People who act against their own best interests are interesting characters.
I want to be happy; why do I do things that make me unhappy?
Those artists who say that somehow therapy or analysis will thwart their creativity are completely misinformed. It's absolutely the opposite: it opens closed doors.
As screenwriters, we struggle with our own success. We have wallpapered our world and now we can't get anyone to notice the picture we just hung.
Ultimately, it's an illusion that you can understand yourself.
If you write interesting roles, you get interesting people to play them. If you write roles that are full of nuance and contradiction and have interesting dialog, actors are drawn to that.
I teach a course in screenwriting at Columbia, but I've never taken a course and I've never read a book about it!
I was raised as a Calvinist, which is doctrine-driven. And though there are many things wrong with Calvinism, you are at least encouraged to argue about things.
'Taxi Driver' wasn't autobiographical in terms of the actual events, but I did draw on my own mental state.
The only economic paradigm that movies have ever known is capitalism. There were no church sponsors or state patronage. The idea was that if you'd pay to see it, we'll make it for you.
I still think like a critic, and I still analyze films like a critic. However, it's not possible to write criticism if you're making films.
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