Bret Easton Ellis — best-selling author, screenwriter, and podcast host whose works include "American Psycho," "Less Than Zero," and his latest hit, "White" — joins Ben to discuss being "anti-anti-Trump," the Hollywood bubble, Twitter speech enforcement, the state of movies, "Generation Wuss" millennials, and much more. Date: 07-28-2019
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
I think that was actually a headline in the daily bees. That was- and I am saying this verbatim, what is wrong with bodies to notice? So I think, if you written apiece any title that what is wrong with ready scenarios Maybe it s my job at a low welcomes the bench a parachute Sunday Special were joined today by Brett Eastern. I was the author of, among other things, american cycle and the brand new book white bread thanks a lot softened by really appreciate it things around me, and so I have to start with the most obvious question. So you guess you have now come out as anti antitrust and this lobby come you're calling card in the political world. Your anti anti trunks anti anti from oh, yes, I gave my aunt I antitrust stance. We want to get involved with it at all and somehow Trump forces. Everybody to this narrative. That's about him,
and I guess it started happening really soon after he announced he was. For. President of the sum of twenty fifteen became known that escalator in the trunk tower and I began to become interested in how he was being cover. Cancer was practically that interested in Trump of course it known about him since he emerged on the scene and even wrote about him in american Psycho, where he is Patrick Bateman, father figure were Patrick Bateman keeps wanting wanting to, tromp wanting to see him wanting to know what restaurants. Tromp legs is throughout the books about the trumpets mention about forty times in the book, and that was because when I was doing research on the book- and I was hanging out with those guys on Wall Street, they love Trump and it was something that was really really kind of unsettlement it where the art of the deal he was as aspirational figure. He had. You know this keeps beautiful women hanging onto me how this lifestyle that they all wanted to emulate,
I thought it was amusing to put him in american cycle, but that was really about all interests in me about Trump sure watch the apprentice which someone enjoyed and I thought his marriages and his children growing up, but I really do think I'd have to engage with him on the level that we all had to. I began to see how he was being covered in the summer twenty fifteen and into twenty six, and there was this disconnect between who I thought tromp was what he was trying to do and how the media was covering him and it was disturbing and it was- and it was bothering me enough that I started to talk about it on my part, as I also live with someone who is about as far left as you go, I would say, borderline communist millennial and he and his over reaction to Trump also was troubling to me. I just couldn't understand how Trump could make people melt down,
freak out in the way that some of them did and talk about this a lot of white, especially the elites, especially the elites that I've written about most of my life and my fiction having dinner with them and seen them in. Get really incense over the idea of trumpet I'm talking about months. Times a year after the election it was, and so yeah I started talking about how I will I guess it was ants hands I trumpet doesn't necessarily mean that I was programme. I was never a trump support, I didn't vote for an but do, something so bothersome, so I pitch and hysterical about the reaction to that it was. Quite frankly, beyond annoying and What's that covered in in white, am I talk about this? A lot of my pocket? What is it about? Trumpet causes such massive tv, has the impression that I get for a lot of these folks. They consider themselves sophisticates comes along. This kind of boorish fell,
oh from New York, who doesn't play by any of their niceties, and it's like they mask their hatred for the affectation, with a hatred for his soup Who is it politics? A liberal sitting at some lunch with David Mammoth, actually we're in the middle of Santa Monica two beautiful day outside in the middle of the day, and yet in Santa Monica we can take one Chaucer reason: drawing themselves. Haven't you under dollar bottle one and we're talking about Trump to each other that if we set his name, people would pretty much start screaming aloud and talking about the end of the world was nigh in the middle, this beautiful restaurant Santa Monica because they just had to save America and it's just It is bewildering living out here and you deal with these folks a lot more than I do in Hollywood, but this this no. And that their saving the world by being part of the resistance where where's this coming from that's a very good question and it has to stem from something about. I am, I truly believe this trumps aesthetics I'm not even sure. If it's his policies, I'm not even sure. If it, even whatever ideology he might or might not carry
it really seems to be aesthetics. It seems to be that this boorish clown, You know I walked into the China Shop and start knocking things all over the place with his warned skin and is weird hair and his in this kind of persona. That look, I have always said you just cannot take trump literally. If you take trumped literally, your head is husband explode. You ve got to understand the overall message that trumpets putting out there because a lot of which he is really transparent. He is a transparent personal. One level, even if he lies what and who have to be able to juggle that and understand. Ok, I get that when he saying this is actually meaning that, when he saying this is actually mean in this. So if you want, but this aesthetic ray we throw you so of course, then you really to one take a big stiff drink at the bar and
and start realigning. How you feel about this person, because it white reacting to words and how strongly reacting about is this does a disk and also it doesn't, he doesn't care, I believe he doesn't care. I know everyone. Oh, this is really getting too tromp. This is really gonna upset, and this is really I don't know how much I also don't know how much the resistance really interest him at all anatomy. Oh how much he listens to two to the resistance, but getting back to what you're talking about I really believe it all stems from how we looked at how he acts and maybe because, like Mitt Romney ready these overtake. But what lit this, I think is is one of the keys to why trump supporters there's a huge disconnects trumps orders. Look it up, and I say this man is his honest. Is that Islam is incredibly honest. He speaks for me whatever he says that comes out of his mouth. At least he's being honest people on the left that he is lying, like a rug. All the time everything that comes out of his mouth is alive, and people in writing. Ok. Well Barack Obama, like us,
but I am also agents, even have any problem with that. It's like everyone wants to treat trumpet something out of the box when, in reality, in political terms, because it is just a politician- we're gonna, be on citizens and that's not true, but he says it in the service of whatever he thinks he needs yet done today, but the fact that he so transparent about a non smooth about it is what I think is sticking with water. Folks know I agree, and I also think that there is just this there's a standing committee in there that just drives people crazy as much as it makes people love him and there's something about that that damn it's cool. End of accessible in a way. The way that prompt behaves in the trunk presents himself the people he seems like he someone trying to be in every man in a lot of ways. Even though force he probably sees himself much better but on a much higher plane than the every man. But am, I think, there's something about that? That means,
