Filmmaker and hip hop artist Boots Riley wants his audiences to be radically engaged. He grew up with parents who were organizers and he believes political radicalism prompts cultural change. Boots and Marc talk about social movements, power structures, and how he wanted to take on all of it with his years-in-the-making movie, Sorry To Bother You. Also, Bobcat Goldthwait returns to the garage to talk about grief, getting older, and his new series Misfits and Monsters.
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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Is the all right. Let's do this: how are you what the fuckers, what the fuck buddies, what the fuck nicks what's happening? This is my podcast wtf. Thank you. Thank you for coming. Thank you for hanging out how's everything going with you how's, dr going how's the running going. How's your biking, experience how's, this subway. What's going on on the bus where you at? How are you doing out there with the yard work good to have you welcome, welcome, be careful with that tool. Please be careful with that knife. Please be with that. Scalding, water or attention. Pay attention- hey, don't worry your kids upstairs. Alright, I just wanted to expand the greetings a bit today is a
pretty pack show really couple of a film directors. a musician and film director, the other, a comedian and film director. Both engage commerce, asians bobcat gold twice as stop by for a short conversation that always turns into a a longer. Conversation with me cuz, that's just my nature. I guess what some people he's got tat, miss bits and monsters preparing this wednesday on true tee. the eleventh, sounds sure thing, but it is good to see Bobby because we are we and we had not talked about the passing of our friend- barry crimmins and I, and and just that experience and it got it got a little heavy, but grief is part of life and being there, somebody in that time is, is it's an honor in a way it sounds. a tremendous burden, and and sad undertaking, but I think, it's an honor, I think were built to to handle that
duff and and and were supposed to be there for that. I really think that, but I I don't want to get morbid or or dark. Great conversations so bobcats on the longer talk would be coming up after that with boots riley the the rapper you might, from the coup by day, he's got a new movie coming out. It's called sorry to bother you which he wrote and directed playing, theaters around. It opens everywhere this friday July 13th it's crazy. It's a crazy movie! so they butting in a good way very provocative. So, what's what's going, I'm with you how's it going very high here, it's very hot here, in LOS angeles and As we all know, those of us who are willing- except a certain amount of truth based in science, that global warming is upon us a I do. Don't don't touch that dial.
It's not going to be okay and we're all complicit. We all contributed yeah, granted there bigger conch contributors, I mean it in some of us, yet you know. Do we can. You know you bring your own bag to the supermarket, may be a buy. A hybrid or an electric car may be a stop eating meat, so there's not as many in cows in what used to be the rain forest emitting methane. That's it carrier rating whatever protections we have. I maybe you do what you can and obviously extreme Capitalism and industry is at the cutting edge of this. Even with reforms and regulations. We seem to just be plowing ahead into two 2a action oven. But it's thinking about how like Everybody involved in modern society, given a few yet beautifully self, righteous hermits, our compose and there's some element of our of our needs to be engaged with all this crap that day suppose we makes wife convenient entertaining but is very taxing to the environment, to make its just interest
to me that the us Part of us think so I can go like we're. Kids were like little kids trying to get away with something and at the core of that is the shame of knowing we fucked up so when it does happen. people. I I have to assume I'm be like well. I guess we saw this coming and we hedge our bets. We took a chance. We thought maybe Would adapt? Maybe there was some sort of press and set it at a time before our knowing of this type of heat, and we just forged on but didn't know we're all complicit. You know you get. to a point where you know you're doing everything you can did not feel shitty about what feels shitty inside you, whatever it is on a cultural level on a collective level on a group level on an individual level until it just he until you just come to a fork in the road in that fork in the road is the fuck it or fix it fork either. You gonna be like fuck it
This is the way we know with the rest of my life. I don't give a fuck and that type of aggressive self aware on purpose denial has, broad arc to it that can that can go from just. Paralyzing apathy and just all the way to fucking murder, and then you have fix it road, much harder. You got to make sacrifices, you got it. You know you got to change things. You got to help other people change things, so you know we are definitely add a pocket or fix it fork collectively and the fixing it things seems to be way at hand because of the way, the structure, Power dynamic is right now, but you can't drift into the into the fuck good time I know how to party. Do you bobcat goldthwait, the bobcat Bobby? at I go back. I remember seeing him.
When he moved away from Boston in his early twentyth, to become massive starry. Had a garage sale at stitches, comedy club- and I was there in my recollection- so was emerson student David cross. but he has over the years Bobby's done many movies. He directed a lot of television he's directed several episodes of my show. He directed one of my comedy specials. He directed some great movies. He did Last year's documentary about Barry crimmins who passed away recently and it with the sad but he's got a new show out it's on true tv. It's called bob gold, tweets, misfits monsters, premiers this one they join went in this is me: haven't you Bobby bobcat, Will you that very good me without a hat
in the corners yard jarring I dunno. If it's the first time, could it possibly be that way? Maybe, like it'd, been great like if I had like a big head of hair that has just been hiding all these years. I think I've been. I think I've seen it with a little more hair yeah, I mean, like I feel like I must have seen you without a hat, but I mean- Do you share it down there? Much now. I just said who we kidding oh really recently yeah, I like it. I think it looks better yeah, I know what I mean you got there, the strong chin grow yeah. but yeah I was pulling it and pull it pulls the focus uphold the phone everybody's. I didn't even notice he was bulk or so of success. Look at his face shin! I was thinking about this about how you start
your show where the guests always confuse our. I would do we start. I think I didn't ask the other day with boots. Rile initialized we'd go and equipment. We get our hour into it, but it reminded me of garry shandling show oh yeah as he was really big on that, like he would have that the tally light. You know the red light on the cameras off, when you go. Let's just talk about what we're going to do. This was for larry sand. Oh really yeah and you go, and you say this and I'll say that and and then use
are doing it and you'll knock the scene out, and you realize it was running you. Then he was really smart either that I think maybe he just didn't want me screaming right here, the only guy he did it well, yeah yeah. I I hope he did it with other people who turn the he actually muted the red light on the kenya. Yeah, that's great, and so you know when you're blocking and seeing the cameras are up and yeah, and then you go now. We we we got that one. I still don't know which one to fucking look at, I'm always looking at the wrong fucking camera on talk shows. If it's a three camera shoot. I guarantee I'm just looking at the one in front of me: yeah, it's it's and then they're in the air, you're a camel so were in the booth. China make sure people aren't they get their lines and why they don't want him to day and a tradition. but I always thought when they look out to the audience they should catch a camera. When you're saying goodbye, you should like you know, kimmel knows what you want to look at I'm looking somewhere else. I'm waiting to see who left a year a year to float
I yeah. This is really pretentious. I was a aston and hold up and I had dragged to the show for years. I really didn't do this is pavlovian yeah. I went chemistry the I really. I called camera dick Where was it really really was? It really was one camera three, because you were there for so long yeah. It's just this weird yeah, there's some so I got now that I'm I'm shooting more tv like it long glow. There are people real actors, error actors that have been doing it awhile. They know actually where their armor, they know exactly what you know for me like I'm, like which one were we on? For that? One. Was that my cover? I don't want that. I I've gotten better at like this. Is your coverage? I'm like okay yeah, I just worked oh melissa joan hart and,
one boy and I go let's swap lenses, but at fifty and she goes. Why are we putting a fifty like? She knew something was wrong: really yeah yeah, oh wow! Unfortunately, we had hired a child, well, why this story, who was replaced so I just started getting her coverage I had to replace a baby for racial relieves. Young John, if you're, afraid of replacing kids. Ah no, but I had the and god bless america. Baby gets shot in the first couple minutes. Oh yeah yeah. I remember that it's done tastefully says uplifting bobcat movie yeah, and so we go to to do that. Scene, give me an ugly baby like a crying ugly, a crying ugly baby. I pug and the king was cute, but the dead And then, and is this like what we shoot new day- and I got your baby thinking production. Maybe he a heads up what the scene entailed in they have.
