Interviews With Directors/Actors


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I found this, search the site for interviews, saw nothing, so here's one that's only text.. Later I'll post some video ones, just gotta remember the best ones. A bit tired now, going to post before I forget...
Playboy: Thanks to those special effects, 2001 is undoubtedly the most graphic depiction of space flight in the history of films — and yet you have admitted that you yourself refuse to fly, even in a commercial jet liner. Why?
Kubrick: I suppose it comes down to a rather awesome awareness of mortality. Our ability, unlike the other animals, to conceptualize our own end creates tremendous psychic strains within us; whether we like to admit it or not, in each man’s chest a tiny ferret of fear at this ultimate knowledge gnaws away at his ego and his sense of purpose. We’re fortunate, in a way, that our body, and the fulfillment of its needs and functions, plays such an imperative role in our lives; this physical shell creates a buffer between us and the mind-paralyzing realization that only a few years of existence separate birth from death. If man really sat back and thought about his impending termination, and his terrifying insignificance and aloneness in the cosmos, he would surely go mad, or succumb to a numbing sense of futility. Why, he might ask himself, should he bother to write a great symphony, or strive to make a living, or even to love another, when he is no more than a momentary microbe on a dust mote whirling through the unimaginable immensity of space?
Those of us who are forced by their own sensibilities to view their lives in this perspective — who recognize that there is no purpose they can comprehend and that amidst a countless myriad of stars their existence goes unknown and unchronicled — can fall prey all too easily to the ultimate anomie….But even for those who lack the sensitivity to more than vaguely comprehend their transience and their triviality, this inchoate awareness robs life of meaning and purpose; it’s why ‘the mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation,’ why so many of us find our lives as absent of meaning as our deaths.
The world’s religions, for all their parochialism, did supply a kind of consolation for this great ache; but as clergymen now pronounce the death of God and, to quote Arnold again, ‘the sea of faith’ recedes around the world with a ‘melancholy, long, withdrawing roar,’ man has no crutch left on which to lean—and no hope, however irrational, to give purpose to his existence. This shattering recognition of our mortality is at the root of far more mental illness than I suspect even psychiatrists are aware.
Playboy: If life is so purposeless, do you feel it’s worth living?
Kubrick: The very meaninglessness of life forces man to create his own meaning. Children, of course, begin life with an untarnished sense of wonder, a capacity to experience total joy at something as simple as the greenness of a leaf; but as they grow older, the awareness of death and decay begins to impinge on their consciousness and subtly erode their joie de vivre, their idealism — and their assumption of immortality. As a child matures, he sees death and pain everywhere about him, and begins to lose faith in the ultimate goodness of man. But, if he’s reasonably strong — and lucky — he can emerge from this twilight of the soul into a rebirth of life’s elan. Both because of and in spite of his awareness of the meaninglessness of life, he can forge a fresh sense of purpose and affirmation. He may not recapture the same pure sense of wonder he was born with, but he can shape something far more enduring and sustaining. The most terrifying fact about the universe is not that it is hostile but that it is indifferent; but if we can come to terms with this indifference and accept the challenges of life within the boundaries of death — however mutable man may be able to make them — our existence as a species can have genuine meaning and fulfillment. However vast the darkness, we must supply our own light.

One of the most memorable interviews I read was Robert Deniros Playboy interview from 27 years ago. This is when he was a complete recluse to the media, and simply never did it. It showed greatly. Its not a long read

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One of the most memorable interviews I read was Robert Deniros Playboy interview from 27 years ago. This is when he was a complete recluse to the media, and simply never did it. It showed greatly. Its not a long read

Thanks for this... I'd love to hear the audio.. It's funny he gets up to leave, but the interviewer isn't a marshmallow and keeps going. Then when De Niro says "I gotta go" there's still a few pages left.. Even when Robert gives a compliment, the interviewer says "Hold the compliment; we still have a ways to go" -- I thought that might have been a deal-breaker. I would never say "we have a long way to go".

Keep them coming Mofos, these are fun.

One of the most memorable interviews I read was Robert Deniros Playboy interview from 27 years ago. This is when he was a complete recluse to the media, and simply never did it. It showed greatly. Its not a long read

Great read!

Playboy was actually known for giving the best interviews for many, many years. The only one I didnt like was Gore Vidals......oh dear hes the most boring man alive.

I remember one where Eddie Murphy was saying the stupidest, stupidest s#it. At the height of his fame, the February 1990 issue, and his big head showed in every answer.

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Playboy was actually known for giving the best interviews for many, many years. The only one I didnt like was Gore Vidals......oh dear hes the most boring man alive.

