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Bernardo Bertolucci on psychoanalysis

Since I started psychoanalysis I found that I had in my camera an additional lens, which was - it's not Kodak, it's not Zeiss, it's Freud.

It is a lens which really takes you very close to dreams. For me movies, even before knowing Freud, have always been the closest thing you can imagine to a dream.

First of all, the movie theatre in this amniotic darkness for me has always been like a womb, so we are all dreamers, but dreamers in the womb. We are there in the darkness.

And it's very rare having a collective dream all together. We're dreaming with open eyes the same dream - which is the movie - which we receive in different ways.

Bernardo Bertolucci - from interview article An Additional Lens [British Psychoanalytical Society]

Italian film director Bernardo Bertolucci has been making movies for more than 50 years, and has been using
psychoanalysis for 36 years.

> related book: Bernardo Bertolucci: Interviews

> photo at left by Antonin Kratochvil from his book Incognito

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Vanessa Parise on filmmaking

I’ve certainly experienced that it’s difficult as a woman director to be able to star in your own movies, whereas there are so many men who do that, who star and direct in their films.

I don’t know any women who do that, so that was certainly an issue.  When we were getting the financing, there were some companies that wouldn’t give me the financing if I wanted to star in it, so I said no.

The next movie I do I want it to be bigger, and I don’t know how much of a struggle it will be yet, because the studios, by and large, are where you find the “boys clubs.”
I’m hoping that won’t be the case, but there are so few female directors there is certainly some kind of bias.

I don’t know if it comes on the side of the financiers or that women just don’t want to have so much responsibility, and want to have a family.

There was no way I could have a family when I was working this hard and this much on the film.

Vanessa Parise - about acting, writing, directing and producing her film Kiss The Bride [dvd]

[quotes from The Tech / MIT interview Sept 10, 2002]

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[How important do think it is to use
professional actors in a film?]

They are essential. When it comes down to it, the actors ARE the film. No matter what cool shots you use, or what tricks you come up with that make it stylistically "artful" - if you have wishy-washy performances, all you end up with are some cool tricks.

No product, no film. If we as filmmakers do our jobs correctly, the ONLY thing the audiences should notice is the performances. Filmmaking is about capturing the performances given by the actors. 

That's what audiences are really interested in, and that's what we need to deliver in order to succeed.

[What were your biggest lessons while making your film?]

As cheesy as it may sound, never give up. Don't see anything as a roadblock. Don't see anything as "no." Any seeming obstacle is really just something to point you in a slightly different direction, but never has to make you slow down, let alone stop. Persevere!

Danica McKellar - about her film "Speechless" [2001] - she was actor, writer, co-director, producer [sagindie.org interview - posted on danicamckellar.com]

> related page:  The Inner Actor

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David Cronenberg on returning to a slower pace

"Storytelling is always a seduction," says director David Cronenberg. "But in Hollywood there seems to be a desperation these days. There's no room for seduction, it's more like an assault.

"It's like, 'We don't want to bore you with details, you know who this guy is, he's the street-hardened cop with the secret.' And if that doesn't work," he adds, "we'll just stun you into silence with lots of noise and lights."

Cronenberg's upcoming "A History of Violence" does not do any of those things... it is one of a handful of recent films that resist the current cut-to-the-chase culture.

In films as varied as "Broken Flowers," "2046," "Junebug," "Stay" and "Last Days," narrative and character are allowed to unfold, in their own sweet and not always linear time, rather than rushed into vivid blandness like so many genetically engineered tomatoes. ...

"There is a desperation in this culture not to let anything get by," says Cronenberg. "Anything that could be new or could be cool. We live in fear of being boring and afraid of being creative, so the answer is hit people over the head with the soundtrack and then give them 24 quick shots."

Cronenberg sees his film as less of an experiment than a return to a time when movies were encouraged to tell a story rather than achieve demographic crossover.

"It sounds very '60s," he adds with a laugh, "but we need to remember to be in the moment."

> from article A slow hand - In a world of frenetic films, a few directors take the time to shape languid narratives, focusing on how ambiguous stories unfold. - By Mary McNamara, Los Angeles Times August 14, 2005

photo: George Pimentel/WireImage

> related books: David Cronenberg : Interviews - by Serge Grunberg

Cronenberg on Cronenberg - by David Cronenberg

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Miranda July on making "Me and You and Everyone We Know"

July served as writer, director and lead actress... Some of the film's most provocative moments explore the emergent sexuality of a group of children...

In someone else's hands, these scenes might seem exploitative or off-color, but July manages to present them as gentle, tentative steps into a new world.

"I judged my own intentions," she says, in describing how she tried to discern when she might be crossing the line into the inappropriate. "I might need more room than exists in the culture to feel different things. I wanted to trust myself enough to not make it totally black and white." ///

As she wrote the script, rather than relying on some preconceived notion of plot or what the movie might be "about," July let her feelings guide her, creating the heavily articulated mood and tone that are the film's biggest strengths -- and presumably the factor that has set it apart from other quirky-on-purpose indie romantic comedies.