guy so awkward, what he god Basically, we aim another five hundred bucks and Emily was cool, and that's where disturbing, but how can okay make it wouldn't cry covered in blood? No, no because I know it was the baby, wouldn't cry: that's you know why we shoot them. I mean it's a fantasy and stuff. I mean I like to dig holes at the beginning. It's weird! You can't make your baby cry on purpose either you just got to her weight around and I was taking toys away from it. So you are always having the dad walk away by then. I love- and I am a better man than this, but I really got down on my knees and I was going It's scary, yeah would cry as long do doing that industry. Is that debate it would stop cry. Eye was dangling keys over the camera, so the kid was looking up there going. Why did it
commercial long time ago, where I played some sort of coach and air yeah? They wanted me to get reaction shots from the key, and they were supposed to be sad and I have no children. I don't know yet like I get. Any heads were like seven or eight years old and new like one of my I said: do you like harry potter? yeah and I guess he dies it's moving and like and, like I, on the lunch break, the crew couldn't even look at me like I literally was like yeah. I don't see if they're moving away food yeah, I yeah I did that once a yeah, but I was just as a bunny rabbit for some wacky photo shoot eighties and I just thought it'd be funny. If the kid was crying yeah, hated me admiral. I hate that I am less your immigrant kids there's about the of forty five percent population has no problem with that. Yeah by crime. Babies are being taken away. My goodness it's a it's horrible time.
No shit, so what we have to we have to go into that. Let's talk about grief, I haven't spoken to you since Barry passed and- and I know he was your best friend and two lighters- so yes, yeah tomorrow is Barry's birthday. I just found out in inman square the name of the street really I just found out as I pulled up yeah, that's great. That's nice, yeah! it was you. Were there yeah Yeah. I was to whether his wife Helen for the four last couple of days yeah it was I've. Never I've never experienced I've, never the first time you've done any. You spend so much time with them with the documentary and with the whole process right well, what happened was and also there's a friend of his who was in hospice he came in, but for the last days. It was now he was in a well
is that a coma towards the end induced her not really because your your liver, when it malfunctions these toxins, go to your brain and it's terror, fire and pure barre fashion to like he just we were before when in a coma we're holding him down and there they kept giving him hard. Drugs here I come out began. He was just writhing and trying to pull absorbed in here. But you He he was no novice. I said it was three and a half hours of holding him god with us. I said it was like landing a marlin. It was an in the it was sad. I remember one point I was
it's holding his head and combing his hair is that it's it's okay, sweetie and then I was like I I mean that sounds. I sound like a ghoul, but this is the go: it's okay, sweetie and then, and then I said the hell and I said, he's really and because he should have punched me right now and I didn't even know I go through it. I was just holding his hair. Yeah, so he. He yet the end. Had been there and I and I wouldn't leave how in hand eaten in days- and I was trying to get an answer- I went out to get some and while I It's gone. He woke up and looked at her. He turned his head and looked over at her, and she says I love you. Everyone loves you, it's okay, you can go here and then I think I don't know what to make of that. It actually.
I realize now it watching someone. So. Why is an honor and I got up and then. it made me really chain my brain about faith? I really you know the fact that He waited for me to leave or whatever and I I love an idea who wants to be a third wheel? I feel like there is possibly some rhyme or reason to this madness because I was gone I was only gone for a couple minute. They had a couple days so yeah and that's when he went and he got to have this moment with her astray warner However, as we have been waiting want me, they're gonna write right. I did, but I did you know so she tax me get back here. Asap, And I come man and he's gone and she's crying and I go, and I have the sandwiches and I'm like what I miss
she did legged triple beggar thy life at all. She was really like, I think, she's like I see, that's do and then she burst out laughing while you're really say on this issue, as I bury, would love it yeah so so, and we just. and I think also to go through that I mean it seems to me from what I understand that you know it it's sort of a relief oh for not a pain. He was there and there's no coming back. As you know, on vat says in its it, sir, you, love and you're, seeing them in that much pain for for a long time, and then people it's just strange you know, he's not any machine. This pointed out is there to pass away right? Someone comes in, and there like, however, just blew,
and tape it's like they're asking. does barry have stairs at home does bury him as moses. This was like some administration person how, because he was in hospice and and I'm like just read the room- you know yeah. This is barry, he's not going up the stairs yeah. It's very. It is very, have a problem with his pogo stick. It was the worst of it I don't know how, where I'm at at at process, yeah, I mean like I've. I've read lately. I have a lot of anger towards a robin's past. every robber was the person who I was most in touch with all my friends around here and you didn't see it coming well, I mean he had lewy body, dementia is a disease which is, it was misdiagnosed as parkinson's.
so yeah for awhile. I did not see him taking his own life. Oh you know I told em up, you're not allowed to hurt yourself and but he didn't process reality in the way as the dizzy yeah, yeah and- and you know he was doing- you know- he's going to a couple of doctors. He was working on a program he he He was doing all these things, but you know I just lately announced I am talking to you about which we are at work: there's a lot of books in injuries and things- and my thing is, is I don't want to participate and it's not out of any other reason than I think just because I just You know I'm never saying to his son. You know zack yeah, I said you know, right when he passed away. I said no on the on the,
biggest stars in the world died and the same day your dad died, so that that's why I'm at is just this is a different relationship and People are going to remember them. However, I like getting it out daddy had his problems but beer. I mean I have said this used to be. people will say to me: you know his like: he did it to protect you. Suicide The comedian talked about suicide for thirty one years. You know. Sometimes we talk about other things. Hey! Congratulations on the Asco thanks. How would you do it? I think a car I think I'd do in a car, so I love that guy. I miss him and skye. Who is my friend and my mentor, and I made a movie about him and which is going to be difficult, but I think it also help
and doing a narrative film, which was the original idea for call me lucky. It wasn't a documentary, so you can do the all childhood, and you know I it's. I still. I haven't even really broke the story, but we're doing it that end I think I can end very hopeful. I mean it's, it's we, the hearings are you going to I, know, I haven't really figured it out, but I do feel. Like I mean the documentary call me lucky was dealing with the darkest of dark subjects, and I do still think we it's too at the end, make it up lifting and hopeful sign nobody died. so You know you're not the first to say this, because he and I discussed this and I was like well. I got an ending to the picture it got here. This is so so Do the movie, I'm writing it with judd, apatow and he's producing it for call me lucky yeah.
to do the the narrative version which originally robin for him did to play and unravel and said or heading the old you should make documentary gave me the money to start call so berries. Really ill and he's he drags me into the kitchen and I think he's going to tell me that he loves me now or that he's going to tell me that carol. Helen he's got something important and I want mark ruffalo to play me in the movie. I know I don't want to talk about the movie right now and he has. I want mark ruffalo to play me in the movie. I want Chris pine to play me and he's like who's chris pie. How do you know mark ruffalo chris pine to play you? Then he goes. How do you know mark ruffalo? He goes. Oh. I really like him when he speaks at fracking demonstrations.
