By Ray Pride Pride@moviecitynews.com

The Ever-Great Donald Sutherland to Miriam Bale

I was happy to see in your recent honorary Oscar acceptance speech that you thanked Renata Adler. Which was a little bit of a surprise. So I looked up her 1968 review of Joanna where she mentions you. Tell me why you thanked her.
Oh, do you suppose she knows about it?

I don’t know if she knows. Let’s let her know. Maybe she’ll know from this.
Forever, I’ve always had in my head, if I was ever awarded an Oscar, I would thank Ingo Preminger, Robert Aldrich, Brian Hutton and Renata Adler. It was so important to me, that review. When I walked down the hall to go see my agent they all said, “Hey what’d you do? Renata blah blah…” They just thought it was dumb that she would say those things about me, because they didn’t have much hope for my future. And it gave me a great sense of purpose.

Do you remember some of the highlights that she said about you?
[Laughs, then lisps.] She said I had a lisp!

She also said you were an attractive gopher.
Exactly. Gene Siskel … Do you know who Gene Siskel is? Well in 1980, 1981 maybe, he had done this long interview with me. Then he said, “I’m going to get married next month.” I said congratulations. He said, “Can you answer a question for me?” And I said, “Well, I’ll try.” He said, “My fiancée finds you attractive. Why?”
~ The Ever-Great Donald Sutherland to Miriam Bale

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“Why put it in a box? This is the number one problem I have—by the way it’s a fair question, I’m not saying that—with this kind of festival situation is that there’s always this temptation to classify the movie immediately and if you look at it—and I’ve tried to warn my fellow jurors of this—directors and movie critics are the worst people to judge movies! Directors are always thinking, “I could do that.” Critics are always saying, “This part of the movie is like the 1947 version and this part…” And it’s like, “Fuck! Just watch the movie and try and absorb it and not compare it to some other fucking movie and put it in a box!” So I think the answer’s both and maybe neither, I don’t know. That’s for you to see and criticize me for or not.”
~ James Gray

“I have long defined filmmaking and directing in particular as just a sort of long-term act of letting go,” she said. “It’s honestly just gratifying that people are sort of reapproaching or reassessing the film. I like to just remind everyone that the movie is still the same — it’s the same movie, it’s the movie we always made, and it was the movie we always wanted to make. And maybe it just came several years too early.”
~ Karyn Kusama