look if you want one of his speech that want these rallies. It really is kind of remarkable stand up an allotted this funny. That's the other thing regardless you hate Trump, where you find him repugnant, he's, also funds and he's funny in a way that is even as someone who was not a trump supporter, there's some. He said some funny stuff in a way that I've never seen a president in my lifetime and I'm fifty five and I've been around for whatever many many deck is I've never seen a president actually behave this way and again, you can either take it in in the way that is simply offered, or you can turn it into a disastrous horrible merited that so full of darkness and It is going to destroy the country and if not the country, the world and you're going be really unhappy I'd, be a really happy. Person gets right when I think that
from internal cultural way. One of the things that I wonder if it if this is what drives left, not just that he is the right answer to a bunch of things that the left really loves. One is cultural dominance that the left is ascending and culture. They dominate culture, particularly Hollywood. Nearly every level which I'd like to talk to you about a little bit more and a second and Trump is the right version of her. We would, which is to say he was a deal, celebrity wrote that was in favour of memories, not pissing off then they set ok. Well, ok, fine he's our cultural guide levels this this. Should this boobies, your contractual eight you're, the one who cast him the apprentice and then to think of him. For ten years, at the same time, he is sort of the right, answer to John Stuart and to John Olive of core people hard this merger of politics in Kommeni, squib decided. Sometimes are politicians, and sometimes there comedians you're, never gonna be able to tell which one and trumpet just that, except all way and then he's also the answer to the left suggestion that they are in touch with the common man in here.
Guy who can runs around in this tie, those from the nineteen eighties? That's all the way down on his knees and is wider than the river Potomac, and he- and he is, is our answer to on the right, you know they, the common man problem the let's look at this, and I think that it's almost like looking it is bizarre, o mere image of themselves, they don't like what they see, it ignores NASH. One, though, is not only that, but you have to understand that in then in the movie that was playing out in twenty fifteen and twenty sixteen. He also beat the queen. He also be, madam Hilary, and that is another, if not only that he that he won the election, but that it was that it was him who won the election over her and I think that is the most painful aspect of it. It's not only the trump.
To them is a big boob, an seems like a fool and they think is going to destroy America as we know it is that he stepped in place of her, and that still must sting, and it still does for a lot of people end up even people in own didn't because, like Hillary Clinton, but its a bit is a very tough thing to swallow. I think on the left, as well as the idea that he came in and basically erased brought a bomb is legacy in it the short amount of time- and I remember I was sitting with someone Surely a close friend of mine from college who had raised a ton of money for Hillary Clinton, Bellair Showbiz, jewish boy- the whole package. You ran away, and I, the cause of them very good friends with them, and you know he was somewhat disillusioned by force truncating alive.
But about a year later we were having dinner in a restaurant Beverly Hills with a couple of friends of oars, and he said you know. I really can't believe it. How effective the president was Obama if Trump of all people can come in and completely I raise this legacy, maybe not effective at all, and I think that is an incredibly painful pill but left as well and it makes them very angry at me, some overreacted things, and it's some. It is, I think, part of the the narrative that again stings the most so How do you get away with all of many work? In Hollywood you still work and how we know what I would say. That I have always worked. I've been an outsider in Hollywood that I work on the fringes. I work in independent film I'm not. I've never been hired by the studios. Written many many tv pilots, but nothing that has been made.
I have made a living in Hollywood, but I really had never seen myself as a player. Someone who is part the scene, rarely got a party is rarely go to red carpet. Events stop going too, screenings, I'm not, as always. I have been that way of always I've. I know a lot of people in Hollywood and have a lot of friends. Because we all kind of brought together- and I mean I can take a meeting, but it does necessarily mean that I am working in mainstream Hollywood. Actual lot of Well aren't working necessarily mainstream. All was Bessie. We talk about the movie business because the movie This is really just about you know, a group of writers trying to make animated by animated films a model movie, so it's not really as if there is this huge pool of screenwriters like there once were. Writing movies for also mean a lot of the three miles. I knew like candidate with that were made really good money in the nineties and into the to them
As is now, are you know they want is overseen a diner ally, another and other one is selling real estate in Boise, unlike getting. I mean that it is really where a lot of people went when everything kind of dried up in terms of being extremely well paid fierce ring on his work. Does it really is not that lucrative anyone? I can probably do far better in books and reading books, and I then I can in terms of making a living as scared? I saw. I look I am also not walking around with a minor hot on the ruling and say how much I love trop, so it and a lot of people know me as being a bit of a contrary and as someone who you know, I don't obviously want to do it, but I guess go against the grain and whatever the collective group think in the moment is an think, I'm known as that I've been known, but as that for many many years, so I dont know if it's that shit
in that I am anti anti Trump too to a degree. But you know that's what this book is about and is very interesting to see how the me the stream media did react to the book because They reacted exactly as I prophecied in the book, which is there going to be. They went nuts they when absolutely crazy, and I think that was actually a headline. In the daily base. That was- and I am saying this verbatim, what is wrong with bodies to Alice so I think it is written appease title that what is wrong this analysis- you I've, maybe they're my job I don't know, but I dont worry about. I really dont worry about this notion, I mean look, will Holly was an extremely liberal enclave, but there were there are little pockets conservatives around there and there it. Certainly, as I read about in White now all always allay went blue. There was this little section in Beverly Hills that went red right above sunset, the north eastern edges of sunset
