« WTF with Marc Maron Podcast

Episode 1388 - James Gray

2022-12-01 | 🔗
Filmmaker James Gray had crisis of confidence after watching a rough cut of his first movie, Little Odessa. Now that he’s made his most personal film yet, Armageddon Time, James and Marc talk about what it took to rebuild his confidence over 25 years, survive fights with Harvey Weinstein, and brave a film shoot in the Amazon that almost killed him. They also talk about Ad Astra, The Beatles, The Stones, Jaws, Apocalypse Now, and Fred Trump.

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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
All right. Let's do this. How are you what the fuckers, what the fuck bodies, what the fuck nics what's happening on mark marin? This is my podcast welcome to it keep it together, as I move towards a special that I take a week from today. in new york city. I believe we moved mode the tickets. My shows that the orange peel and asheville more care tomorrow, night or sold out. There's definitely tickets for nashville at the james pollack centre on Saturday there's probably some good seats. There might be awesome he'll taping. As I said, a town hall, new york city, I'm through they December eighth. I think there might be two tickets will have for the second Oh, I don't know you got a deputy pod dot com. so ass to her for all the dates and taken info, I go on ramblings, grey,
on these show to day he's a writer and director who first got notice, movie widow, odessa back in the nineties. He made the films ashura, the lost city of Z. We own the night, among others, his wages movies. Armageddon time I talked to a german strong about it a few weeks ago and we have we have nice talk. I was nervous at first, but were too, frequencies of the same type of jus? So I don't know you guys I just spent the day I m ready. You know I gotta get my house it or set up. I've got to a yard, change. My letter boxes, I've got to say projecting that one of my cats is sick. I've gotta start worrying about got these fuckin carpenter ants. and I heard in anybody, but I'm tired of seeing him, I'm tired a watch add parade along the ceiling of my bathroom. I don't know why they can't be gotten rid of, but it's it's a bit of a nuisance, bit of annoying thing to just sort of realise anchor
advocating with all kinds of bugs and things cats bugs fleeced cats got flee somehow had we then I imagine the freezer in the house, and I got the ants its cause. I leave you doesn't matter man I leave I don't have a floppy door for the cats to go in and out of to their cattle I can't believe it kind of open. You got me so my closet, they ve eaten some fairly prime pendleton hope, they're, happy I hope that that some quality wool feasting, but look this is a way to go the bugs you're gonna get us all, that's just the way it goes. Maybe this is just a way of adapting to it got fleas carpenter, ants, mobs closet there's a swarm of bees. The other day on my porch. what they wanted. I feel like its own
indicator. I had a tree for parrots three days ago, just the Glenda pair Pasadena parents, what have you wanna come these green parrots that fly around los angeles. I'll just hang out. My tree is a sign of something I gotta. birds goin on bird action that squirrel action, possum action, I think there's couple skunks around. I do not know what happened to the rest of charlie beans as family So I mentioned to you that james graze here and it's interesting thee piper awareness of jewishness now as a jew because of the heightened anti semitism as a jew. You before hyper aware of the genius of you. And if you like me, you kind of one who were coming the bell a little bit. What else are we supposed to do jester
diminish ourselves try to pass. Look I'm sorry on some level not really that four thousand of years, because of being marginalized and sort of pushed around that Jews have figured out a way to adapt and succeed. In almost every situation, but not just to succeed, excel to two levels at that, People have a hard time wrapping their brain around and its that most of the anti just him that I understand or I see a break it down, adjust it's just jealousy, yeah, it's it's hard to said that a small minority of people that have always been a minority in the global population have done so many fuckin amazing things and So many fuck me in contributions to culture, sir science, art business, it's just its. Daunting. I know for four regular people
for non jews to really take that So if you want to believe in big conspiracies jews around the world, not really true, the Jews run, show business, not true easy tropes. I mean they work in these in these air is they work in in world running juice in show business? how he would was built by a hand, well, Jews, who then manufactured the american dream and defined it for non jews everywhere, so they can live in it yeah another adaptation, most of the fictions that sort of work were used to base the american dream on white picket fences and are shucks. This was therein early films and movies. Over over again by the juice of how you they're like here. Is the world invented for you? Can we It please we've we've made it, can we live in it. So yeah I get it. I understand that the most anti haven't comes from jealousy. I do not know where the
a community gets off on in terms of the type of I submitted they There was a time where progressive socialist jews marched with the voting rights activists. During the civil rights movement, a juice died with the effort Americans, during the civil rights movement they were aligned. They were fighting that same fight for human rights. Workers rights for civil rights and at some point The paradigm shift it at some point: people like fabric introduce this zionist occupied, govern businesses, old, anti semitic, the authors of zion, all that other shit and just sort of started to pollute range, I'm not saying that slum lords and certain people within the music business did us. It's good either, but did look man look woman, you know. we're just trying to get by like everybody else. What are we supposed to do? apologize for our amazing, this
the Jews and not been talking about myself, I'm just a regular average working jus, I'm not not a genius. I didn't create any scientific, whose or make any amazing paintings or produce any profound music. I'm just a guy I'm just a jew guy moving through a world that seems right, namely anti jus right now, but again I understand your resentment. I understand your jealousy and it is hard to accept- just how amazing jews are, especially this time, wherever ones looking to blame somebody for something god forbid. You just acknowledge that, can game, is rigged and all this fighting amongst us is just a distraction. as the world ends and the people who were sing. All the money are amassing it in.
it's a most of them at this point, not jews, so James gray is interesting. Guy, smart guy, great director his ruby armageddon time very dewey, but good only to qualify that it's about his life its playing in theatres and available to rent on video on demand platforms and, we're not talk for you, people better comfortable with the jewish content or jews talking or juice mentioning that their jewish at this might be triggering that is a trigger warning for anti semites. I find what's happening with me in the stones right now, it's kind of odd. like I've loved him, my whole life, but like I keep finding more depth to it somehow, and
in a kind of kind of reconnect analyze them all the time right. It's a weird thing like I've gotten we're into listening to Keith. As he gets. The end I saw them because I saw them in florida in their last american show in this last week, at the hard rock small for them like without charlie, would yeah yeah I saw them with Charlie many years ago in san diego, but I just got free tickets. I was down. This visit. My mother saw reached out to their policies can I go. I want my brother and people would say it yeah. You know they'd, ask me like, was it great and I'm like? No? No, it's not great, but it's them right, they're doing it. wrote you know and even keith like? If he can, he like launch it, like your cock vote for a court and you're happy. He hits the cord. It's not a matter of the song in horror. Of course there are sorta all vibe away with which europe
the period of theirs When I listen to the most lately gear, they just released the elmer combo alive record yeah. Did you get it I haven't yet, but I know about it now, ass for his fantastic. What's like that, one they're, the ones on the two sides on love, you live or die. It's that constitute a series of showed up in. That was pretty I tend to listen to. I listen to ya yas a lot. It's incredible. It is man, incredible and people don't really know that record anymore on? Why it's? In fact, I think that's the best version of sympathy for the devil they ever did pretty great. yeah and at midnight rambert area, of course humming. That isn't that that's that's nuclear material recycling. On that now I had a revelation on that record where, where I was like- oh my god, this whole endeavour would completely followed part without a with charlie until you're completely fault I like that, Could that rhythm, section too so fuckin tight yeah,
yeah. He sort of the drummer's drummer right. I guess outs yeah, but he's very strange drummer- that sort of lifting up of his arm the acid and also drums with a traditional jazz, not a match grip like reus, do very weird great group, uob, all rhythm by the way, you're quite right. I can't believe we're talking about the stones. To best it's the best I mean then, when the only bands I listen to fairly regularly and for some reason I've been listening to our talking heads again, pretty regularly must. One loves them is so weird. You said I haven't listen to them. In thirty years I confess still I'm sorry. I'm talking out way too much what I mean stuff to you, while I we can talk about movies and you can talk about anything he wants on ebay, but I have I the stones for me. Are I put them solidly and you may be offended by this, but I put them salty at number three behind it, possible for me to put any one other than the beatles at number one yeah I get it. I it that the scope and the depth of the work we are saying
kind of wild its can't. You know, do you watch? I talk of course wait I mean what is that, while the get back nation, which I'm sure you saw in the first two attracted jackson about it. It's it's astonishing. What to start talking about, is just guys the other just kind of a guy you might even now, but as soon as they I'll pick up their instruments without talking or or knowing anything they may make, they make magic. Like your concern, almost involuntarily, my son, who is based player, he said to me I dunno he loves Paul the aerospace playing any sets me said dead. You know well, They sign their record. Controls of you want to meet a tone, but the history out they deca records had turned them down and new to the available, so that concession sizeable, let's listen to it, so we start listening to it and then a good here. I realize it's John Paul, george and PETE, a really rhythm section. Is poor censure, oh yeah
hans, so you needed Ringo right, there's some weird to your point: there's some color I'll chemic thing that happens with those for people right, laying to get right and it's like you can even believe at the dot the jackson thing with them play with Paul just sitting down and going to put it but of trying to do get back here it is coming up with that song is not see at what I There's a moment in above us, only sky where I really saw that more before they get back thing. There's a moment where we know John has george come over to play guitar and right. On imagine yo yo yo them beyond the right. That's what they're recording in this session There is all these musicians in the room and georgia's sitting there in an johns at the piano and you'd georgia's always our and John just hits a a couple things at the piano and george looks Adam and there's a moment in georgia's hits riff and those that you know it.