I remember one where Eddie Murphy was saying the stupidest, stupidest s#it. At the height of his fame, the February 1990 issue, and his big head showed in every answer.
True. I have about 4-5 Playboys just to read another interesting interview by Mort Sahl. The last one I bought at a store had a David Lynch interview, when I was into surrealism.

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Interview with Werner Herzog (Film and Kinski)

The Wrath of Klaus Kinski:
An Interview with Werner Herzog
by A.G. Basoli in Cineaste
By the time Werner Herzog and Klaus Kinski
teamed up for the filming of Aguirre: The Wrath
of God, Kinski had appeared in scores of films
and Herzog, with five features behind him at the
age of twenty-eight, was one of the most
promising directors of New German Cinema.
The role of Aguirre, the mad sixteenth-century
Conquistador leading a splinter group of rebels
to self- destruction while searching the Amazon
for the fabled El Dorado, had appealed to
Kinski enough to brave the prospect of two
grueling months of filming on location in the
Peruvian jungle.
After weeks of drifting down the Amazon on a
raft, wearing heavy period costumes in the
sweltering heat, with little food or drinking water
on account of Herzog's alleged hell-bent quest
for authenticity, Kinski's already feisty
disposition turned lethal and he threatened to
quit the production. "You can't do it," replied
Herzog, who was filming on a tight budget that
allowed little room for mistakes, let alone
starting over with a new leading man. "I told
him I had a rifle," Herzog explained, "and he
would only make it as far as the next bend in the
river before he had eight bullets in his head-the
ninth would be for me." "Whoever heard of a
pistol or rifle with nine bullets," Kinski
commented about the incident in his
autobiography-but the pact was sealed. Kinski
completed the film and Aguirre went on to
become Herzog's first international hit.
The unlikely allegiance forged by the two men
on the location of their first film together
spawned a creative relationship which lasted
over fifteen years and produced four more
extraordinary films, regarded by many as
Herzog's masterpieces, including Nosferatu the
Vampyre (a remake of Murnau's classic),
Woyzeck, and Fitzcarraldo. But the storm never
abated: over the years their fights became
legendary and in his outrageous autobiography,
Kinski Uncut (Viking Penguin, 1996), Kinski
repeatedly lambasted Herzog with interminable,
blistering tirades: "Herzog is a miserable, hateful
malevolent, avaricious, money-hungry, nasty,
sadistic, treacherous, cowardly creep," he wrote.
"He doesn't care about anyone or anything
except his wretched career as a so-called
filmmaker Herzog doesn't have the foggiest
inkling on how to make movies!"
Of course, Herzog's own version of the
relationship (including an intriguing explanation
for Kinski's vituperative comments) was bound
to follow at some point, and My Best Fiend, his
feature-length documentary on the late Klaus
Kinski, who died in 1991, premiered at the
Cannes Film Festival this spring.
Echoing the beginning of Kinski's
autobiography, My Best Fiend opens with an
incident that occurred, during Kinski's tour of
Germany with a one-man show in which he
played Jesus. The location is the
Deutschlandhalle in Berlin, capacity twenty
thousand, in the early Seventies. A tight close-up
of a wild-eyed Kinski widens to reveal him alone
on a stage, glaring into the dark auditorium.
Someone in the audience just heckled him and
he's trying to locate the voice. Suddenly a man is
next to him and reaches for the microphone.
Kinski pushes him away and a fight ensues.
Kinski thunders on: "I am not the Jesus of the
official church tolerated by those in power. I am
not your superstar." The heckler finally gains the
microphone: "I doubt that Jesus was like Kinski.
Jesus was a patient man, he didn't say 'shut up'
to those who contradicted him!" Kinski wrangles
the mike away from him and declares that he will
not continue until this "miserable jerk" leaves;
then he walks away in great, angry strides,
throwing microphone and tripod off the stage.
Using this footage out of context, unexplained,
My Best Fiend succeeds in creepily establishing
the tone of Kinski's madness, and then proceeds
to expose Herzog's peculiar brand of lunacy.
Through a tightly woven tapestry of remarkable
archival footage, excerpts from the feature films,
interviews and personal recollections, Herzog
chronicles the pivotal points of their
collaboration-from a thirteen-year-old Herzog's
first encounter with Kinski, to their early fights
on the set of Aguirre, his plans to burn down
Kinski's house with him in it, their reconciliation
at the Telluride Film Festival, and the incidents
during the making of Fitzcarraldo.
"Kinski seriously thought that I was crazy. Of
course I am not-not 'clinically,' at least-but he
was right in that I was perhaps too choleric,"
concedes Herzog, although some might argue
that hauling a ship over a mountain from one
tributary to another-the central metaphor of
Fitzcarraldo and an enterprise that delayed the
