an interview of that kind? I'm not sure there's an algorithm that I could point to. There are certainly times when it just got to be too much and I felt that I had to say something but the idea is to figure out something about Bannon. Who is this guy? If it's true and I believe it's more or less true that he was responsible for Electing Donald Trump and twenty sixteen gene. How did that happen? I would think everybody in America or it should be at least a lot of people in America should be interested in in this question. How the fuck did this happen? How did it happen and why this is an interesting question? I certainly it's at the heart of my discussions with Steve. Bannon is history chaotic nor is there some rhyme and reason to history so. I know that Dan is in love with various. Cyclical theories of history. The history is this vast turning wheel that keeps bringing up the same themes the same issues periodically. And who are we. We're the people who are destined to do what we're destined to do. The film and Dharma Duty Destiny. All these D- words so on one hand you have this guy. Hi in love with the Crusades you know why not go back a thousand years and relive all of the nightmares of history. Why not fragment the world into pieces so that we can have small nation states as we had in Europe the twentieth century with if memory serves me correctly quite dismal results and on the other side of the table because we are talking to each other across cross table? I think it's made of sensitive Antique Bowling Alley would or something. I don't know that on the other side of the table. You have me me. Who Really ABC's history is chaotic insane unpredictable a roulette ball bouncing around on a gaming table? One question I asked myself while making this film if Western civilization is coming to an end which it very well might be what caused it and I could come up with no better explanation than one man's irresistible desired to post pictures of his Dick on the Internet. Could someone like Anthony. Weiner destroy not just America but everything else is well. It appeals to me. It's perverse. It's sad it's stupid and Bannon. If anything thing is this insane opportunist a guy who sees away to put his foot in the crack of the door and wedged reg in there so you can't close it. Under any circumstances the opportunities of the Internet which other people a lot of other other people fail to understand or use someone he said to me. I can't even remember probably in an interview about the film saying well. You know sex really wasn't part of the twenty twenty sixteen election and I would say a really you really sort of believe that it was all about sex and it wasn't about glass ceiling sex. It was about something far uglier. You're in darker the whole way. Sex was used Pan and smiling like the cat who ate canary with this look of supreme self-satisfaction as the Clinton accusers come into the room. Before the second debate it the Weiner ad which I find quite remarkable I put it in American Dharma where they associate wieners. Dick pics with Hillary's emails. And they do it in a way. That's effective the touches. Some kind of nerve so the kind of dark bullshit it's at the heart of Bannon Annan is something that we all should pay attention to. I know that the film most clearly echoes McNamara. Jack Namara and the fog of war in your own movie graffiti but the movie that I actually found myself thinking of the most in the wake of it was the movie the made about going to mess around the name. Fred Leuchter Fred. Luter the Fred Leuchter. Here's some interesting factoid about Fred luter. Who is Holocaust denier and electric chair repairman somewhat of an accidental Holocaust denier or a holocaust cost denier by misadventure? Well I would say every single one of the movies I've ever made as a mystery and there is a mystery mystery about Fred luter crystal. I did not name the movie correctly. It should have been called honeymoon moon in outfits and if ever I can change the name I will do so gladly. Did you make an attempt to title at that. People said bad bad idea but beginning at so many bad ideas I feel like it is true. That is it Mr death or doctor. Death was the final well. He wasn't a doctor a he was a Mr. So it's Mr Death and then people think he's Dr deathbed title. Can I talk about that movie a lot and no one ever says. I've also seen that movie Eh. Blend the title. But it's a really interesting study of a person who through opportunism Joins a movement meant. That was kind of the ultimate Tabu movement of its time. And you've now made another film about someone who's the figurehead of Tabu movement. Well that's nice to hear. See with Fred. Luter on he did have his honeymoon in Auschwitz. By the way it's not just a proposed title. It's description of where he chose. I was endlessly fascinated by Fred. I'm endlessly fascinated. Aided by Anti Semitism is suppose I was nine years old. Some kid in the neighborhood. I Ju by the way called me a Christ ice killer likewise by the way you also recalled a Christ killer. No I'm also I've never been called a Christ guy I think that's that's period insult. I think it's a period insult assault. Maybe so I'm called a Christ killer. I don't know what the kid is talking about so I go home to my mom and I say mom someone just call me a