« WTF with Marc Maron Podcast

Episode 684 - William Friedkin

2016-02-25 | 🔗
Director William Friedkin is a consummate storyteller, which explains why he tells such an entertaining story of his own life, rooted in three recurring themes: faith, fate, and film. Within that story, William tells Marc about the making of The French Connection and The Exorcist, the failure and resurgence of his film Sorcerer, and his reasons for never wanting to do a second take.

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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
All I want to do this. How are you what the fuckers, what the fuck bodies, what the fuck him years, what the plot a holocaust what's happening? I'm man? This is my show, my pod gas deputy up. Welcome to it thank you for joining me. You are new the shower or if you're, not, you picked a hell of a day. My guess is that film, director, William freakin, who I was ecstatic to talk to had made this. This guy was a mythic being in my head, I dunno when you saw the french connection or the exorcist, I dunno you saw either those movies, but I saw that when I saw the french connection Ivan I saw one it open some, our another. Maybe my parents took me to an hour rated movie. Would they have done that? Yes,
I mean I was. I was eight years old what they have done, that instead it get a babysitter. Probably I bet you they did I feel like I saw when it came out in its scarred my brain it was one those sort of portals into a underworld into a sort of greediness that I was not supposed to see at eight. guess made by lived in the neighbourhood of I lived in new york or queens maybe maybe that would have been my reality, but no, I was, I think I was eight year old kid living in new jersey or that point alaska anchorage, but I sighed and there are certain things that resonate with me thy that I could never get out of my brain gene. when being one of them just jean Hackmen as a force of nature. Oh, my god, chain my brain, then the exorcist, of course, when they are at present,
in the stuff that stands out my mind is not the puking, it's not the cussing. It's when she started talking like the priests mom that that was haunting whole goddamned thing was hunting, but he of course, directed brings job. cruising deal this century. I remember seeing our member nineteen eighty five when I was in college, very excited when to live and die in L. A came out gives me my boy Devon were film heads and we are very freakin oriented. and the more recently is directed a couple of tracy. Let's is plays bugging killer Joe, which were pretty unruly, pretty amazing. There is quite a few movies here the one that always took this sort of your mythic presence in my again, it throw that word around a bit mythic. We am freed kin. He was one the fucking dirtied, seventies directors, man he was like he was it had the sweat.
Sure I just you know. I never knew it'd be like to talk to. I never thought I'd have an opportunity in my life to talk to him, but sorcerer was always the the film you heard about the film that your costa, this money that their people said was either self indulgent or get people didn't Why saw recently, for the first time and its a great fuckin movie, it's out on blu ray now: it's it's. I believe, if I'm not mistaken, a movie based on the wages of fear, which is a french film. I believe I didn't see it I know some people are like the ads and asked his wages if you're fine. I see that I sorcerer with roy cider, and it was that it was fuckin awesome that new print is just awesome, and I talked to breed can a lot about that. But man, the first time I saw the french connect Jesus. I was now As you know, this dude a you been around he's done a lot of stuff. He never stop
work. Can he direct operas now, but telling you man you're my age, even if you're, not my age viewer obsessed with their crew, from the seventys, the guys that changed at all that changed american film forever. I read that that whatever that book is what is it easy, riders, enraging bulls- I mean whether it's I all on on point or not. I dunno, but I'll, give you some historical context, this idea that in the late sixties, the how we were the infrastructure, the guys who are making movies. They are all that old guys that had been in place since the steward. A system and they didn't, they no longer knew what the hell Our wanted to see or to watch and the vietnam war was starting in going on endured this time they were at a was, they were at odds a there. A transition needed to happen- and they didn't know, exists
glad you now. Paraphrasing the whole story, historical idea of this book- and I might be wrong, but it's my standing- there was a window of opportunity in the late sixties for a lot of young directors to do whatever the fuck they wanted, because he older executives did know what the fuck to do and that's where get your george. Would guess your spielberg, your copy, your, how ashby Scorsese you, your freed kin bogdanov, bob raffles and even all men yeah. I would even argue that your pack entirely peck and by when he shifted out of making a studio movies there that those type a studio movies, but I would arguably enemy. I guy like anyone's calling me on this, but freakin was wanted them and I never knew a story and it's kind of fascinating how he got a feel for a camera in in these all these movies. That, so I really remember seeing when I was younger, because my parents would, let me see movies, are they take me. Move to movies was five easy pieces or the last detail.
or shampoo, or an easy rider which I didn't love. I didn't there's a part in that movie. I liked a lot of it, but that commune part I could do without, but the french action man, the french connection. I watched it again, recently twice holds up when you really about that car chase and that character, intensity of that character in that car is based on true story, but Roy shiners in it and jean hackmen a young jean happen. Fucking jean hackmen man and I talked to freakin about that casting choice. I mean. Nothing happens like you think it happens. You know we see these movies, they they imprint themselves in our minds, and we think that they have that. I'd be the guy for the road. There was no other guiding the inn in our mind. It's one all the stories don't attar, because you don't know them. You just see this movie and it's perfect and you think, like that, had to happen exactly the way it happened without knowing how it actually happened. So good the opportunity to talk to him for
can about how this stuff have not just watched his most recent films by, and a killer joe, which were out there betray see. What's the playwright is he's out there and their great, but how do you sort of tap into enough? two directors: I'd like to talk to more directors are really actually the hardest to get on here and I love talking. then, because has film, goer like ice. You just take in these pieces of art, and these these phil in their entirety as what they are and you don't really realise the intelligence or struggles or or vision that went into it necessarily and in a lot of times. It's not. As I said it's not what you think happened, or what you would assume would have happened, but man talkin a freak and what a trip, what a treat and a trip, without further ado, since this is a long one This is me.
And the master of the film making MR way and free talking right here in this garage no filters here, mr varied and I've heard the podcast. You have no there's no filled. Other than my own self imposed? Yes, where we have those- I guess so. I in that you not I did in order, is very when I was in high school, I mean I'm fifty two, so I am. I missed in real I am, I think, as a grown up the early, movies but I remember like we were all very excited all the time when you were put out a new movie me. My friend devon, who is sort of a film head, but I I why for the first time, a sorcerer directors cut on the plane I buy. I rented it now watched it because I'd heard about it,
yeah it's it's a legendary movie, and I watched for the first time- and I I thought I was fuckin masterpiece will. Thank you. It's not. The best way to see a mine, of course, not, but anyone worse waiters. What am I opportunities? One of my options Would you have a beautiful blu ray? Oh yeah, fantastic, I mean, looks better than any print the film. Well, I just wanted to get to you know that see it the best I can and see it gail compared to, like your french connection, the exodus in that earlier. That sort of that tone you were getting back then and to feel what cause I'd. I don't we heard about. I think it's one, those these were initially people? respond well and there now people who are smart realised that they fucked up. Do you find that that's in case its new people is for people to film came out and nineteen seventy seven yeah and design gazed was different. And now the Zeit gazed has changed radically, but there
still some people who look to discover stuff that was made before the last few years. By the real guys. Well, the real guys were before me. My protein consider them to be well, yeah billy wilder, George Stevens ha willie why the french new wave yahoo are fantastic. The italian neil realists there's nobody around today, making movies like that, tony yoni geared fully on darth Fellini, all those guy area they really through the switch and it's a different world today, completely different. Most of the people going to films today, dont know. Where talk It is a shame, isn't it? No, why things change I d really have peace around that idea, all absolutely free change as you get older, you watch them slowly, change and manner.
into something else, but I still think changes a diplomatic word when you look at the quality of some things are happening, I mean, can you really name doesn't movies as a guy who, still on the pulse, dec paired the movies and people you just spoken. I can't allow some people may I mean ok, no, I still watch the same stuff. I always love ya. It's like listening to a piece of music. You know seldom tire rather p the music, whether its pop or classical, a rock? Whenever that you once loved right you, you find different things, it. So I tend to watch the films that influenced and inspired me, and I it more out of them the way I can new, to listen to one particular recording of beethoven's fifth symphony right conducted by a guy named Carlos Kleiber, must have been made in it
seven. These hotter eightys with the vienna philharmonic can listen to that. Recording I've lost two at hundreds of times and I hear different things- every time. I listen yeah, that's what and when I see a film like citizen, kane right or the verdict of the I just compulsive about divert verdict is one of the hurry. I guy that's a masterpiece same Yeah, it's the greatest indefinable in something so subtle- oh yeah little, moments a little of ticks little things on the soundtrack a moment that power norman takes our james mason yeah is its. Jerry film, and I just love but you're such an intelligence to it like you in something like this source,
I mean that obviously was a personal journey, not only as a director, but I imagine in your heart and in your mind, in whatever the hell you were dealing with, that as a person that you were going to move through these characters that that you, you know real, they revealed a certain amount and there was certain amount of a surreal to the setting in a way that will you Did they all end up there? There there are things that you ina were obviously poetic, metaphorical, I think, but dad, but it is assumed that at the audience, was there to see a piece of art in a way I mean it was not a you know. It wasn't something that you weren't on some level read about, like you know, there's a narrative whole here, no that's correct, I wasn't trying to make I'd ever. I was just trying tell stories and film. Ah, love the medium and what got me into it was when I first saw citizen kane we'll wait where where'd you grow up chicago really. I lived in chicago through the first twenty eight years of my life
family, jewish, family, religious. Yes, they were. I was bar mitzvah, but don't come away feeling close to the jewish faith like in a synagogue right right, I much more drawn and have been for years to the teachings of Jesus yeah, not through the catholic church yeah, but through the new testament, which I also continue to read at the simpler a tree and it's beautiful words to live by yeah. You know the current estimates awhile fragmented, not not a straight narrowed. It's difficult to read the last straw. Some of the new testament reads like journalists, yeah yeah book of mark describes the crucifixion. It's like you are there. You can experience it through whoever wrote them My did you ever think about telling that story on film. No, it's been done. I know not too badly by but well
Male gibson me at home. The hash of the christ was a powerful experience. Here was an but there's more to just christ than the crucifix yeah I've seen the shroud of terrain I been to Turin many times and I just finished directing an opera there. I just did I eda in the teatro reggio enter How may have you been doing? A lot operas have done about fifty opera is nineteen. Ninety eight we understand italian, I have who understand whatever language I'm doing the opera in the libretto complete I understand the libretto, while I might not be able to order a ham sandwich in the language you pick the out. I dare you do have to learn the lab ready and I for the story I away study them and I get my inspiration for the productions and I set up through directly.
