I listen to hours of podcasts everyday and they're usually just to drown out my own thoughts, but the true sign of a quality conversation is when I have to pause and rewind because I feel like I missed something good. I did that about 4 times with this one, and I'm sure you'd be glad to know you're in the company of Paul Thomas Anderson and William Friedkin with that, for their WTF interviews ( with Paul's, I was pausing about every ten minutes). I'm always hesitant to listen to directors on podcasts because I'm worried they'll talk more about their body of work than themselves, but you and Alexi are so closely linked that she seems more invested in promoting you as a person than a Director. She gives you a stellar intro, but my favorite parts are how she says you "look like a vampire" because I guess I never put my finger on exactly what it was, but you've got a fucking intense
look about you.
Did you take that line from 'Pi' to heart and stare into the sun as a child? No, it's good to have a mystery around you as a director. Can't be all toothy smiles and good naturedly on the red carpet. The public should know you're a force to be reckoned with!
The other thing she says is that you're "Obsessed" with 'The Brown Bunny', and I don't think I've ever heard of anyone even liking
that movie. It got such a weird reception when it was released, between the Roger Ebert feud and the critical consensus that Gallo was basically trolling the audience. I still haven't seen it, but between your praise and how much I like "Buffalo 66", I think it's well worth a shot.
What I appreciated most about the interview was to learn that you come from humble beginnings. 1 of 9, and homeschooled! These are things about you I wouldn't have gleaned just from knowing you here, but it seems to explain so much about your work ethic. You never dealt with the confinement of going to school and were basically taught to pursue your dreams over just holding down a job. The other thing it does is force you to learn independently, and choose your own courses of study. It's always interesting when a heavy hitter comes along with the badge of never going to film school. The influx of these directors in the 90's seems to have made us take it for granted how much intensive study is required in making a film, whether you like it or not. We come across these success stories time and time again, but the message always seems to hold true that no one is simply going to come along and ask you to make a film. You have to prove yourself through your own work what you're capable of. Once that gets recognized, the sky's the limit!
So, even more than the recent press surrounding 'Pete's Dragon', this interview got me excited for your overall career. You have certainly paid your dues in the business, but the release of this movie is going to put a lot more attention on your unique aesthetic outlook. It makes me wonder how successful you'll be in making another $12,000 movie like 'St. Nick' when there are plenty of people willing to give you $120,000 for it. You guys always talk about going back to your 'simpler days' of filmmaking until it gains traction with certain actors who can't operate on a film of that budget.
I'm really looking forward to 'Pete's Dragon', though. It'll be such a trip, watching one of your movies at my Mall! I know you will do the story justice and exceed all of our expectations with the depth of characters and atmosphere throughout.