Christ killer are. What's that about and my mother explains to me? Well dear that's Anti Semitism and and I said well. I know what to do next time. Next time. Someone calls me a Christ killer. I say I promise never to do it again and say I'm sorry so with Fred is an anti Semite publishing these books and pamphlets with various anti Semitic organizations Holocaust deniers the worst worse than the worst. And you know he drives a lot of people batch it crazy. How dare you? How dare you say this? How dare you say that? But that's where I kind of step up. If that's how you want to describe I wanNA know what. How did he end up in this bizarre position is he really an anti Semite? What is Anti Semitism mean at? Its heart I suppose if you say anti Semitic things you consort with Anti Semites but to me Fred. Leuchter speaks to something far more disturbing the human capacity for credulity the capacity to believe anything under any set of circumstances. Our brains are like mashed potatoes. Even nowadays I mean one of the things that so disheartening about politics and is a million things. Disheartening about politics. Is You watch people people capable of believing anything rationalizing anything as if nothing really matters anymore. Truth doesn't matter rationality doesn't matter. Some kind of coherent argument for one thing over another doesn't matter was. Was it always this way. We did go through most of history leaving in religious mythologies that we find irrational rational. I think part of what for me feels the scariest about this. You refer to being scared quite literally in American Dharma. This gives me Mesa. Fear is the feeling of scare. I'm still I'm still scared to the feeling of going backwards. You know if we had just come out of the cave and it was unsafe but it was an improvement or at least. We're sort of on the positive projector always as a kid when I learned about the Holocaust is a young Ju. It's that feeling of turning back towards barbarism turning the busts of humanity around that is really scary and I think that American Dharma dramatizes that pretty effectively Am curious like when you thought. Okay I'm GonNa tell the last story the last two a years since trump has been president. How do you start telling that history that history? That is the necessary back story to what you're interviewing. Thanks Steve Bannon about well. There's a confusion right at the beginning. What we're talking about is an interview? I don't know what interviews are interviews can be a lot of things often when people say. Well it's an interview. It's by way of saying well. We all all know what an interview is. Well maybe we all know it an interview is I don't know what an interview is. I'm quite unclear about what it is but I am a little bit more clear about what I was trying to do in making this movie and it wasn't just simply to interview Steve Bannon. Although that was part of it it was also to allow. ooh Steve Bannon to talk so that I could figure out some things about who he is and why. He's doing what he's doing. And I think this pisses people off instead of D platforming bannon. It's allowing bannon speak. Why 'cause I'm interested in so kill me Sorry Hey I'm gonNA pause things here. 'cause I wanNA tell you about our sponsor this week. It's the Masters Program in new art journalism at the School of the art institute suit of Chicago so what is a Master's in new arts journalism. It's an intensive two year program that prepares students to rate far more or than traditional art reviews. They learn how to use adobe suite building a publication in design fundamentals of Photoshop how to Code and HTML AND CSS this bill the websites and when someone pitches a story there. It's not just an interview. It's also taking the photograph shooting video creating a podcast episode. Putting article into a layout with custom typefaces this is a different way to write about arts and culture and it's a great city to do it in Chicago is is brimming with museums galleries working artists unusual neighborhoods and far more. If this kind of thing seems like a place you might liked to take your career and there are people who are coming there from all over the world. The application deadline is January tenth for more info go to S. S. A. I. Dot Edu slash long-form again. That's the school of the Art Institute of Chicago's Masters in New Arts Journalism. deadline January tenth S. A. I. C. Dot Edu slash long form. Thanks for checking it out. Here's the show. Does the subject ever seem to you. Like it's too much trouble to be worth like knowing that you were GonNa get this reaction to ban and knowing that it was curious ask for. I didn't know that it would be severe. I add okay. I wouldn't say totally surprised. Yeah but I would say I mean my you usual responses that I knew it was going to be a shit storm. I didn't think it would be a shit hurricane. It's actually an essay. Say Much more than an interview. Think I'll stick with that. Why an essay? I'm always looking for a way in with McNamara. It was a book that he had written about his experiences in the White House. Had first person passages that I found really interesting and really compelling for example his description of this moment during the Cuban missile crisis. Where Llewellyn Thompson tells President Kennedy addity to ignore