Author Topic: PTA and Adam Sandler Interview with Roger Ebert  (Read 3714 times)

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Finn

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PTA and Adam Sandler Interview with Roger Ebert
« on: December 26, 2003, 07:51:16 PM »
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Okay...I typed this whole interview out for you to see. I would like to hear feedback on it. Please excuse the spelling errors, etc. It's actually a very good interview.

PAUL THOMAS ANDERSON AND ADAM SANDLER INTERVIEW
by Roger Ebert


October 8, 2002 - So there I am at the Toronto Film Festival, eyeing Adam Sandler across the room. He knows that I know that I have never given him a good review. That time we met backstage at Letterman, he was very decent, considering. He said he hoped that someday he would make something I liked. Now he has.

The movie is Punch Drunk Love, by Paul Thomas Anderson. The moment it was anounced, I got a lot of e-mails from people asking, what in the hell Anderson was thinking of, making an Adam Sandler movie. Such is the power of Sandler's presence that it didn't occur to them it might be a Paul Thomas Anderson movie. Now I have seen it, and can report that it is both: an Adam Sandler movie by Paul Thomas Anderson. Imagine a Tom Green movie by Martin Scorsese. No, that's easier.

Punch Drunk Love, which open October 18, stars Sandler as the peculiar, mannered operator of a small business, who meets a strange woman (Emily Watson) and follows her to Hawaii after discovering that buying $3,000 in pudding will win him enough frequent flier miles. Sandler plays a character not unlike the person he usually portrays - Variety didn't call him "the king of moronic farce" for nothing - but the movie looks deeper and finds a pool of anger just below the passive-aggressive surface.

Having admired the movie, I went to the party afterward on the reasonable grounds that I might never again be able to do what I was doing right now. I walked over to Adam Sandler and told him I liked his movie.

"I will have to tell my parents, so they can watch your show again," he said. He talked just the way he talks in the movies:flat and a little childlike, with an edge. "They had to stop watching your show because it made them say bad words."

I said I could understand how that might be. A human tide separated us, and washed me up the next afternoon for an interview with Paul Thomas Anderson, who after Boogie Nights (1997) and Magnolia (1999) has emerged as one of the most-gifted filmmakers of his generation (he is thirty-two).

The last time I met Anderson, he sat on my back porch in Chicago and promised me that the reproductive equipmen tof Mark Wahlberg, so memorably on view in Boogie Nights, was absolutely and in every respect Wahlberg's own. There had been reports it was a special effect of a stand-in, whatever. Later I learned that the treasures were not, in fact, authentic. Did I now accuse Anderson of lying? I didn't even bring it up, mostly because I had forgotten it. So quickly do big issues shrink with the passage of time.

I was in a lather to quiz him on Adam Sandler. Why would a brilliant young auteur throw himself on the altar of the kind of moronic farce?

"I wanted to work with Adam Sandler so much," he said, "because if I've ever been kinda sad of or wahtever, I just wanna pop in an Adam Sandler movie."

That wouldn't cheer me up, I said.

"I love him," Anderson said, "and he's always made me laugh. I like just about all of his ovies and have always felt comfort in watching them. It's Sautrday night and if I wanna watching something fun, I'm gonna watch an Adam Sandler movie. Or if I'm sad, I'm popping in an adam Sandler movie. The last thing I would wanna do is watch Magnolia, you know, or Breaking the Waves. So I'm looking at Sandler and thinking, God, I wanna get a piece of that. I wanna learn from taht dude. What is it that's so appealing aobut him to so many people? I think he's this great communicator, you know."

He doesn't seem to communicate very well with the critics.

"This sort of baashing from critics that he's taken is just defeatist, really. His films are obviously good because they're obviously communicating something to a lot of people, and they're making them laugh, and that's it, at the end of the day."

I kept an open mind. I hoped to like one of them.

"You should revisit some of them. The Wedding Singer, and Big Daddy, and especially Happy Gilmore. Those three, in particular., I could watch them over and over and over again just from the pure joy that you can feel them putting into making hte movie, which is just as much as you can feel Robert Atlman putting into making Nashville."

I said there was something aobut Sandler that intrigued me, because he is obviously someone with a real talent, and it made me mad when he hid inside that goofy persona.

"He is a pretty nice dude," Anderson said, "and maybe you pick up on that . The second night that I met him, we went to have dinner and we're walking down the street with some big movie stars, but walking down the street with him made my heart as warm as you can imagine - because of people's response to him and his sort of openness and response to them. THis kind just kinda out of the blue cam up and said, 'I'm Jewish, I'm Jewish,' with a real sense of pride in being Jewish, and Adam said, 'Great.' And it was just because of the Hanukkah Song, you know. And it was like I wanna steal some of that. I wanna be around the kind of life force.

We are sprawled in overstuffed leather charis in a back room of the Windsor Arms in Toronto. We are back here so he can smoke. Anderson wears a wrinkled white dress shirt, blue shorts, and the regulation four-day growth of beard. When he and Sandler decided that Sandler's chracter would wear a suit and tie throughout Punch-Drunk Love, you can see how they though that wuold be funny.

Have you made an Adam Sandler movie, or a Paul Thomas Anderson movie? I asked.

"It's like an art house Adam Sandler movie," he said.

"It's like you deconstructed the Adam Sandler movies and put them back together again in a new way at a different level.

"That's nice," said Anderson.

Adam Sandler, who generally generates his own films, could never have made this film. Yet his fans will still be seeing Adam Sandler.

