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Ray Pride

By Ray Pride

Non-Hollywood thoughts: Victor Erice, Abbas Kiarostami

KiarostamiExhibition07.jpgFilm is not only dead but can represent death.” “It’s a funereal art!” Spanish director Victor Erice sighed. “It captures lives. Life disappears, but cinema shows it… When you see a film with an actor who has died, everyone lives again for us spectators, using the same words, doing the same movements as when they were alive.” Abbas Kiarostami, asked “why so many of his films were set in cars, he responded that he likes cars. “I spend at least three-four hours a day in my car. It’s a good place to concentrate and to communicate when you sit side by side with someone, not looking at each other’s eyes; you commune better.” [From an Ekathimerini report from the 2004 Thessaloniki International Film Festival; the photograph by Kiarostami is from here.]

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“I think [technology has[ its made my life faster, it’s made the ability to succeed easier. But has that made my life better? Is it better now than it was in the eighties or seventies? I don’t think we are happier. Maybe because I’m 55, I really am asking these questions… I really want to do meaningful things! This is also the time that I really want to focus on directing. I think that I will act less and less. I’ve been doing it for 52 years. It’s a long time to do one thing and I feel like there are a lot of stories that I got out of my system that I don’t need to tell anymore. I don’t need to ever do The Accused again! That is never going to happen again! You hit these milestones as an actor, and then you say, ‘Now what? Now what do I have to say?'”
~ Jodie Foster

“If there’s one rule Hollywood has metaphysically proven in its century of experimentation, it’s that there’s no amount of money you can’t squander in the quest for hits.

“Netflix has spent the past couple years attempting to brute-force jailbreak this law. Its counter-theory has seemed to be, sure, a billion dollars doesn’t guarantee quality but how about three billion dollars? How about five billion dollars? Seven?

“This week’s latest cinematic opus to run across no-man’s-land into the machine-gun emplacements has been the Jared Leto yakuza movie ‘The Outsider.’ Once again, debuting on Netflix, another thing called a movie that at one glance doesn’t look like any kind of movie anyone has ever seen before, outside of off-prime time screenings at the AFM.

“If you’re working at a normal studio, you have one or two of these total misfires in a year and people start calling for your head. How many is Netflix going on? Fifteen? Twenty? This quarter? Any normal company would be getting murdered over results like that.”
~ Richard Rushfield