Barbara Kopple is known for her acclaimed documentary films, but for Marc the most memorable time Barbara spent behind the camera is the day she directed him in a phone commercial. Marc and Barbara reminisce about how that happened and talk about her entry portal into documentaries working with the Maysels Brothers on Salesmen and Gimme Shelter. They also discuss Barbara’s Oscar-winning film Harlan County, USA, how Bruce Springsteen saved one of her early movies, and how she got Jimmy Carter to open up about the Iran hostage crisis for her latest doc, Desert One.
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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Hey folks, today's episode is brought to you by the new five part Showtime documentary Series, the comedy store, yup that one
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can you dig it.
Let's do the show
all right. Let's do this, how are you what the placards, what the fuck bodies, what the bottlenecks what's happening
Mare- and this is my part, gas. W e f dry,
not to freak out trying not to freak out
barely holding I Barbara Kabul
his on the show. Today she is a document
She did Harlan County USA. She did wild man blues. She got a dark out about that. So singer,
sharing Jones. I just got a record, I don't know I I'm excited losing the reckon. The had no idea of any ways.
She got a new one out called desert one. We talk about that in the rest of it.
Spurned commercial that she direct.
which I was in
here's the fuckin thing about cats, about
Owning a cat, those of you who are watching me on Instagram haven't seen me deal.
Is that a
sir. I guess it was Monday MIKE
buster, who we ve been getting on for devising odd cat needs, an intense cat.
But yeah, I don't know somehow he was up on the couch and he jumped off the couch and is one of his legs got tangled up in the cord for the blinds and they got really nodded up untangle very quickly and he was flailing around freaking out like cats in it
and I guess he intelligent thing would have been to just cut the goddamn cord, but I did not. I grabbed the cat and I try
did take the we'll yeah grabbed him.
And then he just fucking chopped he just bit me between my thumb, in my form, finger right on that fleshy part hard like his
I've depended on it and I still
to get him out from this fuckin being tied up.
So I grabbed his legs. I unflagging tie too many. Scurried often add this massive.
conquering cat bite
on both sides in my hand,.
and I it up and then I exercise then, and it started to sort of like
Swell- and there is food coming out of my fuck,
if one into Instagram of freaking me out so I met,
my doctor three times I gotta go
your appointment, I got Annabel
I got on argument.
you know within twelve hours of getting this fuckin bite and banana for a couple days?
Now, there's a redness spreading I dislike. If I.
from a goddamn cap bite.
The irony of be too much for me,
that's why I gotta go that's why I gotta go. It would make sense.
As ironic as it is, it's a perfectly appropriate way,
for me to die from
activity. One faction from my fucking cat.
I didn't realize, and I'd heard the cats mouths
a garbage, but Jesus fuck me
and I mean the swelling seems a little.
At her, but it's just I don't know. I guess I'll wait another day. What else can I do
lay in bed freak out reading
The information googling the symptoms of cap bites
Bacterial infection, but you get sepsis. Second, knock you out.
I twenty four to seventy two hours at Amsterdam there, the day of the cap,
by think. I'm gonna die my fuckin bed from a cap by.
They start to realize like this is one
the horrible things is why people don't want to be alone, whether you
people are not this one.
People stay in things.
they may not want to be in
it's easier or whatever bottom Y know is if something goes wrong. There's an emergency
you kind of want someone there to help out call
The place do the thing I got
did with the wind.
someone that what happens you just going away there and die from a cap
I'd by yourself, Jesus Christ.
They started? Thinking like have, I
data by emergency contacts, how many
So fuckin sad man with a sigh,
spiral a bad rather whole me dying,
fevered of sepsis in my bed buster living
coming up today? I in the morning finding my corpse-
and realizing I did it
Now the house is all mine so that,
what's happening with me, I'm just obsessed about my hand. It does feel better. I'm trying not to freak out. I dont know if I would have freaked out of people than freaked me out. I guess that's the benefit and the curse of
doing live, Instagram, chats and being relatively honest as yet,
out of opinions, but yeah they got me on. I got on the antibiotic pretty quickly
I will see fuck it man fuck it
What difference does it make
on a lighter note. I you know, I don't know.
I dont know if I saw the karate kid because I think he came out, and I was too
Then came the mediators already in college. I was already snotty and watching
our films and getting deep.
So I think I missed my generation. I dont think I ever saw the entire karate kid, but because
yeah, I'm alone over here, not
to do it myself. I got into watching COBRA Kai, which I guess was a it was a u to production, originally
now? It's on networks in its a basically it's, the
Friday kid characters grown up now.
our current day and I
watching all of them got involved with the good and evil aspect. Here it's a little ridiculous, but there's
something about the way that that Guy Williams, Abacha,
he used a guy that plays Johnny Lawrence
but just to see how they age. These two guys was is kind of genius and I think he does a great job playing the aging.
Douche bag bitter,
I think it's very in its inspired really.
Ralph macho is rather macho need us good job too, but there's something about the beaten dude that
kind of shock to me in and I found it to be
relatively mindless but day, enjoyable emotionally moving entertain,
Watched all them? This is in a plug. I just stare
Maybe I related, I don't know, maybe it's just
he D really does it. He does. It does a good job with the character
so you know that
one thing that become more open to as covered
its through the world and we become more isolated. None sad and you know in my egg
grief and in my house, and
but the political situation, without hopelessness, with everything else, I've become
the queue always sensitive to people's performances in almost anything acute.
We appreciative of acting
and the process of it
I'm a little more aware of
having done a little bit myself, but now I'm really watching too,
the people show up for these roles in
but they're doing with everything I'm watching it's kind of
I don't know what's causing it, it's exciting. Maybe it's my need
as we all have.
because I am I am tethered.
Painfully to of to the present
And to reality,
in everyone's while I get away
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Here's a dumb story that happened to me.
I share with you. Why not
some walkin around my neighborhood
gone a supermarket.
and down my street there's a lime tree right.
That pressure was a lime tree. I never noticed it before, but a mocking bird
from this remark. I see all these will limestone, unlike wow
I can eat alleys limes,
and I look at the lines close them like I've. Never seen lines like these,
you're, really interesting. Their skins different, must be different. Breed of line that I have.