completion of the film by four years-is a dead
giveaway in matters of insanity. When everyone
else deserted him, however, Kinski stood by
Herzog. The film was eventually completed and
won the Director's Prize at Cannes in 1982.
As if Herzog himself were addressing the jeers
and accusations of an unseen spectator, My Best
Fiend seems to waver between a harangue and a
plea, often portraying Kinski as the culprit rather
than the subject of the documentary. But when
Herzog resists the urge to play the impoverished
but visionary filmmaker victimized by a
megalomaniac prima donna, an ineffable sense
of loss seeps through. Kinski becomes the
recipient of a rueful and formidable homage
made all the more poignant by Herzog's
reluctant appreciation of his belligerent muse
and by his struggle to defer to a powerful bond
that shaped both his filmmaking career and, as
he puts it, his destiny.
My Best Fiend will be released this fall by New
Yorker Films and is set for a U.S. premiere at
the Telluride Film Festival and a New York
theatrical opening at the Film Forum on
November 3rd.-A.G. Basoli
Cineaste: What motivated you to make a
documentary about Klaus Kinski now?
Werner Herzog: The time was right. I couldn't
have made it five, six, or seven years ago. I
always had the feeling that I should round the
films up, that something was missing-like the
chain was missing a link. There's something
mysterious about time. All the turbulence, all the
turmoil, has somehow settled. My perspective
has shifted and that's why the film has humor in
it, and people laugh. Of course, some of it is
very bizarre. I see it myself and I can face it,
now, with calm humor and a certain serenity-but
only because time has passed.
Cineaste: In the film you chose to ignore
Kinski's background, personal life, psychological
make-up-how he became Klaus Kinski. Why?
Herzog: It never interested me. I never wanted
to make an encyclopedic film on Klaus Kinski. It
was always evident to me that it should be my
Klaus Kinski, that's why I have this extra, whom
I met at the airport, carry a sign that says
"Herzog's Kinski." My intention at the beginning
was to call the film "Herzog's Kinski" but I think
My Best Fiend is a better title. The film is as
much about me as it is about him, about our
strange relationship. Which is the reason why,
for example Nastassja Kinski is not in the film
and Pola Kinski isn't in it, either. I believe his
character becomes somewhat evident of course
as seen through my eyes and through his deeds.
Cineaste: How did you choose the footage and
the people you interviewed? It seemed as if his
female costars had only good things to say about
Herzog: I could easily have found hundreds of
female partners who would have told the most
atrocious stories of what a permanent pestilence
he was on set. But that would have been a stupid
and easy game. I didn't want it. I see him
differently now. Not that I can claim he was a
good man-he was not. He was demonic, evil, but
he was wonderful at the same time. Gracious
and full of humor and warmth. Not only
through the choice of witnesses, but of the
footage as well, I wanted to create an homage,
an apotheosis of Klaus Kinski. I'm sure he
would have liked the film.
Cineaste: What was your technique for dealing
with his tantrums?
Herzog: There was no technique involved. Here
is this man, Kinski, and you have to put him on
the screen. You have to take all his rage, all his
intensity, all his demonic qualities, and make
them productive for the screen. That was the
task and there was no time for learning. I had to
master the situation from day one, from the first
day of shooting Aguirre. On set you have no
choice. I had to be strong enough to shape him
and force him to the utmost, beyond the limits
of what is normally required for the shooting of
a film. But he would push me equally-to the
limit. It was not permissible to take even a little
step back from his level of intensity and
professionalism. And, of course, he literally
would have been ready to die with me, if I had
died on the ship in the rapids. He would have
sunk in the ship with me, and vice versa. But I
cannot deny that there were moments, which
were dangerous, when we could have killed each
Cineaste: In the film you alluded to the fact that
he "wasted" himself in your films-you used that
word "wasted."
Herzog: Yes, he was empty and destroyed to a
degree that he needed a long time to get back on
his feet, and for me it was similar. I needed some
time to lick my wounds. The only exception was
Nosferatu and Woyzeck, when we had only a
hiatus of five days in between shooting. We did
it back to back and, of course, it was a great
strain on him in particular, and on me as well,
but so what.
Cineaste: How heavy a toll was it for you?
Herzog: Nobody should be interested in the
price one has to pay to work with extraordinary
people. The film is the only thing that matters.
Cineaste: There is a moment in the film-when
you are both at Telluride-when the affection
between you two is palpable.
Herzog: Thank God that moment exists on film,