the music and the libretto. You know, slats up my make up right like a film is generally sometimes there's a script, sometimes not, but when you filming it you're making it up and any got up by shot right in each shot is different in away like with an opera. I guess he's performance is different, but once you set your once, you get out and set in motion you're, hoping that outside of perhaps an amazing performance by the performers that shit's holds together oh yeah, it's pretty well planned and rehearse yeah where's. I dont rehearsal phil! Well, that's why you get that right, you and I'm interested in cinema in spontaneity. and spontaneity comes from working with the actors before you ever get to the said you, come on in in the way I work sort of like guess what the psychologists fur and you will talk to the act,
you'll find out what it is that moves here. she him or her emotionally yeah from their past you do that oh yeah, I would say like that. Go like say, because you got an example. Ok just talk about it, just because you gotta help performance at her and bug. However long it's more ground If I tell you, I'm ok admin, what happened was. right, which younger french connection actually and in talking to jean I found out from him, and you have to give up a lot of your own information, you do this, but I found out that he grew up in a town called Dundee illinois, which was near the indiana border and there were cool Klux clan guys around and it was of excise
namely right wing, conservative area and his father left the family when jean was young, so consequently he wanted to fight. This prejudice that he grew up with any hated his father. He hated his father once- and I realise that I, that I could get to his anger by becoming his five even though I was ten years younger than jean, I was the thirty figure right on the french connection. Yeah and jean did not want to go to the dark places of that character. He he fought them. Most through most of his youth and all of his adult life not go back to that mouse inside the elephant here and I realise that he had to show
anger and the cap he was playing was performing the role of a racist cop in new york. In order to revive rife these guys? were guys who made their living among the dead end. in order to survive, they had to be tough guys and in fact, come off like racists and jean didn't Wanna go there. He was not my, the choice for that pilot. Who was jackie, gleason that's really duty, I would not go escalation and then I wanted peter boil who had just made a film called Joe, and I found out that treating jean harshly, in fact cruelly on the set I could get to his anger and a lot of what motivated that character was the appearance of anger. He had do
here to be very angry. In fact, the guy was not really a tough guy, eddie egon, the character, the juice also in the film he's in the film, but he was very vulnerable, but just survive and make these busts not get killed. He had to be a tough guy and that man push people around and use the inward here all the time here and Jeanne didn't want to do that. We are the first of shooting. I shut the interrogation of the young black kid who these two cops pick up a by choice. ass. They sort of rough him up good cop, bad cop is by one the first time that you re out yeah and they ask him questions that are unanswerable via so he tends to answer the court. Jin's he know is more comfortable with like did you pass that nickel bag to that guy in there? Or did you ever pick your feet and make him see? You know and know we did
seven takes a that holy jean couldn't get to it and then I realized- and I used what I have learned in discussions with him- that he absent Thirdly, hated authority and he didn't like acting that might although he became one of the greatest film actors everywhere, but we're a lot of problems and that that work themselves out on the said because We were on the same page in understanding each other. What did does now if he were to The same story would he say well over what the bill was doing was he was putting me in position be angry at him. It will or would he have said like you know he was a pain in the ass to work with he drove me nuts off at a here's. What he has said. You can look it up. It's on the blu ray of the french connection and one edition of theirs interviews. With every day I and Jean says after the first day of shooting, I wanted a quick
yeah because I wasn't getting it and bill friggin didn't. Let me go and he held me in there. He kept me in there. I am forever grateful to now. Do you watch out occasionally only rarely watch like if I go to a screening of it and I haven't seen it for a and I have to talk about and what's your work, what do you feel when you watch it does take you anywhere. Do you think is pretty well made that yeah? It's not bad. I can't say that about everything, but I've seen a few of my films and I honestly think where the hell did that come from in a battle. you're a good word. What yeah I I tend not to watch the films Y know, I'm gonna see bad stuff and which ones who if I name them I'll, be putting down some actors, but that's all
My films are definitely not of the same quality. What do you think would happen if you had Jackie Gleason's pop? I doin. I think you would have been great here, but at that time the film was made by twentieth century faster, and I suggested gleason, and I gleason, got his phone number told him the story? We didn't have a script, but I told him what it was. He said: ok kid that sounds interesting went to the head of the studio, dick zanuck. He said no way We will never make another film with Jackie gleason he had made a film a silent film about a clown called ye go Gee. I g o t was signed, no you're right, but it was the biggest last year in the history of facts at that time damn so he was against gleason.
But gleason was my idea of the character, a big heavy set. What we used to call a black irishman, dark. Brooding irish guy, who loved to drink and break heads near you know and carried a great girth along with him. What compelled you, do sorcerer from wages a fear. What was your relationship with that film? The original film? I thought it was great, but not many people had seen it the wage. The fear in this country in amerika was was not widely seen at all, but I thought It was a metaphor for the world situation for strangers writing a load of dynamite and if they did they it each other. They were all flawed, but it. didn't cooperate they would blow up together and that to me then and now seems a metaphor for the world situation,
You have all of these great powers. going in different directions, and if they don't get on this, in page everything's. a blow up ryan, that's the metaphor of sorcerer and the wages of fear. Did you see it at for your own? I'll buy me. I don't know what the seventies were like and I dont have a specific sense of your reputation at that time, but it seemed like a pretty crazy tat. I am yo in terms of the shifting of either of them the business and in this sort of way that day you in that crew had of directors at that time. That dad did you fine that that movie was like a journey for yourself confronting your own potential self demise, as three or owner ambition and creativity. I didn't think it That way, the time I thought of it,
the story that I wanted to tell ya? I did not want to do a remake of h g clue, Zoe's film yeah. I wanted to do all new characters, all new incidents and all new events, just the central notion, in many ways it's like doing another production of a great play like hamlet, sure I mean law, and so livia aid did hamlet. You know back in the forties fifties and was exposed to stop. Then I mean the first product End of hamlet. I think in sixteen o. One was done by an actor name, richard burbage and it at the globe theater and in fact, at the glow. The the audience used to stand there. They didn't sit down, they stood, they ate roast beef, they chicken near stuff, and they talk to stage and when richard burbage played the I've seen in hamlet. He would
cheered and the audience yelled out die again burbage die again. He played the death seen three times now. There were no critics around to say this was great or bird It was terrible nothing. There was just this play and if there had not been first folio of shakespeare. came along some, I guess, fifty or seventy. Five years later, you wouldn't have hamlet, but every pretty june of hamlet, is different near and sorcerer is different right, but inspired the wages affair, but could use D who see. Can you see yourself like it where you sit now with your yo yo yo life experience all that you ve done when you looked back at that time, shootin in those jobs, was I mean, do you? Do you know that guy still yeah I'm not all that different. I would not
the same risks. Now, because I put people's lie I was in danger on a number of the films I did. Did you know you were doing it? I didn't care, I didn't think about it and the people that followed me did not think about it. I would not do that today. I would not film a chase, like the french connection today with no clearances, no permissions, no nothing just and a car for twenty six blocks. Ninety miles an hour through regular traffic. No, I wouldn't do. Guy too, I don't think you there wait you do it well, they didn't wanna. Let me do that then, but I had all these cops around me and with their backs. Which is, they were off duty caps and they were with me when I shot the chase in case we got busted firewater, your back yeah, but today No one should do that today. There have been guys who have
taken similar chances in recent years and people got killed. And it's only by the grace of god that nobody got heard or killed on a film like the french connection, and that was the farthest thing from my mind, I felt that I was bullet proof and I felt that the people around me we're not gonna be hurt or injured. If you are conscious of that, like there was a mania to it. On my, I felt that what I did was the only possible way to do. I couldn't get permission to do something like that, would give you permission to go ninety miles an hour for twenty six blocks through traffic, The only thing we had was a gamble on top of the car here that happen and the stunt man right role, so you couldn't see the gum ball when we were inside the car and we took at off when we were shooting next by year
in our screaming siren, as I was blowing through traffic, that stuff is, is all real. Now today they do just as good, if not better, computer. Do you think that really yeah I do in the audience does to the already Doesn't mind that these effects pewter generated Js, but but I think that that day that there is in some new neural pathways created for that expectation like I think they did I can do a lot more with a computer, but I think you innately know that it's not real and you watch a french connection and there's a there's, a grittiness to it where you're like holy shit. But it's not real markets are moving. Knowing what you just told me, people's lives were at stake, yeah and that's not a good thing. I get that, but it's on film. It is on film, And- and I don't boast about it, connection- is damn well made film and peoples
eyes when danger, including my own, and I frankly, didn't give a damn. I mean I dont mean I the idea. Human lives human lives. I ever thought about. You are caught up in your process. We're do this this. Why did you fight for it There was nobody to resist. That's the freedom of thought, about the lower their along this was Oh, like being castaways. No, it will look. I go a bit about that, like you know, because I know like there is something comes into my mind. Yo Nicholson, more, I think, was one time. Nicholson was a you know. Talking I think it was one of the last times. I think he went to the golden globes. I don't remember what it was, but he was talking was reflecting about when he started at the when your generation filmmakers started to really your take over hollywood, that there was this cross over
for a while there between you know your generation and old hollywood like everyone was short of around, so you got to spend time. You know with it with a film makers at you. Spected, admired avenue and was all part of the same community, Now, who are you able to sort of light when, when you were coming up- and you were start name when he made french connection I made, may imagine- I gave you a lot of access to to you so who Who did you seek out, and what did you learn from the generation before you? My closest friends, from the golden era, the hollywood Billy wilder richard brooks european, who was a great, tell vision, director, the created all in the family right with them norman right with you, I'm a lawyer and a number of other people like that. But then come to mind right away and hire wilder, and I still have a hamburger with billy, threefold he's a week, yeah, the old johnny rackets and all right. sure I'll tell you a funny anecdote.
