Is it hard to be a writer?
My dad was the world’s greatest movie critic. He was a man that said that you don’t make it in Hollywood by taking advantage of people. You don’t exploit the public. You’re the audience. You should give him a break. That means you’re gonna get a lot of movies that never get made because he’s the voice of America.
Did you go to any movie school?
No, although I was always encouraged by my mom to go to the University of Chicago’s Film and Television Program. I just had to make the grades. It was actually a great school, and I graduated with a degree in English. It made me so much more confident in my life because at some point you have the responsibility of getting a degree in art. I had so many films and so many things to say that I could make a film at some point that could make any film. I just had to find the right balance.
And what do you think of the contemporary film world?
I think the film world is still very dark. It’s very violent and it’s very very violent in a lot of ways. There’s also a lot of great art films. I like the movies. It’s like a new age; it’s very beautiful and very inspiring, and I feel so happy when I’m making something that’s inspired by artists I admire. That’s why I work hard for the film industry in general. I love to work hard, but also want to do the best I can, and I want to bring something beautiful to the world.
Which of your films is your favorite?
My absolute favorite is Ida, the film about Hitler.
Do you have a personal favorite?
“Sicilian” is my movie, that’s a love letter to old Rome. It’s about two people; one is a man and the other is an art director. They write love letters to one another and send them out to the most talented people in the world to do something beautiful with it because they love each other and they want to make something beautiful.
Are you a fan of the original Star Wars trilogy?
Yeah, I saw them when I was a kid. They are beautiful.
Did you have to sit through the two hours of garbage?
No. And that was on a rainy day. When that first trailer came out I remember thinking I had just been in a movie. I
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