Sara is a good choice. You reach out a no, I I gotta gotta write it and all that yeah I know I sound like a cool about make cracking jokes about now you, the allies, like a comedian what're, you gonna, do we ass, like you sell we process, grief, yeah, the comedy is- is always helpful in easing the the the We had pain of it. I mean I don't think it does anything to stifle it or if it- and I don't think it's inappropriate, but I think the funny as is our. Maybe it depends what listeners make of what I have just said, but in our hands. It is kind of acceptable, but when a lay person as to crack a joke around these yeah. It's very horrible. Unless it's a really good job, I'm not saying they shouldn't try, but I can go really poor hurricane, it's one, those aides, it's one of those zones where I think at times behavior odd, behavior. Yours too, The time is a sort of forgiven.
When somebody's in your leveled by grief, yeah who the hell knows what's going to happen. My dad showed up at his father's funeral. Just the know cracking it's run around me, have swipe and backs. I think he was manic, but but that's another snow, but I, but what I I witnessed that year, it just seems like some people the appropriate other people like monster slack, the relaxed, bothy or there's money in love or its yeah? That's bananas yeah now I is cinnamon writing a piece on you. believers apiece! Yes! Now this show, like you, ve, been trying to make this for a while france about seven years ago I went out we're saying what kind of show would you make a nice? I want to do an anthology and basically
They wouldn't validate my parking, let alone finish the meeting. You know it just really now yeah I went to certain places. I pitched an anthology series and twice in meetings, people say well. What else would you like to do? And I said no, that's it I mean. Why is there an aversion to an anthology series, because I don't think people can follow it or that a dot m that he's the one thing about you that I know, and I said this. I think I started a cinnamon talking about you is is that You know you drive if you direct television, a sort of a weird utilitarian job like in a lot of times. Are you just do it the discharge authority got. A format shows gotta look the hour, you just go and you go in the shot here, but I said you're one of those guys that no matter what the situation is, your toe run so deep that you can feel it no matter what thanks so you you know, so I guy would think that. But who am I to assume that executives would understand? That's how I would think that an anthology show with your specific tone:
especially where it ended up a jar sort of a a horror thing or weirdo thing. It would be good. You know well yeah I mean I. I truly believe that it's the fact that other anthology series came out so now they think they're comfortable, doing that But I do think true is trying to give me a license to do what I do so they like we're? How many family other places did you go? What was that the journey? Like me? I went at this time eleven guy when I manage riyadh sheet she's the one that took me out and we went to places an unlike seven years ago. Now it was, at receptivity. There was a couple other places that were interesting, see dementia seven years ago, and then you just bailed on it for a while. Yet on the backburner, some comedy specials a movie and the show- and I'm always writing like. I always write more movies and I write the theirs besides, it is, but I wrote eleven other outlines you. So I just like to tell stories so
what is the show explain to him? It is each week is completely different caste different genres, different genres yeah. Judging from it's I like to take- and I realize this goes all the way back to shakes- you know- that's a noir film, making fun of comedians clowns yeah, it's a satire about comics as noir as clowns yeah, so it's yeah and that same kind of thing goes into. This show like there's an episode with David Keck mirror is like a he's a used car salesman, it's in the seventies like the candidate or all the president's men, there's a cub reporter they run this guy, who does his own tv commercials, one of those guys as president he's a werewolf, and I, the toddler werewolf yeah and you'll find that I'm assuming until midway know right away when they're asking to move anything. We should know that is going to bite us in the ass in the campaign. He goes. Oh yeah animal werewolf
he's talking about cheating on his wife rallies though he thinks on a toddler when I was aware of- and it's like well that was perfect in the end It's a private meeting that the yeah yeah, yeah and so ensure you know I mean I don't want to ruin the episode for folks, but you know it it. It does break the story and he's like I'm a werewolf, but I'm an american first actors nixon near her. I know it's funny in america loves this werewolves, so, let's That was a seventies. It was things smash together. I did do there's always a twilight zone characteristics in ripped. No more twilight zone could hear tells of equipment that show, but someone would do something evil and they get their company right. So the format slightly predicting around this show that evil people succeed.
Occasionally there endings, where you're going well. That's I feel I feel dirty that I'm out I, which I like I I went back and twilight zone. Those those half an hour are the ones that we tend to remember and stuff. So there's like one, Oh that one's more like an mgm musical but she's a a racist mermaid. Basically I sat there and Weeki wachee florida. Did you see like a music like a musical numbers and did you saturate that color and yeah that's the whole goal? Yeah shit, yeah? Oh great, I did I'm canny worked on some.
of undoing, there's one episode, that's almost I animated and how will it yeah but there's so the at the seventies when we got the musical one with neptune and we've got an all, almost all animated one. So that's three, but there's anyone! That's there's another one. There's has an animated character, it's like rodger, rabbit and cape fear. And it's very violent and seth Green plays a guy. Who is? the voice of a very popular beloved cartoon bear and the bear comes to life cause he hates the way makes him sound and wants to kill. What what? What? What are you gonna make? We started out some funding for kids I tell you to hell, has great they all noise. We have very like the when I realized at Chris Collins. Remember. Chris comments made a lot of his money doing voice our recited boy, parent
no, I see you a good day may give. The committee was revel agenda with dark. Yet Satan is advocating your children. Well, it's funny, because I in the episode of the bubba the bear abkhazia and kind thought. It was influenced by Tom. Kenny is been my best friend since I was six folks and spongebob in a lot of other characters, voices it wasn't I finished the episode that my daughter, who is the costume designer on the show she was like you didn't get that that's you This carrier that almost kills you you can't escape. He wrote.
and yeti. I really been. I was like. Oh, it's yeah. It is that's a it's exciting when you don't do that stuff on purpose hell, no, and and often when I'm writing these things. I read them really fast and I don't think about why even the movies like us later on I'll watch them in the eye and it'll be pointed out to me. It's like that's you as I, oh, I really didn't. It seems like it's a comedic answer to black mirror in a way yeah. I I hope I mean I like black mirror. I had to stop watching them, so I wouldn't be influenced and I'm sure it has helped get it going. Probably in your a fruit baskets eggs for helping the green but yeah it's comedic, most episodes. There is some sort of subtext and there's. Hopefully, it's funny there's always a great thanks man. it's fun rolling it out and starting to show it to people for the first time I was at. Firstly, we show episode and one thing that I didn't count on: it was nice
people like sitting there they're laughing, but people got caught, and they were worried about the characters like there was tension in the room, gem, which I understand. Are they the means? The characters were grounded in some sort of reality, even though that a giant animated bear trying to kill, but part of me is like going wow, this is cool. Another part of me is like I just talked to Seth green he's fine Also like the fuck is wrong with you. The cartoon tv show what's going on in this world. It's so not real, not real, so yeah it's the misfits and monsters I did eight of them and I don't want to work on the barry, narrative and finishing up ron funchess special that I just shot in did a pilot for comedy central for some friends of mine, fuck, yeah good man. I truly did think I didn't know
well you're, probably the same way. What what would I be doing at this age? Yeah I like I, I didn't I didn't know- I'm just happy to be making a living yeah, there's but I I you I walked. Away from everything and away. I stopped auditioning. Doing things because I really did like being behind the camera, but when I started making telling stories, I did it with a crew from craigslist, and you know- and I didn't do it because I want to be reinvented. I just did it cuz, I left town Is it an now at this point to be getting pay it and getting a chance to tell more stories, really awesome it's great? I you know I I dunno, where I thought I would be I I didn't. I didn't think it would be good right, yeah, but today this morning it hit me it's like you know what I paid bills for
I got to work. That's the thing, no matter what you think your standards are at certain point: you gotta survive, yeah and there's something to be said for that, and you have a talent, and you know that you do a well. You know if it's not working out the way you want to work out, what the that's just the way it is boo, hoo yeah! Well it's great to see him in It's great to see you thanks for stopping by thanks. All right that was bobcat goldthwait talking about, among other things, misfits and monsters premieres this Wednesday July 11th on trutv. Can you dig it? Can you boots? Riley does a lot of things? and did what what he's here for two days to talk about his new film that he wrote and directed sorry to bother. You camel talk a bit as music and other stuff and common friends in the bay area and he's and you know, teach me some things that needed to learn.