My line, treat and do much is here now got sad that at all
just like not into it save fuel,
I'm not was the end of it
but these worms weird, they had a cool skin of a deeper green, unlike com.
The snag view these lines.
So I brought him home and I use them as lines. They taste, tasted, fine, three or four of them
And then yesterday and I go back there and am I gonna grab some more those weird cool lines,
I picked. Salmanassar was picking them. I rise like one of them was changing color up towards the top, and am I
these aren't limes. This is an orange tree. These are way on
Bar hinges than I thought:
we're cool lookin lines that I never seen before:
so basically using oranges that we're just
hurt me, but I
if your kind of stupid.
These are in lines.
These are little unripe. Oranges.
but then there is that Mama MIKE
I can still use them as lines right, so I brought one home, I cut it open and, like maybe I shouldn't I don't know, but
I want to hang onto the idea.
that they were limes, knowing really that they warrant and that that muscle
Is that why the world is ending so
Barbara couple syndrome
why can't we go into it to the story of me when I was working years ago, and now
cap city in taxes in Austin and she was just
thou casting this commercial
geez. I think she was a fan of mind. She came to the shows its you'd like one of ten
people in this club.
And I remember she booked me
spring commercial cause. Yes, I remember her coming up and asking me
you do commercials and, like I don't usually
is it selling out if you actually use the product that was the big
philosophical question back then
but, as I said earlier, she made a lot of great documentaries, her her newest one.
I desert one is playing now on the most video on demand platforms and in virtual cinemas you can check
God Desert one movie dot com to find out all
The options to see it
I enjoyed it. I thought it was an interesting subject, one
It's not export that much, which is basically american failure.
and I thought she handed beautifully. I thought
was a greater, a great film and this
it's me talking to her and
the pressing her for some reason,
I think I misunderstand
documentary, sometimes or the intention or what their support
to be, but she strains me out this is me
knocking the barber cobble my high bar brower, you, I haven't seen you since we were in Texas. I know that was so amazing. Why is it that I am trying to remember exactly how it went down? I remember
I was doing the show. I was a cap city, comedy club. I was in the front room because I didn't sell enough tickets to be in the back room. There must have been nine people in that audience. I was one of them right in your with another woman. Yes, she lies
the ad agent say right. You came up to me and said you do commercials.
Said not usually what
before and you said Sprint, and I said why I use sprint. So maybe it wouldn't be so bad. What is it
Is that how you remember it
I remember I remember coming up to you in saying I was
I tell you I'm blown away, and I just thought I just
we're casting I water and, thank goodness
You said the ass is the result. Is that why you went to the comedy club
Now I wanted to see you now I just plants, I mean there. I was what was I going to do in that area right?
stay, I remember being at a school fees.
the old and making children cry Yasser Arafat.
Get in trouble for making sure
don't cry woman who is head of the spot, even though that's what they want me to do said if shaman,
it's another child cry and can a scream, and I said
I think I went to a little overboard. My recollection is you
you're telling me in the ear by two in the ear peace to get one
actions from the kids.
I said you wanna kids. I asked him if he liked Harry Potter and the kid said yes
I simply dies in the next movie and
any cry! That's what I remember yeah there
a ladder crying for all of those sprint spots. I did a whole lot of them at that school I think, was a christian school though the kids
right, why remember sitting at lunch with the crew and they would not sit with me. They would not look at me. They're, like you,
that's the that monster make
Ah, I didn't know that as its are recovered from it, but then I'll I'll love dead. I love that you did and I thank you. I think you, I m sure I could use the money. I wasn't selling tickets clearly. So let me ask you a question about this.
The new doc, we can sort a start there
This desert one, I watch what you like, which Gimme shout there. That was one of the first things films I work
again with the mayor of bread, I now have the big poster back here: yeah yeah, that was for there the real issue of the need for the new print
The restored aren't ya.
Talk about that too, but I'm curious about you know.
is this desert, one which is about the body,
the Iranians, hostage, rescue attempt, like
why this this film now well,
straight channel was gonna. Do
a hundred different feature like that
demand curious about little now and pieces of history.
People really had been saying. I mean people saw the hostage crisis, but they really
It never saw the mission because it was a secret mission, very, very odd, yes toe
if our Murphy's law than anything who go wrong or anything but
but I think that with interesting about you know the
you're the times we live in, and the timing of the thing is that you know american failure
is this weird sort of shameful thing and I,
That was what was sort of fastening by to interrupt interrupted history, channel
now you can interrupt anytime, you want
when anyway, they only ended up doing four or five of them, and one of them on the list was desert one, and we
He, and we thought this is incredible. It's very challenging, plus we
have to figure out how to make the mission come alive because there is not one photograph, not anything of it.
Except for the wreckage on the iranian side. Yes, yes, that's!
yet later they had the wreckage they kept the wreckage.
They kept the wreckage, but also they put some stuff on the news with the bodies, and yet you know that they somehow frantic
as a victory that God had.
Had had help them in this botched attempt
and they still are every
April twenty force they built a mask on that site and those
sing, songs about their trial
I thought it was very interesting reminded me, like they're, like this sort of thing,
document is like watching
KEN Burns, Vietnam, where he was able to to sort of really get in two and speak to a view?
He caught Vietcong,
North vietnamese fighters was to meet profile
and in the same way that in desert one you're talking to a uranium nationals who you were there for the revolution believed in the revolution took part in revolution now part of major
bring politics in IRAN and their willing to talk about this from their experience
while their very hard line at Bay
totally believe in and except for this one,
young man that
I didn't go to a ram because they wouldn't let us, and so we had a female crew iranian female crew, which was great. They went to
small village near to bass and found this.
guy who was eleven years old? He had always gone out with his family on a bus. Once a year, the whole family went on a bus on a vacation and he
Just stay just happen to roll right and to the hall.
Military, seen the military mission and they were stopped.