Nothing is said anne. Like all my god. That was the whole thing fact when apparently John doing a solar records particular east starting over toward the end yeah. He kept saying to any new mark was a very good drummer drawn the s line, family sony kept saying, does none and do it like this, like ringo Ten years after they broke idle s. So sad, isn't it with said. I mean that is very disturbing you. Your life said it peaks at twenty three, twenty four, it's crazy! There, though, I think age was a. It happened differently than I was. Certainly me and orson Welles wrote twenty flick. Twenty six! I can't even imagine it I mean I don't. I can't imagine a eight twenty six year old now doing that. Well, he had a huge. what system mortal. Even then I mean when you look at twenty people, young people in their twenties, it sort of like email or even me and my twenties. I thought I was something, but I don't think I was anything yard. Actually made my first film at twenty three and I was a moron. I did not know it.
was what little I daresay, I was very young, and I if, if I knew how little I knew I never of hired me really but Emily. they were you out of just add a film score. Would you do where I was from school, I made a short film yeah, which I'm sure is wretched. He I for some reason, while I may have never seen it, I I have I've, made the mistake of watching fact. I had a very awful moment where they showed that film, along with David lynch's short film in his time, If I and Robert mechanism. Mine was by far the worst year, which was sobering, but I made a very smart decision and rights of awfulness here, was that I used both deadly and
billie holiday songs in the movie. Instead of getting you know, friends on a casio tone to church score sure, so the movie all of a sudden seemed like it was professional, oh good, yeah, and so I got an agent and they hired me to do a movie, and that was all madness. Thanks thanks to bo diddley, thanks to both the bo diddley billie holiday, which both literally song, both deadly and also five percent, more man think pact to advocate, but spectacular, seem like approach, is the best beat your words who turn John about italy, I have a strange one: do you ever see the movie fritz the cat, the animated film yeah? Maybe a million years ago, yeah ralph Bakshi uses the entire song in the movie. Really, I must have been eleven or twelve. I saw it quite by accident. How did you, how did you end up at fritz can't hold you or your lily younger than me how psych how'd you end up at fritz. The cat you know you. You may know about this, but early eighties. There was a huge network of revival: houses all around new york city right, which was fantastic. The theatre called the fao,
which was up here, was a terrible by ms may I, but it was short amazing films and downtown. There was the bleak a strictly your santiago river theatre, eighty, these nea, and there was a double feature of ralph, actually movies fritz the way heavy traffic on heavy traffic, and I went there and I was may be twelve. I did know what I was gonna watch, but your car from the island. I was coming from queens where I, where I grew up somewhere else, I saw the new movie ibm muscle I was wondering about people in like in queens and set because there is, because I do comedy. I just got been on the road a lot and you know you get a little out on the. I will not queens but will further out and people don't go the city I mean, there's a type of person, that's going to go and then there's the type of person that just Why do you are completely right? In fact, my uncle, who had the fantastically poet name of seymour. Yes, he to say so well, you're going to you're going to new york, He would say me so you're going to manhattan, I'd, say yeah he'd say I have problems with the city and I never know what that means
you have problems, probably the city and finally owed a few years ago I asked my cousin, I customizable. What did your dad mean by that? He said with dickie medea problems with the parking, but I, I loved it. Unto me it was like Eden. You know I would take the train in that here. The F and fifth minutes later I'd be in the center manhattan and they this. Do that, like I'm, like, I said, I'm wickham, five or six years old and new, but I'd go my family from jersey, but but we I didn't. I lived there most of my life. I lived in Albuquerque yeah. We we my family by, go back. There visit my grandmother, jersey and she put us fourteen years old. It put us on the bus and just report authority and wander around times square yard, actual madness, because I have three children, now seventeen fifty nine thirteen, and I would never let them do that. I mean this. General, yes, but not a thirteen year old. I was hen right,
hiding the new york subways by myself, nineteen eighty one, this notice would have been seventy nine right and not a great time, horrendous the thing has also people forget: the trains physically looked like where it was filthy. The trains were covered with graffiti was like a dungeon yo bright, and so you would go down in their. It felt, dim and dark action, excellent book by a photographer, ending, bruce davidson chronicling. That period of the new subways it's called subway vienna hooted who defunct and iter is fit. Pictures are great and it's that time period exactly and I I love it felt dangerous and an exact. Oh yeah course what why wouldn't it yeah, but you better, but the. The thing is is that you felt safe enough, because there was people around Yes, that's true, I never. The funny thing is one time I remember this is may be couple years later, amendment wells and I the train home at around one
thursday morning yeah, oh yeah act at twelve pack, yeah yeah and people like the way I noticed in new york- and I think it's true, and I think that if you ve lived in you, you spent time in new york there there it is. If we give you hope in people, because despite all the rough types, if some, if some it goes down in the subway. On a street people will be there to help quickly, I completely agree that a very funny and very famous cartoon comic from the new yorker magazine then has an caliph annette person in a new york person yet walking their dogs towards each other air, the thought balloon of The new yorker is saying: go fuck yourself and you thought balloon is have a nice day, California is saying. Have a nice day in his thought. Balloon is go fuck yourself, that's new york! For me, I love them. I loved you.
workers. Do you live there? Now? No, I live here. I've lived here permanently, so I often on I have now lived here permanently since two thousand and twelve. I came back after I made a film called the emigrant, which was a politically difficult experience in the release of the film dealing. Certain personal harvey winston and We, my wife and I had just had enough yet of new york yeah, because it it conjured memories you know of like meetings with it. I'm going. I hate your work, gonna destroy you and all this croatia that you ve said yeah, that and versions of that over and over again, but what it was based on. but he hated the work. I must pretty simple it was a very mercenary personally which he from is he like greens and allow me to say very close by more than one see. That's what it feels like to me. It's like he represented something yeah I was colonel. I I maybe maybe, if I actually ever touched him, we both might burst into flames or some ray. He he was a he. It was. I mean he
with us study, but he was a very he was it the untamed id or something you know and in a way, if you put him in a movie and you cast him as the heavy, it would be like none are you can't do that? cause that's typecasting right yeah. He looks like the kingpin out of the spiderman comic. Well, what what were you dealing with the he didn't? Do any of your movies? You just melt into. He did the first one I got into myself, the second one, the yards. He did the eyes. financed that, and that was nightmarish experience and then I wise well, because you know D takes the filmy heap. He said well. Here's what you gotta do you gotta have a happy ending and you have to have this new. Oh yeah. He was a frustrated director bright. He had made a film believe it or not called playing for keeps IA. Not there was one that came later, unlike the two thousands, but he is in the maid mid eighties. You cannot see it. Basically, he got all the copies of it. Erratic
and yeah. We tried to do that with a lot of things. Teatro yeah, that's certainly true. I mean I have filmmakers to this day. Call me up in tears, saying: how did you get your film out? You know from the because he shelved so many movies he's got no yard through I got the arts through and then I went off limits. the pictures and then, when I did the immigrant he bought it and I didn't know he bought it right and I got deeply upset because My reaction was while that guy is going to put it on a shelf somewhere in lower manhattan and he tried to do it and I got into huge fights and he was crazy. He he called me up one day. He said I remember he said I I and working on your movie since tool, lock in the morning I said what It was mad that some woman left where he said in his ear to exactly that raped lisa. Here. What do you do? me laugh is horrible story, but he said he. Adam. He said my my daughter was born today
I said? Oh congratulations. Don't congratulate me. I've been in here working on your movie, getting your movie into better shape ass. It were oh, I think you should go home and be with your wife. He goes. I'm doing this for you? I said you're not doing this for me doing it so that you can we cut my movie. I didn't ask you to add final cutty. Could do anything about. It sat on a shelf, real and finally got released, that's crazy Are you dealt with them, but did you know any of the other shit? It was gonna. None. I mean it. when in fact you know, I know that the current international spoken publicly about it a lot here, he may had more of a hint of it than I did, because he was with mere survey nokia. I never had any exposure to that sort of thing network We are the work of James caan, another new york guy, that's great was as well where I got along fantastically well with why one year excellent you just from a different borough, yeah. Well, no! Actually he was from queens as well. He was from sunnyside queens his father's a butcher. His father was a butcher. That's right, yeah!