But that was great, seeing him in a him in a long time. I don't know him, but I did interview him once before years ago and nice to have over that we had to a fine chat. So this is me and- boots riley the. So where are you living now, same place, oakland california, you do so you just now. You just coming down here to promote the movie yeah, I have been going here. A lot. You know, just doing post right here. Yeah, but yeah promoting the movie on putting last minute, was up all night last night, pulling last minute tweaks to the mix of the soundtrack, really yeah contact. I'm a little full right. This second, I'm not but it'll happen. If I stop
walking for too long I might fall asleep. I had. I came over the other daddy, I think you know nato, green yeah, yeah yeah yeah. He was over here down here for a couple of days and he stopped by for a second. I know I saw that and come out yet come out in there too yep lmao! That was like the patch up of a quiet few not a feud, but between you and me we were friends, there wasn't a feud, but How far back to you? Oh he's, an okay guy right, yeah, yeah yeah! I mean he, you know he's chicago and came to the bay area because he thought nobody else was and so he could do allow their over like an arms as if ever I think he did say something. That means- and I pay here you know like he could take over the bay but he had walked out on. I did this. I did, this weird show like a few years, go they ass, like theatre, theater, sort of experimental,
they called the coup shadow box with multiple stages it and want us song call. You are not a right and when the lyrics say you are sitcom based on a torture chamber, so in this crazy show when I say that lyric all the school off in the place, and then this other stage lights up here and it set up like a sick calm here with the torture chamber ray and it goes brown pop up by and then people do this not funny totally funny thing with a laugh track here with the torture. It's not supposed to be fun right, you're, not supposed to sure nobody's going to laugh right. It's a it's a big broad, satirical punchier, but I think you know I who to come out to play to be one people in that at it's heart right for a community people, yeah yeah.
in this case he was one of the torturers and I think he didn't get the fact that it wasn't like that. no matter what joke you tell ya, it's not going to be funny like people are going to be like what the hell is this and that's. Ok, he thought you set him up no mean I. I told him what it was yeah. He really didn't. I didn't like that, and so in between shows. I got a text from him saying I can't do this any split. Any split, and I understand why? Somebody would do that like this, he thinks that sinking ship. None doesn't want to but in the middle of a live, show innumerable lives he's right here now, listening to this mad that I'm bringing it up, it'll be, but he is a good friend yeah. I saw his one person show in oakland that that was a that was a great show he's doing well haven't talked to him in awhile, but now what with that life show, because it seems like that. That seems to be part of that-
building blocks of what brought your mind to this movie who have with their live shows. It took me six months to make happen. It was fine and I want to see it happen again, but I don't want to be involved in it I would like you know like in that thing. You know, was part of helping build the set in reality for fisheries, whereas But no that wasn't the building blocks of this. I started out in film school. You did What would a starter before that? I started out in theater, but yeah, and when did you come from originally you originally from oakland yeah I was. I was born in chicago moved to Detroit, So when I was one year and then to oakland first time when I was six, so you were really young. Yes, I've been there for a while and what was the scene like? Well, your folks doing my my parents a radical organizers, really yeah. And my father came up in the civil rights movement he actually when he
twelve he joined the naacp and by virtue of that can the founding member of the durham chapter of the n double acp in north carolina, yet hahaha, one thousand two hundred and twelve really, and he and and he tried to get his church support the civil rights movement and they said that was blasphemous for him to be in church, suggesting that they get involved in worldly things. A lot of people you know have the assumption that the black church was very involved in the civil rights movement but They weren't, that's why they needed something like the southern christian leadership conference to be like. We are the peat people in the black church that are down for so it's right right so yeah one core, and then he can. to the bay area with core
well, that was, he had graduated high school by then Is he still around yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah he's he makes he's in in the movies stir in the movie, so is he comes here met a fact he was the san francisco state strike in nineteen. Sixty eight that created studies and that's where he met danny glover, Also. They go way back and front yeah, oh wow. In the end and your mom, coming from where my mother died a few years ago, sorry and she she's from new york. So they were both radical community organizers, yeah yes I guess in a way, what does the word radical is impose radical than just an immunity. So you know my father's politics have changed from that, so you know. I know that he probably would want me to put that Abby in there, but he
yeah I mean he was involved in revolutionary organization called the progressive labour party was at a socialist organization reason here, I'll go no, it was everywhere yeah. He was in chicago with it in detail It was a full time organizer in Detroit stayed out of there. The panther scene, yeah he wasn't in. He wasn't in the panthers, he he helped as part of Kathleen cleavers campaign. At one point, but you no so you have a real history of of of of radical engagement. You can up with it. yeah by the time I was. Eight parents were burnt out of that scene, Maria that so but because I knew about you know you get tired. Organizer yeah you're in became a lawyer. Did I got a civil rights lawyer. He does
as well, and that's what he's known for, but he initially was a criminal defense lawyer. He thought of that as being just as important. Yet definitely yet, and so he was a public defender. Do you feel like wait when nate when you say burnt out? Do you feel like you? Have you talked to him about? You know that the arc of the sixties, I mean what did they feel like that? there was a different way to fight it or that that things have gotten too chaotic or or why thank you know what happens in many organizations and have seen that through organizations that I'm in is they implode because they're humans, Ratan and and not only that, not not that it's all destined to implode, but this did their destiny dust, the destined to have conflict, Deah and heavy com and when you have heavy conflict and Things are at a low mia, then ends up
while the splits and then you end up splitting into these tiny organizations right, you know, I think in the sixties, or what the left we became was mainly focused around spectacle. Whereas, like say forty years before that it was attached directly to class struggle and the labor near near which, which meant that you are telling people working class that you have leverage power right, that there that it's not just about raising your voice and saying I don't like this, that you know you are you you have your your powerpoint is in your economic system and not just in you know, because, right now, when we say you have power numbers, we imagine that there's one hundred thousand people in the street carrying signs and that's what does it, someone gets shamed into changing policy, korea or something like that and you know the reason that they were demonstrations in the twenties and thirty is cause. They're like these are fifty thousand people.
