David Attenborough

“I’m convinced that there is a real chance that we may be able to do something to heal the world. If there was one chance in a hundred, you would take it, would you not?”
David Attenborough

Jules Feiffer on Resnais

“One of the charming parts of earlier on in the film was Resnais asked me to deal with Adolph, who was a friend of mine, and tell him that Resnais was shy of approaching him. So that was my job. That’s what I did at a dinner at the Russian Tea Room. I had sent Adolph the script asking him what he thought of it without telling him anything about the part, and he and his wife, Phyllis, we all had dinner at the Russian Tea Room. We talked for a while and then I said, “Look, everything I’ve told you, it was bullshit. I brought you here under false circumstances. Resnais wants you to star in the film as Joey Wheelman.” Phyllis Newman screamed. She put her hands up to her face, she went, “AHHH!” Adolph just blinked and looked stunned. And then we celebrated for the rest of the evening because there was no question he was going to do it. He couldn’t believe that they wanted him. It was one of my fondest memories connected to that production.”
~ Jules Feiffer

Alfonso Cuarón

“The theatrical experience has become so gentrified. There’s this whole opening weekend madness, and I think that it’s a problem that, while the business model has been sound, it hasn’t necessarily been something that’s healthy for cinema. Because then they make the argument, “Oh yes, but the more audiences that come to the cinema, the more healthy your industry.” That’s true, but what, then, is the cinema you’re offering?

“When all of this started happening with the paradigms shifting, each side had to cement their narrative, and they propagated that narrative. There’s going to be a dominant narrative, and that’s the one that everybody was following. Then, when another narrative starts to come up, there’s a conflict there. Many times I’ve said, “Well, that should be in the Wall Street Journal in the business section, not in the film section.” The business has completely overshadowed the whole thing.

“It’s a cause and effect, because then you have studios wanting to conform to that, rather than do something more diverse. What I find interesting now, and I think it has to do with uncertainty about paradigms—the whole thing about platforms versus theatrical and all that stuff—is that you have people in both camps trying to fly the flag of defending cinema. The discussion has nothing to do with cinema; those are economic models. They shouldn’t even touch cinema with their discussions.”
~ Alfonso Cuarón

Jeff Bezos Responds To David Pecker

Nothing I might write here could tell the National Enquirer story as eloquently as their own words below.

These communications cement AMI’s long-earned reputation for weaponizing journalistic privileges, hiding behind important protections, and ignoring the tenets and purpose of true journalism. Of course I don’t want personal photos published, but I also won’t participate in their well-known practice of blackmail, political favors, political attacks, and corruption. I prefer to stand up, roll this log over, and see what crawls out.


Jeff Bezos

Liam Neeson

“There’s something primal – God forbid you’ve ever had a member of your family hurt under criminal conditions. I’ll tell you a story. This is true…. I went up and down areas with a cosh, hoping I’d be approached by somebody – I’m ashamed to say that – and I did it for maybe a week, hoping some [Neeson air quotes] ‘black bastard’ would come out of a pub and have a go at me about something, you know? So that I could… kill him.It took me a week, maybe a week and a half, to go through that. She would say, ‘Where are you going?’ and I would say, ‘I’m just going out for a walk.’ You know? ‘What’s wrong?’ ‘No no, nothing’s wrong.’ It was horrible, horrible, when I think back, that I did that. And I’ve never admitted that, and I’m saying it to a journalist. God forbid. It’s awful,”but I did learn a lesson from it, when I eventually thought, ‘What the fuck are you doing,’ you know?”
~ Liam Neeson

Mark Harris

“Laurence Fishburne’s Morpheus lays it all out. ‘The Matrix is everywhere. It’s all around us,’ he explains to Neo. ‘It is the world that has been pulled over your eyes to blind you to the truth… that you are a slave, born into bondage… in a prison that you cannot touch… Unfortunately, no one can be told what the Matrix is. You have to see it for yourself. You take the blue pill, the story ends, you wake up in your bed. You take the red pill, you stay in wonderland and I show you how deep the story goes.’

