MCN Blogs

By Ray Pride Pride@moviecitynews.com

Mike Wallace Interviews… Rod Serling, Frost/Nixon, Ayn Rand, Frank Lloyd Wright, Jean Seberg, Dali…

And also Frank Lloyd Wright, Salvador Dali, Jean Seberg, Aldous Huxley and Ben Hecht (transcript only). (And many more from the Harry Ransom Collection at University of Texas Austin.)

With Mr. Hecht:

WALLACE: When you say – you talk about almost as good as keeping you young body – do you mind very much growing old Ben?

HECHT: It’s horrid – sorry to say everybody grows old and you’ll answer that question yourself some day. But we already experienced….

WALLACE: We’ve interviewed other older people… Older than you … Eleanor Roosevelt, Frank Lloyd Wright…. They don’t seem to mind the passage of the years because all of their adult lives, they have been engaged in meaningful work – work which they still do. It … could it be that you engaged in mostly carefree, adolescent work … like writing for Hollywood still … and therefore old age comes as something of a menace to you?

HECHT: No … I haven’t engaged in meaningless work… I’ve written about eight books in the last eight years which I personally like very much … and people who say they don’t mind growing old are just telling sad little lies to you… everybody minds growing old … and when I look back, I don’t only see my youth, as better, my bankbook was better, everything about me was better, and work was easier … you ask any prizefighter whether he minds growing old, … everybody loses the punch sort of, and the people who thin they’re doing important work … Mrs. Roosevelt has been repeating herself like some parrot with three clichés – for the past fifteen years. I don’t’ regard anything she’s been doing as important. I don’t know who else you mentioned, but …..

WALLACE: Frank Lloyd Wright.

HECHT: Frank Lloyd Wright.

WALLACE: No parrot he.

HECHT: No, Frank Lloyd Wright stopped working about twenty years ago. I don’t think he’s drawn a picture in twenty years. He’s been exercising charm and civilization.

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Julian Schnabel: Years ago, I was down there with my cousin’s wife Corky. She was wild — she wore makeup on her legs, and she had a streak in her hair like Yvonne De Carlo in “The Munsters.” She liked to paint. I had overalls on with just a T-shirt and looked like whatever. We were trying to buy a bunch of supplies with my cousin Jesse’s credit card. They looked at the credit card, and then they looked at us and thought maybe we stole the card, so they called Jesse up. He was a doctor who became the head of trauma at St. Vincent’s. They said, “There’s somebody here with this credit card and we want to know if it belongs to you.”

He said, “Well, does the woman have dyed blonde hair and fake eyelashes and look like she stepped out of the backstage of some kind of silent movie, and is she with some guy who has wild hair and is kind of dressed like a bum?”

“Yeah, that’s them.”

“Yeah, that’s my cousin and my wife. It’s okay, they can charge it on my card.”
~ Julian Schnabel Remembers NYC’s Now-Shuttered Pearl Paint

MB Cool. I was really interested in the aerial photography from Enter the Void and how one could understand that conceptually as a POV, while in fact it’s more of an objective view of the city where the story takes place. So it’s an objective and subjective camera at the same time. I know that you’re interested in Kubrick. We’ve talked about that in the past because it’s something that you and I have in common—

GN You’re obsessed with Kubrick, too.

MB Does he still occupy your mind or was he more of an early influence?

GN He was more of an early influence. Kubrick has been my idol my whole life, my own “god.” I was six or seven years old when I saw 2001: A Space Odyssey, and I never felt such cinematic ecstasy. Maybe that’s what brought me to direct movies, to try to compete with that “wizard of Oz” behind the film. So then, years later, I tried to do something in that direction, like many other directors tried to do their own, you know, homage or remake or parody or whatever of 2001. I don’t know if you ever had that movie in mind for your own projects. But in my case, I don’t think about 2001 anymore now. That film was my first “trip” ever. And then I tried my best to reproduce on screen what some drug trips are like. But it’s very hard. For sure, moving images are a better medium than words, but it’s still very far from the real experience. I read that Kubrick said about Lynch’s Eraserhead, that he wished he had made that movie because it was the film he had seen that came closest to the language of nightmares.

Matthew Barney and Gaspar Noé