Shut down your industry via right. I did then strikes all over right. to build the unions, not just the build the union's, but yes, they they were too. I mean the building. The union's was was a to an end. We as these. This was at a time when their leaders those labor struggles. openly radical in calling for social change and that that these, ex were not only raising wages but but building a power base by which to sure and policy changes there were it's going on all over the country. There was in Alabama Utah colorado, Montana. These play we're called hotbeds of communist activity by J edgar hoover. These are places that are red states. Were those people's grandparents were read, write labor a radical right labour organizers in part of the way from radical, not not even just part. I mean not
Think of the labor movement. Now it's pretty liberal right. These were folks who were there in that time they were openly calling for the change getting rid of the capitalist system and and and and so not than in the mid west, you had people occupying factories on the west coast. The longshore men were howling for their union and fighting tanks and in the stop all of that. You had, and you had this thing called the bonus march, which was unrelated to that to a certain extent, but it was, it was happening at the same time and added to the there. What, where world war one veterans via marched, many of them armed to the white house to demand their bonus, pay and got met by tanks by general macarthur in that oh mill, you that was happening. That's where we got the new deal, not by electing the right person right right
I'd like protest and not just by protests by because because people were withholding labor for two to make too to get wage changes, but but also showing that the could cause damage to the bottom line right right, which I think even them conservative person understands that this system, that that the people who Have power in this system? Are the people with money right right here? So we are the people. Give them the money right, united and not just through our buying power but through well, when we worked so after the twentieth the twenties and thirties at a period where radical was in the? U s, wanted the? U s to go to war against hitler. there was the united front against fascism, and part of that whole deal was that radicals in the? U s would go underground like and not fight,
the: u s. While they were fighting hitler right and that backfired, because then, twelve years later, you had the are the era where they were like? Look at all these, people that are hiding who they are, whereas twelve or fifteen years before, they would have been able to say that he will be like yes dummy. I know they're a communist because they told me and they've been working with me and we've been right trying to buildings ashes, yet so the mccarthy, era combined with atrocities, I found out about stalinism and really the cpu essays non Response to it via arm was what broke the biggest radical organization up in the u s and made all these little groups that became the the new left of the nineteen. Sixty three left, the nineteen sixties response was basically like being we are radicals, we are revolutionaries and, and these words
directly related to the previous innovations yeah. However, they focused on students for the first time in street yeah. You heard students are, the revolution in italy was not historically accurate. It was not without any other revolution had been been made. Up to that point was by focusing on students- and so they move people to the cities and away from those areas that that then I left alone made midwest and not just the midwest, but you know places like on ten january alabama here you know, and they were there. They are. Urge from you is what that fight was given up right. So Now you have something where students are focused on and everything is about getting people into the streets, yeah right right and, even to the extent that sometimes when they're getting people into the streets are about like what, by some windows. Even that's just spectacle right. It's not! You know for the, however,
was a causes. Some damage does not cause anywhere near as much damage to The bottom line as withhold labour for re a grade or I do or wherever you know- and and so on spectacle aim, the way that we did things, and so radical started, hiding started hiding in academia, hiding in art and of which I am one of them were what means spectacle. It seems that let you know if I from no his worrying or anything, but I have been watching stuff weight than the vietnam war that the actual spectacle, though it didn't check the bottom line once it provoked vine, in the streets and enough tension for people. become aware of what was being fought. It was it had. There was some success there, he that's where I disagree with. I feel that line in Europe your file
Are you you're saying the thing that a lot of very smart people have said? But I disagree with that yeah, and I think that I mean, slab again a centralized, so yes sure- their victories one in different kinds of ways, but I think that one, we do when we do that, it's worse, when we say look, let your voice be heard. That's ok! That's what can do what we can achieve our saying: that's all you can do we have and then we are. We are as we are reinforcing this idea that power works with a conscience You know that power somehow I it's to whom yeah and an end and that there is some sort of democracy happening when people get out street and then I think its import
for people to get out in the street to let each other know doing what they issues are right and things like that. But that's not the thing I have been involved in in calling people out to things where you know thousands people come out and then some of them people that are new or like ok, what now right, the organizers kind of can each egg I don't know we didn't. You know here and an it's, because the left I've been hiding from going away from class struggle for the past fifty sixty year and a half in hiding and academia gnar to say, and what I mean by that is yet these jobs. When you do them, you end up wanting to give yourself an excuse for only doing that because it takes a lot of time takes. Time to review your professor to write a book and teach these classes and stuff like that. So and if you are an artist where you know you end up doing
stuff that inspires people to become artists and academics right so you're saying on some level. You know even even your involvement by debt, but it seems like that there there's a muted result that you that if they, if they are not in the streets and working with the people and and they're just writing, books or or inspiring students, or or or raising awareness through, music, not eating. I'm not saying that that people aren't also in the streets I'm saying what we what what we focused on here are these you know so a lot of what has been now comes to be thought of as what the left is about are these things are really inspired by academic circles. the need to be out of the illegal. We focus on linguistics focus on. You know the terminology that and cuz. It's all we have right now
you're not saying that we shouldn't talk about those things right, but Is that like I mean because I know that in in your music career, that is the the sort of push Capitalism is always a theme all the way through Yeah I mean I think that that's the same sort of many of the problems mere. I think that that, in its Not just because I've pit something and I see it, and I think that what what politics than souci allergist will even say is that culture comes from the way that we survive. You know like it, it's it does its just something: that's genetic or would it so the things we do the way we say things the way we come. It's it's built upon a base. Beyond a base of how we survive so fishing images, create fishing songs right like it's not like you.
Wow. I really don't like fishing songs, and I really wish that this village would start singing agricultural saw erect. You can teach them called. songs and they mail they made, like the two, but the fishing songs are going to just feel better because they're connected to the way that they live run they're going to keep coming back, you know and the way our life is organized marry that we survive is based on flotation and there are three things that grow out of that and they're they're. You know racism has a utility. Do you know scientifically say I have test group I can say that racism would not exist outside capitalism, but I know that now- what would be a What we're trying to fight against has a reason to exist. and has a reason that it's promoted right now,
an end so and whatever reason. Okay at this point, so One way to talk about it is: let's talk about cop shows. Cop shows are, I believe they have a function and their function is to tell the viewers and to put the I'd dear out there, that poverty is created by the bad choices of the impoverished that you know these the that that these crimes that there I didn't find, are being done because people haven't figured out the right path right right here that that it doesn't come because, We live in an economic system that necessitates poverty that that must have a certain amount. You know, capitalism must actually have a certain amount of unemployed people in order to survive. They need that
army of unemployed people in order to threaten your job. You know places like the walls journal they will openly. I worry when unemployment rate, starts, going down to low, because that means you know, there's a direct corral. Sure, between wages going up when we when unemployment goes down because there's less risk of you losing your job and people ask for more You know if there was complete employment, nobody could fire you because they couldn't replace you right, and you know and and so your wages for you wouldn't even need a union struggle right, and so go down. Wages go up anyway. cop shows It is having nothing to do with the economic system. Having that poverty is basically choice. Right and It comes from. This call
that are insufficient. We all know here bad containing bad family, bad neighborhood. Just some, and that's really iraq I can hear you know and in these are the racist these racist tropes, to say to to not just prove something about people of color and black folks to prove the system is okay and you white guy. That's making nineteen thousand dollars a year. Why? you're, actually middle class. That's what they're saying bright, had nine entire here and then to you're. Not like your poverty. Is you you're smart? you know right right, you, you got credit This is not who you should be a and you if you do see yourself as impoverished, it's temporary?
cuz, there's, no way that you are making bad decisions, I get it in zero. Yeah when you start noticing the stuff I mean a having. They be brought up in a house where these issues are constantly around and it's funny because actually in my household, they they weren't. I think The one reason that if, if you look at folks with radical parent yeah they're not usually involved in stuff later on. They fit kind of go the other way, not the other way. They're not alex peak eating, but you know they aren't. Really involved a lot because I, One danger that happens is then I have to check myself with my kids yeah, because one danger that happens is you are so entrenched in trying to change the way things are that you want to get a head start with the kids, a hot art telling them all these things about.