one of the creuse? Jeff Talley Rams in the interest of avoiding atomic war and because he believes based on his knowledge of Khrushchev which is not inconsiderable. That Khrushchev had been misunderstood with Rumsfeld away. In was these endless yellow perils snowflakes flakes the memoranda that he wrote compulsively the thousands of memoranda that he wrote during his tenure as Secretary Terry of defense during the Ford Administration and then during the Bush administration Panin it was is movies the fact that he loved movies the fact that he had directed. Perhaps I've lost track dozen documentary films that he had been a movie producer that he has a graduate of Harvard business. School had been involved in lying and selling motion picture. Businesses is of course is the man of the people who populist twelve o'clock high which is a film. When he saw the week he went to Harvard Business School? They showed the entire class. This movie movies actually a disturbing movie. I've seen literally thousands of American movies. I'd never seen twelve o'clock high now. I've seen it many any times. Gregory Peck's best performance and extraordinary movie and extraordinarily disturbing movie. 'cause what's it about. It's about `bout attempt to win the war against Nazi Germany with air power and the fact that in order to win win this war. You can't think about right or wrong. You can't think about your own life you can't think about anything except wedding. Getting winning at all cost kind of Neil Listrik deeply meal listrik film bannon loves it and I believe it becomes kind of the Zeitgeist of 2016 except this time in two thousand sixteen instead instead of a war against fascism how ironic. It's a war to promote fascism in America most of the fascist tropes reimagined without much nuance at all the familiar stuff. beat up on foreigners start blaming people balkanization or rebulk nizing the world. And then I guess maybe take it over. I want to ask you about those movies as a piece of the process of making this film sure so at what point is the process. Do you say hey I wanNA make a movie with Steve Bannon Would you think about US watching a bunch of old films and then talking about like how. How do you bring these elements together? Is that something to get workshops who decides what movies get watched ultimately. Yeah I suppose I decide what movies get watched but all the movies were suggested by Steve Bannon. They weren't just pulled out of a hat by me Twelve o'clock high is arguably his favorite movie. He gave me a list not just of movies but if scenes that he wanted to discuss from various movies I suppose among the movies picked. Well there's a whole number of mazing examples but the example from John John Ford's the searchers which is a movie to be sure about racism truly ambiguous disturbing serving movie about John Wayne's search for the Indians who have abducted his niece. What's seen as Bannon pick at of the searchers arguably one of the true masterpieces of American cinema? He picks the scene. Were John. Wayne descends into shadow looking at a girl who has been held captive by the command. And saying she's not white come manch filled with rage filled with hatred in that scene. He moves into shadow faces eclipsed what the hell is going on here. What the Hell is going on when Bannon says made in Vietnam about the uniforms worn by the girls? Volleyball team had to rewind that. Pardon listen to the story because at first I thought I had perhaps masturbate estimate that explained why he was enraged about the Vietnamese inclusion. Do you come to. What do you think he was saying? I think he was saying saying that. It's horrifying that Americans are losing jobs. Well Vietnamese workers are former former enemies from my own generation are thriving. It's almost like the analogy. Requires you to take it out of very very simplistic sort of what is good and evil level. I guess how did you take it. I still don't know but I do agree that a lot of these things things force these into simplistic boxes. I thought that was one explanation. One explanation was you know there should be you really. High tariffs that prevent us from trading with these people who are really our enemies it seemed to have a racist edge into it for me that he didn't like the idea that non whites were making clothing to be worn by the girls roles at West Point it makes me think about. My grandparents said they would never drive a Volkswagen. They refused to patronize German. Businesses I says well for their whole lifetime my mother would never buy a Ford doubt similar reasons. Because Henry Ford supposedly paid for the Protocols of the Elders of Zion and was known rabid anti Semite. So I don't know exactly what he meant. I thought it it was. It was something that I had to listen to several times. You're not the only one to try to figure out what the Hell's going on here is adjust xenophobia. I think yes if I were to do the polygraph some piece of the Pie Xenophobia is. Is it racist. I would say yes I would say. Part of the piece of the Pie is racist. Is it against global trade need. Yeah that goes in to the hopper as well again re balkanize the world set everybody against everybody else. I thought about climate change for example say climate change was a hoax which it isn't but say it was. Would it be so