because the media do not believe me. He was
always labeled as the Bösewicht of film-the
villain! And I tried in interviews, say after
Fitzcarraldo or Aguirre, to put across that side of
Klaus Kinski. Nobody would ever print a word
of that. He was grandiose and very generous.
One time I said to him, "Klaus, you look so
elegant, what is it?" I looked at him and I said,
"Ah, it's the jacket," and he said, "Oh, Yves
Saint Laurent made this for me and I got it
yesterday in Paris." I said, "This is a wonderful
jacket," and he ripped it off his shoulder and
threw it on me and said, "Now take it. It's
yours." He would give away his car in a split
second-because he felt like giving me his car. Of
course, I gave it back to him later.
Cineaste: But you kept the jacket.
Herzog: I still have it and I still wear it once in
while. It's a little bit short, his arms were a lit
bit shorter than mine, but I like it the better
because of that.
Cineaste: Would you both have been lesser
human beings had your encounter not taken
Herzog: I cannot answer because he was part of
my life and I was part of Kinski's life. Of course
there was life before Kinski and in between
Kinski-in between the films I made with him. I
made Kaspar Hauser, Stroszek with Bruno S.,
and Land of Silence and Darkness and, of
course, there was life after Kinski. I met him for
the first time when I was thirteen. The film
explains the chain of events.
We lived in the same pensione. The owner of
this place had picked him up from the street,
literally, and given him a room and food for free
and did his laundry. He entered this place like a
tornado, a force of nature, and it didn't take him
one minute to destroy and lay waste to all the
furniture. It was strange because I remember
that everybody was immediately scared of
Kinski. I was the only one who was not scared. I
was astonished. I looked at him as if an
extraterrestrial had just landed, or a tornado had
just struck. The way you watch a natural disaster,
sometimes with strange amazement. That is the
feeling I remember.
Of course, he didn't remember me, I was a child
at the time, and the next time we met it was for
Aguirre. As a private person and a filmmaker, I
think it was a necessary collaboration, that the
two of us found each other. There was a certain
inevitability about it-it was destiny. Though the
ancient Greeks would use this term with
necessary caution.
Cineaste: Were there any similarities between
Kinski and Bruno S.?
Herzog: Both of them had an enormous
presence on screen, a presence and intensity that
is almost unprecedented in cinema. Kinski was
not an actor-I wouldn't call him an artist either,
nor am I. Of course, he mastered the techniques
of being an actor, the technique of speech, of
understanding the presence of light and of the
camera, the choreography of camera and of
bodily movements. Bruno S. didn't have that and
so had to be taught. But at the core of Klaus
Kinski was not his existence as an actor-he was
something beyond that and apart from it.
Cineaste: Would you say, then, that your fiction
films with him were documentaries about
Kinski, as well?
Herzog: If you use the term 'documentary' with
very wide margins, yes. And, of course,
Fitzcarraldo-moving a ship of that size over a
mountain is a deed that bears a certain affinity
with him, but only would take place in a
documentary. The line between documentary
and fiction film is obviously blurred for me.
They bear such an affinity to each other that I
can't really distinguish that easily.
Cineaste: What role does the German tradition
play in your esthetics?
Herzog: I grew up in Bavaria. My first language
was Bavarian and my own father could not
understand what I was saying when I spoke in
Bavarian to him and he needed my mother to
translate. I had to painfully learn to speak Hoch
Deutsch [High German] in high school later on,
because I was ridiculed for my dialect. I have to
say, with a rather primitive metaphor, that the
only other person capable of making
Fitzcarraldo would have been King Ludwig II.
He was quintessentially Bavarian. It's not easy to
define it but when I name him and you look at
the castles, there's a kind of dreaminess and
exuberance of fantasies that is specifically
Bavarian and Austrian. There's an affinity, and it
is certainly distinct from the Teutonic German
culture and imagination.
Cineaste: Now you live in San Francisco?
Herzog: Yes, but that shouldn't worry you. I
never left my Bavarian culture. Nor has Aguirre
left its culture, it's a Bavarian film. And
Fitzcarraldo is a Bavarian film. Strangely enough
I function very easily in the jungle, in the
Amazons, or in the Sahara Desert.
Cineaste: Would you talk a little about your
Lessons of Darkness, which is the title of one of
your films and of your manifesto.
Herzog: Lessons of Darkness fits in very well
with my manifesto, in what I define as ecstatic
truth. We have seen fifteen second film clips of
fires in Kuwait hundreds of times on CNN and
that is the accountants' truth. But in this film,
more visibly than in others, I was searching for
something different, for something beyond that,