They were held this hostages and when
all he wanted, though he was telling us this story as if he was eleven years old began and what he wanted to do is get home safe. So he could tell all his friends about this. Exciting
living thing that he had Saint Louis Korea, but I
but that was remark about how much commonality right and do everything right,
he didn't know what was going on, but it was cool
unbelievably core yeah for an eleven Europe without just like the first domino to fall. Firstly, can't get the the two: how a cop
through and then they all got six going in and they find this empty lake bed that deal with his dirt road through it, and I was at a nowhere. This bus with fifty people were one family comes just driving into this operation. Were they just landed three
planes and all these helicopters.
crazy, and then it just goes worse and worse from there and
a tragedy until a horrible things happen and.
Like I had no idea about that stuff. I you know I didn't. I didn't remember it in anything. You didn't
yeah linger on too long. Was this the idea of whether or not
the timing of it. They did Reagan. You know, sort of threw back channels, stop Khomeini from
yeah, releasing the hostages until after he was inaugurated. I
I say that, judging by the work, you guys did that this,
he probably didn't
I know now, I think he could have
Yeah? Well, I guess found now from ambassador,
campaign manager, went to Mexico
met with the Iranians. Are real horse just found this out like in the last few days.
I thought, of less you'll, get a better deal for mass?
Khomeini, of course wanted to humiliate operas
Carter, because he was taking care.
the shop for medical reasons. Nobody wanted to do that. Anyways having this was the last this with you now the last, alas, that card
one minute after Reagan was some inaugurated? The hostages were released,
I get it through. He wanted to humiliate what I'm think. What the stick from the sticking point for me is that he wants to humiliate Carter either way. So
it behooved him to wait,
either way ass in this way
be beautiful Reagan would be an and boom Reagan could announce the hostages, your free right, now,
the thing that had just ripped apart President Carter, bright,
it, but that could have happened without rag bag. I mean he didn't have to get involved and see. My Khomeini would have done it. You know,
was sharp enough to to wait. Wait
probably went down it either way rugged. So I have a question.
for you here, which is why
Is it like to interview. Barack Obama was just wonder:
focus I now I interviewed President Carter and this found so haven't we
arab ass, where you, how was it
well. For me, it was a little more structure that I'm used to doing and we only had an hour. It was a big deal.
I was more nervous that I wouldn't be able to do the type of interview I do that.
The sort of a lot of the because I
personal interviews, you know him-
and I didn't want to get into the weeds with politics really, because any
they could do that, and certainly he can you that's over its
to wait for him to be evasive
and I'm kind of boring, so it was,
three the trick was to figure out where I want to go with him and use the time efficient.
They cover what was necessary to be covered, but still get a sense of who we was so young,
I found him do very disarming and I
and you did just become a couple of people, a couple of guys talking, which was the best I could hope for
so so in that way it was
the pricing in that he was sort of
be down to earth really
How did you do it? I mean? Did it take
on time for you to get up
No because you know we agree, we were open to a debt, was their idea yet away
they year he was here. He was,
on the verge of becoming somewhat of a lame duck. It was in the last year.
Europe is of his last term and you know it
think they were like. This would be good if he does this by
incidentally, in horribly here there was that horrendous, shooting that Dylan Roof Guy shot up that church and killed all those people. I days before
We interviewed him in here
We thought it was certainly going to be cancelled, but yeah he chose to continue your
he came in and we had to address certain things around around
Mason around guns in IRAN, violence and in that
the most of the politics we talked about, which is good, because it's not really politics. It's it's it's gone,
its human emotion. It's you
men horror year. Nobody asked you about that because, like after watching I've talked to a few,
The document Arians and I've watched your stuff from way back. I watched you every washed, Harlin County and
What is it that? Why do people
a documentary feel like they need to use animation. Now, when did that happen,.
I will I had to use it in. I know why don't you know
Otto graphs? There was no footage. There is no nothing all I could do was you know,
listen to what the guy's told me and then we had
to recreate, create at and we had an iranian animator. We got all the history books out to sea with helicopters. Looked like ban and see one zero ruin than we did it absolutely to perfection.
it was the only way in which we could tell the story and what
was really incredible. Is that the guy said? How did
dude, as this is exactly as we remember you mean the american soldiers yeah they met at his anxious
I felt like I found that stuff very moving that you how this haunted those guys you're that that that the deaths that failure of it
had of their control.
That decisions were made, but most of the failure was just you know, just block
shit. It wasn't, it wasn't anyone's fault really they they.
Worse than they did everything they could. I it seemed like they were about. They were baling on it. Yet when it the ship went down,
They were bailing out it because they were DM one of the helicopters. The fucked up right up right
They only had could have six helicopters that had to be working that they didn't. They had found
I've, so three of the helicopters went down, but it's interesting because the hostages,
didn't know anything about it. They thought that they were abandoned and nobody was coming to help them to do anything. And why
let them ambassador. Jean Lambert, found a newspaper and he spoke.
Do you know the language and he read it and read about the right of that mission right? But
take em, they were
here out and it spread throughout all the house
it that these people risked their lives to try to save them.
David avail allow right, here's a crazy mission. I do
like to do that, the fact that they tried it was crazy. I made it seem like
That's a tricky like it with
technology. Word words that today they couldn't even talk to do that
now, as so many moving parts and plastics
may being able to film present.
hi there unless
you getting some Obama attend
a three months to be able to do
so that we can really film. We just talk to him and why that top. But what did you find
you know, how did you find him yeah as you like? What's your memory of him as a president who did because I feel like I was, I was not
politically awake at that.
time oblebee? What year was at that? That was ninety seven days
yeah yeah I mean I was in high school. I didn't you know, I knew him like. I knew the image of him. I knew the peanut farmer, I knew the nice guy thing. I knew my my mother
I liked him, but what? What did you feel about him? Ah well, going back to their place, it's hard to go back to their place, but
also, how I feel about him now for meeting am and being with them.
It was around the time he was the president around the time the Harlem County came out right and also to me
such a diplomat and he said, change humanitarian
even now in his old age, she still goes. You know he's in plans and he still goes any helps. People with Hauser run yeah he's just
an incredible human being when you compare him to what our world is today, wife is so different.