Elite being in Billy's apart ma and Billy had jacka maddy's and rocks and picassos and great artwork He also had on one of his walls a little framed postcard like Object was framed on the wall next to a rock, and I looked at it and I said billy what what the hell is. This and he said this was one of the cards that they passed out. When they had the first preview of the film notch, go with gretta garbo, that Billy wrote and earn slew, bitch directed and their habit then was when low bitch whew the when they stopped. You're looking at a preview, there were no limousine going
pasadena back home loan would sit in the bow a kai with billy need flip through these cards at the audience used to fill out a honey, stop there one cod and still the laughter and Billy said what is that an luggage handed to them and that's the card that is framed on his wall, and this is where the film the nature, which is really a work of art. The card says this: is the funniest film I ever seen this is so funny I peed in my girlfriends hand, and he frame there and you don't when I was a kid and I went to previews in Chicago, I used to fill out all kinds of crazy ray she I'd say: what did you think of this film, this film stunk and was terrible? You know just to rat fuck the you know the I who made yet, but I guess there
card was sincere. Funny Paden is girlfriends, did very well their love that oh yeah Billy was great. Richard Brooks very interesting de intelligent guy, made looking for mr good bye and in cold blood right lotta grateful I know John Houston. Had made one of my all time. Favorites dry still. Why am I go home and watcher today again, which want to trade this year, Madre, which is boss, craig write them. Nothing like it. Today I explained to you go nothing like it today in my view, but you know there people listening to this pod cashmere, who count wait to see their necks spandex movie You know where guys were spandex injure, fly around and save the world. Ok, that's what the
theatre, is today the best platform for films. Today is the gentle platform places like netflix? In effect, an hbo. You know not the theatres for me bullets go back so you're in chicago, and you see he you see. Orson Welles is a citizen kane or when did you see that? What would you? What would you do when you were a kid? You got brothers and sisters No. I was an only child. We lived in one room, apartment, jerk, argo! No Roger than this scourge, which I guess is about fifteen feet by the envy, yeah! Something like that to three, and that was my mother and father. May we had a little burner kid I'm bathroom while they had a bed that came out of the wall and I had a cat and I never knew we were poor because everyone else around me live the same way
my dad never made more than fifty dollars a week. What he do he did. A number of things and he wound up in a man clothing store that was owned by his brother oh yeah, any work there did they were? Were they from another place? They all grow up here in the state where the immigrants all of my parents, origin, were in kiev, russia, the ukraine, came over when they were very. My mother had twelve brother, insists ass. My father had eleven and, as you can imagine I was an only child, be very tough to have other children in a space like this one. You know where the child in the room. We think that was why they didn't have more. Undoubtedly yeah I mean I was unaware. Anything did with their sex life did didn't. You would know
now we have to know. I mean you know I crash there, and so did they deserve our relationship with that huge extended family, oh sure, we're very close. Lot of my relatives did well very well to do one was very famous cop! go named harry lying harry Lange and dumb his partner were the two eyes, who brought in frank, Nettie, again the idea and they shot nitty eight times in the stomach and then my we'll put a bullet through his own left arm and claim that nitty shouted him first nettie. Didn't but the girl in his office, my uncle's partners was Harry miller and miller and lang where the guys who brought in niti niti lived nokia improved with eight bullets in la gut and for a variety of reasons. My uncle I leave the chicago police force and he opened it a tavern,
the cargo and as a kid I used to work there. How can I met all these characters on both sides of law right and it The way it was a fascinating to oh yeah Korea, they were on another planet, euro value. and these guys were cops, but it was the first inkling. I had that the best cops were guys who could think like the bad guy. Right. That's it we're bad guys themselves. I tried that was that You gave a puppy doyle and away your moral since a sort of like a moral ambiguity about how to do the job. Well, the precincts where they worked, the eighty first precinct in bedford, I listened the twenty eighth precinct in harlem. These places were known as murder factories. Here you know, and in order to survive, they just
broke every law that was their mia and I realise that as a cop, you know, what drove you in the street was your instinct and the fear of getting killed, yourself here, and so they had to assume an attitude that persist. did for many years in police departments across the country. it's based on adrenaline? Yes, I am but I was out with the french connection. Cops went and doing seems like in that all african america and by whether they rousted the joint and found all the vials of under under their counter and stuff and That scene I saw played thirty or forty times and when I inside eddie again gave me a thirty eight, a policeman
special ne should cover the back door and I used to pray to god. Nobody would try to go out the back, because I did was in real emotionally unable to pull the trigger sure. Okay, we weren't supposed to buy it, but I have, and I watched them do that and get away with it, and I know that they were driven as our most cops today by adrenaline you, a young cap, you got a family at home couple. A kid a wife you get up in the morning, strap on a gun and a badge and go into the street, and you don't know if you're coming back now that's not to say that there are some car since there are people in every walk of life that may have racial prejudice fur, but the cops I met did not and many of the cops I met and rode with all across this.
country and in europe, some of them black? had the same. Adrenaline driver whites to me that during that time, yeah, certainly with french connection, you seem to be driven by some of that same adrenaline. Now after that movie, so you ok were real, quick though in Chicago what got you into show business, I didn't know what I wanted to do and I graduated high school. I went to high school, never paid attention to anything. Didn't spend another day in a classroom. I didn't go to college the saturday I graduated. I looked in the chicago newspapers and the one add section, and there was a job available for young people who want the work in the mail room of a television station here and there? I went to the wrong place. There were to say since then. There were across the street from each other. There was w be m, which was a cbs affiliate, wrigley buildings
tribune tower. There was wgn, which was known as the world's greatest newspaper but they owned. Eugene, radio and television channel nine in chicago. I went there on a saturday to apply for it job in the male role and the guy in the mail room was an interesting guy's name was re demolish ski here and he of they're on saturday, and He asked me about myself. I answered a few questions If I had had a lotta after school jobs before there and he The Andy should ok kid. He said you can start monday, but he said tell me something: are you stupid and I said I'm sorry and he said I you stupid. I said I don't know possible He should because look at that piece of paper where you have the add for an open
being a mail is what does it say it? I should have said for forty for north michigan aben. Here he said that's w, b b m across the street. This is for forty one north michigan, We didn't place that add came to the wrong place, but you see like a nice kids, wangwana hire you and that's how most people came up the business. Then there were no film schools or no television schools. Tel Aviv it was no use can entry level job in the mail room or as an usher, and you Giulia what years that, in my case, it was about nineteen. Fifty six yeah, so so television is pretty new, always very nose a miracle in people's home. You have no idea, none of your listeners yeah have any idea was like to see an image in your house. We used to wake up at the six in the morning
to see the profile of of buffalo india, which was the only thing showing on a tv screen and used. tune your screen to that image of it was a drawing of a buffalo indian like what used to be on the nickel right, and you would focus on that. But We were just sit there and look at this. We couldn't believe there was an image didn't move, but I didn't do anything, but there was an image in our heart. Was a miracle magic. I guess like the ancients when something happened that was out of the ordinary thought. It was a miracle cure, the was. It was a miracle, and you remember radio. Radio was no inch television rights, dramatic radie, the annex, the thing that influence me most is Adam maker: real, grady storytelling, yes,
with sound use of sound effects and music and the human voice. you tell a story, a lot of those things creep me out. there were amazing radio dramas, and shows called suspense an inner sanctum and orson welles deplore the world, the shadow, oh yeah. I was too young for the word worlds broadcasts. I heard it much later here and I think it's probably exaggerated and the effect that it had sure gazette show I had a very small audience: hairdo edgar, bergen and charlie Mccarthy who is it at your bergen was ventriloquist right, which was weird right. Mortimer listener to write, mortimers nerdy, Charlie Micaiah, did the voice here, but
When you saw him on tv, he was a terrible ventriloquist. His lips were moving and while Charlie's worry, I guess that that's the one downside of tv you saw that edgar bergen stunk as until it is, but the characters in the dialogue with great so tell me was like mine blow: oh yeah. It was a man uncle in everyone's home and we can afford a television set which is about biggest computer. You have in front of you what shows you remember studio one and play house. Ninety right. These were the shows that grabbed me it ninety was done live. In several sound stages in what is was then called tell us. In city at sea, be azure on fairfax still they're here
and they did all these live, shows with live cameras everywhere, and there were some of the greatest things I've ever seen. There were directed by people like John frank and hammer sidney lament franklin schaffner, the guys who began The great film directors of the haven't yeah the generation that had just proceeded mine, so you when did you start directing? But why was about eighteen years old, tap, directing local television in the studio. What we d I was all stood. Well, I occasionally did remote like an auto, show five cameras and you'd have alive camera? You know I know would be. livestock or something walking around at the end. I shall amphitheatre. While I was an auto show and a cow would walk in front of the camera to take a dump, no way to cut around it. You know there, it is the glory. Of light envy, but motion.
If I did was in the studio, I did. Every every kind of show cooking shows news programme interview shows, I was the flu manager on a show called they stand accused, which was alive room drama that came out just before the jackie. Lisa show on the old do. My network was now gone where it's interesting that, with the things are saying, are still on tv? Did this dead, the ark tightened? standards were set, cooking shows, live court shows you know remote from places I mean they're still staples They are there still on, but then they were pretty. it's the only thing that was So now you have hundreds of things to choose from When you start only three networks, I know now want your local stations. He admits that time. No that's? What got me started, though, so went well you make it out here I mean. When did you come? What what compelled
towards the the films in that period. I think it was around nineteen. Fifty six clear Somebody told me that there was a great film playing at our house, and the near north side called serve. Theatre film was called citizen caveat, I knew nothing about it before citizen kane. I just used to go to films as a kid on Saturday afternoon and see the three stooges. and a cartoon and a newsreel near add a couple of funky shoe since dove, and you know as a place for kids to go for a quarter of a century after Somebody said you should see this film called citizen kane, which Rigid originally came out. Nineteen forty one this was fifteen years later went to see this film and I was captivated I
date in the theater all day I went to the first which was unknown show, and I watched it until the ten o clock show and left at midnight. And I came out of their thinking. I dont know what in the hell this is, but whatever it is. That's when I want to do and when I was in live television mere a strange thing happened. I hate going to party. Still to this day I like to see and talk to me. In small groups milan. Why? Yet? But I dont like gigantic part. There was a woman in chicago very wealthy, social woman who loved and supported the arts, and she did a few produced. A few programmes are the tv station where I work here and she used to try and get me to come to her parties
on Friday night, and you like twenty five now what the last year and this she lived in what was known as the gold coastal area of chicago near north side in a mansion and on a friday night she had people from all walks of life. Lenny Bruce used to go there and Ask your brown, junior and older. From Chicago your bergen, evans of northwestern universities, english departed but she was playing together like these dinners salon. Most worrying, engage in gaol holidays, paypal alliance, mass with food and drink right and one day I found myself squeezed against a corner. I went there finally here and there were a hundred odd people around and I'm standing next to a priest, a guy in a priest and I'm holding a drink and he's holding a drink and I've norton save one bad, just I'm
blurted out father what Where is your church and he said? Oh, I don't have a church. He said I am the protestant chaplain at the cook county jail on death row and I I should oh and I instinctively I said, have you ever. men, anybody on death row that you thought was innocent and they should yeah there's a guy. Now, a black guy who's, sir. Thirty. Two years old he's been in for nine years, he's up for first degree, murder and the warden, and I think that he was beaten to confess by the chicago cops. I it just what right through and I thought about this conversation. His name was father robert circling and I thought but this conversation all weekend and I called him at the cook county jail on a monday morning. I should find
Remember me said: yeah we talked it lowest, solomons, I meet this guy, whose name was Paul zero m p He sure why would you want to meet him? I should I dont know but I said I work in television and I I'd be able to do him, some good he's? U cant do many good, his all of his appeals have and denied he was denied. twice by the united states supreme court. He was denied search harare, which meant that the court would take his case The court denied hearing his case twice by one vote, five to four against he's finished. The only thing that could save him is a pardon from the governor who was then otto corner, democratic governor here and I thought I saw will look, I don't. Maybe I can get his story in front of the public and something could happen,
and he said, let me ask the warden Now the warden was a guy named jack chance, a big heavy said bowl of a guy who had executed three people in the electric chair and did not want to execute any one else, and he liked Paul Crump. and he felt that crump had become rehabilitated in prison and he may not have been guilty in the first place. So he may come down and made him meet crump and I went, the television station. Where I worked, I really believe didn't crump story, as did many others. and I went to the tv station and the general manager said we don't make documentaries. We do lived a vision, we don't want to do a documentary film, and so I went across town. To the abc station, which was channel seven in chicago
run by a man called red quinlan who had wanted to hire me, but I stated w g. I guess I was doing there, chicago symphony. Orchestra program live, and that was a great experience at wgn, so I stayed there quinlan financed so steam, millimeter documentary, that I made with another guy who was alive tv camera man named build butler. who later was the camera man, the director for tat. coffee and jaws, one flew over the cuckoos nest. A number of other great films, but he I started together and we learned by road how to make a film. We had access to death row and- I knew nothing about how to make a document, I had never seen one meal but I was motivated to make film is a kind of court of last resort for this guy
We made this film it it's very primitive whatever but it was shown to the governor of illinois. Lotto colonel He sent me a note and oh said I've seen your documentary and though my parole and pardon board has voted to do one descend. Mr Crampton, the electric chair, I'm going to pardon him, life imprisonment without the possibility. The parole, and that was a first Let me, then, it happened once before that I'm aware of it cargo, the lovely appall case right, we're clarence darrow d. Did lovin leopold, nay, got life imprisonment instead of the chair, they were kids do ages anyway, the film save this man's life
and read quinlan then ended in a whole. Bunch of film festivals were at one of the best, not only best document reboot best film that won the golden gate award. The san francisco film festival in nineteen sixty Has anything been regularly? It's been re released its out there. You want to call the people versus Paul crump, but it saved this. gentleman's life, and I thought my guide the power of phil right. What you can do with film and then I had offers to come out to hollywood documentaries and I came out to kill for your nineteen. Sixty five after I had moved to a b see in chicago and build learn. I had our own documentary unit. Three ruin docks, I started after having done over a thousand lives shows I wanted
documentary film and did three or four in chicago for a b c and then David Walper brought me in l, a where I did documentaries for offer any abc network, and how did the? How did the opportunity for the first narrative film come the fur? Narrative, Phil. Might. The first thing I ever did on the sound stage was the offered hitchcock our the produce, serve the hitchcock, our who is norman lloyd. At that time, may I been on for ten. is norman. Lloyd was a great act. Still alive is a hundred and one years old. Are we yea? He was the guy who played the saboteur in hitchcock film saboteur. And he worked with mercury, theater and rice and wells right. He still around. God bless. I think I think jet appetites just used him and now a train wreck. Didn't I dont nobody, he the idea, but there, norman and he was the producer and he saw
the william morris office, started to represent me yeah and they showed my documentary around hollywood here as like a calling yeah and norman lloyd saw it, and he said that there was more suspense in the first five minutes of that film than anything had done that year and the hitchcock hour, and I want meet with him and he gave me a script that was written by james bridges, who later became a fine screen either urban cowboy a number of other. I think he rode down the china syndrome a right here and there, but he had written a script for the hitchcock got our was stirring, Jan Gavin, who was in psycho, norman said. Look. I have to let John and see your film and he has approval of who's gonna directed.