army. I talked to him and it's, like you know, he's a real. You know a piece of work. Man he's relentless Jimmy was he kind of obsession with his own machines mo away and no kidding yeah and he but heat, but he he the one who really gravitated towards you. How should we put this? The less savory characters that were around on the godfather and he friend at a lot of them? I absolutely adore them and I thought it was an underrated actor. I was he underrated The absolutely I think like when I talked to him I went into. I did a deep dive on him. You know, and I ve I interviewed is some years ago, sky of fantastic guard me a great guy, like you know, wasn't just gangsters he liked. He was hanging out with the mossad that wrote yes yeah. He he had a thing, I'm telling you he was like what was it he that thing he seemed to me that, like you know, he see, I have this theory bout- you know you you have, you have you have passed Jews. You know who were built to have to live, things and move things, and then you have.
You know our mathematic. Do you know like symphony jew like oppenheimer eeyore right, so you so you get these two camps and I always thought that he was like you wanted the alpha jews. He was deaf the way you know. There's a book is called tough juvy. I have seen that he was a tough juliet heap but the unheeded guy's name all sender. What's a guy who wrote the hell, I don't remember you and you know I have not read it over a couple of guys a patty white and well. I didn't. I didn't read it because it's like in some ways if partly my life story, my my family was sort of split between the tough jews and the you know had teller jews, the master. Yet we had both sides. My father was the tough jew side. Was he oh absolutely because like in the movie, he is you know, jeremy plays him. He is definitely emotionally erratic. I would that is incredibly accurate, to whom my father was would it be strong is doing. My father's father was a tough, tough plumber
who came over from russia. Actually, Ukraine may nineteen twenty three and he was not going to take any shit right. I mean he was a brutal and bruising guidance. Beginning english beer would sit on can we come over, he would sit on the couch and cry That is why I too will why are you crying grandpa photoshop was a video, your grandfather sayings crying because he misses the old country, the hell you missing. They wanted to chop your head off here right, We are right, yeah he, but he was. He was also famously very physically strongly by carry bathtubs by himself up for flights of a walk up. That's why my grandfather had hardware store and then an appliance door. He had a, but might my grandfather plumbing placing in bed sty. Here you have a ukraine. one part, ukraine. Where do you know where galicia
wiggly so yeah, that's! That's my family as well! No shit yeah! I got galicia on one side and I got to belarus and pella settlement on the other side. It sounds extremely familiar. I will of course, we're all yeah and then there's some weird. You know there was my my father's maternal grandfather. Great grandfather was down the carolinas, when that you We all ended in jersey on the shore, but then, after this of a war, you know they wanted white men to come down there to start businesses, so the entire state one day become a black state I think that always ignore. There's nothing with south carolina. was down there, the opening grocery stores- and he was, I think, by power, which is why we explain my father. Where's, your mother, by port because finding the root, but the bipolar, port. They know no, but he knew what he was eradicate: terrorism. A newspaper articles he fought with his son about property. He he ended up. Going to court. So in my dad's, like a dead, that's the thing that manic thing. Well,
my father was never diagnosis. Anything like that, although he was certainly a strange guy, I mean he had. You know, love and violence in equal measure. Can you but you are able to identify that is love the kid. If it's your only reality, of course right I mean you, don't have another alternate like like mike lady dad to compare it lets interesting though you know like that, and I get that in it. I get that and we have to go leave that they love you of course. Then, when you you're out of your light, why am I twisted emotional freak right? Well, that's the, but that's it isn't that everybody. I don't know you like. I read this book is called the fantasy by MR bonde by this guy firestone psychologist and the in a kind of blue my mind. It was one these puzzle pieces were isa when your kid, despite whatever your parents, are
however crazier, however abusive or whatever is going doesn't matter the spectrum of it is that you know if you feel awkward, uncomfortable or or or strange, you know you, It's not them like, no matter how they are to you, there, your parents and their gods. Rojo, if you feel fucked up you're gonna blame yourself, install it, in your head. That says you stink and listen to that guy for the rest of your life. While that is so, that's completely true, I know oh my I just like unlocked more stuff. I've been seeing a shrink for thirty years. That's better! That's better than anything ever heard, you're welcome! Yeah I mean I should have paid for you but yeah, I always feel like with my parents, that was, you, know, sort of my normal right. But now, when I look back at you know, what's the old joke that you just want to raise children that are good enough to for their own analysis. I just felt that
that was normal, and now I look back on a then I'm gonna horrified when you, back on it. You ve made a movie of it. I had to I mean, It's interesting, as I said to my producers, like, I think he'd. He made his first movie last week that I can speak to you. I will tell you that if had made the movie twenty five, ago right, it would have been a very deep. picture you know: you're you're, you really. I think people are People change a lot more than they think they do. I think Is underrated raided, I think I'm very different than I wasn't. I was twenty three twenty four there aren't you course. I think that you know you're going with what you know until you realize lycaena. Maybe you ve been misled, yeah- and I also I I have been over the past three or four years, particularly thunderstruck.
I just how little I actually know and in general in general, and it's very depressing. I've tried to read everything I can I've, never, of course, read tough jews as we just established. I'm the same way. I got a room for books, yeah, I I I I I like looking at them too, but at some point. You actually have to read the I mean I dont know a guy I'm giving you can get. You can get the gist of the chest. We can't really urgently what book thrush if its dense, you don't mean that was it but I tried cheating my way through while we dick as a novel yeah, but I mean, like the other stuff that you know the like. I can't understand philosophy at all: it's it's like reading math to me. I can't I can't fucking and I I I Does it feel like when I get older I'll understand it? I don't I don't understand it, but when you, philosophy. What do you mean like, like? I can't read, can't write spinoza article I want to I want to know Spinoza I talked to Gerard Jeremy about spinoza cause. He played Spinoza in a play and
I didn't know what he was talking about little bit, but you get the gist that you, unless you're going to go back to school, and I tried that once it didn't work, I see I've Dreams are never gonna do it. You know it's assist chicken shit thing I say I'm going to. I had dreams. going back to school because I didn't go to college, but I didn't cheat my way through, but I didn't do Portugal. I went to you a sea which was great because the grass gulch. Yes, I got scholarship money for their and I really that's good and why you or you see allay eating, wait what what do you want you major our complete nerd? I it's my mom cinema your, but my major was actually double dublin, because I went there as a production. you're a scholarship like us, My dream is and why you realize the allay right, frances cope alone. You see allay martens recess, he went in and why you of your gas? Those rules were my guys, still are underway and didn't you know I got into and why you you silly? I Didn'T- and I thought well do
want to stay in new york, and then I got all this. You know free, sculpture, stuff degrees. U s c went there got there and all of production was technical, stuff someone's like a trade school year. so I say to you: he is how you allowed a ball lex camus, sixteen moment, basically stuff. Now that is worthless year. And then there was this other thing called critical studies and that I thought was great that was seeing movies analyze again, so I began A double major and critical studies. Thing became much more interesting. You got in your mind, you're gonna be a filmmaker and yeah. I ride asian couple on the brain, which was the only I was very weird for the rest of my classmates rest. Well. I was also a jerk which is probably abundant, What kind of jerk I was pompous and pretentious and you know I was the only new yorker in their ass year and I did I will say I had seen more movies than anybody else in my class. So as a kid
you go into the city you're doing awake, I mean when do you realize your film guy, I can tell you exactly what it was. I saw a double feature at the carnegie hall cinema, which was this really strange art house we had taken escalator down, they would serve litter cappuccino in the lobby, and I saw a double feature of apocalypse now and doktor strangelove near an eye. Or that I had seen you know: star wars, the king, kong remake superman's yeah that was mainstream when mainstream. When a kid you like those where I like jaws a lot, I still love it that jobs this crazy. Why do you say that its Gate always delivers, no matter how much you ve seen it's a mess with. Well, you that was Fidel castro's favorite movie sure, because he said the mayor hill leave, the each open- doesn't matter how many people get as a role model for him. What I think he saw it as the evil of
capitalism in carrying out our rapporteur, I put in a movie. That's interesting! The I love to think that inside your love jaws, but that was a big one for me. You read the cultural criticism of Fidel castro's film work. He did you know. I I only trying to remember how I knew this about fidel castro and jaws. I can't remember what jaws were too big a big thing for you, because you are so effective and so terrified was brilliantly effective and thereby the beach one is. How long did you take free to go back in the water? I'm sorry, I still don't do that and our children daddy. I showed them no during lockdown showed them josie. Freaked out. You know you can't go. We were visiting a camera where the fuck We were down the shore, my family and monmouth county. and I call on the one hand we I remember it like ireland in, but you know
based on a sort of a real series of events. I was a nineteen sixteen, I think, and in off new jersey of atlantic's of the atlantic city, there was a prowling shark that kept eating people and at benchley had come across that story and put it into that fast. into a kind of what he saw as a poor man, moby dick, but it's all spielberg coming. He basically channel that into something ferocious and it still incredibly effective movie, but then I saw never fear so apocalypse now here and The black screen you out- and I was I remember thinking what is that and my work change. You did some stuff in the city of z, yup these decisions you know with the liquor going into the already what I ripped out off from David lean, whereby in peter drew a blow out the match and then he cuts to the you know the sunrise.