bad. If all the countries of the world work together towards some common end the just might save the planet or just might benefit humanity. Would that be such a bad thing for these people. Yes Yeah Party of Davos globalization was Asian. Hack it all up splendor it all up. Instead of creating any kind of global unity go back to the twelfth through the eleventh centuries. I find it so frightening in so appalling. I mean I don't know what's best for the world who the hell am I anyway but I do know that this stuff is not good. It's scary and people should be dealing with. This is not a time to pretend that this stuff it didn't happen. One of the fantasy is on the left is trump's election was just conspiracy. I would say that we have to look at it and try to understand it so that it doesn't happen again or it will in in some form or another it will when you take a moment like the Vietnam moment and I think you're films consistently deliver moments like that that it feels like it's happening in real time you don't. I don't think no that Steve Bannon is gonNA give this Vietnam analogy at all. In fact all the the people with him his producer. You getting something like a cut the tape off Kinda thing. No no no no no not at all. They were moved by it surprised. Oh Oh I've never heard that story before as an interviewer when you're thinking on your feet and you get served up a volleyball all of that sort like. Where are you thinking? I want to go at this knowing that it might take you a whole day or a whole year to unpack all the ideas. Yes in retrospect. What do you do in real time in the interview after I listened? Yeah there's a lot of stuff that has made me think in his continued to make me think in the movie mean there are really destructive elements in in politics. Maybe people have gotten so tired with everything that all they can possibly think of is destroying everything. And if we've come to that point that's a really frightening and sad point in the world at large and in America in particular. I do believe that the anger towards the movie in towards me is just based on kind of hopelessness. That a lot of people feel we've just been plunged into darkness and there doesn't seem to be any clear way out. Do you take get personally. That criticism does it matter to you what people think about you. I think you should take everything personally. So yes it yes it does. 'cause you you make movies about people who are McNamara Bannon who professionally are hated the people who are willing to just take a huge amount of the American population thinking that they are I believe Lucifer incarnate is Brought up once in the movie people who are very willing to be unpopular. And I find as an interviewer myself. One of my great shortcomings is my desire to be liked When you're sitting down with abandoned like how much does bannon liking you even come into play? You probably does come into play but I think beyond just some kind of mister rogers idea. Will you be my buddy visit desire to actually uncover something learn something. I don't know exactly what it was that I saw in my series of Rumsfeld interviews but at the end I had this terrible feeling that there wasn't very much there there there was just supreme self-satisfaction. Did he was like crazy. Carnival Barker with with Bannon. I'm left with a guy who I think has done a really excellent snow job on himself. He's convinced himself off. I don't know who he thinks he is is. He landed on the way to the Finland station is he. Some kind of revolutionary. The ideologue who is going to become the supreme champion of the disenfranchised and the poor we can have discussions. There's a kind of feeling of connection I am. Well aware that my mother who was a schoolteacher in the five towns on Long Island a music teacher. My mother was forced to take these jobs because by I father died. When I was two years old? She was left with no insurance and yet she raised a family she and sported a fair number of people on a school teacher's salary. Could she have done that today. I don't know I don't think so. So is there a problem. Is there a systemic problem. In American American society about the distribution of wealth. You BETCHA. Are we doing anything to ameliorate it to change. In anything to benefit the Working People's of America I would say precious little I do Askham. You really think that these tax proposals coming out of the trump administration benefit anything but the wealthy this kind of a delusional crazy ass element in all of this that evidently people respond to. I don't know how long but they respond to do it. And I think it's just because this a level of anger that has just peeked into the red zone. The horrible danger area where there may not be any going back. I don't know I so you're going somewhere different with the story about your mother. which was that a Dharma as it's defined in this movie this sense of duty you and purpose that maybe that was closer to Dharma? You know taking care of children on your own than wires Dharma in all these movies. The man who destroys the world without morality air brings about the revolution. Why why would we assume that Dharma Emma is to destroy the world? I guess I guess what I think about my mom. I think about my mom all the time I would say there's something different than