and if he had said no, I probably wouldn't have a career rear, but John saw the film said. Ok, I don't know Jim, guys any worse than some of the other guys you got directing these shown yet, and so he approved me, and how does z in in the first big movie was the french connection know the next, the feature I made was with sunny and share money. Bono wanted to with a young guy on their first feature film, and they showed him some of my doctor I recently hitchcock our sunny and I met. We became great friends and we wrote script here we had lived a movie called good time yet and it was just a joy to work with them and the film did well was made for nothing and the producer sold it to colombia.
for my five million dollars, which was not chump change in those days her, and they were big act at that time they were big, bad. All key a number of items right right. I got you back there, It goes. I am better sit down. Kids, sunny was one of the few. Geniuses. I've ever met yeah hidden. He couldn't write a note of music. All me, It was in his hair started with fell spectre. I think he was a gopher fulfil spectrum air guys remain friends throughout his life till he died him ski acts of arab aspen near and I occasionally still see share oh yeah, and ve gone, do a lot of her shows in vegas, but you know I don't know where she lives now we're different work, but we were close for many years So through this I share and through that stuff you were doing. You are offered the french connection know. The next thing I did was a film of Harold painters play the boy
stay party that Iraq I saw when I was much younger in san francisco and it marine me, as did citizen kane. The movie printers play the birthday party was just an incredible. Wasn't is an incredible piece of work, heavy right! Well, yeah, it's called a comedy of menace, but there's more menace than common, and it was at your first experience with release your taking a piece. a theatre in trying to imagine at his film. Well I was, as I say, I really moved by it and they came to me a company called paloma pictures. which was owned by the abc television network is so what would you like to do, and I said, durham the birthday party I called Harold pinter. I got his phone number in england. We spoke any didn't know who the hell I was
but I guess something I said intrigue right and I went england to meet with him and we met for two or three days at his house, and he said: ok, let's do it and damn wrote the screen play and I spent a year with painter, where I learn pretty much breathing, I know about drama was encourage. You know: he's won the nobel prize for literature toward the end of his life and he was is probably the most fascinating man. I've ever met I learned so much from him. What what are some of the the the things that you carry with you that aren't, having just become second nature about drama that that stand out in your head from him. Well in painters style, which is not a style that I totally adopted. Every single word. Every comma every period
had, meaning there were no throw away. There was- throwing I'll ever my heel, gauze wearing right. He wrote in the pause area and a long pause was different from a short pause and he made a practice, never to explain them, innings of his work? If you didn't get it the hell with you mia, he got it and he he wrote a stuff that was completely off the radar in the late fifties and early sixties birthday party I think had been written in nineteen. Fifty eight betrayal did. He rightly wrote, betray ashes story, told backwards and allay yeah where the last seen of the play appears version. I works at bay, which way back to when this couple first met and I m so he experimented with form, but he taught me
that every word does cod. He would seldom use useless. Adjectives like the word very near what is the very mean. If I say to you, I ll you very much does not give any indication of how much I, like you know. Very What is very, this is this water is very good or not very good, or what We might say there are certain words that carry no meaning like interesting in seeing is the worst thing you could say about somebody's movie pod cask. If somebody says this podcast his interesting, it's an abject failure the worst thing you could say, because all of the arts are created for a purpose which is to draw out an emotional response from the listener or the viewer. That's all we are not to be interesting. who the hell once interesting but pinders
work was gripping and involving. There was not a wasted sentence, a wasted word or a wasted comma, and that impressed me very much. To this day you're. In writing. My autobiography for actually made a pass on my autobiography. Where I took out every time I use the word very haha, there s a meaningless were, did you leave him out, took em out, I did one pass of the book which pretty thick book and took out the word very pincher, also when, he came to the rehearsals, the birthday party and the active would say Harold. What is this mean or what does that mean? He would say I have no idea what it means a why it's there you have to figure That out, for yourself
now there many actors that work today from like back story Harold, provided no back story like how How are these two people were in conflict with one another? How were they when they were children? How did this guy, about his parents or he doesn't care about any of that. Crap I'll. Give you an example of how I views that here. In a film I made a film called a hunted with. tommy lee jones and benito del toro, and this how tommy lee jones works. If he's cast right. You never talk to him about meaning or back story or even what's going in further. Amre you'll just sit with here. He knows all of that. That's why wise agreed to take the road right so
all you do is all I do. As I say, Tommy you come in that door. You walk over here. You sit down you talk to this guy over here. Then you get up. You look out the window over there. Then you come back sit down Take a drink of water say something him. Then you lee given the actually. He says. If I get this right, I come the door where I sit down over there. I talked to this guy over here I get up and at the window, come back sit down, say a line to him. Take a sip of water, get up and leave as that's right, he's. Ok, I'm ready and he shoot it won. T done, we ve been easy, Odell tar earlier in the same seen in the same movie, you come in that. Why do I come in the door? What discovered me lying on the floor. Well, how I feel about my father when I was fourteen years old and I would say to benito and other actors live a have that ilk need a
story and really from which The work, I would say, look I don't know if it isn't on the page, it's not on the stage- and I could make some bullshit or I could make up a story about how you felt about your father when you were fourteen here, but I don't really know yeah. So I could lie to you and if it helps you, I will make up such a story. and eventually we come around to doing the staging that I asked him to derive or soon asking a better staging, because when you were a director You must consider that There are many ways to do a scene. In the number of ways to do this just to shoot, Two of us in this rusia and the idea works wherever you get there, best idea, how to do the scene or where to put the camera high low straight on
from the floor to ceiling from behind a monitor whatever and around the room and see? What's here the best idea usually comes to the fore and it could come from the proper manner, stage hand which is I don't hey? Why don't pay a lot of attention to the otter theory because there are many film, is a collapse maybe right, you are way along with what person. I imagine sometimes you ve, having I've done tv in unites bit. Collaboration is necessary. Well only in like the performing arts very like if europe painter sure all you need a blank care, iverson, painting, a brush right and your imagination, photographer same here, if you're, a writer Now it s a pencil right typewriter, computer sure and you work alone here, your imagination, a composer, works the same way right, but in any of
performing arts. You work with many people. It, sir, orson Welles once called the equipment. That is you in the making of a film a one turn pencil it actually about a twenty ten pansy yeah. So you, basically you they're dead in the big picture, tommy he's a little easier to work with. Different biggest these back story judge printer, never write dealt with fear. He would he would ridicule them. Ah, but these back stories I'm a meaningless. I mean an actor to produce an emotion. ordinarily, does work from something called sense memory, but their business you remember what frightened or I made you happy or made you fall in love when you are much younger and you utilise that sheriff experience too
produce an emotion as another character. Let's get to the end, to see. When you and best picture you invest director directory of french connection yo it it sort of your your guy. We mean when we talk about how the french action happened. How that happened. Every happens by luck or accident and everywhere turned it down. Every studio turned it down for two years really I actually was on the unemployment line. I'd may done any for two years I had just finished, boys in the band two years before but I wasn't working and finally one day, dick zanuck then said. Look I don't know what the hell. This thing is, you guys are trying to do. I'm sort of intrigue by it. if you can make it for a million and a half dollars, go ahead, you better it soon, because We fired out here in six months and he was but he green lit the film,
we had a budget of three million dollars, but we dissipated, having a star like Paul norman right, who was getting The top salary then, which was five hundred thousand dollars a picture today. Its chump change course for a movie star, but it wasn't then and dick Xanax and you'll need a movie star just get the right action in this thing. and I remember saying to him: would you go with a non actor? Who was right? He said well who are you talking about you ever hear of a journalist in new york called Jimmy brethren, yeah yeah, I love grasslands. Writing Sally wrote a lot like damon rang it here. I shall no Jimmy breslau amnesia, good friend of mine. Let me go back and addition him and see how it I had hired shied her and I hire people, based on instinct ere? I don't read them right. If I thought you
right for apart. I would ask you to write, not audition endless with rice eider. He walked into my I casting director here who was not a casting director. He was a film and theatre critic for the village voice in new he knew every actor in the country and we discovered would be goldberg and a lot of people and one day he brought Roy scheider into my office and rice sat down opposite me. As I am sitting opposite you here and I, try doing rise of gray eyes doing now he had never shadow fell. he said? I'm in and off broadway play by jean nay, and I said what kind of party you play. I knew instantly. He was the guy and Should I play a cigar smoking? None. I should oh yeah yeah. I shall kate you got. The pine is, what would you
you want me to read something. I read something It's nothing to read these guy just run after guys, a chase guys get your hands up. Stop hey you, you ever pick your feet in poughkeepsie. There's nothing to read. You are right for this part and I hired and then I had him rehearse with jimmy brethren and the first day of rehearsal brethren ah, was great. was all improvisation. He was wonderful and, improvised scenes with shied near and I had the young african american actor alan weeks and we would improvise scenes outdoors, and this and day brethren would forget what he did the first day on the third day, he showed up drunk the fourth day which was a thursday didn't show up at all right and on friday, I knew I had the fire.