If, as you know, you're always, I urge you always feel like you're, walking and broken glass, because you don't know what this leadership
who's gonna do what's there next move, so there is no leadership. There's nothing there!
there's intangible chaos, yeah yeah, listen, egomaniac, the arts of vacuum of its term
but I may I felt that, with with Obama to these very grounded guy and a thoughtful guy and
decent guy that was trying to to sort of
balance out the nature of the power he had
They can also sort of nurtured democracy. It is a tough management. Position did to be
to man to man,
Finch corporate interests, military interests, the interests of the people and
to figure out how to move forward through this system. That is certainly not per
fact, but it is what it is yeah hi there
they said the only way you can talk to him ass if you get in touch with a guy named, fell wise, the Carter center. I
all fell wise and he would never call me back and his voice mail go howdy
this is very wise, and I met in right now leave a message for me side.
Decided. I would have this relationship with his voice now
I called him every three or four days for three months him
We shot this today we have to have Carter because of Avian see ya gotta. Let us do it
and then one day my cell phone rang.
Sky those holiday.
Since fell wise. If I were you, I'd marry your boys anywhere and he's ok, Barbara, with decided we're. Gonna lecture fell
He said he I have twenty minutes and February. Fourteenth is the day now, ok, Valentine's day, so I went and I got the best chocolates I could find to give to prison.
either I've been in South Sudan and the women had made these crystal hearts, and so I
a red heart for the first lady, and it was
an extraordinary interview I mean he doesn't like to talk very much about this, because it's a failure
Did he give you more than twenty nineteen minutes forty seconds
no shit yeah sure!
that's so tricky about these guys, but even him I mean obviously
He could have given you more time. They are women
they were led him, his his handlers headed.
racing shared with par stout form
In terms of how to frame the thing tat, I couldn't even given the chocolates in the heart, because that would have come off. My time decided to give it to one of his assistance.
To give to so many years later. What were they afraid of? Do you think I think,
making him go through this kind of anguish and
friend of mine, Bernie Anson, who was fine. Speechwriter said why
you're not gonna, get anything emotional out of the sky he's just not gonna do it, and so I said yes, I well, I said I'll bet you dinner, and so I went
and he was really emotional. I mean when he top when I
ask him about? How did you feel when these eight men die? What was that like for you
and he just said. I was heartbroken, what do you mean? What do you mean? You are heartbroken. He said when my father died when
is very young and he's
dad. I never thought I'd have to go through those terrible feelings again. So it is a service,
removing I mean I was very moved too soon
interview happened to be there with them and also
now to found Vice President Mandela, who was one of the few at that time.
You know vice presidents, who was really to foreign affairs, so
I was a very interesting piece to do.
yeah not. I am, and I thought you had all those recordings as well, which were great. You know that the third transactions between the General Yahoo
here the ways on for the military operation and-
present mandolin and Present Carter was you. I just the eet, I'd I'd sort,
I don't have. I ever knew. No, I guess. No one really knows that story.
We all know about the hostages, we don't know about the mission and it was also the beginning of TED Cop. All and now,
Why, then, you know
Her sad too
I'm TED Kabul, there were only two people
who got anything out of this, and that was you with Nightline M Khomeini.
You are the key to success as far as I'm concerned, so like windows,
approaching. I may I give done like dozens documentaries at this point and I
Do you like you? I see the form evolving to a certain degree. Yes, sometimes as a fool
It seems like everybody thinks it can do it, but they can't buy
I agree that since its here
Hu Jia takes the life out of you, but yet gives you so much energy. I mean it's sort of way.
you're doing all these interviews where in oh, you put.
Breathing into it to try to get people to be relaxed and to spill.
everything not go into the waves, but really talk about things and that takes
a lot of energy. It there s a lot of thought. It takes a lot of research. Kids, you know too
be able to connect it to bring things out about people for sure and like how did you like? We did you like me: will you
grew up in New York. I grew up in
guys down? There was just a re, less Chester in
a home that was so filled with love. It was amazing
Everything was first the children
My parents word generous of spirit. You could talk to them,
about anything, no matter what and all they wanted was
you know happiness and I think for us
where supportive in encouraging what like what was your dal said: QUIET Ansell inherited King
I was just so lucky. I mean I think that what happened
is that all
because I was so protected as a child
I was able, as an adult, to go
the things that were a lot
or dangerous and in fact my son is the same way
I brought him up in a home that had so much.
Love and so much protection and kept him.
And, above all, and now he's in this
then show worker he's a psychiatrist that man sign. I you know
call bed and he does,
He works twelve days out of two weeks in awe
tells me unbelievable stories. He has two sometimes talk to families of people who are coming off the ventilator, and so it's sort of entrusting the turn you take in the courts.
Where is the intake, depending on your background and what it was like? You grew up a jewish jealous
and what your dad do, what we had. If I'm here refined you early on the reformed, you think TAT Day
I feel like I do not know where they didn't even exist until the sixties or seventies did now. My pants for reform to say mean we set. We
and celebrate Hanukkah. We celebrate Christmas tree, but it wasn't the religious part of the Christmas straight rageous that it is beautiful.
I can get my money, my mom body, he she had a couple Christmas tree. She like Christmas lights, but I think we were
the Gore conservative Jews,
For me? The inference was always like in the reform
Temple. It was an unusual for the counter to play. Guitar like right.
Anything now, since you entered and singing in you know
screwing around. Yes,
Would you would you dad do
My dad worked in textiles. He was,
and my mom was a housewife and
textile converter? What does it mean?
tape material and you it intrusion so yeah.
they were, but they were like intellectual people. They like yeah, stay where they are. They had lots of friends: the arts,
Ah, my mother's first cousin was a guy named Mary Burnett who wrote a play. Called everybody comes to risks, which became Casablanca
Did you know that guy was yes, I bet
It was probably old by the time you were deemed remember. I sell that. I still nearer that's funny when you grow up and jewish families on the EAST Coast
someone has there's a gathering. There's always someone is like a hundred years old sitting in a chair
Hey: listen, quite bad Alberta, look good, buddy,
keep them at a hand in this extraordinary woman
I know who was found film producer name, Lucy, Jarvis, somehow just died, it
written two years old and she was amazing- she was the first one
into ever, go to the Soviet Union to Russia and found she was the first one,
it's a famine, the loose and famine, China and she decided
an extraordinary life. Then you know, I think she was one of my men. She started you
in the end. We see fur assistant, amateurs and editors just such a force and she just died. A few months ago
wow, that's that's a good run with new productive life and am
he was so great because we go.