in the desert. I had wanted. Some of these transitions took to tipp echo David leans, the scope of the movie I was trying to. For that I mean who knows you? You know you aim for the stars, but since the aim for the stars- and sometimes you might hit Dresden, they say but but I nor is that there is another one to there. Was there the booze one? yeah really also, there was also the the spear on his wall, which cuts to the bayonet world war. One, oh yeah, I add a couple of times. You see, I that's that's the magic of of genius. You say, but you see what do the reading way how they held you decide on that book. Trying to remember now I was sent the book in very early stages. It had not been published yet, and one of the things I found was re powerful about it. What The idea that this guy had had a father who was a drunk and a gambler area alone, not one but two family fortunes. Not sure quite adrienne that and wound up.
I can agree to the two to edward, the seventh anyway, any he had to make up for it disgraced family name, and I found that very powerful, and I wanted to try something outside of what you might call the comfort zone here and I we he did why tat Joel was you're making small movies small movies and then wound up finding myself and Amazonia, which was you know this like we jewish guy in the middle of amazonia. It didn't work out for me physically. I looked like moses with the beekeepers outfit. It was really rough I'd like to remember one point: I looked down at multiple scorpions all over my legs. That's what am I doing here. You know what is this and I am a member. The cinematography was one of the great people ever this guy Dias ponzi delightful and urbane frenchman. and we're standing in the middle of this tributary of the amazon at the Don diego river air and he's got this thing on his eye and he's looking at the sky, and I said darius, don't you think we should shoot?
only deepen the river, and this is not the cloud these succumbing to cloud. Ices areas I think I see a came in and I think it's in the water, nobody good I don't worry about it yet I said no darius does it came in and it's coming towards me. Can we please shoot? I mean it was this kind of shit, so it took me a while to recover physically from it. It almost killed me the picture, thinks Oh there's! No doubt I came back well that go on in no you're sure, like we're going to the amazon. Well, here's what happened. I had looked of course, apocalypse now in verona heard Sargon these pictures and I thought pretty stupidly I thought the way this works is, if you planet completely near and you don't go to during monsoon season and you insane enough to think you can do it winds eat. If you just keep your ambitions now, yeah cause you're not supposed to be there yet you're not supposed to
a hundred people into the middle of nowhere do yet- and we know with like ia, snakes and jerk bats shitting on you, when I must keep throwing their feet fecal matter at you. I mustn't sanity, molly we needed that you needed your hurt. Sod Coppola guess idea right of passage. What what? What Why do I remember? I was shooting charlie hunt, who is very prompt, everyday, didn't shop to set one day. We were on the river and waiting for the sun to rise, and I hear little zodiac comes towards an it's. His assistant, charlie, cannot come to set them he's in the helicopter they're taking him to guarantee which was the closer danger city- and he has a bug- andy- does crow. in his ear canal and eat these sites eating, is your drum saw? He has to get it removed from our doing here? How do you feel about the movie?
Well, I was proud that I had done it. If that's a nauseating word, I was, I remember, feeling some measure of accomplishment about it and I like film, I mean when you ask me, I dont like I have no distance. It's like. I don't know movies any good, but I am I like having done it, it's what you made interesting decisions like at some point. In dealing with that kid, his kid yup that you know he kind of you know. What struck me about that film was that you know that kid decides at some point to respect his father yeah. What's absolute, that's from the book and it's adaptive complete madness, but it's all in the context, although it's worth some thinking about the world war one beyond what we were one did to the world right which was devastated if so badly that all of these young people felt well. If we do do crazy things, we might just die in a war anyway because, as you know, on shortly before
one. They said oaks can show two weeks here. go and yet will fight for the country for two makes an undefined look at you and then turned into dislike trench and for four years so it was when he was in the hospital that a change yeah all that changed for the family. I think that the it was a kind of existential crisis all through europe, around nineteen eighteen yeah. I thought you handled that. You know that you know that this this you reunification of these two year out there in the jungle and then they turn at the end by either that yet again delivered to the spirits in there. That which is like sounds nice sounds, lovely, probably means they ate them. there is some evidence that they were eaten. I mean there because the there will be You guys are both father and son team weirdly echoing false it, but he went down to try and find faucets. You know history This was in the late nineteenth nineties, right and left. on Paolo and went off to the middle of the jungle and were caught by
can't you just peoples and it they almost had not happened to them until a brazilian see plain, came and saved them at the last second ballot. Did they drugged first, that that was apparently part of the ceremony, almost a kind of via lost ground and a one of their doing a sort of active kindness yeah. I suppose so we make the transition easier. Yeah! That's right! You don't just now get out the knife and fork immediately cut up that they know the calf muscle. Well, I mean so when you're kidding you're having this in a realisation that unit helicopters over a black scream has an effect, so that was basically the moment where you realize, like oh there's, a lot you can do with this. I just thought it was the greatest star. form because it was a combination. You had photography, dance and how you move doctors. Of course you have music story, of course, narrative its I've, theatres and vote. Go up with the like it. I saw some representation. your home, but I mean there s was their support of my guess. Your grandfather was supported,
he will he wasn't. My grandmother was quite pretentious. You know she was. I am looking at the banana statues. You know this kind of thing, but I did not wheeler my parents were terrified at the prospect that I might try to become. A filmmaker earlier, any kind of creative person. I remember my while the resume say you have to have a backup, a basher of course and you're going to learn. But the funny thing is what he advocated was ridiculous, the correct he said from a financial point He said you should go off and argue should work does our company. And that's right- seattle, schooled microsoft and if you go to work for them on your computer program and and the of course was like when you talk about I'd, probably be worth like eight billion dollars today? Well, that's a tinge of my grandfather says you get a job at the post office. The poster like a pension. I sit well my father. My father's barometer for me was health insurers. So I understand completely at the post office. That's grim! Yet having it didn't
It's all work, of course, but it's interesting about like that, the the sort of disposition of the grandmother in the yeah that that that that first generation of of of jewish men class there they were striving for shaurya and they had there was there was, quality of pretentiousness about them be know there was like socialists, but you know the second that you We know got some money. That was the end of that yeah yeah, of course yeah yeah, and then they you know they immediately. I didn't even know if they were trying to pass. They were building their version of a middle class. I dont think that there was some attempt to men. I remember my parents saying to my grandpa That was a lengthy conversation about there's a very nice pool club the candidates in great neck right we can make out erin joined the pool club if we can write yeah and there's also tennis, but we don't play tennis, we're going to go swimming and we joined it yeah and for like. No longer is not a jewish club.