It wasn't a work. He came in very contrite, but he said to me I didn't he was good friends, why did know quite out of fire and what he said to me? Sarah was drunk and always- and he said isn't there a car chasen this movie, I said yeah. he said: well, I gotta tell you he should I I miss my mother and her death bed. I would never drive a car I don't know how to drive. I said you're fired and that's how he got out admin was not even a radar and he come from well, he was suggest did by his agent near we met with him. the producer, and I I wasn't convey, he had never done a leading role either, but he was- supporting after he had been in Bonnie and clyde yeah played worn babies, brother
good in a number of things is a supporting active, and I didn't see him as is dark, irishman and but he was the last man standing the last guy and JANET was gonna get fired, and so we had to go and worked out by the grace of guy. Not my genius believe me any word capture. Like immediately with that document, every style yeah got all that life. No second takes yeah there. No second takes in life. More! Is that true, riots and try to do a retail gun when you were in fifteen years old. I you theo, I don't think there's two meetings any to retake you. I would I could, but I can't so what the hell, what would george. You say what the fuck, you know: what can you do? Not change? No, but you know the robert frost poem about the road not taken here. You
Walking in a forest in there's a path that breaks left in others, it breaks right The decision you make right there to take. That path is what led you to the rest of your life Did you make that decision? Then who the hell knows. You know the great story, the lady in the tiger you do now always when I was a kid. I read it about some guy in ancient rome who- falls in love with the daughter of one of the easier one of the hearings and the the king says. Ok, I'm gonna put you into the arena where the christians are thrown with the lions and though, two doors out of one door, will come. A man eating lie, and if you choose that door and out of the other door will come my daughter and if you choose right door. You'll have my daughter, and if you choose
the wrong door, your memory and the story, never reveals what door this guy took that captured my imagination. Although I read almost nothing, I was in high school, but that story captured my imagination, every door we take here the lady or the tiger. Sometimes both. I guess so. I had to think about that. I hate blank air, but you know sometimes you hit me with my have to think of it. Sometimes both indeed her. Indeed, as one who the hell knows, I'm sure you know when you started wanna be a stand up the hammock
it. Probably wasn't such a thing as a podcast. Now there was not yeah, you sometimes desperation yields the most amazing things when you're up against a wall, and you got nothing, but a tunnel of darkness were can as yet you know he he can't get take a don't you open, a don't worry, I got open door, you can't go back. There was a time when, if somebody said deal like you to do a pod canals and what the hell is eggs pod, what power? Even talking to people united right, I never saw myself talking to people, so you go from there connection to the extra system. That must have been here's how that up. But I mean you have this weird fascination that weird, but this year about men about thrillers about it, seems like from when you kid listening to radio that did the haunted nature and that this sort of us naturally the magic of fashion It may as it does pretty much every pure, and you know it's my philosophies. Basically,
like what hamlet said to his friend ratio. There are more things in Heaven and earth, then I dreamt of in your philosophy ratio and that's what I believe: give the things I don't know or understand. I can't deny the power of religious belief it's just there. We deeper well, I believe in the teachings of Jesus. As I've said to you there are a number of things that don't filter through my consciousness easily. But the mystery of faith is something that you have to pay attention to, for example, you Jesus a guy walking in the desert and in in the diaspora yeah over two thousand years ago with a roman sandals. No tell us
no internet, no pod cassius, you know nothing written, he might be back get em on here. I hear he might come because you know we had a very intelligent audience, but here's I spoke under the radar spoken synagogues he didn't come. To start a new religion in fact he's written about in two histories of first century jerusalem, one follow another by a guy our flavius josephus, who is a jewel. historian of first century jerusalem, and all he wrote about. Jesus was there was man called Jesus Christ, he went among the people, he was he heal the sick any beloved of the people. That's all it says: Now you read the gospels which were written me at all couple: a hundred years later, the first one there
nothing in his own handwriting right, nothing that he published no recordings of his voice our knowledge. There was only one remain, thing that showed him in a dry is called the men dillion of a so people who, weren't in his immediate presence did know him. He read him see him. There were found, Dozens of people crucified by the romans, many of them were call Jesus. This particular guy is still worshipped by and some people who have no way of seeing him literally hearing him literary others through the mystery of faith. So, and I respect that Sometimes I don't respect something like that when you get a guy like Adolf hitler, sure who also preached to the masses, but we did see him. People did and hear him,
and size recordings and his newsreels and everything else and they followed him and his stage, production from be tremendous stage, reduction, well, yeah guys who produced hitler, friggin genius, but to me the two most interesting figures in red hoarded history. I had learned Jesus at its good and evil opposite ends, of the pole and I dont understand the origins, of either one I dont know, if was around at the time of Christ, whether I would have been a follower or a believer or not, but I can't reject the teachings of joy right, not in so far as their presented by the church, russia, not but just the poetry and the story and the no wizardry ideas, wisdom away to live and how to
treat you fellow human beings and but you must possess a dark side as well. Of course, I every wonder where every human being sure you and every listener We have within us both good and evil, and life is a constant struggle for each of us to suppress our worst angels, two to try not to do harm Often we lose the battle. We ain't, we don't succeed. Unfortunately, you have a few rounds. You hope that these different arago, their different times worthy where the air, the darker angels, are run, and I think I believed it, the good and bad side to every human being, of course, and and and so You know the exorcist is about that, but if you want I'll, tell you how I got to do that. No, I meant I need to do,
they were not all but I'll. I think that I find amazing about it so that even with the of the lucian of special effects, the theatrical the exorcist and the pacing, the exercise in the story, and it still riveted powerful story, and but you like, I don't mind the effects they work for me still still horribly creepy, and I think you know when her head spun around the changed a lot of people's lives. It was like the fuckin shark and jaws. I can't go the poor when it's at night, but ye in the same with the exorcise you never going to forget that thing you can't go in a swimming pool at Agama. Got problems me on my dark side is kind of holy mackerel, I'm exaggerating a little, but the ocean is not going to go in the ocean at night or you yeah. I have why have minutes. I have. I have a kind of sleep walkers faith, that when I walk out that door, I'm not going get hit by a car. I have some of that. You know. That's the only way to live.
You've never had moments where you're like I'm, not going to do that, because my faith tells me that maybe I shouldn't I don't remember anything like that. I usually just follow my instincts, but here's how the extra jess came about. I have to go back. I was asked by a great producer director name like edward sir joy, Andrews husband and yes, but why in that- and he had a television series on the air, then he was a great film director who did breakfast detainees. The other thing panther movies, to debate I was a waiter pink panther, but he had a series on television, then called peter gun Had this great theme by Henry man seen which sort of became the foundation of rock and roll do him. Would you do they really was added to this is the fifth and then that's my did Adam NATO and it was really cool
those were the foundation Chords of rock and roll out came a couple years, late figure and but blake was gonna, make a feature film, peter gun, he didn't want to direct it only to write and produce, and he invited me to meet with him at his offices at paramount? Get the script read it, and if I liked it, I was going to direct it. I go to the first meeting. I really thought the sky was absolutely film up and I lived at the sunset marquis. Then it was a it's a little place on alto, loma off sense. Yeah now become more prominent, but then it was like a funky motel with a swimming pool and am I live there? I took this script home.
And I read it and I was really disappointed and I had to sit down. and think through what I was going to say to him, because I hated the script and how was I going to tell this master filmmaker that and so I, to his office, the following monday, and he prepared the same breath. for me that he always had whizzer. It was english muffin, with strawberry jamnia year, a little part of tea And we sat opposite each other and he said well, what did you think and I said blake- I think your worst enemy would not have written a script for you. This is a terrible piece of shit effort. You antwerp yeah. I could only be on his ear. I said I hate, I think what you ve done. Is you ve taken.
Two episodes that I remember seeing of peter gun, which I loved and television sort of splice them together and it's not fresh? It's not bribery. the movie right for me right, and he was a nice degree black belt correctly here here. Stood up here in all of his majesty and he said to me at the top of his voice. He said what the fuck do. You know you don't know. anything. What do you know about scripts? You ve done a couple of meddling, to lousy pictures, and I just see some talent in you and you're telling me about this scrap here I said blake, that's how I feel she'd or made a lie to you and then go out and fail. He said his hand, he said. Thank you very much for letting me meet an interesting person, and I left
as I am leaving and walking to the parking lot at paramount I hear a voice behind me. Mister frank in and I see a guy running towards me, his dark hair and a mustache swarthy complexion yeah, because in lakes office, which was cavernous year there were a lot of people sitting in the shadows, who I wasn't even introduced. And this guy was one of them and he introduced himself. He said mister friggin, I'm william Peter bloody. He said I wrote that script that you just that law the job and I said: oh Jesus, I'm sorry Mr Blair said no, no you're right We all know the script doesn't work. I didn't see your name on it. It just says screenplay by blake edwards. He said yes, Blake often does that he said, but I wrote the script
Blake did some rewrite I, but everyone who works for blake knows it doesn't work here and he just one to get the movie made while he's directing something else and he said I admire you for that cause. You lost a job. Doing that and I admire he wrote the dams we shook hands, and then I didn't see him for maybe three or four years now three or four years later. I'm on the road doing publicity for the french connection. He had not come out yet and I was going to various cities across the country. I started on the east coast and before I left the sunset marquis a script array, a manuscript arrived in manila envelope from William p, bloody. This is four years later and I looked at night. I thought whose o this the guy that wrote that terrible peter guides
I tossed it. My suitcase and I didn't read it. I went from new york, and I wound up my tour in san francisco and then I was going to come back to l, a and the last night of the tour in san francisco I was gonna have at eight o clock. I had a beautiful view. The whole city out my picture window and I finish my last interview at five and I finally, when this envelope after night, for ten days on the road yeah, it's the exorcist by william Peter bloody, And I sit down very comfortably the chair and I start to read it and I had the same feeling that most of the readers had it totally som bade me out air. I couldn't believe this. They were so believable air air and I canceled
eight o clock dinner. I read the whole thing in one sitting, and he had his phone number on the lady, I called, and I said bell what the what is this and he told me was he was inspired by a story that had happened when he was an undergraduate at georgetown nineteen fourteen year. He had written it as a novel yeah. I should why do you see what you think I said great, it's fantastic, he said: do you want to direct it? I said well first of all, why me he said because you, the only director I met, who didn't lie to me, he said, but I have to tell you that there are three other directors that warner brothers
has in mind. They wanna, give it first Stanley q rick, then to either pan cubic passes and then to MIKE nicholls wow, and he said so. I've gotta go through that, but I'd love for you to direct it. Now. The french connection had not come out yet was about to so those are heavy headers cubit past, because he said he was only developing his own stuff ran either pen did not want to do any more violence and screen. He had done Bonnie and clyde made his point made his point here and might nicholls thought you could never find a twelve year old girl who could give a performance that would carry that fell right and by the way when the film did come out the first
call I got was from might nicholls in which he said how and now did you do an, but so now the studio insisted on them. They and threw them one at a time and then bloody said what about bill freakin. They said. No, we owe the palace bill freak right, he's done. A couple of I'd films below the radar. What the hell! No, and now the three guys pass They had actually made a deal with another director who I will not name. They had a deal with him, a direct. Why won't you in his eyes, were embarrassed and- and I know It- and we were friends- and he was offered this picture here now. Finally, they have higher this other guy near and the french connection
Ok and bloody was still and so insistent on me does he had director approval and when they said no, we're not gonna go with freakin. He said okay, friday night, which is what the night, the french connection opa. He had not seen right said on Friday night, I'm going on the johnny Carson show and I'm on it. I'll Carson's viewers that you have refused to grant my deal where I get director Will this picture and I'm gonna tell them that you have broken my deal on national tv, it will wait a minute wait. A minute that day the french connection opened in theaters, the and bloody was about to take off from burbank to do cars. Johnny Carson show yeah and he gets it
he called frank wells who was the head of his studio then, and he said Anne Frank said bill he's. It is this about freakin and why they said. Yes, I'm about to drive over to the king since you and they said well bill seen the french connection and now we want a more than you do and that's how I got a film rest as history at yeah malaysia about a month. It well october. Thirty, if I went to washington d georgetown, where city of washington dc- put up a plaque on those steps were film, the exorcist they put up.