world is in bright in it in those ideas, become yours and are not there's a hand arm so they try to find their own way. Maybe they're not going to join so they put it back and into the extent that maybe they don't push back, but the the ever something outright unite right. Did you do that? Well, the reason that I didn't is because that wasn't done to me right, like I did but you may or may not. I was aware that when I went to- the summer project to help out the farm workers were organizing and I raised his farm workers union- that with my father and I went by my own. I mean not on my own, but where do you know I knew that he wouldn't be mad at me, money now, I know you know but I didn't really know. I learned what the politics of all that was from other people,
he never like, sat me down and said this is the way the world is growing at a fat. I remember ray dawn me and my friends really the movie aussi red diarrhea, and that was a perfect time for him to tell me what how bullshit what bullshit it was there and you he had some sort of light thing about it, being you know, gearing you know getting people to accept militarism and yet, but that was the the the most that he ever said. I remember that in it and it really just as like, whatever that you know we gotta be prepared for when the russians attack yeah you bought the yeah, yeah yeah was, the decision dig to get into you say and theater early on yeah my grandmother on my mother's side ran the oakland ensemble it or oh yeah in the seventies and us and so I was around that I saw a I remember her doing like flash gordon and like things that a couple of things
that were cool. The other stuff was like, oh, like what like more people talking to each other if more already stuff or more don't even know, because you're at that age, there's a couch, onstage, yeah, yeah and there's somebody with a hat they're talking to each other like ok, but you like the spectacle like you the bigger move near your show, em in that that seemed like others, carrying hagan yeah yeah like that, but it's exciting right to see the stage and you kind of, and that was inspiring to you yeah I mean think it was. Of course tv was the thing you, like you, did could see that year, their acting in mere how that kind of stuff, but yeah, I think later. On p, being creative around you and just it being a thing. That's ok to do here where that's are few in high school, yeah,
I I wrote a play yeah, which is probably also where I started a for high school. They did the teacher wanted to west side story yeah, and so we made a r version of a car east side story and it had wraps in it that I had to write. And I was my first time and people in both these areas he's got some. I got news for you. Feels like your your, your your style. You know it is pretty it's honest Intelligent patriots is straightforward, like I don't feel like when I listen to your music. That you're, affecting anything I geared not being affected, lionel not happening on an affectation. Why you don't have a character presidia? I don't know I mean, I think we all do love course, but I mean you're not doing it on purpose. You know that yeah oh no, I mean yeah you're right that that, deal with intellectual things.
Dana and you make them understandable. They dessert party, you not. Unlike the the conversation we just had that feels a need to educate, yeah right, yeah. I like hearing myself talk, especially with these earphones, I would just try to make it sound a little better than yeah yeah. No, no yeah. No, I'm really interested in those things. Interested in connecting to people and then I in people engaging with the world, which we back to my movie, which the main character, Based on someone, I know kind of is really you know it is it's one of the few Movies with people of color, where the well, you know one of the main motivations that the character. Harry s is has to do with figuring out wise here.
And what then, in wanting to engage in the existing the question their leader movie called sorry to bother you, but is names with Keith right lakeith. And who I love very easy is very funny raillery actor. I do. I do, I think, like you're in the show atlanta I don't know him, but I like to He does on that show, and I liked the work that he didn't get out like, I think, he's a great actor, but he's also got very unique timing to yeah he's a that's. What I love about him is because, he's not worried so much about what he looks like on the outside he's just worried about feeling the thing that he's supposed to be feeling that comes up with him, doing things that are a little bit Strange right has he's not thinking about that and it works a lot better because
you don't, have somebody raising their eyebrow and saying I'm confused right now. You know, like yeah, he's got his own timings in his own, his own time zone regime yeah, which makes you yeah It makes it more believable engaging to be reminded me, like I dunno did you ever see, putney swope, you know to every lies. I entered they ever since I got into this. You know went through the sunday labs and are you did here as at work? I will you you apply with your script. Haha, and I don't know even how they choose or whatever haha I applied once and didn't get in, then I apply with the same movie yup. You know. I've made a few changes. Aha, and with this griff, sorry to bother you, okay and then I then I got in and then what do you do there and their people? are masters of their craft. sit around and talk. One on one for like a couple hours at a time about your script, that they've read and they talk
each other and kind of who were the people. Let's see so we had walter mosley, joan tewkesbury, who wrote so so you're sitting with these people at you know with your script, a bright you're in in in what and how long is the lab? You guys eat it's just a matter of workshop, so there's two last time I went through both the the the screen latvia and the and the directors right and so the writers lab, which you do first and then you to the direct as you ever done, either read. a written. A scream was my mom yeah. The oars directed yahoo I had never. Britain is screwed. my period whether it became a movie or not right, and I didn't done. I called directed a music video and I went to film school and had been involved in all kinds of different art. Poured you gotta fiscal san francisco state
so it that I gave for four years two years I quit probably after two years, because we got a record in San francisco. Going is film school at san francisco state is not like going to film school in allay or new york. like I didn't know anybody that had made their film at the time There is one person that a couple years later came out of their made a film called dry long, so but I know people that were making their films whereas an end. the people that I knew were getting jobs at ireland, and that was not something to do industrial light and magic are out there, Lucas yeah so basically they really is definitely an interest to you of to you by the even yet for music or alongside and I take it was actually was like. I don't know
It's all just one big creative mess and I'm always doing the thing I can do you do yeah. You do a lot of stuff with your own groups and with collaborations and with ensembles I mean you seem to be a guy that just likes to keep creating yeah, it's it's fun and it's a it's a way to talk to people and kind of cut through. style I mean to put put style on what you're saying, are you saying it to people? I mean you know I like to think that it's just or you know some lofty reasons, but you know I grew up addicted to tv and addicted to movies in but it seems to me like one out of it like, but like they're they're like I was saying before that it's not even teacher thing or an educator thing. Is that not unlike a comedian- and I think that the new movie this movie, are bother bothers? It is a comedy he. We eat as many
I know I don't know how you class ii, I don't either actually bite, but there are definitely comedic Elam area because of the tongue. I want people to be laughed out of. That means it's thing is. Is it not? Unlike a comedian which is my trade, you see to understand for yourself and share that understanding without yes and did the way you see the world and the struggles that we all face. That comes from Your point of view. The way you understand them is what you're sharing with other people. Yes and any in that comes to in the music and it comes to in this- and I would say this other thing that I have decided about reality is that you know a lot of times. Analysis The analysis needs to be about heightened and showing contradiction right. You're like this is how this works:
rio right you and an how something works with things pushing against each other ten ten year and that contradiction is a lot like irony- and I think I ain't the comedian so Tell me, I think, irony is very connected to comedy it can be yeah sure, I think also, though, but like in my mind in terms of looking at this movie, remember that movie they live John carpenter of that movie. I felt some of that in this movie. Okay, in your movie, yeah that you know that you're walking by things where you sorta, like dogs, you see what they just. You know what I mean when you take note of that year, oh well, I wanted. I wanted it to be chock full of detail right and- and I wanted it to I I want. To end. This is going to be I realise, as I've said it a few times and as is coming out, it sounds pretentious, but I won to feel like a novel in a certain way sure out in the novel, in a sense of. Why did this person make this movie like arrival, but in the sense that you know there's all of these
details that really build up up in an you know like if you, if it, it's a lot of my favorite writers. They won't just say he went to the. Just off the top. garcia, Marquez, tony morrison, salman rushdie, Michael and dodgy. Oh yeah, Michael ondaatje, palm folks, like that I have this really syrupy details at the end in in what they are. Writing a lot of layers yeah so so like they want to say I he went to the store, they'll say He sauntered slowly to the store holding his. Of coffee right in that cup had twenty before been used by his grandmother to murder his grandfather, you know and yeah yeah, a producer of a movie when you try to do the film that it's. Why do you
of all that stuff, Joe I'm at the store you now bright and we wonder at put some of layers and yeah end, because one people watch movies turn over now I mean, if they're, good enough, sure and eye eye yeah. I wanted, to figure out a way to not simulate real life, but to have things that felt like real life, keep people on their toes and not knowing when to go to the bathroom right and because it does floating is one, that's not it. It doesn't feel like it's day, but it could be next week, the one in terms of where culture is as clear and Well, the thing is I I wrote it in. I finished it the first time in twenty twelve and we put it out on MC sweeney's in two thousand and fourteen, but the script yeah really position. We publish it as its own paper back book, but but packaged with the quarterly
with the e s are you are you into him with them with eggers in that crew cause yeah? I ran into him on the street and I had the script and was going to put it. I was, throw my hands in the air and was going to just put it out on the internet and I was like well, I wanted to be as tight as possible. Could you read it? and give me some notes: he read it and then they give you. Dave. Eggers give you some notes his note is an email with one line, saying this one of the best unproduced screenplays I've ever read leave it, as is. I want to put it out and It was first, it was published as a script before was even consider didn't even in any racist him again em in and that it his You know encouragement made me actually get my second wind and you know, join us film as a filmmaker and residence. Then I showed up at the sunday. film festival with a bag full of
these books handing them out on the on the. When was that that was twenty fifteen. In the end, the s s film with what is that so that's a used to be as a film society know how to just ask that film to and filmmaker and residents thing is where they basically give you the space in kind of a collective work thing so it's been a multiyear thing: oh yeah yeah, he it, but you still do music a. Oh I like I am. I had a regionally made us an album right after I wrote that the screenplay that was trying to get but for the screen what I am It was called sorry to bother you oh yeah, two twelve yeah and that didn't work and Now it's going to be confusing because we made a whole new soundtrack for the movie, which is coming out on interscope and you know I want to call it sorry to bother you.