Anderson lit a cigarette. "He just appealed to me, point-blank," he said. "He's someone who's taken such a bashing, but still, he was high on my list. In meeting him it al cam e clear to me. We have a really similar work ethic. Kind of obsessive and consumed by it,. And also, I wanted to learn form him about his attack on stuff. How does he make his movies, what are his concerns? His concerns a lot of time are, what is funny? What will made them laugh? And coming out of making Magnolia and living with that for a while, I went, God, I would really like to take a left turn and make myself happy, get rid of all this cancer and crying."

I said that when I look at Sandler's movies I think I see an anger just below the surface.

"Absolutely. I saw this Best of Adam Sandler DVD from Satruday Night Live, and an amazing thing happened. There's this moment when he's doing this talk show called The Denis Show, about his ex-girlfriend who's left him, and his father calls up and says, "What are you doing? You're embarrasing the family.' And Adam goes into this fit of rage, ascreaming at his father, and hoenst to God I saw this moment where it eppears as if the whites of his eyes turn black and they roll back into his head. It was like, he just lost his mind. I would play it back, over and over again, and you can see him kinda snap back to reality. The audience is laughing and it's almost like he finally started to hear them laughing a few seconds later."

All comedians are said to be tragic at heart.

"I think it's true It' probably something to do with feeling like an imposter. you beat yourself up and you make yourself feel like you're kinda worhtless. It can turn into a rage."

Have you previewed this film like in a multiplex on Saturday night, in the Valley or somewhere?

"No."

Let's hypothesize two audiences. One audience would be the festivals at Cannes and Toronto and your local art theater. The other audience would be Adam Sandler fans who heard he has a new movie out. Do you think they will see two different films?

"If I've screwed up, they might."

Source: Roger Ebert's Movie Yearbook 2004
Typical US Mother: "Remember what the MPAA says; Horrific, Deplorable violence is okay, as long as people don't say any naughty words."

eward

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PTA and Adam Sandler Interview with Roger Ebert
« Reply #1 on: December 26, 2003, 10:37:34 PM »
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i read that  :)

boombanglarrabee

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PTA and Adam Sandler Interview with Roger Ebert
« Reply #2 on: December 27, 2003, 12:50:25 PM »
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Thanks for typing that up!

Finn

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PTA and Adam Sandler Interview with Roger Ebert
« Reply #3 on: December 27, 2003, 02:38:58 PM »
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You're welcome.
Typical US Mother: "Remember what the MPAA says; Horrific, Deplorable violence is okay, as long as people don't say any naughty words."

Finn

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PTA and Adam Sandler Interview with Roger Ebert
« Reply #4 on: December 30, 2003, 11:56:14 AM »
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I think Ebert also did an interview with PTA on Boogie Nights. Does anyone have it?
Typical US Mother: "Remember what the MPAA says; Horrific, Deplorable violence is okay, as long as people don't say any naughty words."

MacGuffin

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PTA and Adam Sandler Interview with Roger Ebert
« Reply #5 on: December 30, 2003, 12:37:06 PM »
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Quote from: Sydney
I think Ebert also did an interview with PTA on Boogie Nights. Does anyone have it?


http://www.ptanderson.com/articlesandinterviews/rogerebertqa.htm
“Don't think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it's good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.” - Andy Warhol


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eward

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PTA and Adam Sandler Interview with Roger Ebert
« Reply #6 on: December 30, 2003, 05:08:17 PM »
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greg's site has almost any interview you could ever find with PTA

Finn

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PTA and Adam Sandler Interview with Roger Ebert
« Reply #7 on: December 30, 2003, 05:11:46 PM »
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Except for the one I typed. Maybe I oughtta send it to him. :lol:
Typical US Mother: "Remember what the MPAA says; Horrific, Deplorable violence is okay, as long as people don't say any naughty words."

eward

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PTA and Adam Sandler Interview with Roger Ebert
« Reply #8 on: December 30, 2003, 05:16:09 PM »
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no, it's there.  I read it at his site.

Finn

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PTA and Adam Sandler Interview with Roger Ebert
« Reply #9 on: December 30, 2003, 05:18:00 PM »
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oh :?
Typical US Mother: "Remember what the MPAA says; Horrific, Deplorable violence is okay, as long as people don't say any naughty words."

eward

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PTA and Adam Sandler Interview with Roger Ebert
« Reply #10 on: December 30, 2003, 05:25:53 PM »
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lol  :-D

Sigur Rós

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PTA and Adam Sandler Interview with Roger Ebert
« Reply #11 on: December 30, 2003, 06:24:57 PM »
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Damn, thanks Sydney! You are the man!

cine

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PTA and Adam Sandler Interview with Roger Ebert
« Reply #12 on: December 31, 2003, 01:07:18 AM »
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Quote from: eward
no, it's there.  I read it at his site.

 :lol:

ono

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Re: PTA and Adam Sandler Interview with Roger Ebert
« Reply #13 on: December 26, 2004, 08:26:27 PM »
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So I was thinking just now...
Quote from: Roger Ebert said not
Let's hypothesize two audiences. One audience would be the festivals at Cannes and Toronto and your local art theater. The other audience would be Adam Sandler fans who heard he has a new movie out. Do you think they will see two different films?

Quote from: Paul Thomas Anderson said not
If I've screwed up, they might.

At first I read it and thought, "touche, PTA."  (Unfortunate rhyme, to be sure.)  Later on (much later, obviously) I thought of it a different way.  PTA screwed up.  Some would say in a good way, others would say he failed to communicate well enough.  Punch-Drunk Love is a very good film.  I think it's great.  But definitely, Sandler fans see a different films, and P-DL fans (as a bad generalization) don't like most Sandler films.  I like Happy Gilmore, the Wedding Singer, and even parts of Billy Madison.  But most of his stuff leaves a lot to be desired.  That said, though Spanglish is getting even more mixed and mediocre reviews than Punch-Drunk Love ever did, I still look forward to seeing Sandler do drama(-dy).


 

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