so on, so I dont know I. I also feel that you that, as someone who has a podcast another wider and cultural commentator that you have to be true to yourself. You simply have to and let the chips ball where they make. Look, I'm sure I haven't gotten a job because of why talk about and white or what have been talking about my pack ass, the last two or three years, and I'm sure one or two things have been have not moved forward because of that, but on the her hand, what do you do? Do just become a pot person and a start start spouting the group think and at a now living sad little life of desperation, It is true, I mean I'm nope. I know the couple guys were kicked off. They sports team in twenty Sixteen out kind of like up some I've celebrity like writers, directors that, because the practical Hillary Clinton jobs a locker room Let me that's how it out it can be that they were not ass back, so the town can then can be there But it does seem some. I dont sometimes
I think it's going to calm down away. But I don't soon a second I want to ask you about, they not only pegs, had been treating the peer group, but also some of the things that you said that been seen as contrary and gets that just one second, but first what say that today's podcast doesn't a well and I need to hire. Somebody will firing used to be hard, multiple jobs, I'd stacks residues, confusing review process today, hiring can be easy. You only have to go to one place to get it done: zip, recruiter, dot, com, Slash Ben guest because I have a guest, zip recruiter sends your job to over one hundred of the world's leading job words, but they don't stop there with them powerful matching technology. Zip recruiter skins, thousands of resonates to find people with the right experience and then invites them to apply to your job as applications coming zipper? Could we analyzed each one spot? What's the top candidates see never miss a great match? Zipper Caruso effective that four out of five employer supposed tons of get equality candidate through
the site within the very first day. Right now, my listeners contrive zip recorder for free at this exclusive web. Address. Sip precludes outcome, Slash Ben guessed, the zipper Kurds outcomes, Ben gas be and SD zipper could reduce com. Slash, Benghazi, Procureur is the smart. Wait here, which is why my employees should do a fabulous jobs they. Otherwise, we could be looking for a new employ a recruiter. Ok, when we talk about this sort of cultural censorship. In Hollywood, one of the things the you'd did on your part. Ass. You do in white that have not seen any one else do. Is you will honestly critique other artists, other people in the movies? You actually give your opinions about things which is you need them- and I spent a lot of conservatives for in Hollywood and many them even in private conversation, won't say anything about movies or about other people who are working. Or their skills that specifically because they're afraid of the blow back. Obviously, You ve done that, and it makes you wonder more interesting than of critics of of fish and one of the areas where I had seen you do. That repeatedly is on movies about race
our gay and Hollywood movies about race in Hollywood. So what's your approach to critiquing film, because there's so much politics, that's invested in this very well. If you, if you want that what you're talking about, to stifle your real feelings about a movie. That's a problem in a way. I am. I'm ever mean. I don't think I'm ever purposely fruitful for someone who created something or accident something. I just get my honest reaction to what I saw and how I felt about it and what I think, what I'm thinking about it and what is what and how it and how it affected me. That's all I'm doing, and I really stress style, anesthetics, over ideology, movies or about style movies- are about an individual film maker I believe and that the best the movies are made with one person's vision and the best
movies are real. The message is in the aesthetics. The message is in the style I am not a fan of movies that are all about ideology that are about victimhood and unfair. Finally, that has made it seem like I'm homophobic, even on a gay man that I'm a racist and then I'm a sex is because I don't like the the kind of approach to movies, about gay people about black lives and about female empowerment unless it is forbidden to John and then I really do like those whose, but I dont like pure pure message movies. And every year, a lot of those get made- or maybe less so but lot of them get rewarded and that's a little annoying when you know that representation becomes more, important, then how you make a movie is something that is
has been bothersome to me, and I thought about that. A lot of my bike, that's what I'm talking about current movies on this podcast is about to be released I talk about two but I guess you call him female, paramount movies that are directed and create by women book smart and late night, and one fails because all about ideology, All about the message of english civility, Inclusive Eddie. And Feminism, an intersection reality in the workforce and now, if some One comes in and wipes way all the middle aged white men than everything has been at me. So much better with you know this diverse cassis now at the writing table that's late night and the other movie, which is also written and directed by women, and it has a female empowered by is a teen comedy. I prefer the tin comedy. A lot more than I prefer the message movie, so you know you again. You have to be comfortable with what
path. You will want when you talk about movies, but but I I appreciate people were honest, I appreciably nor honest about my work. I've lived with people who have it responded to my work. I've lived with people. I would wish someone right now really hate Americans, like it, doesn't like it at all, I'm completely fine. With that. I know people are set said it, and I know people get a little touchy about things, but I always. I hope that I come at film with a certain intelligence and a certain knowledge, and that I know what I'm talking about and then I'm not just there like saying when they saw a loud dumb. This is but that it is usually a kind of deep dived that treats the movie very very seriously, but you know again If there's blow back on that that something you also have to deal with, but I still a lot of friends who are I'll make. Who is movies? I I prefer the lack of producers who whose movies I haven't light and I'm quite honest with them, and it doesn't seem to her our relationships, main themes,
particularly round Oscar season. There's always this attempt to award, as you say, all these kinds of films that you said he for back there it is of particular irritation. I think to a lot of folks, including people and means for America, which is where I think there's some cross over here. I think there are a lot of folks. We look at the Oscars every year and they are even seen any of these films and then I look at the Oscar previews and basically I can tell who's gonna win best picture simply by looking at who tracks most woke box. If the moonlight was absolutely gonna win the asker, because it was the weakest film that Europe was gay and it was black and it was impoverished and there is no I that it was going to win the asker, and you see that almost for Europe just certain films, where it checks enough boxes that people can feel good, themselves in the academy. Never having watched it, but then, having signed off on it on the envelope and in its cravings massive culture gap between this other people actually watch and then the stuff that this group people want to be able to brag to their friends about me. That's what it feels like from the outside. It feels like maybe this stuff is.