As well as our soundtrack earth, good, ok, yeah. So well, that's what this more timer or gear, pick up where we left off. So now that we got some backstory, so you get to sundance labs europe you're hanging out with these veteran. I swear, who are either walking you through, or at least an engaging you in the process. I'll say the best thing that I got, because I will first be adequately swapped. Their people were like. Oh you, gotta see, putney school well- and I didn't want to because if it really had some similarities to I liked what I was doing and I didn't want to- I didn't I change it because right of this thing that probably not many other people saw, then I see it and I just don't you know yeah yeah, yeah, yeah, sure yeah, so you didn't you're you'd already been on your ways. I plan I plan to see it, but you haven't watched it yet and that's good and but there's guy curry, my news: who is there and he's a brazilian filmmaker.
in berlin kind of it and he you know we had our meeting his like hey I don't really know what to tell you, but I I I dunno how to tell somebody about how to write their script. Yet you know it's your thing, yeah and- and I'm really just here, because they invite me to resort in the summer time. How can I say now right and it's an easier by what I will tell you. I love your main character, I love caches. I want to protect I am gonna, hang out with them bright on a you know, buy him a beer and just hug him air. He said and that's how no it's bullshit, because I hate everybody and and so we sat and we had like a four our conversation about people in our lives? It a different decision making points in you know talking about what
it's real and, and really I ended up realizing that you know the reason why he came off. That way is because, at the time I was having him just get bounced round like a pinball right and he didn't have a voice. He didn't he wasn't taking. If he wasn't, he wasn't the cause of anything? also so the shift in that character that came out of that conversation would be. owning his. If you are him his him, having agency right n, n, n and owning the the promotion year that which is a big transition in the movie and it actually that one thing change. So much of my movie. I had to had ripples throughout every three right. Then that wasn't there initially this kind of like them at. I don't think interesting so did. The big shift was like up here. What's wrong with this look how I'm living yeah yeah right, yeah, exactly huh. That's interesting man!
so so and in this mood in terms of building this week, as you know, we can't leave me can give away the air things that happen, the end because it gets an even in the middle alike. There are certain things that you know like I'll. If I had my druthers. I would like have the trailer just be the cast sitting there saying look at us we're good actors here. Why would we something shitty? go see this movie. We're not going to tell you anything about it. You I think that you can see the word thing about the movie. I don't think you can spoil the movie, be the only way you could spoil the movie is just by revealing the insanity of the end, but that doesn't the story. It just boils this one well but curving. So the grove iran's I want people you have me, isn't just about what happens at the inn
It's no now note, but its it is. It can be ruined to a certain extent because dismissing I know what I think and what, in what I want people to have two out the movie. Is this experience of discovery that, like a visually trial, take people through the emotional journey that caches is going through, which is a lot like, hopefully like you discover new ideas, which causes a few places throughout the movie. Besides, you know the last parts where his his view of the world in his relationship to the world changes right and we visually feel that, and I think that's part of what people are reacting to is that It's not just. We don't just see him going through this and then we empathize with him or we agree or disagree. It's you know we're forced to go through that with him because of yeah, the the vid, and so, if you're looking
or if somebody's like hey, you got to see this you're going to see this part. When you see the you know, yeah this, the green shoe, I know combines right here. You know no, no! I it's weird because it like you, it was it's completely jarring. The word not talking about. but but he doesn't it's not it's not relative to the human story that you're telling you know. I I don't know why you made the choices that you did in that last part of the movie. Well, I will say this and that all the choices. I made It not only there where the movie is strange or does things that your sub not supposed to do in the movie. You know, like I I felt you know I set out to write a movie that took place in world of telemarketing and that there was going to be a struggle that he had to choose size and that's all I knew when I'm making stuff, whether it's music or whatever, I'm always checking myself,
work, for whether I'm doing it based what I know to be real or based on what other artists have made. You know like a love song. For instance, you can you there's parameters that us people think make up a love song. Are you love me? How much are you gonna love me? How long why'd you leave me yeah, all those sorts of and which are valid concerns, but you to stay within these parameters, for it to be a love song, but your version of loving someone may be? I love you. I'm attracted to you yeah even going to stay with you forever. But can you not laugh like that in front of my friends, because it's embarrassing and but if you were to put that in there it seemed trite or, like you know, because it's not a real, within the car. It's not it's, not into another. It's not what other artists have. and right right. Why did you add the laughing part yeah and and and
It may be more real and it may be a few more passionate about what you're doing here. So I'm always checking myself for those things, and with this as I have bigger ideas that that were we were there, out of me you decide what I really thought about certain situations. I had choice how to bring them in there, which was, I could someone say these ideas, which is boring you know is done so much whatever and then I could have like some sort of hyper real stick situation that need you gain empathy for the person because of the trials and tribulations. So I didn't do that. I found more effective to be in reality, we have again and again to point out that it would I did all of these the immediate and points out the parallels in our actual reality. I did
things not just to put things in their, but because I found them to have an end. Each of these things. I really had to ask myself: am I really going to do this? I didn't know that I was going to make a movie that was fantastic, koehler right, sir. It got that way here as I as I wrote it. I you know, shirl and then, when you wouldn't know what you earn from the directing workshop, you know going into whoa that enabled you to have confidence. So now, by the time I'm going to the directing workshop, I I'm pretty sure I'm going to make this movie right. I mean it wasn't sure I decided it was truer here, and so you learn things a lot differently. When you have a way to apply them like, instead of like seeing you know I What are these lectures that maybe in in film school would be I take notes in mir they're not going anywhere, but if I go to
lecture by Judith western, about acting for directors in we're talking about how you know how things effect actors? I'm. I have something real to think about me and I'll wait and you're doing a movie. So you're like I can apply this yeah, the and and and you're thinking about the different scenes. So in this case the director's labs, are they they you they help you cast it. You know you get a casting director You have actors that are in more a real yeah. You have actors that are film actors, at the lab. You actually make the move. You go through all those points of production. You do like five scenes so you were able to cast a film while you're at the lab. No, I mean this was a whole different. This is worrying. How to do this. We didn't use any of that. We rightly made you know it. Just
It is down to write your own again and you get a crew of eight people and you know, in a and you get to work there- now, and then you have advisers, like Rodrigo prenatal pay, for young glenn, close So I learned one, I need to be over prepared like I was, but you also need to be able to throw it away and use that over preparedness, as just your knowledge of what's happening and and be able to flow with the the an actor might have an dear for blocking. That really is cool. That may then change where you gonna put the camera you know all the sorts of things, but the thing I'm a you know like pacing and how to get the pacing that I need how to how to talk that just gave me all that yeah runs that would have
