Sunday, September 27, 2015

The Filmmaker Says

Quotes from The Filmmaker Says: Quotes, Quips, and Words of Wisdom
- unfortunately there were probably about 3 women in this book, and maybe two people of colour...

"Learning to make films is very easy. Learning what to make films about is very hard."
George Lucas

"Life is a tragedy, when seen in close-up, but a comedy in long-shot."
Charlie Chaplin

"Making a movie was like vomiting. I really did not look forward to it, but after I did it, I felt better."
Warren Beatty

"The most painful thing is to think you will come to see the film and then forget it. It is also painful to hink that you see the film, remember it for a little while, and then forget it. So I try to keep you from forgetting. I try to present a human being that you are unable to forget."
Akira Kurosawa

"I don't mind the dance that you have to do in order to get something made - the hoops you have to jump through, the fake smiles you have to adopt. You just have to. No one is entitled to anything. You have to earn it."
Sam Mendes

"Most films reflect the world, and the world is violent and in a lot of trouble. It's not the other way around. The films don't make a peaceful world violent - the violent world made the films."
David Lynch

Girl In A Band

Excerpts from Girl In A Band by Kim Gordon

Page 85
"These days, when I'm in New York, I wonder, What's this place all about, really? The answer is consumption and moneymaking. Wall Street drives the whole country, with the fashion industry as the icing. Everything people call fabulous or amazing lasts for about ten minutes before the culture moves on to the next thing. Creative ideas and personal ambition are no longer mutually exclusive. A friend recently described the work of an artist we both know as "corporate," and it wasn't a compliment. The Museum of Modern Art is like a giant midtown gift store."

Page 127
"I also felt limited as a singer. When the band first started, I went for a vocal approach that was rhythmic and spoken, but sometimes unleashed, because of all the different guitar tunings we used. When you listen to old R&B records, the women on them sang in a really fierce, kick-ass way. In general, though, women aren't really allowed to be kick-ass. It's like the famous distinction between art and craft: Art, and wildness, and pushing against the edges, is a male thing. Craft, and control, and polish, is for women. Culturally we don't allow women to be as free as they would like, because that is frightening. We either shun those women or deem them crazy. Female singers who push too much, and too hard, don't tend to last very long. They're jags, bolts, comets: Janis Joplin, Billie Holiday. But being that woman who pushes the boundaries means you also bring in less desirable aspects of yourself. At the end of the day, women are expected to hold up the world, not annihilate it. That's why Kathleen Hanna of Bikini Kill is so great. The term girl power was coined by the Riot Grrl movement that Kathleen spearheaded in the 1990s. Girl power: a phrase that would later be co-opted by the Spice Girls, a group put together by men, each Spice Girl branded with a different personality, polished and stylized to be made marketable as a faux female type. Coco was one of the few girls on the playground who had never heard of them, and that's its own form of girl power; saying no to female marketing!"

Page 132
"On a more personal level, "Shaking Hell" mirrors my struggle with my own identity and the anger I felt at who I was. Every woman knows what I'm talking about when I say girls grow up with a desire to please, to cede their power to other people. At the same time everyone knows about the sometimes aggressive and manipulative ways men often exert power in the world, and how by using the word empowered to describe women, men are simply maintaining their own power and control. Years after I'd left L.A., I could still hear my crazy brother's voice in my ear, whispering, I'm going to tell all your friends that you cried.

Back then, and even now, I wonder, Am I "empowered"? If you have to hide your hypersensitivity, are you really a "strong woman"? Sometimes another voice enters my head, shooing these thoughts aside. This one tells me that the only really good performance is one where you make yourself vulnerable while pushing beyond your familiar comfort zone. I liken it to having an intense, hyper-real dream, where you step off a cliff but don't fall to your death." 

Page 133, emphasis mine
"With "Shaking Hell," I was trying to push my inner self out, with an edge that matched who I had become in New York. I bleached my hair unevenly, then dyed it magenta. In retrospect, it's ridiculous that anyone saw me as a fashion icon, since all I was trying to do was dumb down my middle-class look by messing with my hair. Throughout the eighties I was invariably half-sure and half-confident about whatever it was I wore. I was going for a punky look, without really feeling I owned it...Still, I've always believed - still do - that the radical is far more interesting when it looks benign and ordinary on the outside."