In full, the creators and on a certain level, but I'm an artistic level. There are not a lot of people, out there in the middle of the country are desperate to watch me. That is not a movie that is going to pick up huge scares people nor is going to do a whole hell of a lot for gay empowerment. If nobody ever watches the film will, I think the problem with my mind. I talk about this my book and then as well, and what I'm shocked to find that so few people overly seem moonlight The other thing that's strange is that in out it's, not necessarily moonlights fault, in a way that it became in. Raise the small little man, I don't they bearing Genk As that on these pushing any kind of agenda thinking made the kind movie that he wanted to make, and I also that sometimes we mistake all of this ideology and moonlight. Yes, he's poor, he's gay he's black It is an orphan the degree of his mother's a dramatic and we and Sometimes we missed the point that maybe it's really a movie about loneliness. You know maybe
just that I know people will be like the movie respond to it. When on that, on that, but I also think that moonlight became inordinately rewarded at that at those Oscars. I actually thought Babylon was going to invest picture that year. I think what happened to the narrative of moonlight is that it open and such a fraud, period in twenty. Sixteen, where it seemed like. Every week we saw what men shot on camera and the body is just piled up and it was just this at this inescapable thing, and so when we see these, you know that I brought bodies and moonlight, I think it touched word a connection was made in the entertainment press and then it seemed overrun Hollywood that. This wasn't a movie about gay representation which really was about being gay and it became a movie about blocker presentation about black lives matters and I think that's what stored the ball rolling for Moonlight
but it's true. It has to be a certain kind of movie, though, or else there is going to be a lot of complaints, and I think Why is soft enough in innocuous enough, but no one is really going to complain. But no one got mad at one, for example, best picture. Unlike this past year, when green book when thus picture and the Dammit Press had a meltdown and Hollywood in some way had a meltdown immunity will watching people's twitter feed who are mainstreamed, critics or people involved in Hollywood. While the Hollywood a little less because they might have to work with these people. These producers, It was. It was as if that will be I do think, has its own progressive elements. Certainly the way they deal with the gayness, and that film seems very progressive in a way which makes it just kind of shrugged off and and the main TK. You're a ton of a longer whatever is not not bothered by
I gotta surely gain us, and I thought that was a kind of approach. Step, but I dont know it. But again it is there That is the kind of movie that is is, rewarded in Hollywood. But I have to say that I thought there was something about Green, a green book that was really I was out of all the black thin movies last year, whether was black clansmen weather. It was sorry to bother you whatever they were. They were all hopeless. There was a kind of fatalism and a kind of negativity about them, and I think part of what made people like green book, so much is that it offers the chance to meant for people to come together, and I cannot but leave that people just didn't want to hear that message. You actually don't want to hear that message and reward this that was a very telling moment in the culture people s, meaning
really pass me there's a there's, a billboard out there on Sunset Boulevard forever Trevor Noah for the amazing. Dont green book, this thing using it as a phrase- was like you blew it. If you give green book an award because there's this sort of view that this represents the baby boom or take on raised the Joe Biden take on raise where we can all come together in the end, be friends in reality. We know after this many years that we cannot be friends that there is no great coming together. They can happens. We voted for this. Your voting for a fantasy, whereas if you voted for black clansmen speckly or if you vote for Veal Street could talk, it wasn't topic, but they think should have been many of these folks. Then that would have been better representation of what race actually is in the United States. Well, the It is full of baby boomers and a lot of people are making those movies, so it didn't it. Was it necessarily a surprise to me that that movie will you want- that will be won a but but What was surprising was that I know so many people who liked it. I know a lot of people liked it may secretly
and I would say I loved I loved- were green book. It was like, and it may be filled. It was that there was hope at the end that these still characters. So divided, finally sock our differences and how to get a sure of fantasy. But at least this hopeful message there, and yet the movie is what it is. I mean it's not a great film it it it's what kind of an old road comedy, but I don't know I liked it alive, and- and I guess I guess causes under the guise of a kind of buddy Comedy and it and it has drawn on elements to it. Maybe that's why I like it. I asked why, like the first half a black clansmen after the first half of black lamp, was a really good spike Lee Movie kind of the throne. Two seventies, blast, quotation: cotton. Movies- and I really like the feel of it and then it was all likely and it gets very ideological. And then all the plans been watching the birth of a nation while, He is giving a speech about a luncheon.