Dinner and she could care, alas, what she said that she would say terrible thing:
screen. The in the restaurant about Tromp been
if nothing else and we would all just sit at the table and laugh hysterically as all that
people around us? You know it would be shy.
I've. The waiters and we'd say: listen she's on
as two hundred and two now you're gonna, say whatever she wants your lackey she's talking to you today
a good. She see things worth one.
what compelled you to get your? When did you know that you're somehow that, like you,
instead. Did you study film in college? You know now clinical psychology
Ha so what why were you interested in that at that time? What was it that that made you and has
it. In fact. Margo car guy psychology- well, it's
very similar to what I do now, because, as its of what makes people tick Margaret
going out who they are, and my son is the psychiatrist nor yet it provides you know when you're younger,
we are what your way sort of drives you to make that decision, what you love while it was.
During it was. You know during also the late sixties,
early seven days right, everybody was, you know, marching against the war in Vietnam Ray
lay understanding and thinking that in our generation had all this power to change things and to do things and for me to be
able to relay sink in and talk to people, and
people who in how they had given the bottom is too or given you know, cause I had a six one six month. Work study program at northeastern, like
this arm in Boston, but
was it was right at my hour because I just wanted to understand the times. Understand the people to people who have a bottomless yeah.
Yet what were at the hospital at landfill stay hospital
yeah I a six month, work study.
They show that, but at that time were they still do
the bodies they were.
as the ending of Frederick wise men's film came out
around that time, titty car follies
and nobody was allowed to see here I mean I think it could say said it took away the rights of the people in the institutions. I think it shows
but in one see at her and that really motivated me too, and without a document or in the college a year so that we can
the thing that.
Provided the information that that LE bodies were sort of inhumane. Yes, quite yes, it did you just say
ah how they were treated in what happened to them with something
was readily done to people so swords
and write to me that, as your moving towards some sort of clinical,
psychology degree or life that that movie was a turning point, yeah, that that said,
two may wow. This is something that I can do and
I can get out the word about who people are facilitate change through and facilitate change.
I'll just be on this
unbelievable culture. All political.
And humanitarian journey, so you got you
degree in clinical psychology.
and then what happens. Then
I came to New York
and I was taking a course and sent him every day at the new school and those of women.
Angela, who sat next man. She said I work for these
people named the maize, or rather and they're looking for an intern.
There is no money, there's! No nothing would you be interested, I said: are you kidding? I would love it. You knew a mine,
I knew who they were yeah, of course, and so I started working
with them, Albert and David, and there
so remarkable, but where they working on when you took the job salesman? Ok,
yeah, for though I do know our bible salesman, and I remember you know, for the premier costs
I felt I knew them so well from seeing the found when I saw them,
the premier I went up and gave them a big hostage taking with it for a year and a half way through their work,
work for them is also- and I also worked a little I'm gimme, shelter
I was the person who, like carried David's, audio tabs
and I was the human tripod for albert- could see that on the sound recorder skies shoulders, arms
dangles day and my job was to hold the mob. So he could shoe aftermarket now this-
Madison Square Guard night and cut out tonight. That was the first show
so the madness where garden show like
it's. My understanding of that film that it was meant to be sort of a kind of a
a positive is sort of
most promotional documentary about the stones while illicit posted,
tell their story but
Albert and David didn't never theory get men to when they went out tonight and offering everybody also have problems with the hell's angels as well. They do yeah they went to sea
he angels, because they had always footage about them and I
thank God Albert got punched a really there
I mean that that seems relatively
they got off easy.
are they do get off, because you I mean the angels are, they could have put a death threat autumn? Who the hell knows
but you were there as these are the stones, Madison Square Garden, in
sixty nine sixty six. What was the cigar? Sixty nine?
good show. What was it
Rachel, and I remember they all went since I was the low person on the total Paul. They all went out to IE
and they said. Ok, barber. You got all the equipment scientists standing there guarding all day,
well and then the skies stands next. Man, it's Mick, Jagger, I'm figuring okay well arranged with,
face. It say think a lot of people will come tonight and he said TAT I said: are you excited? He said the arab Tina Turner is gonna, be singing with us, so I
the best time evolve, as I got to have a conversation with Mick Jagger I'll. Never forget that nice guy right was united about yeah yeah. We had me stead and talked with me for a while. It's just you know here
Israel charmer that Jagger,
yeah, and I was so
happy. I was guiding MCA Witness to have that experience. So what
So how long did it? What how did
county sorted start to materialise. Who did they offer you
How did you leave the measles? What would happen?
that may sound son, because I got a job as an assistant editor near an arm. The editor would go out to lunch,
Can I say: ok, Barbara,
it's an hour. I want you to cut this to twenty minutes by the time I get
now my guy your job, yeah- and it was great-
so I started to really learn how to tell a story through editing. He really help me that's and earnest yeah.
and I remember I was listening to
yo and they had this whole story about
how a call minor was gone
can it be running
Ganz W H, Tony Blair, who is the head of the United Buying, were right, and so I just stopped,
wow what a great story- and I was There-
to get alone of twelve thousand dollars in off. I went to the coffee house: that's how it started. It was about
be the the minor spread democracy at the beginning versus at the corrupt president, too.
Who was later found guilty of the murder of jockey landscape on his wife and daughter. Jockey basket was running against him and he
You want to lose his power Rocco. He had a hit a head on them and kill. You bonds gives way,
daughter, and this is the guy supposed to be representing the miners. Yes
Tony blowout yeah. He was the president of United Mine Workers. So an
an IRA mailer got on to power and he was said: ok, I'm gonna organised the unorganized
and I went out. Let's see, if he's telling the truth and his first place said he was gonna, do with Harlin County. So of course
I went to highlight county and lived there for
in a more than thirteen months shredded for the strike and for me it was one of them
a significant moments. I learned what life and death was all about. I learn so much about
these people who were willing to risk their lives for what they believe them
It has to be treated like humans yeah.
To get a decent wage safety in the mines? That kind of thing they
in dire poverty.
This is a different. Is it that much different now
others very little coal mining now right. So I
The union has maybe twenty five thousand members, and so it is different.