Dharma which I would call courage. Did my mom act the way she did at of duty. Maybe she was an uncommonly moral indecent person. She felt very strongly. That's what she had to do. She loved her children and was dedicated to bringing them up in educating them Dharma. I don't know maybe I come from a different kind of tradition. This is Dole destiny. There is no destiny in in history. This caprice inadvertent. There's insanity there's confusion also I was really disturbed by the destiny. Dharma talk the talk duty. Destiny Dharma whatever. Because I felt one-size-fits-all you can use it to justify anything you know. Why did X. happened? Why did why happen well? It was destined to happen like predicting a revolution is going to happen sometime. This country not only could that revolution be anything. In retrospect we could say that every generation this country has experienced a revolution. Question is America capable of reforming forming itself. Our politics is just crazy. The fact that we have all of these principles embedded in our constitution from two hundred plus years ago. Does the electoral college make sense. Does a lot of things make sense anymore. We're we're going through so many changes in everything in the way that information is conveyed to the public. I mean it's a different world now than it was twenty thirty years ago and what happens next. I don't know does making films make sense now. That's a good question question that I have no answer for. I mean I don't make films because it makes sense to make probably if I thought carefully. Whether do they made sense. I would stop immediately. I make him 'cause I have a need to do it. I haven't need to think about stuff writing writing and filmmaking from me is a form of thinking it's an opportunity to think about something and I enjoy it. I really in fact enjoy it. I don't know what I would do without filmmaking. I remember when I first saw thin blue line and someone said to me uh-huh yeah like in that part that was a recreation. I was like what there's re-creations in that movie. I have a very strong ability to just suspend disbelief in almost anything anything. I'm watching and I feel like your use. I have a strong ability to suspend belief in there. You go yeah well I was thinking about all the devices you've used all of the SAS Dick Tools that have been in different. Ones your films to me. I would have always said fast cheap and out of control the most an essay at least before American Dharma. But you have these different approaches different ways of putting two things together that creates contrast the same kinds of tools that are used in essays. This film American Dharma is I think the first of your films. Where are we're seeing tweets on the screen? We're seeing headline news and we're actually seeing a lot of footage that was shot in the last just twelve to eighteen months. Yes it's It's history collapsing on itself. A little bit as essay. which is what's happening? I mean we're in a sea of information much of its spurious some of it probably precious little factual actual and it is part of the story of what is happening. Now I think is a good part of American Dharma the fact that we see we all this stuff going on around. It was that like a negotiation among producers. Like how do you define that visual style. Alan say there's going to be tweet sunscreen. We're doing this no discussion. I mean there is my editor myself working on a project in trying to fully realize it Stephen. Hathaway was absolutely fabulous working with me on this movie. But now there's smell they evolve as you're going along. I read Joshua Green. Joshua Greene writes from Bloomberg admitting the book on banning in this comes right after fire and fury which probably was what drew me to baking making American Dharma in the first place. I haven't met Michael Wolff. I'd like to meet him. Bannon was widely believed to be the major source but yet fire in. I believe I don't think that's a particularly contentious allegation for me to make on. This seems to be the interesting outspoken person in the trump administration and reading that I wanted to talk to him reading both of those books. Fire and fury in Joshua Greens book about Bannon and I believe leave it was in Joshua Greens book that I I read. The twelve o'clock high was his favorite movie and it just seemed away in. Let's create a movie. We were inside of Bannon's head. People seem so oh puzzle is like they've never seen an Arrow Morrisville before. They seem so puzzled that I would put Bannon in this quonset hut from twelve o'clock and it's it's clear that the two were running parallel and some kind of crazy way to fantastic clock on the wall. The QUANTA hat could sell replicas of that o'clock I'm in for one of those clocks. Start shelling the cut from the clock in the movie to the clock in the set is one of my more satisfying in cuts. And do you have that clot fabricated. Sorry I have to ask because I looked online and was trying to find the clock. How do you get that clock? You have really great production designer. Adam stockhausen his absolutely fabulous. He's Wes Anderson's production designer among other things that has drawn resume and beat he does. It's Spielberg Healdsburg. Wes Anderson Law Blah Blah Blah Blah. And also he's an uncommonly commonly good guy but