He saw in it just the movie just completely goes off the rails and becomes the complete ideology. Losing sense What movies do best with which is following their style and following their aesthetics, did you think that their is any sort of way that egg the cultural gap can be bridged at this point. Feels like the vast majority of Americans want to watch marble, like understand, is in the theatre of in a shawl twenty bucks. You wanna see big explosions on screen and all but it seems like they're, only two types of movies: that Hollywood is making woke, movies and giant spectacle movies, and nothing in between, basically the Poseidon adventure or whatever is the weakest we of the day and there's nothing that your sort of it brought We appeal nice movie. Unless it's a kids movie, it gets G rated fellow war, avenger or Something so woke that if you are a bible belt, voter the chances that you want to see it, or at least relatively low,
Well, I don't know I mean the problem is. How well does do these woke move? is really do and are they being met. By Hollywood or are they being made on the outside of Hollywood by independent production? Companies doping Hollywood is really doing anything at all, except the moves are talking about, and so You have the independent film scene, which is making these movies and often a lot of the time four sundance- A lot of these rules are made the premier Sundance and be dropped into the glow of the festival where you have wider is therefore hyping up everything possible. As you know, there was the place they work for the better justified going to Sundance, having got up with them four major Amazing movies- and you know, you're also mingling, with film makers and you're also getting drunk, the parties with all these people. So there is this: there is an over
inflated buzz by about a lot of the movies that come out of Sunday, as that is both a gift and a curse Sometimes it's a gift, because in that heavy atmosphere, people are now writing checks for twelve thirteen million dollars for four. DA, the whites release a movie and then as occurs, because usually these moves come out and they completely bomb. So I don't know, but I do The festival circuit is one of the reasons why so many these whoop movies are getting made using a lot of attention at the at those places, and I dont necessarily think audiences are craving it. I think audiences a craving, really good movies. And quite honestly, I think don't critics are craving. Really good movies to I just don't believe the phone that says. Oh, my god, I just saw the most amazing thing itself by software. As you know, the Tina Trans Handicap chick hurt prevails in her in our neighbourhood. I dont believe him was it that I think that one of his love was sent my favour. They wanted a taxi driver, they want to see, they don't want it
I don't really want to see that movie, that so humble and so woe you're real movie movie, but we are in a place right now where, in order to be considered woke and maybe even higher able at some these places. I think you have to overpriced certain movies that don't you or that it all yes and a second own, ask about that, because the critics it seems to me, you can almost eight weeks off some critics. When they don't like a movie and yet they are banned by the prevailing dominant Hollywood culture from saying so like redesigning between the lines, it's basically seeping off, but each and ripping down and ask about then just a second, but first part of adulthood is having to do things that you don't really want to do like red eye flights working late watch. Us visiting and laws and getting life insurance, but another part of adulthood is learning to delegate what you hate and well. You can delegate a visit to the inner laws. I know I know you can definitely delegate life insurance shopping
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we'll go out of the way not to critique a film. Let's talk about how important a film is, for example, how bout the film is without actually talking about the quality of the film. Then this is the way do it in the most recent example that I saw was laid the critical treatment of US by Jordan Peel where his first movie, which I thought was you know effect I didn't like it be. I critiqued and I thought that it had serious racial, flaws. I thought that it was actually race. In many ways, because the implication that film seem to me to be that if your black person, and who is being delayed by a white person in the white persons. Family tries to take you in there actually trying to steal your soul and make you not a person anymore and trying to trying to destroy you human. I had serious problems that promised by the film itself works good so get out. At least I thought was, was well made. The critics treatment of us made We do not want to see it because the critical trip of us was he's such a great filming Jordan, Peel and he's got so much potential and while he didn't fulfil all of his bit actual here. He has an important things to say when people
they have some important things to say. I immediately signal this bad film wire. Why are so many critics hesitant to actually just critique affair? You didn't want to see a horror movie about income inequality, you weren't in personnel and seen that look. Look, let's be real here, my favorite shown on television is Atlanta. I think it is suddenly a knockout. I think it's beautiful. I think it's brilliant and it's all right style it leases his ology and its commentary through a beautiful style that is enveloping. That is rich. That is deeply movie. I think that when You get down to again a kind of pure. Ideology, overtaking your film or your content. You have a real problem there and I do think again, you know look. I got called as being racist when I said something about black Panther on my podcast thirty seconds,
I cannot resist. The man is a little bit about what, after I said, something about the I'm sick of Disney or marble in pushing this we as a masterpiece when of course are pushing it, because it's a first because about representation Apparently no one heard we talk about how I loved the opening images images of will conduct- and I thought the blackness was most interesting thing about the movie- is another supper model will be an that's that's what it is, and we just can't really pretend that doesn't exist where you can, if you want, but I do think the most. It was the most disturbing thing this year was the critical reaction and evaluation of us it was a a moment where you realize that there's another world there's a seat, the secret work where everyone is either so scared of not calling out something what it is because I really dont know anybody who liked us on a lot of people one inside, and I think that it will.
We were it we're in this land, where the critical consensus had to be that if you didn't love the movie and treat it with the most seriousness, but I'm not sure it really deserves You were going to be not only not work, but you also want to be racist, but this whole thing has been raised. As for not liking black the content or not liking. The black movie has really spread out into the whole system so every everything is I raised, as everyone is now racist. Your raises, I'm races, KIT, Katy Perry is races, bet middle represent a tweet cheese ways. I mean that the it we ve gone into a world where real racism seems to be like so diluted and watered down or now talking about it and cultural events and people react into movies or pay. Shoes or whatever, we really lost control that narrative beginning that What you're saying about, as I think that one at the moment this year, where you realize that there are. There is a team and though there all plain and of the same game, even
in a crook, I really like Anthony laying her eyes the new Yorker I just knew us was absolutely not as kind of movie, and you could see the path he took in order to craft that review of very careful, doesn't coming right out and saying anything about it. So, that I know, because I ve been reading and for thirty years, that he would like it the new one command worker? That's what the Eu Lino! That's the new one command you better like which like this. So how did you get into this industry in the first place mean? How did you get into writing you talkin, and white about your childhood and how you sort of inculcated the films of the of the early eighties and late seventies. Haven't you get into doing what you do well, first of growing up ad. Here. All my peers, I won't be filmmakers. We all want to make movies it is in some sections accompany town. Much like Flint was a company tat. Would
you grow about here. You have connections. The movie industry. You wanna make movies and hasn't agenda the tv industry wasn't much of anything. Then it was, so we all want to make movies, and what happened was that I was also write books and so on novel, less than zero during this time, during my adolescence that was published when I was twenty one and that became fairly successful and then I wanted to write other novel, so the whole idea of going to film school, which decided to do and went back east to college. Was out the window, and I thought I could finish all the books I wanted to write and about the space of ten years it ultimately took about twenty five or thirty years time. Those books, and it was only it was really I'm into about ten years ago, twelve years ago, that I got back into wanting to make movies and the goals to be a screenwriter. I mean I grew up out here. I knew that the screenwriter thing was just you know. It was a way will it was a lucrative business, very lucrative business?
