what else do you want ? And it has some priceless gems too. Like this one about Being John Malkovich – I described the tunnel in the script as vaginal and Spike made it Anal, not exactly what i wanted but now it’s all water under the bridge. Click on the play button and enjoy!
And if you don’t have time to watch the entire video, here are some excerpts from the interview…
Formula – ….It doesnt appeal to me to have a kind of formula for writing anything. Some people like it and it helps them. So i am not going to tell people to no to do it…..am not interested in going in with any kind of framework because it inhibits the possibilities for me.
Adaptation – The main character in the movie is the screenplay itself….from its initial evolution of the screenplay to its ultimate corruption….that is the tragedy of this creature that is the screenplay….he never was able to make a movie about flowers….Donald represents a corrupting influence..he is a nice enough guy….probably much nicer than Charlie but i don’t think he is helping matter.
Hollywood Romances – It has been damaging to my relationship at least..i can talk about myself.. it sorts of set up unreal expectations and which you then project onto your partners and it just destroys the possibility of any kind of actual conversation.
Taking Risks – I think if what you are doing doesn’t have the possibility of failing, then by definition , you are not doing anything new. That’s really the way it is. And if you know how to do what you are doing and/or you have seen it done before, then you are not doing anything. So, the only way you can do anything new or interesting is to open up yourself to the risk of failing. And in that sense, I try to look at success and failure both as neutral thing. It’s hard and am not always successful in accepting failure but I feel that I need to keep reminding myself of that…this is the only way it will be worth anything at all…..May be, won’t be….But it definitely won’t be if i don’t do that.
Characters taking themselves seriously – People take themselves very seriously and their struggles are very serious. Life is hard and everyone’s got a struggle. May be, that’s sort of who I am too…I am not a carefree person….May be so I don’t write carefree people because of that…I don’t know….wish i were.
Synecdoche, New York – I made that movie and I also didn’t understand what was going on there.
Stories – I am not really interested in stories because stories are things that are kind of have polished end…and seen from a distance….and i want to do things which feels like I am immersed in it when i am working in it….and the audience will experience that immersion and that chaos and confusion of actual existence as opposed to a story with beginning, middle and end….And a kind of distance, perspective and life lessons that doesn’t really seem to be part of moment to moment of life that i have….Does that make any sense ?
Direction – I think I have opinions about visual things, about aesthetic things, have lot of interest in paintings and compositions….am novice when it comes to technical stuff of cinematography…..i think all you really have is your opinions. That’s what your value is….as a director you hope you have good opinions…people will show you stuff and you hope that you like the good stuff.
Money – ….there is lot of “trying to get money” in my life.
Writing – I just add more ideas…when I am writing I generally don’t have an outline that I have to get from this point to this point….I find that kind of constricting..So I like the thing to develop the way it develops. If I have a new idea that excites me, I will include it if i can.
Why John Malkovich ? – It’s funny to me. That’s really the only reason. I can tell you why it is funny but i don’t know if that will matter….when i was writing this script i wasn’t planning on this movie ever getting made, so i could make it whoever i wanted. When Spike came on board, we thought we could get it made and we didn’t have John Malkovich yet, we had to think of other people and possibilities and my instincts were confirmed because we could not come up with anybody who worked as well as John Malkovich.
Struggle – It’s harder when you are trying to do your own thing and then they don’t see a precedent for it…Its harder to get in….It took me over 11 years from the time i left college to my first writing job. It just wouldn’t happened…..what happens is that more people see you are stuff, you get to talk to people, the greater the chance that you will hook up with somebody who gets it and wants to do it…..so perseverance, and if you believe in your stuff then you should do it and continue to push for it.
Writers/Directors/Hollywood – …there is the auteur theory that confused everyone for a long time…..writing in Hollywood is not really important….It’s proven again and again….those who market movies and make movies, they don’t need writers….the worst movies with the most problematic scripts become the most successful movies….then you see that writers aren’t important. But directors have a visual language and some of them are celebrities and big names too.
Q. Inception – My friend said that Inception was like a James Bond film written by Charlie Kaufman. what do you say ?
A. …..i have to be very careful about it……(silence)…..i don’t know…(long silence)….You know the weird thing is you cannot say anything anymore anywhere without it appearing online. So i am not going to say anything anywhere anymore.
Q. What is your reason for making/writing films ?
A…..I think its something that i always wanted to do as a kid..it always excited me..the make believe world….its my job….am trying to pay a mortgage and i like this particular kind of job, and i guess it defines me or it helps me feel defined..may be i have something to prove..terrible reasons ? …..i don’t know…why i do it..i don’t know what else i will do…it sounds bad, right ? I mean, i kind of like it sometimes but sometimes it’s really hard, it’s a struggle and i get depressed. But i will probably get depressed being a homicide detective.
End note – But i do want one more question because there is absolutely no more way that i am going to end on that question…that was like yeeeawwkkkh. Make it something nice, i don’t want to end on that question.
Tip – Jahan Bakshi