Conversations from the Telluride Film Festival: FIRST REFORMED

This conversation between Eric Kohn of Indiewire, writer/director Paul Schrader, and actor Ethan Hawke took place following a screening of FIRST REFORMED at 2017’s Telluride Film Festival. Spoilers follow. ERIC KOHN: Paul, first of all, anyone who’s seen your films knows that a lot of what’s going on here is very personal to you. Just how personal is this setting and the things that we see you working through here? PAUL SCHRADER: Not that personal. I didn’t have to do much research to do. But you try to find a metaphor, whether that be a cab driver or a drug dealer or a small … Continue reading Conversations from the Telluride Film Festival: FIRST REFORMED

Born On This Day – December 30, 1906

“They’re all disappointments in the end. You only see the things you wish you had done. In the theatre you can take a play and then change it on tour or cut it down, but once you have finished a film and shown it, that’s it… No, I have no favourites.” “Following the picture through to the last detail is critical, terribly important. You know, not enough directors are willing to do this. They are too eager to run off and play in the south of France – they want their money fast and easy. As soon as shooting is … Continue reading Born On This Day – December 30, 1906

Born On This Day – December 18, 1904

“I just knew that if you engaged the audience with a promise that something would develop, you were in business. If not, you had to contrive automatic ridiculousness continuously. Comedy, in this sense, is all about preparation. Things have to be arranged and set up – cause and effect – and if the cause is apparent to the audience, they’ll stick with it until their sagacity is rewarded. It’s their intelligence that foresees things, while the comic character doesn’t.” –George Stevens Continue reading Born On This Day – December 18, 1904

Born On This Day – December 12, 1903

“I follow the general fashion in ordinary manners and moral laws in serious matters, but in art I follow myself. Therefore I won’t do anything I don’t want to do. Even if something is unnatural and I like it, I’ll do it. I don’t particularly approve of myself for this, and I know it isn’t reasonable; nonetheless, there it is. From this comes my individuality—and this is most important to me… Although I may seem the same to other people, to me each thing I produce is a new expression, and I always make each work from a new interest. … Continue reading Born On This Day – December 12, 1903

Born On This Day – December 9, 1929

“I’m taking a gamble making the film. I don’t have any money. I just go to the bank and borrow it. And hope. But what isn’t risky about movies? It’s always risky when it’s original… It’s a very dangerous territory to be in where you can only make a film if your grosses reflect a large gross. I’ve been making films for twenty-five years and none of them has really made a lot of money. But there’s nobody in the world who can tell me we didn’t succeed. And that’s the greatest feeling that I’ve ever had in my life.” … Continue reading Born On This Day – December 9, 1929

Born On This Day – December 8, 1861

“The camera I was using in the beginning, a rudimentary affair in which the film would tear or would often refuse to move, produced an unexpected effect one day when I was photographing very prosaically the Place de l’Opera. It took a minute to release the film and get the camera going again. During this minute the people, buses vehicles had of course moved. Projecting the film, having joined the break, I suddenly saw a Madeleine-Bastille omnibus change into a hearse and men into women. The trick of substitution, called the trick of stop-action was discovered…” –Georges Méliès Continue reading Born On This Day – December 8, 1861

Born On This Day – December 5, 1902

“I think that a film should have a good story, a clear story, and it should have, if possible, something which is probably the most difficult thing – it should have a little bit of magic. Magic being untouchable and very difficult to cast, you can’t deal with it at all. You can only try to prepare some nests, hoping that a little bit of magic will slide into them.” –Emeric Pressburger Continue reading Born On This Day – December 5, 1902