yeah finding all the props the details for that it was really beautifully realised I was reading Mark Singers New Yorker profile of you. Oh you you gotta neutral to to This is the one that's when right after thin blue line is coming out. Yes this is the first year probably forty two and the story. Maybe something like that I think that profile is actually aged very well but one of the things I was struck by in rereading it was was how hard it was to see your movies during the whole first part of your career where you know. There's a few prints circulating. It's like if you went to the Roger Ebert Film Festival maybe taught it and now you have this situation with American Dharma where I could read five hundred hundred takes on this movie by people who haven't yet seen the movie and then when the movie is fully out it will be accessible for five. Boxer locks are probably for free depending on what subscriptions you have like. Tell me about that evolution for someone who's making our to go from like a four digit audience the answer to the massive audience but in in a backwards way four digit audience to kind. It's strange it's strange that all of my films have gotten theatrical distribution. It's not clear how many people actually actually seen any of them. Documentary was kind of unseen and unheard for the longest period period of time. The line I always reference comes from Conan the barbarian one of John Milius best limes used to be just another snake cult. How you see it everywhere? It has become virtually ubiquitous. And because of all all of the streaming services endlessly available. It's very very very very different. When I Made Gates AIDS have heaven? It wasn't clear that anyone would distribute it. Talbot New Yorker Films Kylie decided that he would. It was accepted the New York Film Festival which was kind of amazing but there was a newspaper. Strike Nineteen seventy the ADA said possible. It is newspaper strike in New York. No one knew about it. That movie would have vanished completely. If not for two Chicago critics critics that I knew very little about Roger Ebert and gene siskel started talking about gates of Heaven and they talked about doubted that year in four separate shows that they did which was ridiculous. Many many ways I own my career to those guys. Do you have an alternate version to yourself that maybe hung it up after a couple films. uh-huh and you know it's just leading a quiet life now with a few strange digitize films to show your kids of Hey. I made a movie about a pet pet cemetery once when you were a little. Your son's been on this show by the way. Actually I think you're you're my first father son interview really streakier. We have had nat rich and frank rich on before but that was two different hosts. This is both me so yes he was. He was excellent. When did you have Hamilton little to no? It was around when he put out that Harper story about the magic mushroom Zhuhai fantastic story. Check it out. Everyone Orbit Aberfan father and a fan. You clearly clearly raged in original thinker. I've actually always wondered with you about with your son uncovers all this like wild experimental drug stuff and I have a Jewish mother do you do you worry about about. Your son. Says psychedelic explorations nations. Of course why would but. I'm very proud of him as well. Yeah he's created a lot of interesting testing thinking I would say that his series Hamilton's Pharmacopoeia about thinking thinking about the nature of drugs about our attitudes towards drugs he's interesting. His part chemist part anthropologist documentary filmmaker part a lot of different and things. Will Your your part a lot of things yourself and I guess I wonder like having raised a person who is part a lot of things and ahead a career. That's a lot of things like what would you say to someone who wanted to make work like in the spirit of your work now. Oh someone who didn't see necessarily purely within the documentary film or fiction and nonfiction categories. Would someone like you enter this swirled like now. It's a lot easier. I hope it remains easier. Who knows what's going to happen next but it is possible now to be a certain kind of artist hate to use the word? It seems so pretentious awesome so pompous. But it's possible to be an artist in a way that was much harder years ago. That's a great thing to actually a great thing. It's possible to make films certain kinds of films more cheaply although people have found ways to spend more money than ever on motion picture production. Yeah in that sense we live a good time. Is there stuff you still WanNa achieve like. How many are left on your on last if I read all these stories about are you? There always a list of stories that you've always wanted to do most of which are still unrealized. Even the ones from the eighties and nineties. Until I realized what's still bill left out there for you. And and what are your ambitions for. All those stories are still left. They're more. They're more unfinished projects all the time. I'm starting to more series started one already and I'm starting a second one very soon. I'm working all right. Well thank you so much. Hey thanks for listening to the PODCAST. Thanks to Mars for doing the long form podcast. Thanks to the

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