« WTF with Marc Maron Podcast

Episode 1162 - Barbara Kopple

2020-10-01 | 🔗

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 during the biggest names in the comedy world. Letterman Leno carry would be Whitney men Del Marin, yeah, that's right! People, I'm in this thing, plus many many more. The lineup is one for the ages. Never before seen stand, upsets, interviews and personal stories are revealed every week as comic legends pay tribute to the Ellie Landmark that need them into stars. The comedy store premier Sunday October forth at ten p m only on Showtime also turn your great idea into a reality. Would squares base sky space makes it easier than ever to launch your passion project, whether you're showcasing your work or selling products of any kind, with beautiful templates and the ability to customize. Just about anything, you can easily make a beautiful website yourself.
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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. Did Texas 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. With this. 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 Annex. Do 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 Alex, 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. fucking die, 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 actions from.
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 still win 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 old fort 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, Loser guy
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, and fodder. 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 escape Desperately 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 it's nice to have dreams. These days, people they're not here He come by. So when you ve got a good one, don't waste it That's why you need to turn you dream into a reality with square space scores, This remains the best way for you to launch your passion project, whether you looking to start a new business showcase, your work, publish content, sell products whatever it is you wanna do Squire space is the tool for you with beautiful tat.
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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, and I picked. Salmanassar was picking them. I rise like one of them was changing color up towards the top, and am I oh man,
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 budding? as limes 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. Militarily 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 very obedient 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 kids cry 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 we found 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, Lambert that 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, they quickly. 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
became? 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 President. 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 car 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, a converter 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, yeah so 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 the Harlem 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 NPR rate 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 twice and 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 right here 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 Doesn't it 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 ro chaos 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 working now,
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 Location, sure, 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 inaction yeah, 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, fond lives,
Transcript generated on 2020-10-06.