in the seventies and eighties, but it wasn't filmmaking. It was this kind of very boring pedestrian dog that you do, and I can't imagine, being creatively satisfying and especially not critical, who says so It was always about filmmaking and what happened was that the kind of movies that I want to make they sought making, but I still want to make those movie so finding them. I was just on the phone with finance here and my produce product bruising partner this morning. And yet we can get a lot of the money from Europe. Maybe he's some from here, but the goal was always ultimately to make movies, and so when I came back out here after being way writing my novels in New York for about twenty five years by God while producing ride, him movie called the informers which was based on a book of mine, had it was. It was at the end of the expensive Indy, which meant
expensive any could cost twenty million, and no one would really blink an eye on that in the early two, thousands that was a possibility of unthinkable now and it was, it was, let's say, a very fraught production, the very long production very big cast and it got ruined by the money. People producers, a whole host of reasons and a kind of soured, my feeling about making movies. But you know I saw ice. I mean a group in that era getting back here, your initial quest, is that I grew up during the nineteen seventeen in this movie. Mad era, where rate movies, great american movies were appearing in theatres, almost if not monthly than weakly and sir at certain stages during that decades, and that was the prime time that was when I came of age with my friends, and so we all became infected by the notion that you could make movies raided as these movies war and Anna
how to say all my friends digging into into mood business. No, you end up in business, and you you do some screenwriter egotism- fiction- writing The non fisheries which you prefer look, I still look. I've directed some some commercials. I've directed webs there is a better short films. I like doing that once you start doing that, you kind of get bitten and you want to keep doing it. So that's what they're all enjoyable to one degree or not less but making it clear. I think, writing non violent writing. This book were is far more enjoyable than I ever thought it was going to be because essentially when you're writing a book is a literary experience anyway. Still is women work. It's like writing fiction in a lot of ways No you, you want the words, the sound right. You want the paragraph to be clear what the narrative to connect to a reader. So I find them opposite.
Well, I wouldn't do any of them by if I did, if I find found like maybe one what budget than the others, I find a more pleasurable, when you're writing. So, what's your schedule and how much you go over and polishing prose, what sort of urinary mode Hattie what your style. When you do this, I have to adhere to a schedule I have to here too. Basically, a ninety five ten to six. Maybe eleven to seven schedule were I do right every day I have my morning ritual and then in my office, and I take a break either to the gym or go to a movie, and then back on what the rest of the afternoon up until about seven or so, and then you know how cocktail web, but I I I like adhering to that schedule and I pretty much have always followed it. If I'm getting toward the end, something and completing it. I might be working longer hours because it is excited about prospect of finishing finishing the book, but am, I M, always work that way
I've always work that way. Since I was writing. My novels in York show in the book you talk a little bit about David, Foster, Wallace and I'm curious. What which are the writers that that in Greece and of contemporaneous writers, were all directors. The actually like versus some of the ones you think are over eggs are very critical. Obviously of his of his Well, you know it's. I am critical of again of an over reaction to David Foster. Wallace I am I'm reacting toward a written construct of the man. I think the mouths of far more complicated, much darker person and kind of a good, and ass a burial likeable, but he became kind of a self help. Go room for a lot of kids. Specially avenues. Suicide and they had done this commencement speech that viral that was very hard to stomach. It was very aspirational and I dont know David illegally than it, but I'm
That's a good question! The wool look, the writers. That meant a lot to me. We only need to two or three dont need more than that arose at all, while the influence as well. I think at a certain point. Obviously, when I was very and was Hemingway, an Hemingway really opened the door, maybe wanna be writer. I loved the writer John Didion heard nonfiction. And, as is an her journalism, were huge impact for very influential and I went about her and the book in what is well on it. What kind of level Stephen kings Apples were when I was an adolescent. I came away white when he started so I Ratura. One I was I ten Salem lot when I was twelve, the shining when I was thirteen, or rather like five or six times, and then the shining actually is an influence on becoming hotline. Apart with this kind of animals just giving king, but then I ask was young enough.