Just say this here we like hid in the corner. Trees. You know we were like a different species entirely, a yeah. Why, this movie armageddon time. Well, I was huge fan and still am of the clash, the end- I remembered this. Wong gideon time which, actually they didn't even right, was a rigorous on originally but- and I remember Joseph using a lot of people, don't get no supper tonight. What people you don't get? No justice die. They were involved involved in social juliette. My introduction to the idea of social justice actually and in a very unpretentious can a brutal dangerous way. The clash and I remember it- reagan- was determined armageddon attire in august right. From here soviet union, this disease, every kind of binary battle, the good versus well. You know the evil and pierre and that threat you remember through yet read that hunger,
for our heads. The world could ended any second right, so I felt that it was again He would propose armageddon for the world, but it was also armageddon time for these two boys. You know and what would happen to them and how their lives would go in very different directions. Amazon, pretentious nonsense, maybe, but that's what I was trying to What was interesting that the way you wave of encapsulate just to a family story- you was kind of you you are able there to get beyond the in your trumpet there. Well that's a hundred percent. True yeah. I know the airway weirdest encounters of all time guarded him as a kind of evil clown figure. He came to school. He was the he was on the board of trustees, that what was his name was. duff, reverent, fred, trump, the end he would what he would parade the halls, a new, but look very serious and stern, and I was my first day I was carrying and attach a case which of
This is ridiculous. Who told you that ground on other your father? My thoughts on I want to push a case. You need not for school, yuk yuk. I come to work on a serious student and I have this. in my books. You know that was his attitude as I was walking around with natasha case ridiculous and my hair was like cemented down. You know with deputy: do hair gel hey? What are you doing it? What's your name, a james gray, drink gray, that's your parents, they may your name or what's in it, you know like this and he was sending the message I immediately knew what was interesting to me even at age actually eleven there. I was very clear me that I had thought of myself as the king of the hill in public school, You knew I was at the bottom in this new place and that was a very powerful thing of the sense of humiliation visa and if I feel that humility I can't imagine what it means for others and it who are less lucky than I see a friend in though in the film.
yeah, I'm in the excellent america, yet embassies and devastating well in the movie. It's johnny I marketed in real life it, but he didn't it in the movie, I he it was devastating for him in a different way here. This is didn't care about him, one bit that was the whole idea. The picture we are more than me. So a lot of water levels gets right that you can it this idea. You know it's very easy for us today to point fingers. I dunno something's happened in the culture, I mean there are many more erudite people on this subject than I am, but somewhere around twenty thirteen. Twenty fourteen, something like that where people started to really mean It's a social media thing, but like two moralize and my attitude is Everybody plays a role the system via you can be the oppressor and the oppressed. At the same time, somebody or above you, some people are below you. You know, and a lot of you likes that you buy below you, of course, and then, but there's a jockeying absolutely were for the most depressed
and and who has the right to talk. So I imagine even coming into depicting your personal experience around this racism that you know I d be curious. I'll, be received. I knew that there would be some and by the way and I've become very good at avoiding reading anything, because it's not tooth and usually you need to wait about ten years before you get an honest assessment of what the work even means, but I did know that second, that you include issues like anti semitism racism and so forth, in particular class in the united states, that it's gonna gifts if people are going to like it, some people are going to think it's. The worst thing. They've ever said you just know it yeah. I guess the. If they're talking about it, it's good! That's right! It's the third rail of american life racism. You know it's like it's like this. Something about out of the room, the reaction to the film- and I
This would happen in europe is completely different, because I u go when you talk to journalists, dahlia ellie, I just came back from a traveller, will have a different view: don't see the same level of how do I put this did they all vision of eid, what we call identity? Politics is completely different, they see class more than ever. We don't talk about class, nowhere and also the it's the experience. Of blacks is different, historically near completely different It's all its discussion of colonialism. That's right! That's right what I but I am one of those people. It thinks that class as a major asked to our identity and that you dont, you can't really isolate it's not possible to say This is an issue of racism divided from away from capitalism, the grail that that that dick soda connected obviously and my attitude
you know that the same striving that drove my parents, you know who were clearly driven to get to that place in american life, which was better, you know where they sit on a boat will come in our boat. They see at all times. I think the same thing in some way that was connected to having the their foot metaphorically on Johnny's neck, that they're not separate, and I find that in the united states there is a lot. discussion about how we can get people to be richer and not of understanding of the systems that are in play that keep things the way they are on purpose. We I mean it's there, yeah, I mean it, but eighty there's there is actual fascistic elements that are trying to erase the three of systemic races. Yeah I've been deeply disturbed, but
I feel like an old curmudgeon. You know I'm very much a maybe I shouldn't say this, but I'm very much a kind of lefty here, but in the in the tradition, sure of like late sixties, early seventies, yeah, yeah and it's I think I think, world has moved to a very strange place. Now I never thought ever, including my relationship or connection to the trumps, I never, but in a million years that would be having a discussion with anybody about the possibility of fascism in united states. Right and I are, we are out for sure it's yeah I borders. That is by also it seems like in this move, even before we move away from what we are talking about before fashion. were in capitalism and and also wake you what's enabling this stuff cinematically, which I think you pray, have some concept but I mean it seem like you were exercise I zing with an oh our own demons around your guilt in terms of the experience that you were put through
It's an interesting and excellent question. I don't know how much guilt I have. I was very young. Your mom Where did? Well, that's Only true, I would say at haunts me, but I dont what else Could I have done? I mean I was I get we say no awnings different, then feeling shame. I e notes, I'm too close to really I'm too close, with obvious it's my own situation, so blame myself right. I view like of depiction of a world which is completely hostile to, children and their? What we call agency are you ok? You got kisses thing you can have. all the agency in the world- in some way the kids have agency. In the picture they decide they're going to go off to florida to epcot center, which I know sounds ridiculous, as as eleven and twelve year olds, it is, but that is a form of agency ache. Action run away from home, but this
them overwhelms that agency, which is dead. From having no agency do instead, when I m, so so in the picture, trying to say There is a measure of action that we try to take, but the system is very powerful and too powerful for us to act. Sometimes the idea in adding grow up with that dunno? Why? I think my parents were a little more hands off and I was sort of my own, but then thing. No, no because I was I was driven towards creative and I wanted to yahoo always aspiring toward, but I had no was no real sportive idea. I am, I thought, my sense of self with nebulous. I bet you have a lot of grit, though I don't. We have gone through some shit right, you bottled grit later you know, no. I haven't Your dna, dear, I think so. Well, maybe from your pair, letting you go off on your own. Maybe I dunno agrippias me. I find that mostly you, know I've. Let a tariff anxious life
where ino pretending was essential and and some point something relaxes right. When did this happen? For you, It comes and goes because of my brain will always find something to create dread and anxiety, but as as a creator, person or as somebody who knows that they can do a thing I mean it, Craig was right about now attend fifteen years ago, while that's around in amity really minorities its wisdom Yes, but I didn't what good is it? I got no kids a month age talkin newer that people like minded people who just want to feel better for an hour. Yeah, but that's not bad. Now Well, then, where is your movies land? How do you find? It affects people in general, but all before I gave a guy you would. I would feel remiss like in the city of z, young. There was a racial component as well, of course, and in that way,
when something compelling you given this: probably say memory I had never thought about, that you're, you're right, it's in there it's in a couple of other films. I've made. I just see it as a major thread in not just american life, but by western civilization, also your media life, Now the saying it yeah you're right? I never thought of That's so weird, but you're right, it's a major threat. What am I saying to you? Yeah is dad the hell out of me. It's a wound, my you're, probably right. Got plenty of words, but I have no shortage of wounds, emotional wounds because he dared to deal. But add astro, those that I was a good movie enjoyed them. I'm glad you like that. So you go from this sort of david lean thing to coup brick. What was at that was,
brad pitt on wires. Four fifty eight days and you just wanted a string, the movie star up yeah, just one of two. I just want to give you some anguish, energy, related living in a harness ready for three months, dangle brad pitt. I had thought that that was a sort of what I was trying to answer all these things. Words like lowood without their little we set up a life on mars. Although you know me by, you must still talks about it. Ain't gonna die on mars right I thought he you should go now. I was saving great say, regret. An invitation to marin stay there forever, but but but I thought, what's wrong with the earth. William Shatner, believe it or not came back. He went through diagnosis is poor guy. He got out here, but that he said exactly what I was trying to do with the movie. We ask that you know the earth is fantastic and he is terrible sense of depression looking at the earth from far away. So that's what I was trying to do with that movie. I guess I was trying to embrace the world and what do the anti and others