then you would have really affected my movie me and any any like. Ultimately, you are in a in applying all these things. You are, and you know, you've got a great cast together and you've got great voices together, you got cross in there, you got forest whittaker in there and then you've got an oswald, patton and and then you've got rosario dawson yeah. Those are just the voices yeah and you got danny glover on on camera right and you got that with Keith and he's great in that Tessa Thompson, the crease tests, the Keith stanfield, the time see how everyone here the Omari hardwick army hammer, yeah, he's yeah, he's good, he's disturbing and there's some great shit nets in the wheels. So I was having so much fun. I mean we did sixty one. patients in twenty eight days, so you shoot around here in oakland and all in oakland yeah has that's where I could get shit for free, but
Yes, are you familiar, but also really twice? That's where I could figure out really cool looking, You knew that the new slices here, but like that the story. As you said, his existential story was the meaning of life. What do we do with our life? What his wife mean- and you know a year from just a disgrace- news about a guy who needs a job he's got a girlfriend he's living at his uncle's and you know, and it comes down to like I don't know what I got to do and someone says we'll go get it just be at least just go, get a telemarketing job and that's where it starts. A common predicament for people. jesse, ok material. Unless go. You can tell marguerite job in kind of escalates from there the advancing you. How do you win? How do you? figure out how to sell. How do you put on your white voice? How do you you move to the next level, the mythical next level that you get a hint of and then used to see this character start to really now? Why? Why did drive find ambition yeah,
Yeah made on those term. Yeah I mean and and what's cool about the actors is that they all like. So much into a mean, obviously, war being a first time director, there, probably great directors that could take non actors and make jurassic happen right. I don't think I was that person and but I knew that about myself- and you know- I've been a music producer for twenty something years, so I've done a similar process. Where there's five people in a room that all know more about music than I do, but I might- I might not like the music that they would produce, write our own, and I have the vision and your stomach collaborator exactly and and also you know, figuring out what can be pulled from each person, but how? What I'm saying is that these
ders and the the whole. You know a production designer costume designer or d p ba they all like put so much into it and we're we're down to do it like all the actors did or did it for scale via and passed up, some really if there is any, do it and you got some good, you got a lot of good stuff at them, but also that the visually it's pretty stunning and pretty wild, and yet there's a lot going on in every frame and date that that whole element, the recurring element of the live work space. What was that called again? Very free worry free, like that remind me of like you know like that there was satire movies, like that, you know even like sort of a little robocop and and write write, an analytical think about it at the time. But yes, no, no yeah, I'm just saying that that sort of element of that of that kind of alliance year and then the other thing I was thinking of was ea. What was that,
I judge movie idiocracy or idiocracy, and we got president combined got him in there yeah, but deb I like I liked that tone like. Is it it's over the top, but it's like it's close enough to real life to where you like not get it. Do you know what I mean? That's not that far right, but in terms of like what you've been working for or working, we're working with ideological, your entire life, it creatively, you know about about capitalism- about to you know, ambition about how a corrupt about class it seems like you- are able to really if you don't, engage all that stuff in this movie yeah? I think I mean that I had people argue with me about taking making it simpler. You know we are not, You know pick the one thing here and stretch it out for eighty minutes right and then at the moment. The one thing be just one story or just dunno. I I had all sorts of singer. You wanted to load it up. I
I wanted it to be interesting. I wanted you know like I wanted to eat, I think it's right that you can put two to unite from doing music. I know there's a way that you can put too much shit on a track, and there's a way to put that same amount, but organize it right, so that it it's okay and ends up becoming this count. This pilot poly rhythmic thing where all these things are countering each other and working, and you know sometimes you have some really experience some really great. You know me, I, south america, You know im doing the great and then sometimes you have like jam band and nobody wants to listen and accept velocity with agenda. I thought like there was like there was a lot of like very exciting visual stuff in there and then and I and a lot of great performances and- and
and it was a. It was definitely an engaging fun movie to watch yeah I mean yeah, it's it's. I think. That's that's! The thing is that, on a lot of art that attempts to talk about whatever we're the the way the world is. Even though all art is talking about the way the world is, but but attempts to do it in a different way than you know. What's what's happened or talk about talk about it from a different political perspective than most things gets bogged down in a sort of this? depressing thing, and and oh you mean when you politically about anger or something like that and and and I'm not my art has never been about that, partly because I don't well, I don't think it's been about that
you know like even our song five million ways to kill a ceo here. The way you kill a ceo as you put it twenty dollar bill in the barrel of a gun, and they suck it out. You know things like that right, but ah or you know whatever it's it's funny here, I think, and but it's because I have an optimism, that's related to having analysis of how things could change not not necessarily and in the position to do that, but I can see a path right, and so that makes my art, ah Also, I hope fallen and to the point where sometimes I get accused by folks. That thing they're more left them. You what whatever the not really. Why is this album as political. As I heard it was going to be you know, worst or whatever the worst. I think it is very political, but I think you know, I think
also, I want people to dance. Also, I want people to laugh and I think that those things are all connected to like how you know like I, the the organisers that I first came up around in the eighties ia. Some of them were, like you know these folks from Britain. I am who again politicized during the minor strike in their whole thing. Was you know you can't? You know get somebody to join a strike if you can have a pipe with them. You know. How are you know like old? You know jewish commies that have been in the cpu. Save it talk, everything they said was in a joke. You know, I hope, and because All like part of like pointing without and it's part of like being alive in the reason that I'm talking about this stuff is because I like people, they are right and so, but I think, there's an aesthetic that has like kind of come.
Of the the the punk sort of side of their, which is more say nothing. By the followers of advice, but by some of the practitioners of it really more about the aesthetic, then about actually changing things. and so that aesthetic becomes more, port and and and then I think that cause you kind of play and then the movie with approach with the radicals, who are you fighting against worry free. yeah right were yan and it's it's yeah. I think it Is it well in the movie every body cells out of a hat right, but that that seeing the performance, art scenes rough it's alright and funny, but that's said, that's the aesthetic over content thing in a right. There are things in that and I think that that scene is open and that yet Only that scene contain Some of my critique of myself as well, I dunno
oh, I thought you did a great job man, it's good to see you again, man, had seen you see again and like eighty more year now I would win with. When did you press reward? Oh fuck? How did When do they transfer me? I didn't ever see you just assume, because we were in the conversation that it was recording. I got it all there I could receive. It gets Z, all right that was bruce riley, sorry to bother you which he wrote directed, is now playing in select theaters. It opens everywhere this friday July thirteenth. I have not prepared any guitar I will do some anyway,
The eu, I do.
Transcript generated on 2022-07-18.