Make a Difference
You have to really be courageous about
your instincts and your ideas. Otherwise you'll just knuckle under,
and things that might have been memorable will be lost.
I think it's better to be
overly ambitious and
fail than to be underambitious and succeed in a mundane way. I have
been very fortunate. I
failed upward in my life!
My company and people think I'm wacky
when I have an idea... I know if I have an idea, no one will want to
go through it. But if I persist, people will go through it.
It takes no
imagination to live within your means.
Usually, the stuff that's your best
idea or work is going to be attacked the most.
If you're a person who says yes most
of the time, you'll find yourself in the hotel business and the
I remember teachers who really singled
me out for their discouragement.
Creating New Things
I like to work in the morning. I like
to sometimes go to a place where I'm all alone where I'm not going
to get a phone call early that hurts my feelings, because once my
feelings are hurt, I'm dead in the water.
By working in the morning, I find a
sense of peace; it's isolated peace, but I can definitely be in
touch with my feelings, and then I just start.
I liked to work in a shop down in the
invent things and build gadgets.
I had been a kid that moved so much, I
didn't have a lot of friends. Theater really represented
When I was about 9, I had polio, and
people were very frightened for their children, so you tended to be
isolated. I was paralyzed for a while, so I watched television.
That's part of the requirement for me
to be an artist is that you're trying to share your personal
existence with others and trying to illuminate modern life, trying
'The Godfather' changed my life, for
better or worse. It definitely made me have an older man's film
career when I was 29.
I like simplicity; I don't need
I have much to learn from my daughter
Sofia. Her minimalism exposes my limitations: I'm too instinctive
and operatic, I put too much heart into my work, I get lost
sometimes in bizarre things ‒ it's my Italian heritage.
If I have to be remembered for
something, I want it remembered that I really liked children and was
a good camp counselor.
I believe that filmmaking - as, probably, is everything - is a game
you should play with all your cards, and all your dice, and whatever
else you've got. So, each time I make a movie, I give it everything
I have. I think everyone should, and I think everyone should do
everything they do that way.
Without a doubt, I was born to want to make cinema, but the kind of
cinema I want to make is not like commercial movies, which I enjoy
myself, but I wanted to be the kind of filmmaker who wrote original
work, sort of like a novelist would who deals with who we are and
our times or our relationships.
When I do a novel, I don't really use the script, I use the book;
when I did Apocalypse Now, I used Heart of Darkness. Novels usually
have so much rich material.
The essence of cinema is editing. It's the combination of what can
be extraordinary images of people during emotional moments, or
images in a general sense, put together in a kind of alchemy.
In a sense, I think a movie is really a little like a question and
when you make it, that's when you get the answer.
Art depends on luck and talent.
I don't think there's any artist of any value who doesn't doubt what
When that happens ‒ when risk is taken and the filmmakers dive into
the subject matter without a parachute ‒ very often what you get it
something with those qualities that make it age well with the
A number of images put together a certain way become something quite
above and beyond what any of them are individually.
Sound is your friend because sound is much cheaper than picture, but
it has equal effect on the audience ‒ in some ways, perhaps more
effect because it does it in a very indirect way.
When a movie is about to come out on its initial debut, there are a
lot of people involved ‒ the financiers, the studio and the
producers and also, many times, the foreign distributors. So it is a
time of tremendous pressure and uncertainty.
Sequels are not done for the audience or cinema or the filmmakers.
It's for the distributor. The film becomes a
Anyone who's made film and knows about the cinema has a lifelong
love affair with the experience. You
never stop learning about film.
Some critics are stimulating in that they make you realize how you
do better, and those are valued.
All of a sudden, there are great Japanese films, or great Italian
films, or great Australian films. It's usually because there are a
number of people that
cross-pollinated each other.
As long as I can make lots of money in other businesses, I'll
continue to subsidize my own work.