Oh, I was really was right period and minimalism has spread throughout american fiction, so people agreement Carver two degree agreed the willow this happening in the early eighties, and that was definitely an influence on less than zero. But then, of course, it is writers that I live on in our Tolstoy. I love for there. Joyce it's just a lot of, I just love, while a box or not This is one of the terms the EU is in the book. I use finally, with regard to Your partner is high, whose much under new aren t talk about him. As member of sort of the millennium generation will, let you call generation was one of the care. Risks of this generation withheld, you think, happened all right. Well, what happened was first of all, it was nothing to be taken seriously. It was kind of a joke, and I started to talk about this one twitter when I was tweeting a lot more than I do now and I just noticed that when we started hanging out and we sort of living together that he was triggered by a lot of stuff, they just did not trigger me at all
and we got into this terrible fight or first fight- was about the telecom and Day Robbie, Durham case where he put a one cause. Kid pulled a prank on another college, kids causing the etiquette to commit suicide, and I could not believe that the how minor this prank was cause a kid to kill himself? It was outrageous to me There was something wrong with it my partner said. No. I completely understand that that is a violation that should never have happened. Is a private moment for the other kids medicine side by, and I just couldn't believe that I was listening to this and then there are a lot of other things. There was a kind of passiveaggressive positivity that I knew was cut and of not we'll there was this unwavering bully believe in all things, inclusive of all things diverse, a kind of utopian attitude that I just
seemed so unreal to me that those that this was a some kind of fantasy life, also this kind of deep rooted. Shame about everything about but I think a lot of connected to exhibiting yourself on social media and beings, being Everyone is criticized relentlessly, so he was kind of crippled biology things, not disappointed. He couldn't get out of bed or anything, but it would. It was: a vast difference between his generation and my generation. His was gonna touchy. Really what little generation- and I of course came out of genetics, which is very cool, an ironic and I mustn't cool with deliberate cold. What's it called, and aloof. An ironic and realistic- and I you think that the millennium generation is rather annoyances all the things that I feel
annoyed about them, is a reaction against. That is a reaction against genetics, thinking and the Dennis mindset, and I think the reaction that millennials have to this section in White It has been hysteric, I mean absolute stare at the moment. The millennial reviewers one one transgender millennial reviewer got so upset with this, both that she wrote having a three thousand four thousand page. View talking about how old I am our relevant. I am how white I am, how unwarlike I am, and she kept repeating it. Over and over and over in the most Astaire sterical language possible for four thousand worked, so that Sir was to me to be exhibit a of what I am talking about when millennials have this over reaction to something, and so, but I guess you
didn't read the final section of that particular section where I talk about one of them as well, so weary sympathetic to do because you know look, they ve been through a lot to a degree. They ve been through two wars they ve been through, that Lebanon with a presently can't stand the there The reality is far differently. Mine was in terms. Of their fulfilling filling their hopes their aspirations in their dreams. I was much easier for my generation to do that because of the economic safety pollution. And also because of the damaging effects Romania was I'm, though I'm sounding like the old guy in the porch but but I am too old for tat. I always avenant. I was the old guy on the porch when I was a teenager. So really not a lot has changed. So am I dont that's lamps and that I am sympathetic to my partner, who will
college graduate going out for jobs, and, just being Ah, Only things that were open were unpaid and internships, and it was kind of like. Are you laughing hidden This is what this is where your generation is so unsympathetic. As much as I have been critical eye, and I looked I've lived with one for ten years, so is is if I'm not getting something out of it, You talk a lot about social media in white, and I, as a d t of social media, particularly twitter. I found that in the last sixty on to a year alone, have realised that if I dont disconnect from this thing or kill me, I was good friends with Andrew Bright Bart, with whom I worked closely and Andrew was connected at their head. The social media. I am firmly convinced that it was responsible for much of his up high blood pressure. And some of the aims, a lot of stress in his life.
Yes, saying social media, it, it's fassig, z, talk in the book about how you just tweeting things drive people. Wall and how you weren't really prepared for that. Maybe can talk a little bit about the impact of twitter and we'll Twitter was fun. See. This is what everyone forgets Twitter one around it out was fun and it was a place to make outrage statements that, didn't define your humanity, there were just jokes. That everything was in kind of quotation marks. It was kind of performative, and you said something kind of outrageous. Every one kind of gasped and then moved on five seconds later. It was I never saw twitter to be built as a place for me to vote. You signal and talk about how one Therefore, I am and to attack other people for their opinions and for what they, what their beliefs are, ordered taken to task. For me. And you know this whole notion that we should all be happy about speech lock down
way and that the language police are a good thing because it means that well no can talk in racist crimes and sexist terms and homophobic terms. I dont believe that's really the within that's going I believe this is a vast puritanism that's going on right now and that shipping everyone, a child forever coddling them from offensive opinions from you points that are different from yours and I I notice the connection between this between what twitter once was and what time warped into an. As naughty and distress being for some twitter was in its. It is first days people at a good time. People were not stressed out, and then people start to lose jobs because the tweets, then people started to lose things because of tweets. And then there was this flowering of social justice warriors
Anna flowering of virtue, signalling and ah calling out people to get their accounts council because they said thing or that thing, and it really has it- has worked into something that was really fun into really toxic nightmare. I keep it me as my news vetoes on it and it's very easy, it is, it is very beautiful, I entered the like what I went on it, but I do. I have really been careful at getting rid of people in terms of ok. I dont want that toxicity in my life I dont want this. I mean I like people were critical of opinions, but then, when it It's into you know what you know level one hundred of negativity and toxicity. Then I can't, I can't bear it: but I have gone into trouble for four tweets of mine and it's just that was kind of like the beginning of one is in trouble for tweet Twitter is real twitter.
Is this thing that you take so seriously? It some kind of the big than in twitter does for me and every now and then an opinion on a movie or something. But I not I'm not the person, I'm not that I don't have a twitter and every now and then an opinion on a movie or something. But I not I'm not the person, I'm not that I don't have a twitter prison that I once had, and I know that people are disappointed by that, but it's just It's a tool that around and actual life and ineffective rice for what it does is it there are there. So many people, also out there, who are using those old tweets from the playful basis or of the sword of Damocles deliberately where, if you don't really do not just obey whatever is the diktat of the day and the diktat changes daily. Like we don't know what the rules are, the rules change on a routine basis and to the whole some joke tweet that you had from two thousand nine over and then, if you said along thing than they retreated at you and suddenly to pile on- and I'm not talking, my personal and have our folks like James gone right, gems, Eleanor's using twitter in exactly this way.