for an epic, ecstatic truth. Lessons of Darkness
is a fine example for me to use in order to clarify
what I mean by the terms in my manifesto-of
what distinguishes the accountant's truth, what
constitutes fact, and what constitutes the
inherent truth of images in cinema and, of
course, in poetry
Cineaste: Why issue a formulation against
cinéma-vérité now?
Herzog: It's not something sudden. Since my
earliest filmmaking days I have preached that I
would like to be one of the gravediggers of
cinéma vérité. But it was not so clearly
articulated. Only after some intensive years of
'documentary' filmmaking could I better
articulate what I meant. I did so finally in the
manifesto that I wrote in anger-after a sleepless
night, because I was too jet-lagged to sleep. I
had a feeling it should be written down.
It was very strange because it was a night when I
had just traveled for thirty hours from
Guatemala to Catania, in Sicily. I went straight
from shooting a film in Guatemala to a rehearsal
of The Magic Flute. I couldn't sleep and then,
when it was finally time, after forty-five hours, t
go to bed, I couldn't sleep. I turned on the TV
and again found the same thing on Italian TV as
on Austrian, Dutch, Canadian, and U.S. TV.
Documentaries are always the same sort of
boring, uninspired stuff. So I tried to force
myself to sleep but I couldn't and I turned the
TV on again. There was a porno film on and I
had the feeling, yes, even though it's just a
physical performance, it comes closer to what I
call truth. It was more truthful than those
documentaries. I couldn't fall asleep, so I got up
at three o'clock in the morning and, in this anger
of not being able to sleep and seeing all these
things on TV, I wrote down the manifesto, in
fifteen minutes. Not to exaggerate, but the fact is
it contains, in a very condensed form everything
that has angered and moved me over many
Cineaste: Last year two films, Celebration and
Idiots, were shown at Cannes that were based on
Dogma '95, a manifesto written by Lars Von
Trier. Are you familiar with Dogma?
Herzog: I've seen it very recently for the first
time. For me it's a little uninspired because it's
technical cookbook on what to use and what not
to use. But I think the basic aim of this
manifesto is very necessary, seeing how much
cinema has been overwhelmed by special effects
and technicalities and a huge apparatus that has
reduced the real life that is possible in movies.
It's very strange because this year I acted in a
film by a very young American filmmaker,
Harmony Korine, who made his movie, Julien:
Donkey Boy, according to the rules of Dogma. I
played his crazed father in a dysfunctional,
white-trash family. He wanted me very badly in
this film as his father. For him it was important
to have me in the film because he sees me as
some sort of predecessor to Dogma, for the
reduced technical apparatus-not as reduced as
the Dogma postulates, but essential, physical,
direct cinema, with all the possibilities of all th
exuberance and vitality of life in it. It's very
telling that you do not find this quality anymore
in the big Hollywood action or special-effects
Cineaste: Is your manifesto in opposition, or
better, in response to Lars Von Trier's Dogma?
Herzog: No, they're after something completely
Cineaste: Would you ever consider doing a
Dogma film?
Herzog: No, it would reduce my possibilities and
my subjects. I could not do Aguirre, for
example, because a historical film in costume is
not permitted. Music would not be permissible
and I love to work with music. So, no, certainly
not, but I have respect for what they postulate
and I do believe, even though it reduces a lot of
possibilities, that it is at least an answer. It
doesn't make filmmaking more democratic as
they say, but it brings down the apparatus to its
essential size. I wish that Dogma had been a
manifesto that had more substance as far as, let's
say, storytelling. But I think as reduced and stark
as it is, it's a step that is quite interesting.
Cineaste: Do you feel that the new millennium is
urging filmmakers to define new ways of making
movies with manifestos, declarations, and so on?
Herzog: No. Who cares about the millennium?
It's an artificial date! Even the church doesn't
know when Jesus was born. I think it's obvious
that in the cinema new ways have to be found en
route all the time.

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In the last week, there have been a ton of Cavett (and other) interviews released.... I had never even seen Paul Newman on a talk show... Peter Fonda, etc..

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Here is Fellini/Mastroianni -- a director and an actor on Dick Cavett.... You can tell this was taken from a VHS, so who knows how long it will be on YouTube, so hopefully you check it out now.. Pretty interesting halfway through

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This interview is even better on "Five Easy Pieces"... It's nice hearing him describe his take on the character. Also interesting that this was one of his first leading roles