You know like me and try to connect with dad, while of course that's it. But that was the all. That was my attempt to do a kind of joseph Campbell like atonement. The father hero only then can you think I saw the intention She started out very pretentiously, mythic, yale, otherwise agraea, but the eba. If you rally follow the campbell and shrug well, I didn't quite do that. The hero's journey, the hero's journey point a puppy, but but the the the kubrick thing, which and also the the Spielberg thing, which is a kind of a belief in aliens and in kubrick- it's of course a black monolith so you can kind of project anything. I'm not. I sang with roscoe towards the anxiety rock, which had thought it could have a rough co. Luggage is no girls and on what there's? No doubt the cubic looked a ton at modern works of art for the inspiration about that. model and he was public about it and, in fact, really oh yeah ended makes an amazing near its like a war
of modernist sculpture is something glared at black model it, but you can, you can say: ok, aliens are good and bad. You know one of the blacks but back models. We don't know what it is right and then Spielberg has the sort of classic cliched It is, from an irish perspective, the decree shade idea like the furry alien as they call it, but he gets around it because the films work as fables that their sort of almost like metaphor: the gaieties, like this metaphor, about which I like I mean I think, even with the cash then I think, was pretty much doing the campbell. She didn't know what university it. No luke. I'm your father is one of the most genius narrative ideas ever and when showed my kids that movie the first time they saw the look on their face too, see the ogre of all time. Darth vader yell him here. I am your dad. Yet it was like someone had like literally devastated their whole world view forever made
we powerful, so that I might have been cast, and I think it was also the bracket wrote it with him. I don't know be echoed Spielberg does he does is a different thing. It's at some more of the alien thing yet, but which it, but he he did find new spirit found beauty in it as a kind of metaphor, but my was to do the opposite of the queue ricans spielberg thing, which was to say there ought what, if there are no aliens, yes belief and false gods, What does it mean if this number I hadda? What kind of crisis is that voters would have dad doesn't and what is god's right. He goes out there and there's nothing. That's nice, an optimistic! Isn't it irony It is up to me to have used ebay matter more rapid and city of these nets. True he goes out. There find nothing great exists, son into the pit with them. That's great, I'm glad I'm going to focusing on the lack of transcendence in life. Its goods could think she's. No, I I am with you what, because, what's the alternative, you believe in pixie dust? In a way I bet,
those movies are of fixed cobbler armenia, cubic and aerial propitious decisive are brilliant, but you can't just keep doing it. You know you have to find another language in the science fiction. John, that's what I was really going for. No, I liked it I'm glad you did mean you thought it through I definitely did that. I had ridiculous dinners with all these astronauts and stuff get like great details. I wish I'd used some of them. I tried to fit in as many as I could, but like we were would obsess over the sharp increase in air. What what pen would you use a real, a wonderfully rouble sharply? May I ask you can write without in space? It doesn't matter both gravity that amendment one structured me said. The interesting thing is that when you come out of the craft for about a two week period, what do smell. Astonishingly, like hamburger meat, I was like I'm sorry once Nobody really knows the reason you smell like hamburger, unlike ok.
So. I tried to put that in the movie and I couldn't of criminal place talk about better. The weird details of one jochen them of you. Don't want to ruin your movie with one hand, you're joking no, but they were, they were jokes. I nodded I made by the way nobody left goes to display the space shuttle thing. What she says, would you like a bug pill and blanket? courses meaningless, ned, no gravity, and nobody laugh at me. I think not only with the town europe against to tell it didn't it didn't work out for me. You know I m in the heavy space in aid for the voyage. Doesn't that doesn't lyndal opportunities for malaria, yeah yeah you likes me over now. I think he's brilliant. You see the very woman. I have not me. Neither I'm sorry, I'm sorry munich! My sword came out is shit. You know that film firmer, remember watching it thinking it felt. Almost. He was conjuring some kind of nineteen seventies. William freed can move yet fuck into he devilry what yeah and he will he I made it made it safer than I I talked free, can did eyes like we just we just drove the cars we have.
security argued like like it. So you know he's dead man. He told me that he sent for the french connection Are you talk to her yeah? I love billy friedkin he's amazing and he said he put the camera on the front of the camera on the front of the car and the bumper and the stun There was a guy named bill, hickman just drove ninety miles an hour through stillwell avenue. I thought what you kid. That's like that's calamity we do. We did dish DR end drove and it was the scariest back thing and I I just was like wow: okay. Well, guess what I'm glad you're not in prison yeah exactly he sure he is to the greatest. Election by the way talk about clusters of tat. You had but duvall and and jean hackmen dustin Hoffman and opportunity, Robert de niro? They all knew each other room. I mean like kaufman and and gene hackman were roommates yet not yet developed. Yet if I'm into dwarves incredible, I worked with devolves
and he would keep on what We called we own the night, oh yeah, and he, which I would say to. I might say, or we're going to do, another take and he'd collect us. Schumer took prisoners. I think what does that mean are able to do? Well the one, but he was he was great, but I would I remember I would do like two or three takes and I'd love them and then I'd say: do you want to play here too, play. Let's play we're going to play when you play let's play and he would go kind of berserk, yeah, yeah yeah, just fantastic did he play? Of course he would do he would go. He was a great listener year the actor through something I am working phoenix would throw all kinds of stuff in here and he would always play working in the most brilliant fashion you like working as a few four times yet more were too I'm. Not I'm not twice. I love those guys, and we too are keen, is incredibly and if you're shooting a film with him, it feels like live theater or something the I watched him at work. A lot cause. I had a in one scene in the joker
as I know, and you know, but I was on set for weak, watching him toil in that role and what did you? What was your impression of working here We acknowledge me as marin once like when I got there like as I mark marin, and then it was I note than no talking to him. He wouldn't talk to anybody, except for Todd who I fell, but just sort of like a ghost a boxing trainer. You know I cause he was dug into this thing. He was emaciated. He was in the joker thing or what he decided to be in that reality and todd phillips would yell aunt yo in between eggs. It will really look like you know. You got this one rock, keeping him. Isolated him wherever he knew to be so it was. No interaction near at sounds working time and I have an incredible relationship with them. We have a lot of trust each other, the eight he would do insane things in the best sense
he totally willing to break it open yet and take risks such great. Now, these to do any. Does anyone one you like a big movie yeah they do but like what? What did you turned down James. What have I turned down in my life? More his wonder, it's weird I'm I'm uncomfortable term of this, because in some directors do it may make a big success out of it but without anyone noticing. Well, ok. The first time might I turned down a movie called devil zone with brad pitt and harrison fordwitch allenby cooler wound up doing like likewise movie here and there was no grip to it, and I was just worried that I would screwed yeah I'm sure I would have become. she made something out of it. I thought here you like a pool of great the he's made at least three tremendous movies residence men I relax, we're brown or include, I think, is a brilliant movie who me in that movie. That's brilliant move that Jane find it incredible. What towards the
that movie will ease dissembling, it's one of the greatest things ever and it just like this like Donald tusk, lumbering at the table just amazing and that the love story, the unlikely loves. between donald sutherland and jane fonda's. Incredible film is really very moving as recently as mason did it hold up for you, oh yeah. I find it very moving film yeah yeah, so there you go there's one? I love rashid or, as the pimp yea reward, shadows alex uneasy migration marathon man is theirs. I love him, he's always area even in that that gresham movie the firm that with couple of younger, led to my rain maker re maker yea, plays the corporate executives great he's like a lizard. That's right, the re mega, which is really call a like those weird later what movies whereat he was viking for higher heavily well, as he says to pay back. He says to pay back chase bank. We are, but I mean, but it's a couple, a movie of course as of course it is not enough rain- there was the moment James caan, of the rain people know
no, no, the cemetery, while you termite organs of stone yard in estonia. How is that care? Will I remembered liking, but I haven't seen it and thirty five years I can confirm I so you are offered debt Don't you want to hear all these things? Don't you why I've got a notable hunting was one guy, I thought he get equipment human life as a huge debt. We mean I'm kidding exactly that down unless I'm an idiot. I didn't have a wide, never even heard of my daimler benz act like the right to know what the hell I was doing. Well, is that, where we work analysis, what was at night teen, ninety seven or something. I know right after what odessa that was yeah you're gettin pitch yeah, I was getting pretty stuff and then recently has been some stuff, but I don't know it's like, I'm not sure, is it's not for because, unlike you know, pompous about it or I think I'm too good for the material. Quite the opposite, usually I think it's because I won't do a good job doing. They want me to do with it. You know, I'm I have a I liked, you, action sequences, but this