“And there you have it: For all the ways in which it is subsequently elaborated on, that’s really all you need to know to ‘get’ The Matrix and to get everything, both benign and insidious, that it has spawned. In those brief screenwriting gestures, the Wachowskis concocted the perfect one-size-fits-all combination of flattery, paranoia, anti-corporate wokeness, libertarian belief in the primacy of the individual, and ideologically nonspecific anger at the system: a ‘Wake up, sheeple!’ for its era and, even more, for ours. The film has spawned only one piece of durable slang — ‘Take the red pill’ (the uses of which range from the jokey to the horrific) — but its attitudes have worked themselves into and, arguably, toxified much of our discourse. We live, today, in the anti-reality world The Matrix built.”
~ Mark Harris

Harmony Korine, 1999

Werner Herzog: It’s obvious to me that you never attended film school.
Harmony Korine: I hate that shit. It’s eating the soul of cinema. Filmmaking has become like a process, and it’s all garbage. All these rich kids who were going to be doctors now want to be filmmakers, but they have very little life experience and they’re just writing really shitty wit for each other. That’s perfect for when they go to Hollywood and meet the people who finance films, ’cause those guys are fucked up too. That’s why films are the way they are now and why I’ve largely stopped going to see them.
~ Harmony Korine, 1999

Umberto Eco

How, as a human being, does one face infinity? How does one attempt to grasp the incomprehensible? Through lists, through catalogs, through collections in museums and through encyclopedias and dictionaries. We like lists because we don’t want to die.
~ Umberto Eco



Steven Soderbergh

“It’s a great time to be someone who makes things because there are lots of places to go and they’re all hungry for content. That’s the good news. The obvious problem is how to draw eyeballs to your project against a level of competition that was unimaginable when I was coming up in the business. I would never have thought people would be targeted with so much content all day, every day. I just couldn’t have imagined it. Given it’s impossible to get eyes on everything, I think most people are looking for a filter. That can come in a variety of guises. It can be a filmmaker, it can be a genre, it could be a certain platform that you’ve become loyal to. Any of these things can help the viewer cleave their way through all of these options, but it’s hard. Like I said, it’s a great time to be making stuff. It’s just harder and harder to be the signal in the midst of all the noise.”
~ Steven Soderbergh 




With Logan Lucky and Unsane, you’d started a distribution company, Fingerprint Releasing, to see if you could go wide with a film in a new way. How did that go?

SODERBERGH: It didn’t work. I was hoping to create a scenario in which you could put a movie into wide release with a significantly smaller amount of resources than is typical for, let’s say, a studio release. That’s not true. You need all the money that they are spending. Part of the reason I wanted to prove that wrong is because if that’s true, the implications of it on the creative community are significant. But that’s just the way the world is right now. I tried it twice; I mixed up the way in which the marketing resources were spent [on Logan Lucky and Unsane]. But the amount of money you need to create awareness for something that is going to go out on 2,500 or 3,000 screens is just signify higher than I hoped, and much more than we had. It was merely an attempt to open up another lane. The whole point was to do what studios were doing, but for less. It just didn’t work.

~ Steven Soderbergh

Karyn Kusama

Jeanne Dielman is the ultimate punk-rock statement in cinema. It’s feminist, female, utterly subversive—and clocking in at three hours and twenty-one minutes, it plants a flag of absolute confidence. It is a masterpiece of the first order, every shot purposeful, every moment freighted with intent. Akerman was twenty-five when she made the film, and she redefined our limited notions of a cinematic wunderkind. If anyone wants to argue with me about this, I’m happy to rumble.”
~ Karyn Kusama





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“Don’t work with assholes. Ever. No matter what they’re offering, no matter what they bring to the table. If they’re the sort of person where the phone rings at 10 o’clock at night and you wince because you see that it’s them, then don’t do business with them. One asshole will ruin your life. I’ve managed my entire TV and filmmaking career to work with people I like and respect. If the point comes where I don’t like or respect someone, I don’t work with them anymore.”

– Anthony Bourdain

The Atlantic: You saw that the Academy Awards recently held up your 2001 acceptance speech as the Platonic ideal of an Oscar speech. Did you have a reaction?

Soderbergh: Shock and dismay. When that popped up and people started texting me about it, I said, “Oh, it’s too bad I’m not there to tell the story of how that took place.” Well. I was not sober at the time. And I had nothing prepared because I knew I wasn’t going to win [Best Director for Traffic]. I figured Ridley, Ang or Daldry would win. So I was hitting the bar pretty hard, having a great night, feeling super-relaxed because I don’t have to get up there. So the combination of a 0.4 blood alcohol level and lack of preparation resulted in me, in my state of drunkenness crossed with adrenaline surge. I was coherent enough to know that [if I tried to thank everyone], that way lies destruction. So I went the other way. There were some people who appreciated that, and there were some people who really wanted to hear their names said, and I had to apologize to them.
~ Steven Soderbergh