A scrapbook of stuff I'm reading / looking at / listening to / thinking about...
Posts tagged "woody allen"
May 15, 2013
Whenever you work with someone who you idolize, you realize … he’s just a person trying to make a movie as best he knows how and that doesn’t look so different from other people trying to do the same thing. And he’s wildly smart and brilliant and funny, but it’s moviemaking and there’s something kind of democratic about how difficult it is because everybody — whether you’re Woody Allen or Noah or P.T. Anderson — it’s hard. Making movies is a hard thing and it’s slow. So you can glorify the product, but the process is difficult no matter who you are.
Woody Allen bought his Olympia portable SM-3 typewriter when he was 16, and he’s used it to type every single thing he’s written since then. “It cost me $40. The guy told me it would be around long after my death.” When he needs to cut and paste, he cuts and staples.
New Woody Allen documentary coming this Sunday, with great reviews.
This quote really struck me:
The day that he finishes editing a film is the day he starts typing the script of the next. He never takes any time off.
So much of creative work is about just being in motion—it’s really inertia that leads to block. When I finished my last book, I hit a long period afterwards where I wasn’t doing any real work—trying to avoid that with this book. I wish I could be like one of those chain smokers who lights their next cigarette with the last one…
Then again, there’s a lot to be said for sabbaticals, too.
I hate when art becomes a religion. I feel the opposite. When you start putting a higher value on works of art than people, you’re forfeiting your humanity. There’s a tendency to feel the artist has special privileges, and that anything’s okay if it’s in the service of art. I tried to get into that in Interiors. I always feel the artist is much too revered—it’s not fair and it’s cruel. It’s a nice but fortuitous gift—like a nice voice or being left-handed. That you can create is a kind of nice accident. It happens to have high value in society, but it’s not as noble an attribute as courage. I find funny and silly the pompous kind of self-important talk about the artist who takes risks. Artistic risks are like show-business risks—laughable. Like casting against type, wow, what danger! Risks are where your life is on the line. The people who took risks against the Nazis or some of the Russian poets who stood up against the state—those people are courageous and brave, and that’s really an achievement. To be an artist is also an achievement, but you have to keep it in perspective. I’m not trying to undersell art. I think it’s valuable, but I think it’s overly revered. It is a valuable thing, but no more valuable than being a good schoolteacher, or being a good doctor. The problem is that being creative has glamour. People in the business end of film always say, I want to be a producer, but a creative producer. Or a woman I went to school with who said, Oh yes, I married this guy. He’s a plumber but he’s very creative. It’s very important for people to have that credential. Like if he wasn’t creative, he was less.
Emphasis mine. I’ve said it so many times: the world doesn’t necessarily need more artists — what it needs is more decent human beings. It’s like Jeff Bridges’ mother told him: “remember to have fun and don’t take it too seriously.”