penn national quicksilver skill, the other. They want and I don't have the IRA guy remit. I regard what you mean? Oh you mean second unit guy, the second unit, guy a dp and you like yeah and you know, and then you just need the confidence to go like let's get the cars go ok! Well, you know what I don't know. I don't feel like cinemas different than that, but are also good method. Didn't get the whole crawl team around you then you to sit there and you have like a night wins lunch. You know I don't know, but no you say like going to like you know: I've never done this before right. Have you rising your eye of icy, I say all right well I'll, have to learn from it by the way. If they did. My batman is not me. school right back like a real person at least I wasn't. I rented someone awhile you haven't seen why it's been a while since Houston, but I I like TIM Burton's, second batman. I think it's a really good. I think Michelle pfeiffer is incredible in it. She's always incredible. Yes, she
she grid act responsibly, and that will be like in saying that we always our without the one with any dvd yeah. That's the best penguin tests on sounds like an opera character. We must transform right, so you can do some in great and he did it. Are you pitch him for you and your government movie, What do I want to know about saying if they offered me one? What I can say that that's the one I probably without causing us arson, Well personally, I mean it's not like a talking fox or something or whatever. You know what I'm saying: yeah or superpower yeah. He doesn't like. She doesn't turn into a wrench Junia, who is Michael Keaton in the second one, who is Michael Keaton, the first two yeah, because as the anguish. You feel him, but the eyes me yeah he's here really kind of physical eyes like nobody else by the way. Sort of a genius totally yeah, so you would do it would do a big movie Yeah I mean why not, I don't know it's a great use, a great tapestry to work in a minute. My movie clause, five cents rise,
good by the way, because you limit the risk and nobody gets mad at you when it makes four dollars so ok so year, ear. One is that incentives for you. Particular over which I had the unchanged gray movies. Iran. Is she wages? Why is it that you know like gate? Can I can I mean it cheaply and in and maybe you know, young will fuck it up now about absolutely workers is very risky proposition, making films you're, always exposing yourself and by going away even feel confident, now no confident ever We got it. I mean why had huge confidence, yes in nineteen, ninety three and then march, fifth, nineteen. Eighty four happened. They were? Which is when I went to see the assembly of little? and it was the worst thing I ever saw I remember I was shooting that movie and I was like I am the greatest director yeah, the english language. Yes,
and I was like throwing crumbs on the water and back were sprouting beautiful lilies. I had vanessa redgrave and I had maximilian shell and, oh, my god. How good can I get ya? I am so good yeah and then you realize that it's not the movie. That context is a bitch and all of a sudden, the movie didn't work, and I thought, oh, my god, what do I do when I found myself having to save the film in my I'm not kidding you, my confidence has never fully returned nineteen. Ninety four. But you me, but I may I would have to assume that with one city- z and add ashura. You know ye you. Definitely that required confidence both of them. I think you were required of insanity. I dont. I think that that can that kind it's confident yeah, I suppose hold onto it, but yeah, but I would the world to put to your point. I remember thinking I have a team behind me that can help I think, He was more insane because the do the aspect of like ominous sudan's zangwill do great
its moron insane like freed can move like with his remake of what a sorcerer. Here I love source or by signing sources. Amazing, that's great Ben cider too near that's, right, shire and and recasting like a real, stirs in the more madness back then, by the way to major studios. Twenty three in dollars and nineteen seventy severe. That's like spending like to hunt in fifty million dollars today it just did it, but I think it was in you. I think you were like I'm going to do my orser, I'm going to go in there. I'm gonna wear be suit and a great deal of bugs, but at a hard turned to I mean he was about, but he but he was very competitive with cobler. You know and that's why they were. He went off to do. Sorcerer couple of one or two apocalypse now did the jungle thing is that as long as they are and dick fight back, then there's only four five of them does. So. I guess what I was getting at is that you know I see like we're talking about the questions of fascism. We're talking to you make a movie, you make you make them.
you want to make. Yes there is this a tremendous range and dick? in all of them. You know you, heroes are ya, know, you'd seems like a totally. You know you what you want to retrieve and where you want to go what your exploring is taken. You, however, long taken you like twenty five years to two to do a an honest movie about your family. Yes, our upbringing yet That was because I went to the jungle and I went to space and I just about had it not been solved, but also you. You also said why, but you also There was no way to make that movie younger, because you didn't have any heights and no that's all true too, but I think it was a lot of it was driven will also, frankly, by seeing a country that was in deep trouble. I mean this year yeah, I think, there's a lot of rope. We have some real problems. Dude, it's it's fucking I'd be I've applied for permanent residency in canada, norway stand up. Leave me. I think that there is
things. You know it's like. I know we say original sin slavery, vanity, goes back further. You know Adolf hitler thought we were an excellent role model. You know he loved ended with lies. Yunus peoples you watching that can burn. It is absolutely fantastic. I can only get you one and I am not ready to go on with it is so distant. You know, by the way, if you return my long island earlier, you know that the head, the center of the nazi party in the united states, was in YAP, hank long island in the thirties and use. photos of this stuff and it's like these rallies that look like something right out: a berlin, the eighteen, thirty, four, it's disgusting and we had it in us yet more there. He had eugenics in us, of course, in the and what became the republican party has been pushing back, on your new deal: socialism and jews for a long time. Conceptually. Absolutely there was a concerted effort. I guess Lewis Powell and the internet of spring chromosome male manifesto that, but that was capitalism. This whole idea too. reimburse are commonly exact. Yet
to try and undo that new deal stuff and now they're doing it and they're going to do it where it's taken a long time ago, but but but there are also shifting the culture entirely away from what what I would say you know new york, jewish intellectual influence and and also diversity. Now you're they're just trying to shift the culture away from it by waiting. You know not teaching they always whack america, absolute renato, like by belittling you know, were marginalized communities of all kinds to do this kind of them to take the culture in simple. Now. Here's my point is that you know in telling the kind stories you tell that a provocative and intimate I believe, on some level that you know what's become ensuring that the tame it with the number. I'm talking like you in tat, The accent like with
the marvel universe and what not dead dead. It feeds certain simplicity. Now, I'm not going to say that their eighty my eyes, I completely agree with you, a hundred percent. If you give some body a mcdonald's hamburger to eat every day- and you say here's another mac, here's another big mac and his, and then I give you halibut sushi. You react he's, not bother halibut, sue, she's great! Your reaction is what the hell is. This the whole system has been prime, sure that you accept only a superhero movie air the onus is not what the fuck to make of another kind of movie. If example, if you set your college student today, do you're a sell out. Would they even know what the hell you trying to say? They say what that means in no tickets left they don't. I don't even know what a sell out one that would today that the language around that has shifted even with my peers and I'm sure, with your peers as well as at you. You know that the language of branding the end and the language of content and
you know once you start saying things like authenticity that the eight it's all become, the language of capital are totally so there is no sell out any more than you can live with it at absolute look. then there is no question but that when you tell fifty eight year olds in I it's ok, two to think chewbacca is amazing. Now I have nothing against star wars of your task because you're not brunner, I think empress tricks back as a masterpiece, but that's like for twelve year olds in eleven year olds. Fifty year olds. It we- We should be watching HAL ashby, we shouldn't be watching. You know chewbacca ridley, but do okay and I agree with you you're a buoy but you're saying that we should be watching legacy of how asked I mean we can't be the equivalent of the equivalent of how you might like to remember that we must now just no, no, I mean is if there were an equivalent. Your relationship with this system doesn't provided anymore. They but not in the mainstream, not the mainstream outright like the studios they used to say here is
I'm in many filmmakers of talked about this later, but it's like you had the b pictures. You had flash gordon and buck rogers. By the way you had that you had the hundreds, hundreds of yeah, they churned them out and you would go to saturday morning to see them both, but then they also had you know william wily would make the letter or something you know you had a large array of pictures and then, particularly in the nineties rental, these independent movies, that some of which I have to say, were made by harvey wine. Steam became very different yeah I did, and and and guess what that is over. That is gone. The taste for it is gone now can come back. Maybe, but part of that is the capitalist power that the power that they have to limit the marketplace. we're only like a certain kind of movie, gets, may took to see and movie theater, as it seems to me that, like you know like there's a lot of shit made dude and in a lot of it like I would. I couldn't be a directive because I can't put your three years
fuck em life into something and have it may be stream somewhere? And that is why, in my mind, that is your hundred percent right on that. It's because you have to give yourself, where did right anguish? Then you know it's like it's like they takes years, an hundred. People and then all of a sudden boom, it's on content right yeah and it's somewhere on a website or an app or something somewhere streaming somewhere. The thing is like, I think, the the the content that, where are the movies, that the pictures that we're talking about or are being made, it's just hard to find them. There's no press behind them. You know they. Don't they they they fall through the cracks one hundred percents not well. This is the shift I'm talking about is a the culture used to be intellectual as artistic culture. You was driven by this stuff. I completely agree that gun you have all that stuff. All the conversations around that stuff you, even the people who used to be on talk, shows it it's all chain. She is so right. I'm I have this weird obsession with you. Two were I'll, go down a warm hole and I watch a bunch of it.