officially designating them the exorcist steps and designating every october thirtieth as exorcise day and the mayor of washington spoken, the president of george town and city councilman from- and I spoke Bloody spoke and names around this plaque in iowa and it's one of the top five tourist, actions in washington that movie blue mines and but we never discussed a horror films. We never talked about where I could do to make. This scared It was inspired by a true story. What he could feel that, because the young priest was so compelling that guy's a genius what was that guy's name jason miller, what a great actor he had never been in a film before more. Don't you think the same. This is all the movie le as with french reaction. He was purple
for that unbelievable I had arisen? he hired another actor to play their part but had situation. Miller was a playwright he had done. It small acting jobs, road companies outside of new york bust- where's, but he'd never been in a film and never had a lead in a great. So how did you get that performance out of Linda boy by becoming like her father? More accurately, her grandfather, she told me I asked to be one of the things it moved her the most when she was younger when I met her shoe net well, yeah and.
She told me that the thing that really destroyed her was the death of her grandfather and and but she was highly intelligent. She was a straight a student here, westport connecticut. She was a champion horsewoman. She had never acted before. She had only done some modeling little girl dresses and stuff in the newspaper, but I talk to her and I learned a lot about her and her me out. She was like going up here and what scared, or in what disturbed the principal thing being the death of her grandfather here, which I would refer to again and again. I would go to those things that may, laugh off, I'm off Cambria and before she had to do a scene on camera, I would whisper to very close to the camera.
And remind her of things that she had told me and I became like a surrogate father to her though either her mother or father both were on the said at all times. So shall I made it a gay yeah? She was Obvious all she had no idea of the implications of a lot of stuff you're doing right. For example, when I first met her, she said we had seen tapes and interviewed thousands of young girls, and I felt, as might nicholls did that you'd never find it. You have your old who could the range of this stuff right and now I was I was interviewing sixteen year old girls and seventeen year old girls who look younger, to try and find someone who would not be totally destroyed by this one day when I was
I remember sitting at my desk at warner brothers in new york at six. Sixty six fifth avenue which is where they were located and added so everything with everyone's lining up, which had since come down her dress and My head was in my hands because I thought we could not cast this role. I had everybody here and my secretary buzzes me my assistant and says There's a woman out here named Elinor, Blair and she's, come with her daughter mia. She doesn't have an appointment, but would you see her and I said sure yeah see Why not? The minute she walked in a door again like shiner. It was like a gift from the movie god I knew it was her.
First thing. I look forward an actor of any age. Whatever is not even experience, but intelligence. That's the first thing I, like you, intelligence, which you can sense in someone s before you speak In the eye and the attitude she it's down her mother sits. Next, I said Do you know anything about the exorcist? She said yeah. I read the book I said well, what's it about, She said. Well, it's about a little girl who gets possessed by a devil and she does a whole bunch of bad things, and I said well like what night, what sort of bad things. And she says? Well, she pushes a man out of her bedroom window and she hates her mother across the face and she masturbates with a crucifix.
And I looked at her mother who was still smiling- and I said: do you know what that means? Linda she's, a wise to masturbate, she said and they were not a religious pham rather I should you know what it means to masturbate. She said yes, like jerking off is met I look at her mother, others still smiling. I said if you ever done, that and she said sure, haven't you that was it her. I did you see I knew this was not gonna hurt her as a purse. Right right was coming but with a language comfortable, the idea, is, and I made it a game every day and this in that movie made a fortune right, eight hundred in dollars. So far, that's insane innovation leah, three dollar ticket, but much has been made through blu ray and reassured reaction. Whose every halloween and going back was reissued constantly
but also it streams niagara. So what led to source, or I just want to cause like it's the way it's characterizing in some histories of movies is at you made this sum indulgent film that were, over budget and you're out of your mind when he was released in star wars buried in you, you went into a hall, that's pretty you're, not hate. we want a short version, aegis nailed it, but he went well when you finish that movie, because I saw the door There's cut, I imagine any, and when I read about the movie they didn't seem to realise that there was a gunshot at the end. There is a gunshot at the end of my love, the french connection, now known of the all I've sorcerer, sir we're or it's a truck backfiring the last thing that you see going through frame of the long shot of the town s idea have. Ok is a truck with workers,
you rightly boy. You see ten years there's going into the gangsters go in and it's the lady or the tiger ending. Ok, they go in but he surrounded by people Oh I'm their lives right and couple, a share of local sheriffs, yeah and other guys were armed everybody. There is I'm nea if not gun whether machete and the question is: can these two gunslingers just take him out and leave or not, and so who here what sounds like a gunshot but could be a truck backfiring. In fact, the sound I used was a truck backfiring. Ah that sounds like gun. Ok, at the end of the french connection, there's an unexplained gunshot. Hackmen runs down the long corridor
eggs returned still looking for the french guy here, the camera holds on the empty long basement corridor and you hear a shot fired and that it goes to black and, the ending is in the mind of the viewer as as the lady or the tiger, I really had a hard time processing what life if she is shattered, died at the end of sources. like you, I would you it is up to the viewer you should have a hard time by reality. I didn't even indulge the truck by backfiring. I just figured, he got it. That's ok, you welcome! Opinion bothered me I don't, or if he died or now I owe you don t know about it. If I don't show it ok, it does exhibit you wade this decision? You put the sound for this is a sound, a truck backfiring, which you interpret it as a gunshot worry I like to have my film.
Go into the mind of the viewers and let them process it or not. Did you lose your mind during shooting sorcerer? That might be too strong the way I characterize it. I was always in control of the earth and I always tried to get what I envisioned on the screen. Did you yes, and as a first home that came the closest to the way I saw my mind's eye, that's the one I loved it. Why thank you? It reflected my view of life. As I told you and this is just a day- was the vietnam war still going or just over It was all base glee over a couple years. Nixon had basically ended the vietnam war. You Vietnam, reverberated throughout this country and to some extent, still die, and I think that
that time in the mid of to the late seventies, america is not so much that it lost its way, but it certainly became a new country after Seven america went through a national nervous breakdown after the assassinations of mere kennedy, brother and martin luther king and the vietnam war that took america through a national nervous breakdown and that was sort of the sorcerers sort of the end of that. In a way, the sorcerer in many ways reflected that these men doing absolutely stupid things which may or may not have resulted in their survival and in fact, three out of the four of them: don't survive yeah, and- and but they were desperate. Like I tried to picture that movie coming out and what an audience at that time and how they would receive it.
well, it wasn't well received by the critics or the audience camp. We, the riddick throughout what kind of critics would not receive that, while the same critics Andrews rejected citizen, kane and vincent and god who never sold a painting in his lifetime. I'm not comparing myself to the right and by any means, but he made over thirty, x or thirty. Seven hundred works drawings, water colours, oil paintings, you look at them today. You say this man I'd without ever selling one of these, and today you it will cost you a hundred million dollars if he added by an oil patey. There was a great store why? What changed in the tastes of the art
loving public that were buying the impressionist at the time of van me up, but not a vincent. This is an outrageous mystery of food it not faith, as I mentioned earlier, but fate. Why didn't those people back then recognise this as the great Then it is no idea and that movie was about fate source. is about the mystery of fate. Yes, why sorcerer released in star wars, released. Where you were you mad. No I mean I was unprepared for that radical a shift in the Zeit gazed man. It was. It was a major change like from silent movies to sow, did you know Lucas? Yes, I am
lucas when he used to serve the food at frances, Coppola his house or the eli is francis. His wife used to cook and lucas was a kind of acolyte near were employed by Francis and Francis had a given lucas some money for thx thx years from hell bunny. He was an assistant to Francis and he would serve dinners at francis's house in san francisco then, and then Francis backed him in american graffiti. after tea thx, and here comes american graffiti and the guy who ran the studio. They had a preview of american graffiti their friends. Sort of grandfather yeah. He had to be there in case Lucas did not make a movie and.