This present this president really want to bring it back. He trying to
same out and they re as quickly as possible, the ass
it's interesting, though, why did you find like like, if you think
back on that on our own county or are on on the culture of coal mining you're that there
I mean that was the seventies by their side,
used to be like
generational commitment to it than that that somehow your kind of
you added to the anger added to the poverty, a added to like this
the idea that for some reason there was no other thing that they could do what
you'd now comes from and think it was
that there was no other thing that they could do, but jobs were scarce, but
Your grandfather worked in the mines. Your father worked in the minds and therefore you worked in the mines, and it was something that they did with great pride, also the muse
of Appalachia was incredible because comment.
I swear geographically isolated.
and you would be able to communicate with each other through the music. You know the manning to mine explosion or anything it happened, and so it was culture was tradition. We would sit on the porch at night.
And people would tell stories, are people would play music and
sang, and you know it was incredible. Everybody was right next to each other, all the time left with the call minors,
a grew to trust you in and once they figured out what you are doing and and and you are you sort of commit the
a chunk of life tat to commit
to an outcome that you weren't sure of, but either way you were sort of
able to to show the humanity of the situation yeah.
It didn't matter to me, yeah. I wasn't
They are thinking about what an outcome would be. I was
thinking about I'm getting to document these people, who were some of the most
incredible people, I've ever met in my life. I have to assume at a certain point. You want things to work out for them
Oh yes, of course, I wanna drink Stewart was outcome, you'd like to see all absolutely and it did
I mean it didn't I didn't. Two minor was killed by a company for men,
and that's how they got their contract because everybody got their guns and there would have been no mass occurs,
wow. This is like in the seventies
yeah. I was just you know this little kid you now going.
for a new guy. You went forward. You want an Oscar for now did that
form your vision. I mean after you had that experience and you
you gain summer, yet you
You got some yeah, you got your documentary chops going up, the movie looks great still
and it's like it. That was a thing that really struck me to well watching,
contemporary documentaries version
I can memories from that period, where you really relied on on the sub
Jack Matter. To sort of you know
the end and also a patients and end an ability to capture it and Gue. Using film
Jesus I mean that must have been crazy.
It's crazy! I mean you're. U switching out the magazines in your reloading shit and you know
you ve got it. You gotta get this. It's not disposable like it is now
now and then- and I did. I did the sound over sound for seventeen years on my phone,
but yeah, then we would bring the film outside of
the area one we had enough film and we would place said at we granted
motel room far away and just put the film in their engine.
you now and when I would run out of film, I would come
I parents, parents would send me a film, and I would then this found
my father's office in he would put it in his refrigerator for safe keeping. Will you afraid
that that thugs, we're gonna come take the movie YAP
yeah why I wanted to make sure that nothing happened to it? Well,
an end. So after after that experience, what was your
goal. What was your agenda in terms
what you are putting into the war, because I mean that did shine a light on something that a lot of people they know about the shine, a light on a struggle that
How do people they know, but I think a lot of people knew about Yo Unions and about how they were being squeezed, but but why?
was from that point on what were you? What was your vision? How did it influence it?
Well, I didn't know if this was a good, sound or not
I just knew that. I love there and
one of my mentor d, a penny baker. I had him show a screening of the film. I begged him I said
You know. Would it be possible for you to show a screening and has found an Hebrew?
All the people to the screening,
that I totally revered like shot.
it's where an Susan Steinberg in a lot of other people right and they really liked it. But I was so
afraid I mean my stomach was not so as to what,
that would be like, and the famous for
ass. One day before it was gonna have its premier at the Near film festival.
I remember you know, suited picking up,
sixteen millimeter prince and thank you
in three areas, have for years of my life for this
and bringing it to the Near film Festival, which was in credit.
and I had the minors in their wives com.
Ah Hazel Dickens, who did the music and I Xerox Song Sheet,
uh. You know the last song of the found. They'll never keep us down and passed it out loud to
the entire audience here and there
a Hazel came
at the end and sang and call the women and the call minors
him out and sang, and ah
Why was Scott who had just been made?
president of the Black Lung Association, witches
yet from called that young, your lungs Numa coming Alice's, she started
raising money from
the audience and people were throwing
ten dollar bills and twenty dollar bill, and I was like in a corner laughing and she said vibrate. She didn't. I choose my she said Barbicane
pick up that money, we need it put it a stick. It in
Your browser I can have led richer ran. Who is the head of the film Festival, said? Are a barber next year you do it in our own role escape. I said that I do find out. They were again without sounds like you're, a beautiful communal event. Yes yeah it whiskers
I threw you made an impact, you won and ask her what was
you got to go to the Oscars,
did and I had never been to allay before our eyes
the distributor who is Rudolph didn't want me to
the minute to the economy, and I did, and so he took away
Ah you know
IP are and everything. So why do we want you to submit conceded
my people to now, as the documentary when he played theatrically excited
yeah. He was gonna trick people into thinking over some sort. It yeah affection, found yeah.
And so I went. I didn't have anything to where I had to borrow a dress.
and somebody let us off.
The academy awards and we walked through and they sat all the time.
humanitarian together and when our
Category came up with Criss crossed arms,
and when they said Harling County, I just felt two hands pushing
from a high to get up a little,
It was beating somewhere in the room and little old man
gave me the award, and so
That was an incredible thrill bacon.
He had been blacklisted right
it's amazing and then you do when
you turned around and right away went into making
another documentary about?
a union position issue, but that was signed
years later I sound and added aiming for other fountain things like that and had a child's in July in between
american dream, american dream was in the nineties. Are worrying and be widened
it's a long time but you're just working as an editor errors. Were you you with an added San required for future answer documentary I'll documentaries?
in our work done no nukes, so many films
that was your community, that as my command and it still is
I mean it's grown nets, prospered in backing.
Andrea, Sir, the rage. Now I mean, if you go to a film festival, the documentary sell out an Norman. I wonder if the ones wondered yeah letter or whether you like it or not, for your browser, good question that would suit d do as a worm. It seems that a lot of people who who do
it ended documentary
Their intentions are not always necessarily journalistic.
and it does seem like that, as as a form its easy to tear to sort of
assume a tone, but not
make a very good documentary? Well, I'm, usually
document are not journalists.
where more free flowing and
anything goes in a documentary admit new, have the
Work of Michael more who you know for TAT was out and the Devil happy man right. I get the epidemic later in
fell to me that you're in
and Chin here at the time,
but something like our own county was. There was an element of journalism too.