Norman mailer gourbi doll having like it bait nighttime, but where highly rated talk, show Riah and you're like wait. What the level of course, through the roof James. Old one end and william, if buckley having a debate at oxford nets like on tv, what do you do? What what that that's gone? The intellectual value thing is. Sadly, it's like. I. I believe that it's gone as a marker of culture, but I don't think it's gone. I just think that the priorities have shifted, which is even worse. Is that, like no it's all still here. No you're, not you agree with you on that. Of course, when I mean gone, is we don't it's it's not in this premium? It's not the premier, it's not a not a kind of mainstream. It's been a bit marginalized is really what I will mainstream right here. What is mainstream is like I don't even understand I dunno I've never watched a kardashian. Do anything. No. I haven't, I think in occasionally like as a clickbait. You know all of a suddenly look. I like kanye's first few records, but now he's like trying to lead some sort of strange. You know african Eric and anti semitic leadership conference I dont know,
stand that deal yes, the empty doesn't yes what about I don't girl was unleashed in in in. I think in that community, through churches, through fair khan through you know, feeling that dumb, that somehow Yo Jews were in control of things. It's a popular conspiracy in that culture and has been for a long time something went bad after the sixties. Anyone has something with the music business in and swam words- and I don't know how it all happened, but they blocked on to that particular the Jews run everything conspiracy. It's the most have setting. I never know what you're saying to me. I mean goodman warner and cheney right. Two out of three were Jews yeah. Why mean we can hang onto that? It's, but it's it's. I think it's a mythology now to some people and that that whatever that there is no alliance, any job nor by our committee
the understanding that shifted into I think it shifted into the music business in out of the the conversation about civil rights in that and that e bay and I said to you. I said I was a lefty but from the sixty seven I know I know exactly what I was talking about right wing, but its dated. Nowadays I am and There there is an evolving progressive nest at you. You know we have to educate ourselves about. round, gender and race, that's that's, become more efficient aided and and more specific and you know in and world that's true, but I will tell you this I look at my children who are very well educated in these matters better than I am sure, At the same time, they seem to have no awareness of understanding of have not really been educated about the influence of. Capitalism and the market on one of these factors. In other words, there has been a kind of separation and I have to seek out high fuck. Did you get educated on it's like you know? I don't know you I mean, but that you
because someone goes every day book here in europe, holy shit up. Is it true that you and your colleagues, unity is true here you gotta, have brain those mine, blowing books that lay that shit out. Yet you know, and then you have to u integrate that train of thought or that that type of perception into europe the way you see the world if it takes on usually takes one person, a teacher, usually who shirt with whom you really connect. I'm trying to think of the book. That kind of blew my mind open about the nefarious negative of of how capitalism work I wasn't a kid. No, I mean either I was probably mid twenties he had it was it was. I can tell you from, It was this writer louie out to sir who was once is actually and And- and I think stabbed is why for strangled, or I can't remember which but he wrote a thing about the what he called the eye: essay, the ideological state apparatus and I remember, reading that kind of going huh, that's amazing! Now I can't really talk
it is because of a joy. You know it's like people, think you know, you're a pompous ass. You say out. The stereotype dinner party in their budget need a deaf ear, but it definitely opened my mind into a new way, viewing capitalism the the power of that the ideological power of that shows Adam Curtis movie or you of course, fantastic. Why you laughing he's a massive notions yeah? I guess I d quiet I've. Rather nice yeah, it's like I can't. I can't get enough of that shit. It's crazy man! I know about this back cause. You know this. I know this is not going to cheer you up and what I ve no good night, and I know what you are looking at me cheered up a little bit already. Do I normally lighting and listen to music that she has me up a little bit. I listen to music. Sometimes you know a cook, then I fucking talk to make that's cooking, on a good how anyone loves every fuckin night of my life into a comedy, I'm all my life as I work. Sometimes you know I I the sick, particular comedians, very faint
whose name I will mention on there and he recently the chateau marmont every day, and I would go that right. You don't be there and he always looked much more miserable than any one else in the room there was miserable guy in the world and then you see his persona would be mr happy gusher. So I was thinking millions of them in private, like that, only anguish, to go its own way. I think that's the stereotype, but in sure emmy, a sad angry, but I can't I you can't generalised and there's been an effusion into the younger staff, say next generation of people that they have the right to take it seriously. one of them come at a sketch. Now they know how to work with other people, those of us who got into it because we were complete social morons and yet completely uncomfortable and yet but a different different generation. You know yeah
I thought rodney dangerfield they'll help ya. Oh yeah he's he's he's he he seems like he would have been a very cheerful fellow in life miserable. Oh, my god. Yes, you can, as you can see, but I feel like he's it's like you know the more I sort of like as Keith richards continues living and I I might love for him grows and I go back to a liking. You is one of these unsung heroes and really truly unique guy. Why is it was like one of the great, I don't know that he gets the props he gets. He gets it from certain people by the I he I I think in the big picture he does. He actually does not get the respect. He deserves rodney rodney Are you really know respect at all? You haven't you go out your horse yeah, but It's because I'm old- and I just sometimes you watch among. seen when he's balmy today, so is a you got that right, my gun, right yeah, I know he's brilliant, brilliant. Of course by also love the whistle bush built thing church.
I am, of course we do every how he I mean. That's how I got into it body hack it so I'd, but Jim. however, and I would watch your point of other way, buddy Hackett, that's like I was watching the music man with my kids and buddy Hackett is like actually a song and dance men, and I have a visual. That's a little weird goofy, mush mouth shapes who be YE that love buggies in the love. But yes, while he is buddy Hackett. After all, he is b yeah, but I used to think he was funny anyway. He recalls guys with reputation, of whom I met by the way, I am happy to say, a meat. We took a likened to me, which meant he was of course instantly insulting over and over and over again and my wife. What that was the greatest thing should of course right when I got a great book at have you seen that book a photographs of the hotels now all of the in the catskills. You mean it's the most haunting things that were like gross singers in the congo. Oh my god, depot yeah they're like modern, ruin, yeah, it's crazy.
It's amazing like like I want it was only it no one's like no one's gonna, there still lounge chairs, and she isn't it raising a bowling ball like I want to grow at air out of its delighted, I go there. Maybe that'll bring you joy yeah. Well, I, like I, like modern ruins, yeah good talking to you, man great talking to you. Thanks for the thanks for doing. I hope your wife enjoys I'm sure she will arm again. Time is now playing in theatres and available to rent on video on demand. That was a james grave. Enjoy that guy we ve been texting. We ve been texting each other pictures of food, we cook So ok hang out a minute. You guys just hang out: ok, My recommendation from our archives today is episode. Five. Eighty one with MC foley mic fully is a hall of fame professional wrestler, as well as an author, an actor and he's. so someone I got to know of doing my old yo show morning sedition, one just
I you know I it's great to see ya, I mean, despite whatever I may not know about wrestling. We always seem to have a fairly rich conversation. We do, I think, because when I met you is on the air america show and at that time I knew quite you know I knew quite a bit. Then we do a bit. wanna bet that one where, where we we brendan Brendan, play the conservative right anyone. This is gonna fight, resolutely, something that we brought you in and we did at home if on the air, and then we will cut the mike's for years, no people If I was yeah, we get this mail sort of like hey look, you know they have a right to talk to. I don't agree with them, but I think what you did to that. Guy is right- and I remember like just how talented the writers were on when I came in, and co hosted for a week with it. You know I was like you know they are many as production mean yeah, just great you within that episode for free on all podcast platforms, its episode, five, eighty one with nick fully and you
a check it out. If you have a full marin subscription, because next week we're going to pay bonus content that involved mic with a wrestling angle on the radio that was some back in the day shit there yeah, we did a wrestling peace, radio, wrestling peace, without chose tomorrow in Asheville north carolina still, some seats left for my shows on saturday at the James K, polk center in nashville, tennessee and very few seats were for my h, b o she'll taping, a town hall in new york city on thursday december eighth. Maybe a couple guitar time the
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Transcript generated on 2023-02-11.