Back can see that in two thousand ten and then he ran affair of some folks politically and suddenly he was seeing all of these tweets resurfaced and the media are treating it as though it was actual news that he had made these grow stroke. Back in two thousand and two thousand TED when he was doing shock comedy Kevin heart too. I mean just this listen and it's not just twitter anymore. It's this whole thing where we are to apply whatever? Is the modern sensibility to something that someone said not two years ago, but something that someone's had ten years ago and was considered perfectly mainstream in order to destroy their life in order, cudgel them into line over here really is That was that you can have a culture, a common culture when this is the way that things will you can. But I also learned that ultimately and one that I don't really care that much. I have never deleted any of my tweets, and I am I am someone who accidentally tweeted for drugs when I thought it was thought that in what was really when, instead of my birth, but my partner was and is called
means that went beyond but an hour, and then I put the phone down as night. Oh yeah, maybe- and so I was too I gave em over bring over some drugs, since then I went to bed, and I say I woke up in the world like a thousand right, the treaty set out my six hundred thousand followers, the middle of the night so and that still up there. I have never met a limited that tweet either. So I am I you know I want to talks to it now. I it really kind of makes me nervous and away, but I have Not deleted in the treaties- and I am I can't get a camp fallen to the fear of like people fighting tweets a mile from twenty ten twenty eleven and how bad could they be up about one at that? drugs really do what, while I may go. So how weird is it for you to end up in a place where
you're welcome. None Fox news. You command shows like this one. You year more, I come now to the political right by a lot of folks than you have been on the political left now, you're, obviously not political the conservative and like the traditional sectors. I don't think so how? How did this? Now? I don't know Let this happen Ben! I again, I think as someone who saw himself as really not sure about politics at all, really not being much more focused on running novels and on art and on film theirs something about this moment that has dragged everybody into it and so I see myself as not a conservative, not a liberal certain Republican, I'm sitting on a Democrat among the right and not on the left, I'm an observer, and there are things going on in the culture right now. That kind of drive me to distraction
and am annoyed by, and I talk about it's on my podcast and it mostly is about this puritanism that I see it washing through the public, and I don't know that's gonna go than over reactive hysteric populist. That is overreacted everything and include I believe prompt and so, but that hit the nerve. When I talk about it in other aspects of the cultured people, though we may be whatever. When you talk, by this in terms of trump people go nuts and they assume, because your besides in the mainstream media and your criticising people. Losing their shit over trump that you are, in fact aid from supporter and that you support Trump when that's not true But again I feel the message is clear and I am happy to talk to anybody. I also don't live in a bubble, and this is something that I write about and white. I have plenty of friends who, like Trump and I have plenty of friends- you
as I said, I live within the little communists delay here. Twenty four seven everything here. What about tromp. I have friends and acquaintances really light from so I have always lived in hearing both sides and I understand what my friends, who, like Trump like promptly- and I understand my friends- you dont like Trump, don't like, but just be as I have not taken aside, doesn't mean that I am on this side for Trump, and I think that it's been very interesting, how open, in a way one side of the eye has been in terms of having me on talk about this book and how close one side has been as well. Look I've done in profile within Europe. Times was and the of Washington Post, but I also was profile by bright bar and I think, that's totally acceptable and that's totally fine and that, if something persons gonna, pull their hair out and have in a rise in horror that I'm doing this. Well, you need to relax a little bit
I know my partner didn't like the notion that it would take the bright Barton sternly them like the idea that I was one on fox and taught its cause and was we're having a problem with that- But then you know, Bernie, went on Fox and it all kind of became. Ok for him away! So it's like up here. I think you can do more foxes. He said I think you should do is Steve Hilton and whoever, whereas once you want and- and I think that divide I dont like that- divide- that notion that we all. Can't we talk and I'm sure there are things you and I do not agree on I'm sugar of things that we might strongly disagree on. But that doesn't mean that I can't have a conversation with you. I was highly highly disturbed by. What happens? You were marked class, who is someone I've had my podcast and that who me not to Vienna bringing back up, but I just couldn't believe that there was this group- think that sucked him in
made him rearrange his feelings about you Emmett. Both them was. Kind of a real moment. I can still remember I'm still talking about. I think, the same thing that happened when David Lynch gave an interview in twenty eighteen, thirty things will who maybe Donald, probably the greatest president in history, and then there was so much outrage that he had to and who knows, who taught you had to print out on Facebook, an apology that he said this. I'm surprised at lunch. Did that I mean old thing, he's too old and doesn't really give a shit about that. But that's where we are- and I hate that I like the idea that people from different size, the Isle sitting around like this and just talk about stuff and doesn't necessarily have to be about the thing you know, DDT, no one can be about a lot of other stuff, but it is true The the left is much much more prone to not dealing with me with this book ban
The right has been, but I don't know, but I don't like that, and so I really have always felt that way. Tat everybody one just the second is: ask you the final question I want your rank, made your top five movies of all time. You five favorite movies, but if you wanna hear british analysis is then, you actually have to be a Delaware subscribers subscribe had on over the Delaware Complex subscriber can hear the end of our conversation over there ready. EL? Thank you. So much for starting by really great fear could see them. They think the bench of Hiroshima, Sunday Special, is produced by John and executive producer. Jeremy boring associate producer, math is club edited by Donovan. Felt audio is mixed by might call me here and make up is by just what will their title graphics. My Cynthia angle, the bench Shapiro show Sunday Special, is a daily wire production, copyright daily, where Twenty- ninety,
Transcript generated on 2020-03-25.