They have a preview in san francisco where they all lived and the guy ran universal? Is a guy named ned, tannin and after the screening where the audience went: wild loved it screaming cheering out in the hall. fear ned ten and says to copper and lucas. He said you guys. Let me down he's s. At the film we talked out this measure, what we gotta be in cutting monday morning. This was at the north point. Theatre in san francisco now gone, and he said You know, I don't know where this went wrong with it. wrong everywhere. We gotta go in the cutting home and fix it, and francis said you don't know what you're talking about Did you hear that audience? Did you see the audience and there they went crazy for this. What is wrong with you? How much money have you got in this picture
what you mean how how much is how much money do you have in the picture? You don't have. A million dollars in this picture is what have about nine hundred thousand at the most and tenants. Yeah that's about right and francis whipped out, is check book and he said I will buy this film from you right now. I will you a check for nine hundred thousand dollars and take this over a he didn't have. ryan hundred thousand dollars or anything like it. It by tannen backed off hand. The film went out the way George made it. You know when you talk about a mentor. Or a guy who was an inspiration to another filmmaker, that's Coppola and lucas, and of course they went down. Server paths were you so you you says what star wars that it was just a shift in the culture o totally near. I mean it. That's rarely happen it happened at times when you know color blackened
gave way to color and silent gave way to sound nothing wrong with a great buster, Keaton and chaplain juries by law, Come sound, which in many ways was a regression of the art form, but that People wanted, they wanted sound, go with any thought. I was that big of a shift without a doubt. That's why It is today the star wars came out: nineteen, seventy seven, but every other film, is an offshoot of star wars? Were all these comic book superhero you're that star wars, if star wars had failed? I dont know which do action film would have gone. Where did you go? I stayed on them. ass tat, I had after sorcerer after you know why. I imagine there a a period where were like I gotta get my head together, yeah, but
I've always thought of myself really not as an artist but as a working directed more go. I made the I didn't make a film for a while. I didn't find Anything I really wanted to do, but almost two years later I made a film called brinks job. It was intended as a I'm sorry about the actual brinks. Rightly Peter, falk paul survey know Peter bull.
Oh yeah were notes, warn of general and Helen garfield and we have a lot of fun and I went to boston to make it because I was a huge celtic fan. Oh yeah and I got to know, read our back and very well and for the next ten years I basically went to celtics games and practices, and I and eventually they. Let me practice with it. The eighties team bird mikhail, impair oh yeah, and I got to suit up and I could run the place. I could never rebound rice with those guys, but I became very close to read and bob cosy great and what about crews? In that blew my mind in high school? There was a couple of years later, a crazy movie that came about, and I dunno. If you know this, when I made the exorcist there's a scene, it's an arturia, graham scene c mere you know where they try.
Do where they put a needle, oh yeah, yeah, I in a neurosurgeon room here and they inject a fluid. It outlines the arteries of the brain to see if she has a terrible blow. damn and I shot that scene the n Y, you, the new york university, medical center area, where an actual neurosurgeon and his assistant- and I noticed something about the assistant, then this was back in nineteen. Seventy to one
the shadow yeah, the assistant, who was a male nurse in effect, had an earring and a studded leather bracelet year. In the workplace- and that was rare- and especially in a hospital setting- and I I just I didn't comment to anybody about It- I just took note of it as being strange. His name was Paul Bateson he's in the movie we're about four years later, five years later, I read on the front page of the new york daily news. I see Paul bateson picture and he's chair,
charged with several murders of gay men who body parts were found in the east river of new york in plastic bags, and I see it's. Who is this guy paul bates, and I know this guy and oh, my god, and I read- I see these being held it rikers island, and I see the name of his lawyer and I find these being held, because when these body parts came to surface in these plastic bags,
in very small print at the bottom of the bag. It said new york, university, medical center, neuro, psycho, psyche, logical neuro, psychiatric division and that's how they traced the bags and the pirates to him and they charge him. So I call his lawyer, whose name was in the paper and I said: look I directed the x. Justin and paula's entity said yeah. I know I said, would would Paul see me or would you allow Paul to meet with me here? Is I ask him and the answer came back yes and I had to go through about eight layers of rock receive to get into where he was being held pending trial for several murders and sitting with him in a room as big as this one. As I say it's about fifty times, I fifty here a proxy,
and I'm in a room with him and there's a guard outside not inside enough and we sit down. This is nineteen. Seventy eight or so the exorcist has been out for five years and pulse estimate. First thing he says is via has a film doing and I was doing great paul. It's still running, I said Paul: did you do these murders I said I only remember doing the first one. He said I was so high and the rest of these. I honestly don't remember, but I probably did cause they got me on these bags and the first murder was actually the theater critic for variety in new york. His name was edison rural area and Paul used to go to the s and m bars on the west side of new york, he'd
Yup, guys take him back to his apartment. They do a lot of dope and he'd wind up hitting them over the head with a frying pan, and then he cut them up and threw their bodies in these bags in the east river and he remembered doing the first one, but he told me didn't remember all arrest. I said how many were there. He said I m not sure he said, but they have asked me to confess to eight and they said if I can first aid they will lower my sentence and I'll get out in twenty five years. I said for eight murders yeah. I said what are gonna. Do gee, I don't know I'm thinking about it. He confessed to the eight others and got out twenty five years later he's around somewhere? He may listening to this broadcast, I'm sure he went into witness protection. I dont know
still alive or still uses the name Paul basin, but that's who he was and that's what gave me the idea for the film cruising And that in that move I was taking place not only these murders in the essen m bars, but. The mysterious deaths of gay people which did not have a name in ninety seventy eight, but by night in eighty, when cruising came out, it was eight I ve aids. So there were these mysterious deaths and murders and were articles by a guy called arthur bell in the village voice who wrote you know, sort of warning shots to gay people about not go to these buyers- and I happen to know the guy who is the head of the west side mob.
the italian mafia, who owned all buyers and he owned the mine shaft. Why little west streaming, is now a gentrified restaurant area and though I cited here again for tree he only the buyers and I went to him to his house. He lived light tony soprano. big fan of the jurisdiction, knowing didn't long idea any and is granted when you're running around on the floor. While we sat in the kitchen and he would cut up pieces of salami, and cheese. We need salami and cheese and talk about stuff and one day I said to him: and was Mary. I now mary Mary, the horse, and I said Mary. I want to talk to you. make a film in the mine shaft here, and he went like this. He put his finger in front of his mouth yeah and he
this handout stop. Dont say another word and then he said You working on another fill my kid and he changed. His subjects went to sub mouse and then we talked about another. Fifty twenty minutes we go outside I'll, walk you to your car. We walk out of the house toward my car. He first walked me in the opposite direction, because where my car was parked, he said you see da, we said without moving his lips. He said you see down the street there. You see that a little dark ford, there's two guys sitting down there and they've got binoculars on us, so they're going to try to read our lips, so we're going to go this other way for a minute. He said first of all, never talk about my business in my house, never say a word.
about my business in my house now. What do you want, and I said I want to shoot in a mine shaft. He said: don't write this down, I'm going to give you a name and a phone number. You remember this number and he gave me the phone number and the name of the guy who manage the mine shaft for And he should call him and tell him you spoke to me, you will have heard from me, so I called a guy. A few days later went down met with him and I had permission to fill in these bars with the guys who are members of this club. There were no actual extras. They were a guys into this. There were lot of them. Are members of a group called the f f, a the fist, fuckers of america, aha and the end? This was a private club and I film there for oh at least a week.
The stuff I filmed I couldn't use in the final cut. He has a heavy movie man, the story was heavy and you know a lot of people came out of the diamond said this is anti gay and it absolutely was not. It was civic. It was an unusual background for murder mystery. That's the only way I had you'd. Now I had also made boys in the ban some years earlier and a lot of people thought that was, and I gave was written by a gay man. It's a great play very funny. I think the movie we made is terrific and, I think cruising in its own way is damn good yeah, but it would These were obviously not anti gay films, but they were a peek behind the curtain of a culture that
too many people anywhere were aware, right, ma, of the reaction to cruising has changed as well. It's mostly positive Thou remember, went to live and die now I came out cause, I was excited. They made a new movie again, it was about the thin line between the policemen and the criminal me up or between an evil and that's my subjects. Quota was petersen, Billy peters, oh my god. I was his first felt first ira song. First film, he had a walk on as a bar tender and Michael man's movie thief witty I shot in Chicago yeah, but I saw him up at the toronto shakespeare festival the same guy. It brought me right shoulder said you gotta, go up and see the sky billy petersen do street kind name desire at the toronto shakespeare festival, and I said
Wanna see street car marlon brando owns the pirate everyone whose every diana just imitates brando nea, and he said this guy does not. He is unique and original and I go up there. I saw the performance. Guy was great. I met with them. offered in the picture. It's interesting now that I'm realising that they have always had a relationship with the in the films they like you, my boy, like birds, come for a mark. Nobody, I mean, like you should do you should place. I've done a couple boys in the band birthday party, the the real killer Joe, but don't, but you know these are. These are your most recent films. Great scripts tracy writes, is a genius leisure grit, while we're on the same page age is that we have the same world view we look at in a similar way. We of with an ironic view. but we are at
Lee disturbed by the same sorts of things, and we we see that in all there is this mystery of fate. That's a part of life and also the people often do stupid things unintentionally. That's what the point of view is that one of them, It's a too when I say we are on the same page. You and I are probably on the same pay me up. I don't know what you're PA, a teacher and I don't care, but I am Imagine we have a similar outlook. I think either. One of us suffers fools gladly right. swear tracy and I that's the point at which we meet you don't believe you know the codes right, don't believe the codes about like in terms of the emotions and the the visceral and violent nature, and this
duality of these plays in in and their very it's. It's not easy to shoot a plays a film. I would imagine, because a script in the pace is different. well. If it's a great script, it really does matter and you should not digital right. I shot shoot now on digital yeah. You have no problem with that. No, it's great. when they release the picture here. It has no dirt jaska. pictures no splices yeah. You can tomb, you can go into a frame of film and tune the color. You can make the sky, blue or or lighter blue. You can make people's faces warmer or colder stuff. You could never do from framed a frame with thirty five millimetre, so. Yes, I love it and by the way, over ninety percent. Ninety five per and are more of all the screens run only
Did you know? I know I know I just so. I guess I guess I romanticize the the the commitment. Necessary budgetary in an dent and technology wise to add two to film, most thirty five millimeter films and not in good shape enough to be seen in this light. You wanna hear: caruso sing on an old seventy eight hour, p m record now and his voice. As I get the needle scratch you that's what thirty five millimeter is compared to a digital print right or suddenly stream near on your computer right or ipad, or iphone in ten eighty, p high definition. It's beautiful, I think, and the five mill I've seen prince of my films. Okay, turn genome guy like very much he owns a theatre near
beverly here, and he runs only thirty fives and I've, given him prince. He actually He had bootleg prince of a lot of my stuff, cause me and asked me if it's ok to run on there and I cs as long as I don't have to be there and see it near coasts, thirty fives suck it listening to a podcast verses listening to radio, tiny little I'm thing thing that, yes, the plug into the wall had nothing but static near her. I now understand that. So I will the film the be seen as I see it through the view finder the camera. I dont want the project is to have final cod words of film breaks. projectors, as often use do indeed, after Splices it you lose frames
time you run a thirty five millimeter picture on a projector, it picks up dirt and scratches and often splices, and that, not build in yeah, but I know that there are a lot of people feel hale. That's what the way I saw it. That's the pure way I bullshit I want to see it clean, so these two points, you did what let's we I brought up earlier. The couple of things want to bring around in terms Working with actors goes, it seems like sometimes when you work with I like jones, that you you, you trust his instincts. He trust his instincts. There are other actors that you feel like you have to get in their head. As we talked about with the gene, gene and also into blair. and death by like it in. I noticed like right away when I was watching bug. You are not alone, give short shrift. It's on the other movies, I j d. What if I were, but you know that One. The best things ever saw her. Do oh she's, great,
in bug- and she understood that paranoia bug- is about the ability of two people. Who were who become romantically involved and why person past not only their world view and their goods stuff, but all their bad vibes to the other person. Reiner paranoia it's about mutual paranoia as deeply disturbing and involving the act. You were great everybody in it- were that guy mike Shan allow. What do you think I a nailed it and Ashley nailed it, and a lot of it comes from in her case, the way she grew up feelings that she had that I was able to tap into, but most he. She instinctively know who that woman was She had never been able to play anything like that. Like me,
mckenna he and killer Joe. She had most. You done romantic, comedies and sort of women's thrillers and with those it's like when you have these conversations with actors. Do you do you sit down at a quiet, place, yeah yeah, oh yeah, some really comfortable place. You know we don't do it in a restaurant or something we'll sit down in a quiet room, often at my house and occasionally at their house. I first talk to mokanna he about killer Joe at his house. then out in malibu. Here he's moved to Austin Texas back. The aggregate grew up, in the autumn. There is from east texture and
first time matthew, read killer Joe, he told me and he said it publicly. He threw it across the room into a big trash bin. He had in his room here he hated it and then the people that gave it to him said what you hated it. You better read this again. He said his agent and his lawyer said to him. You grew up with these guys. You know who these people are, and this is the different role that you're looking for and its in its own way. It's funny. It's really darkly humorous and so he read it again. He said, and he got it, you got it, called me and we met and we talk little bit about how my approach to it. I said I don't do take two unless a light falls in the shot or the camera tips over. There is no take to our way, sir. Just with these always I don't do take too
You don't let alone when allotted take thirty seven I use do every other swinging dick. Now that made a movie, I used to do endless, takes looking for a miracle and I get in an cutting room. You for a miracle on about take twenty seven and I get in the cutting room, and I see that the best takes were the first or second one the most spontaneous. They might be word for word perfect, but they had this. Bob navy, and so I tell the actor that's what I'm going for? So we talk over the scene, What is this scene about? And then give them a staging home, I'm do it and I'll sometimes use Therefore, in talking to an actor visa or
say things like: let's do it faster or slower or you know, let's do it. more quietly or louder. I have often done that, but I only stand there and try to bang. Takes many directives have said, and I agree with what's the secret of directing casting, if you have cast, the right people and you're on the same page with them. Probably gonna work here. So let's get back and closed with this. The You ve seen the shrouded turn oh yeah now I'll, given your fascination with Jesus and given your fascination with the story and new dog, easily done a lot of research which have interest in it. What what's your feelings on the shrouded turn I when I first erected the opera I'd ever to actual. A joy in torino about twelve years ago.