Well, I know, because you can
do whatever you want it. I think a journalist really has to hear both sides of the story, and
You know be a journalist, then Sir
If we then a doctor,
and carrying it. Just going, you do the things that you feel awry. It's marvelous,
or a tailor, our it's more a bomb
if nobody, if you can,
on both sides,
Then you know you you're putting their
but you can have persuasions to rouse upside. They knew
Who agree? Of course right I mean there's nobody above you didn't I tell you, I am, I guess you can. You can put this.
Dan or that in its all right. You want to do and how are you I feel bad? I get it. I guess I'm not. I guess I'm not I'm not saying that its objective, but I find that
in that you're saying it's completely subjective from the point of
you have the film maker, but I
I find that the more
Compelling documentaries at least
present several sides well yeah, because it makes a great stone
right, you want to know all the different elements, and I don't mind and also there's like I find that of documentary- are
and in a certain amount of ambiguity and put the sort of your moral or even the final,
chapter the story in the hands of the viewer right right
what will you do to wait
comedy nerve interviewing is very documentary and style for sure I know you're also an actor but but
ass you get to the wrong ass, you get to the real ness when you're doing comedy. Well, you use that
things that are very close to you and very important to you right and I never going and I never claimed to be a journalist. Sometimes
gets hung on me, but I d,
I refuse to take it
does that I give you yeah. I've got that so
but that's true, it's because I don't you know, I don't follow any rules around this stuff.
But sometimes I because of that I get I get done within interviewer or a few days later, MIKE Fuck. Why didn't I
I forget, why not ask him that?
In that way, I was basic shit.
it well. I bet you you
hello. I bet it. You know the things that you did ask
it's not their forget. It
I bet you do so
go on with where'd. You see their right riper, like don't. Have you ever gotten Dunwood something and been like? Oh my god, how did I not? Yes, you have coy yet not a great
feeling, but I let it go
but just domain today that you have them that their
at Reagan had his guy in Mexico meeting with the Iranians you're like I could use that
a year ago
I know why didn't you just tell me now
Well, I've been wonderful. Why was a different when you did american dream? I mean like what would from going in. I know these are movies. People can have to go. Look for, but there was a day
for instance, in how,
You approached it wasn't, because there were similar issues right where
is union ashes. It was the hormonal meet packing company.
taking away the wages of arm
helping the wages of the people who work there ran. It was the same kind of thing
Father, you Father all worked there, but there were in it.
Is about much more complex, film and plus, of course, they decide to go on,
right in the middle of a Minnesota venture, so sometimes it was sixty four
well with the wind shall factor, and you know I used to pray that the cameras battery with stop for a minute, so we took
when a car with heat and it with an ever stop making these fell.
Because you are always struggling for money to keep
allowing- and I remember one
morning after I've been out on the picket line from like three o clock in the morning till seven o clock in the morning. The aims for you saying I went
the young man.
And the hall, and somebody said barber. Your office is on the phone and I went
ok and I got on the phone and they said Barbara. You only have two hundred and fifty dollars left in the bank water.
You gonna- do as well
What do you mean? What am I gonna? Do I'm freezing all night long outside every night and then
a call back about four or five hours later
said. I know what they're going to say. I don't wanna talk now. They said it's your office, you D talks, I got on the phone and they said, which is that one
five thousand dollars from Bruce Springs stay goodbye burst into tears, but I was so happy,
how did how house has we ve been funding? We have been riding in writing to him, could see. Was you know, doing a lot of union things at that time? And, finally, just when we needed it, when we had nothing, he gave us twenty,
five thousand dollars in letters, I was
Oh, how happy I was crying jumping around. I couldn't believe it meant I could still go on, so that was that was just that's part of your ammo
users, keep pushing and pushing you know.
And then you chose Bruce her sit there and the aggressive six part here, but you
focus. I mean you know like you, you know what you want out of a specific person. You know you want to talk to Jimmy Carter and you knew that ours if he could only see what you are up to would glad. I give you some money on whom he science, ass, fast ass. You know,
found the site. This is just so
incredible you? Never know what you're gonna do next, it's so excited
eating. I mean I've done now found the sun. Woody Allen was gradually broke out. You gonna have joined films run like
It's never saw the JFK one, but but but but I did see wild man blues so so american, so so american dream is nine. Ninety ninety
and what are these? What
homicide life on the street. I
and tat the dead became a tv show, didn't it wasn t
It's a series. I also did you do
after you directed the tv show,
They gave me a hard time on the first line, but I
is totally unfair.
I mean the after Kyoto said there was a.
all big meeting and he said, listen Barbara. He said
I'm not really saying anything in this scene, and I said
Abbott Yoffe it Caesar here guys you're interested in them.
As I said, and when we put the camera new, that's the money shot, they let em,
and he loved it and Andrew Brower was barroom. See me said: okay, so your document, China, is you only take you one shot and I said well absolutely not.
I said good dab, humanitarian stays. There even happened.
all night till we get everything. That's not what do you want to do that?
but you know I figured if I was machine gun, DIN, Harlin County. I could
stand and work with actors and not be afraid if they try to intimidate me
I had a great time their cause. We all live there in Baltimore and go out after week shoe and we have drinks and talk with each other and with it was a wonderful community is really. It was great experience
that's that's what happens with those longer running shows
Yeah everyone gets no Jesse. You ve done a lot of tv work in time, tv daylight, but
Woody Allen so, like the shifting documentaries like
from union issues life
the issues in any
start doing some celebrity centric pieces,
what work compelled that
we'll call up and say how would you like to do a Sandman Woody Allen? We have
a budget. We have everything and how did you ever?
that down so that wasn't your idea now.
