Other actors/directors/etc. who mention PTA

Started by edison, January 18, 2008, 08:47:02 PM

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scorsese letter

Dearest Francesca,

I'm writing this letter to you about the future. I'm looking at it through the lens of my world. Through the lens of cinema, which has been at the center of that world.

For the last few years, I've realized that the idea of cinema that I grew up with, that's there in the movies I've been showing you since you were a child, and that was thriving when I started making pictures, is coming to a close. I'm not referring to the films that have already been made. I'm referring to the ones that are to come.

I don't mean to be despairing. I'm not writing these words in a spirit of defeat. On the contrary, I think the future is bright.

We always knew that the movies were a business, and that the art of cinema was made possible because it aligned with business conditions. None of us who started in the 60s and 70s had any illusions on that front. We knew that we would have to work hard to protect what we loved. We also knew that we might have to go through some rough periods. And I suppose we realized, on some level, that we might face a time when every inconvenient or unpredictable element in the moviemaking process would be minimized, maybe even eliminated. The most unpredictable element of all? Cinema. And the people who make it.

I don't want to repeat what has been said and written by so many others before me, about all the changes in the business, and I'm heartened by the exceptions to the overall trend in moviemaking – Wes Anderson, Richard Linklater, David Fincher, Alexander Payne, the Coen Brothers, James Gray and Paul Thomas Anderson are all managing to get pictures made, and Paul not only got The Master made in 70mm, he even got it shown that way in a few cities. Anyone who cares about cinema should be thankful.

And I'm also moved by the artists who are continuing to get their pictures made all over the world, in France, in South Korea, in England, in Japan, in Africa. It's getting harder all the time, but they're getting the films done.

But I don't think I'm being pessimistic when I say that the art of cinema and the movie business are now at a crossroads. Audio-visual entertainment and what we know as cinema – moving pictures conceived by individuals – appear to be headed in different directions. In the future, you'll probably see less and less of what we recognize as cinema on multiplex screens and more and more of it in smaller theaters, online, and, I suppose, in spaces and circumstances that I can't predict.

So why is the future so bright? Because for the very first time in the history of the art form, movies really can be made for very little money. This was unheard of when I was growing up, and extremely low budget movies have always been the exception rather than the rule. Now, it's the reverse. You can get beautiful images with affordable cameras. You can record sound. You can edit and mix and color-correct at home. This has all come to pass.

But with all the attention paid to the machinery of making movies and to the advances in technology that have led to this revolution in moviemaking, there is one important thing to remember: the tools don't make the movie, you make the movie. It's freeing to pick up a camera and start shooting and then put it together with Final Cut Pro. Making a movie – the one you need to make – is something else. There are no shortcuts.

If John Cassavetes, my friend and mentor, were alive today, he would certainly be using all the equipment that's available. But he would be saying the same things he always said – you have to be absolutely dedicated to the work, you have to give everything of yourself, and you have to protect the spark of connection that drove you to make the picture in the first place. You have to protect it with your life. In the past, because making movies was so expensive, we had to protect against exhaustion and compromise. In the future, you'll have to steel yourself against something else: the temptation to go with the flow, and allow the movie to drift and float away.

This isn't just a matter of cinema. There are no shortcuts to anything. I'm not saying that everything has to be difficult. I'm saying that the voice that sparks you is your voice – that's the inner light, as the Quakers put it.

That's you. That's the truth.

All my love,



Who wrote that? I couldn't read between the lines


That guy that plays Van Gogh in Kurosawa's Dreams. You know, that one dude who plays the upset husband in Taxi Driver.


Unless you're Paul Thomas Anderson... - sentence that David Poland likes to use, when speaking with his guests. Last two I remember:

Time - 27:20

Time - 29:30

I remember hearing few others, but don't feel like searching for them.

edit: Another one:

Time - 17:45
Simple mind - simple pleasures...


those first two instances are kind of cringey. it's hard to tell if he is saying PTA's long shots are excessive or not and so the poor sods being interviewed just laugh and admit that it's true without stating whether that's a good thing or not. actually jake g says "unless it works", which at least adds context to the interviewer's forced reference. still a bit embarrassing.

it's more clear in the zemeckis interview that the dude likes PTA, but not clear if Z-man gives a shit. it's funny that he says "i've never done that".. sometimes it's easy to think of auteurs as some kind of struggling artist, but here's a dude who has made some legit huge flops that brought studios down (well, one) and he still can't conceive of what it's like to be an "independent" filmmaker. he has powerful friends that much is certain.

don't know who david poland is but i'm not really keen to hear any other time he name drops PTA. keep an eye on his obsession in case it develops into something creepy but right now it's pretty meaningless. all we can draw from this is that he has PTA tourettes and it's awkward seeing his interview subjects have to deal with it.
under the paving stones.


Around the 44/45 min mark.

Scorsese talks about how independent filmmakers aren't really supported now like they were in the 70s.  He mentions the "Andersons" to which Charlie says "Wes" and Martin agrees then quickly says also "Paul Thomas".  He also brings up Alexander Payne and the Coens.


ATTN: True Detective Fans

Daily Beast: It still tickles me that Paul W.S. Anderson has the same name as Paul Thomas Anderson, one of our greatest filmmakers.
Cary Fukunaga: It really is the perfect example of extremes—just use the Paul Anderson scale! P.T. Anderson is one of my—if not my—favorite directors. Him and Cuaron. And Audiard.

Christopher Nolan's directive was clear to everyone in the cast and crew: Use CGI only as a last resort.




Working with Wes but dreaming of Paul.

(Somebody banner that, plz.)
Christopher Nolan's directive was clear to everyone in the cast and crew: Use CGI only as a last resort.


Jonathan Demme on Rachel Getting Married.

"So I had offered the part of Sidney to Paul Thomas Anderson, who is not an actor but is an adorable, enormously likable person, a friend of mine, and he had come to a table read of the script and he was great. And it was funny because Anne was at that table read and when it was over she said, "That guy Paul, he's good, isn't he?" and I go "You mean Paul Thomas Anderson?" and she goes, "That was Paul Thomas Anderson!?" It freaked her out! She goes, "Oh my god! I'm so glad I didn't know that!" I offered the part to Paul and he didn't want to do it, he was finishing up [There Will] Be Blood, and he didn't want to take a part in a movie."


EDIT: This is surely the sort of thing that's been posted before.


It hasn't.

Excellent find!

It confirms my suspicion that Anne Hathaway is a cinematic idiot.
under the paving stones.



After seeing "Blue Ruin", I was searching for some interviews. I stumbled upon this QA session, quote is taken out of context (around 8:40):

Jeremy Saulnier: Boogie Nights is my all time favorite comedy.

Simple mind - simple pleasures...