Men. You meet a lot of people socially when you come in as a director of an opera, are you my strong and it turns out that the people who controlled shroud of turn are not the catholic church, but the relatives of the savoy kings, who originally the shroud of Turin in france where they had their monarchy and in the third censure, they, moved and build a castle, in turn and a basilica and in basilica. They brought with them from third century france, the shroud that is, allegedly the garment, in which Jesus was wrapped when he was taken off the cross and placed in the tomb of owned by Joseph of aramis thea. That's the allegation
I met the last remaining relative of the savoy, a family. His aim is surge, do yugoslavia, surge of yugoslavia- he's a nice guy years in his forties. Then, here young attractive haven't used in the stock market. You know In italy, in various investment, and we met and became good friend proud, had not been shown to the public for over a hundred years, and he had control of who saw it and I stood pull his leg. I say surge. I lived in an apartment right. Ass from the basilica I say, sir, you gotta show me the shroud I'm dying to see the shroud no I'd never get to see right if not been opened the public. One day after weeks of this, where I'm basically putting him I'm here, he calls me on a thursday and he's
add on saturday after the noon. Mass you not rehearsing, are you I said no are. I said something like a move: the rehearsal, if I have to said, made me right after the noon mass, where a black suit meet me on the steps of the basilica Sherry too, were a black pants suit, not address into cover her head, and he said you were a tie and made me on the steps of the basilica Saturday. I said search, I dont have a black suit and I dont have a tie. He said a diet: coke! Yes, dark pants! Yes, where that now bring you a tie, we go to the steps basilica, the noon mass, let's out, and there is surge and his mother who lives in florida.
And his mother had a new boyfriend. She wasn't that old, and she wanted to show the shroud to her new boyfriend and they both live in florida. So surge arranged this private, showing for eight people which sherry and I were invited. after the new mass it completely. Let out a big black limits came around the corner with the bishop of pay monti, the region that they might be mad or be ninety region, and two or three priests. accompany him and surge said to us. You will have to kiss his reign and we kiss the ring Both of us and then we went inside to the empty basilica. And, as you walk toward the rather ornate alter, on the left hand, side
is a long room. Covered from inside outside with leaded glass. and from inside with velvet drapes that remained shut four hundred years, unless guys would go in there and surge handed the keys to this room to the bishop, who opened the doors they roll back the drapes, and now we are in a room. There was probably twice ass: big. Is this room fifteen by ten, probably thirty bite and the only thing you see in the room is just to the left of the altar, the only You see in the room is a painting of Jesus I dont know who it was by does not see. to be a well known or famous portrait,
and you see, a rug and the priests. There are eight of us and the priests roll back the rug and there's a foot pedal and the bishop placed his foot on the pedal at urges invitation and up from the floor rises. This table that's about fifteen feet long and it was covered after the rug, Israel, back its covered by a red velvet cloth within embroidered gold coin to fix- and they role that back and beneath law, the glass on the table is the line of a crucified man in blood. And the most current dna has shown that a
pretty good with the dna now that that image The crucified man is not paint, certainly not photography, began, Its existence has been known since the third century. Photography goes back to the nineteenth century. It in fact, is type a b lad, and it's an outline of a crucified man, including the outline of a crown of thorns and there's a outline of blood in the chest where the centurion spear is supposed to have gone and europe. king at the image of a crucified man whose, I'm, are crossed, but they have been nailed through and his ankles I crossed and with one nail through both ankles, You see the outlines
Blood of this image. and my wife, and I, Everyone else in the room burst into tears, I think of it now my eyes, tear up and we see what is the image of a crucified man. In other words, we see before us man's inhumanity to man, bang I dont know if it's Jesus delay. Dna has shown that the pollen on this cloth is from first century jerusalem. Now. The romans crucified thousands of people many of them call Jesus I don't know that this is Jesus. I don't know that there were that many people, or not
Who, with a crown of thorns this, I write, didn't and don't know. but I know that there were other Jesus exclusive. My wife and I, who are both jewish burst into controllable, tears and because the power of this image and then the bishop in Helen. translated by surge to us, started to it. explain the images in a In a clear way, it turns out that when you Photograph. If you, if you we were, I didn't ask to photograph, it But if someone photographs this. it doesn't show up it only showed when it was when the negative had been photographed and photograph of the negative list.
Like this. This is it yeah? I carry it with me. And that's the image that you get when you reproduce the negative A positive image does not photograph but when you look at it by, I You see this outline in blood of a crucified man yeah and did now well a few weeks or possibly, they're, so later, bishop job, paul the second wanted to see the shroud and he had a get permission, from the savoy, a family through the bishop of pay monday, and he of course, was allowed to come and see the shroud and. there were hundreds of thousands of people outside waiting for him to appear outside the basilica, and he can
Loud and he said words to the effect in italian that This is a very important relic of the catholic church he did not say for certain that this is the shroud of Jesus he did not say that this was definitely what is clear, forty said, it's a very important relic of the catholic faith in it be seen by everybody so they then opened it to the public. This is above ten twelve years ago and over two million people filed by this was shortly before Turin got the winter olympics and then I went back there to redirect the opera ida in october. It had been reopened again tend to years later, more millions of people file by, but I didn't go in then. Could I could
had been alone. With that image, you felt the opening of the original magic. You know that moment how you gonna, recapture that mom, never To me, with the way you described it in weather was real or wasn't that the mystical and patients and the historic, a goal. I in college magic of of of what it represents in what it could pass. We be and just the the procedural that one up to you experiencing. It was mine. Blowing Jesus did not want to be thought of as a magician and not one to be thought of. As someone who perform miracles, He was always quick to tell the people where these so called miracles occurred. Do not say anything, do not talk about this he didn't want to be thought of as a magician or a role player now
it's possible to interpret from that that I tell you, pay me don't say anything about what we talked about. The first thing you gonna do is go tell somebody that's possible, but you know What draws me to the ideas Jesus is not the miracle either the supernatural. Ray what drives me are the ideas, the thoughts that are expressed in his in his name. none of the other stuff upon which the religion is built. You know me born of of gin birth. None of that is really x. But you know I tell you that the mystery of eighth just blows me away. No one saw this man that by the way in those days in the time of Jesus, not only
single women but married women preach the gospel of Jesus and today they can't be priests, and this great new They have this liberal pope. I am being that he will change that, because women preached the gospel, the time of Jesus. Mary Magdalen, for example, only one example you considers a christian. No, I consider myself a believer in the teachings of Jesus. I I didn't. I The ritual is beautiful, find myself as I photograph. The mass in the exorcist. Jason Miller, saying the mass in a big, close up calmly and quietly and deeply felt. That's how I feel about it. When I went to church to prepare for filming the excesses,
the priest would dare rattle off the mass like it was rap, poetry, how many positive spirit of sanctity area. You couldn't hear the words in the name of the father and son son of holy go about it. Jason Miller say take this cup and drink from it. For this is my blood, the blood of the everlasting covenant. mystery of faith. He said it over and over again quietly slow in a clue,
It's up and you see the wafer, and he said for this. Is my body take this and eat of it, which is this ritual of the mass, but I broke those phrases down to their essential meaning because they moved me so powerfully that he was playing a priest saying mass and I didn't want him to rattle and off like a rap record, it was amazing, talk any mark. I I looked for word. To this I know cause I've heard many of your podcast and in a class by yourself, I'm not kissing your ass everybody's listening to this knows that and that Don't do this anymore, it was great. I dont do appreciate that. I dont do interviews, I've done it. I've said everything. Basically, I have to say there are usually the same quest
genes and humbled by the same answers, because I can turn my brain on auto pilot, but not when I'm talking to you, I thought great. Thank you. Ma am hundred you can eggs for inviting me thanks for coming bill. That's what you call a rat can to wear my friends. That's a story long story, woven together by a series of stories, like experiences threaded through thick I'd, like to thank, we infrequent being her. That was an honour and a pleasure, and I've got a deputy apart, Copyright, deputy a pod needs got a bunch of posters up their debts You're on the mailing list check the episode It's actually deputy, applaud, dotcom, slash, guide tissues on the show, get hooked up would be how happy for, archives, discontent
we'll get. I know you ve been through a lot as one shot, And the the boomer lives.
Transcript generated on 2022-09-07.