"When I sat down to write each day," she says, "I would think, 'What is the feeling of today? What's particular about my life right now?' And I would just trust that. It doesn't really look like it, but the film really is very much about me now, kind of laid over the characters. I would start from there, and sometimes that required a new character or a totally new direction."

> from article Her own lights, camera, action - Performance and video artist Miranda July did things a little differently when it came time to make a feature film. - By Mark Olsen, Los Angeles Times June 19, 2005

> photo from film site meandyoumovie.com

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The desire to try and find a cinematic equivalent of the stream of consciousness [of] "Ulysses," has been a long-term ambition of mine. But it's only a film. It's not going to change the course of events, though it can work on the subtle body, the body of emotion, and give people a space in which to contemplate things.

Sally Potter - director, writer, composer of "Yes" starring Joan Allen

> from article Pushing limits? Yes - Iambic pentameter dialogue is just one oddity
of Sally Potter's latest film. By Victoria Looseleaf, Los Angeles Times June 26, 2005

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If there's something I can bring to [a film project] that I think no one else can, then I take it seriously. It's a good criteria, because I'm not a dime a dozen. 

I have my own thing, and I love doing that thing. I have loads of other things as well to do in life, so when I make a movie, I have to commit to that fully. [AP / msnbc.msn.com Aug. 30 2004]

Reese is a very applied person and harnesses her skills perfectly because she has been acting since she was ten.. And that's an extraordinary thing.

Mira Nair - about making "Vanity Fair"   [filmforce.ign.com] / photo by Focus Features

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When I started in television at the networks, documentaries were part of the news division. They were about politics, not emotion. //

I copied what in journalism is called the "back of the book" and tried to make it bigger and longer. I have a respect for people telling their own stories. Holocaust survivors, cancer survivors, sex workers, pimps - they all wreste with the same things. They want to survive the onslaughts. 

They have to make a living. They want to be excited and stimulated by life. I think that surviving in this complex, tossed-about universe is courageous, and how people do that is of great interest to me.

Sheila Nevins - Ms. Magazine, Summer 2004 msmagazine.com

Sheila Nevins is president of HBO Documentary and Family, and has supervised the production of more than 150 programs, which have won multiple CableACE Awards, Emmy Awards, George Foster Peabody Awards and Academy Awards.

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movie studio executive Griffin Mill [Tim Robbins] : It lacked certain elements that we need to market a film successfully.

June [Greta Scacchi] : What elements?

Griffin Mill : Suspense, laughter, violence. Hope, heart, nudity, sex. Happy endings. Mainly happy endings. 

June : What about reality? ///
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June: I don't go to movies. Griffin Mill: Why not?   June: Life is too short.

from The Player (1992) - Directed by Robert Altman

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from An interview with Nicole Conn by Jenni Olson, 
PlanetOut, October 3, 2002

Starting out as a labor-of-love lesbian feature at a time when there was virtually nothing out there, "Claire of the Moon" is certainly now among the best-known lesbian films ever made.

Can you tell us a bit about how you got the project off the ground and what it was like making a lesbian feature in the early '90s?

Nicole Conn: Actually, Jenni, calling "Claire" a labor of love is truly the best way to describe making this film. I really had very little film experience at the time, and it obviously shows on the screen.

I have always said "Citizen Kane" this film is not, but it is emotionally successful, and I have women from all over the world who tell me how much they identify with Claire's journey.

Making the film was also a passionate endeavor, as I believe all coming out stories are. It's the love story that tops them all, a love affair with the deepest part of who we are.

Making the film was the hardest work I've ever encountered outside of raising children. Raising the money was hell. The worst part of the entire experience was not being able to pay back my original investors.

We thought the timing for a lesbian film was perfect, but what we discovered is that "Claire" had to first prove there was a lesbian market that would go see movies in theatres.

After we did that with our distribution efforts with Strand Releasing, "Claire" became the catalyst for mainstream distributors picking up future lesbian-themed cinema.

You wrote and directed the film. What was your background prior to making it? Were you a screenwriter? Had you directed previously?

My greatest experience was life. I'm a self-taught person and have never had the opportunity to engage in higher education other than business school -- which actually served us well in the marketing and distribution of "Claire."

I had two extraordinary teachers on the set: my producer, Pam Kuri, who gave selflessly throughout the project, as well as my DP (director of photography) Randy Sellars, who taught me to realize my vision through cinematography.

My greatest teacher, however, is my endless love affair with black and white film. 

"Claire" has been accused of being overly romantic and sappy. But at my core I'm an over-the-top romantic, as most people can tell who are familiar with my body of work. And you know, in today's world I don't think romance hurts anyone one bit.

Nicole Conn site    // Claire of the Moon [dvd]

books by Nicole Conn:  She Walks in Beauty

Claire of the Moon: One Woman's Journey into Her Sexual Identity

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photo by Jessica Coffin for The Christian Science Monitor

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