I sent my I'd be innocent before our, where he was in trouble. Now
when he was in trouble because he went with Sunni on this trip. But you know eyes:
love Woody Allen. I think he's a terrific comic. I think he's you know a really interesting smart.
human being, and he let me do whatever I want it. I mean I've been have a key to his hotel room, and so I would just come in and start shooting and found them at breakfast store. You know
That's right! That's what the Andes with Sunni the whole time do the whole time. Yes and all my like feminists friend, you can't do that
I said, of course, I'm gonna do that. I couldn't think of anything I'd rather do I'm definitely do him what what what was pushed back specifically about just the inappropriate seeming seeming in appropriateness, yes with Sidney,
right an end, I kind of yarn. I remember that you didn't they just its water,
you think is
What do you think he was doing by
making himself available for
for whatever you wanted to do at that time. With our malign
situation now now.
Was just being himself, he was on a jazz tour and he loves music, and if somebody could do a film on something
you love so much. It was good
I am with him and when we were added an arm he would call me
all the time and he would say, ok, Barbara, can I see at night say nobody its eight hours long and so then he call back- and I say no worry
It's five hours, long and then finally, he said
I'm coming, and then it was three hours long, and so he can.
M M hand, Sunni watched it and we watched them.
sort of holding on to each other and land
thing and almost seeing their relationship?
come alive and if the
he stood up, I knew he thoroughly enjoyed it and he just said: well, you ve got
anyway. Sorry he saw it as a movie, but he also cite as sort of the home movie and away. Well then, he cantons
ass. They made a comment. I should say it was ready. She knows it was too long and mountains lass come.
that way. You ve got your. I know I've been trying to tell you this, but he loved the sound he loved it
any and you never. I ate
and because I unite, I certainly love Woody Allen to, but
again now it's like everything is thrown into a sort of more
around him, the beauty and feel at any point.
during your time with him that he felt tat? He was doing something wrong now near he was.
So happy. It will seem sort of a film about youth in age and she always wonder, go out and you won
stay home. Haldeman
You know where they stand his hotel room in Red and get ready, and it was an she just brought life since it has worked
and they had a incredibly wonderful time together there still today,
there: they have two adopted children and they seemed so happy right here. Ok,
What about this sort of like the Gregory Pact,
whose idea was that one eye
what am I really good Frahm, Cecilia Pack, some Greg's daughter and we
We are working on a film and she moved tonight.
I had met her, and can I see why don't you just company african I'll, give you a job and witches became really very close friends and she said
so my father's doing a one man show and nobody's filming it, and I were ok,
we'll go I'm on we'll. Do wine perform an
We were then I couldn't stop. I mean he was.
So brilliant and so charming in it's as if he really is was Atticus French, I mean just a brutal.
in a wonderful man how it was either point now Jane,
I don't know, there's an old guy right now
thereby yeah yeah, so
You really saw what made him great. I thought
yeah I mean he was. He was so nice.
then that film went to the kind film festival? And you know he just
so low key and so happy
to have that found there and he told us that it was his second favoured found next to kill. A mocking were well that man everything a great deal
weak and how, by your experience with features, are you gonna? Try you done with them or what
Now, I'm the nets,
try to do another. One
I'm in the midst of trying to get the right to a it's about that
a friend of mine wrote a long time ago and on that
and I say what it is till I get the rights to it, but I think it's gonna be
absolutely amazing and what's a process once you get the right through a book in, do you write to script
and now I'm not gonna write described our I'll work with a screenwriter. Ok
My writing is not up to the power of this book. Hooker,
I wanted to be the very best to death, so that the next thing
thinking if we ever make it out of this darkness.
The country and end if we ever get through this disease, that
you're gonna make this
feature is that what you think I am
yeah I'm doing. I found on civil rights. I started before
covered and it's about to civil rights.
leaders mark Mario and JANET were gear and their sensational
and we were foaming them before and then when Colbert happen, you start
dealing as Zoom recordings, and it was like what
king history in life unfold before us, with all the things that they have to do
oh I'm, the work that they are doing, a prison reform of Vienna getting out trying to get at the boat of all the politics
at their Gaza the blacklist matters, protests and yes, every
thing and you know brown
People love slack
whose matter so and the two of them are really good. Friends.
So we're doing that now, where certain filming them, as they gotta marches in getting back two's to filming. So
we're gonna go through the election right filming outline and then go into everything. That's good, sir. That's exciting and unfolding right before you very eyes guy. I have to assume that debt must be
yeah a lot of what's compelling about it. Like me, I imagine like in a movie like havoc where
you know you have escaped. You have the actors you have scenes ever got all the reduction goes into setting up picking them
having as much control is possible really work
It was the opposite of documentary film, making yeah exactly
you're still searching for that sense and truthfulness. You know that
yeah from a documentary through the actors.
In the idea for I was now yes, I do
yeah. That is, you know, as directors. Job is defined that if that's your thing, you're not lacking. I guess
it's probably most of their things, even if their
making a superhero movie, but I mean that this sort of
the intimacy of human
and you believe, ability. Yes,
and being real without a good experience. What it's all about. I love
Why had done the homicides in the eye
again. I love Annie and I love these. You fill
right and left me. I had so much fun together. It was great,
what something you're living at the life you want to live.
I am, I feel very bless them very happy to be doing this work. I mean every time another
a film pops
may, as I'm so excited. I just
everything I happen to it, and it really just gets into my heart into myself
Well, thanks for talking to me
While I went into just see how year dealing you, ok, I'm not to make you sad,
no I'm. Ok. What I mean I mean talking about that type of directing. Yes, certainly what she did. You know in what she was just incredible and why
Therefore, when I just one
I can tell you that
think about you. I listened to what you said on and he are and I care deep
lay about you and so to so many other people.
I appreciate that yet been difficult near it gets. You know that
I am thinking about it today. When I talk to people you know about it,
I just did a thing with them
Rockwell earlier today, who you know was in one of her movies, Yegg
Nor am I an a managing ok, but it's here to devastating thing there. While I send you sound like slot. Thank you Berber and thank you for dichotomy and thank you for attacking
again? Be new film by Barbara? Is a desert one you can get it? Will you get death?
all of your on demands on most video on demand platforms and in virtual cinemas, and you can also check out desert one movie dot com to find all of you
options to see it.
And this is this- is me now with Michael
telecast critically, pretty clean.
Burma lives monkey lives,
Transcript generated on 2020-10-06.