Some of Jimmy Stewart's performance in 'It's A Wonderful Life' is some of the most disturbing performance he ever did, when he falls apart and when he breaks down.
I would say that when I came into this chapter of my filmmaking career, starting with 'The Fighter,' there was this sense that you have to go from your instincts and you have to go from your gut, and you have to not hesitate and you have to not hedge.
I think what makes compelling fiction or cinema is when you're basically taking the most intense moments of experience and you're creating a song or a narrative out of it.
I've done my best to work from a place of humility- always looking over your shoulder saying, 'Does this suck?' and I think that's a good way to work. The other way to work is where you start to think, 'I'm on fire, I'm amazing!' and I don't think that's the way to work.
What do we have in life, really? If we're lucky we get to a certain age, and we have each other. We have the food we like. We have our crazy little rituals. And we have each other.
I got a nomination for director, which means the world to me; it's just the most exciting thing for me and my family. You do the good hard work, and the rest of it is something you shouldn't get too caught up in, but when it happens - boy! I respect it.
There's nothing better than an actor who is really, really hungry to show everything they've got.
I feel profoundly blessed. I feel it's a great privilege to make any motion picture.
I'm always looking for a way to surprise audiences. That's, I feel, my job as a director. I felt that Amy Adams playing a tough woman in 'The Fighter' was a surprise. People saw her as a princess.
I was frustrated because I couldn't get going, as I was trying to figure out how to make films. I had various jobs, I taught a SAT class, I was a bartender, I had a day job at an office and was making short films.
I got put on jury duty, which is where I learned how to write.
The closer you stay to emotional authenticity and people, character authenticity, the less you can go wrong. That's how I feel now, no matter what you're doing.
You know, veterans come home and they may not be bipolar, but after they've been through a war with PTSD or a head injury, their families have a handful when they come home.
I did a dance sequence in my second short film, which was my best short film, called 'Hairway to the Stars,' and I think Chris Wink, the founder of Blue Man Group, was in that. It's a black-and-white dance sequence. We were Glorious Food waiters together.
I think any spiritual experience that's worthwhile is not about ego and it will humble you in some way. And also, a Zen monk once said to me, 'If you're not laughing, then you're not getting it.'
I just love real characters; they're not pretentious, and every emotion is on the surface, they're regular working people. Their likes, their dislikes, their loves, their hates, their passions; they're all right there on the surface.
You can't handle my infinite nature.
Nobody sits like this rock sits. You rock, rock. THe rock just is and sits. You show us how to just sit here and that's what we need.
This isn't infinity. This is the suburbs.
We're not in infinity, we're in the suburbs.
I'm not ok. Don't tell anyone.
even though I am practicing being kind rather than right, I can't find it in me to confort her right now...
Yeah, I say. Haven't you ever noticed that life is like a series of movies?
Anything you could ever want or be you already have and are.
The Fighter was about a family struggling to overcome and fighting each other sometimes, and I went back and rewrote this script which I had written for my son initially because my son has mood disorder.
I had various jobs, I taught a SAT class, I was a bartender, I had a day job at an office and was making short films. I got grants from NYSCA and NEA for an idea, which later became 'Huckabees,' about a guy in a Chinese restaurant who had microphones on every table and heard every personal conversation and would write perversely personal fortunes.
I think I land somewhere between Scorsese and Capra in what I'm drawn to emotionally; I'm drawn to very intense emotion. Capra freaked people out when they saw Jimmy Stewart lose it in 'It's a Wonderful Life.
When I write an email where I outlined a whole scene, it just came out of my unconscious, it comes from a deeper place. The same thing happens when the actors go, take after take, and just get lost in it. When you're in a house, you don't think about being in the house; you're just there.
The whole trick is to make it feel like you're spying on real people's lives as they get through the day. When I'm writing, I have to trick myself as a writer. If I consciously say, 'I'm writing,' I feel all this pressure and somehow it doesn't feel as real as when it doesn't seem to count as much.
One of the things I've discovered at my age is I must have enchantment. And that was not clear to me in my earlier years. When I look at my favorite films, the Frank Capra - even Scorsese, even 'Goodfellas,' what makes that movie so remarkable is there's enchantment in their world.
The gift of life is the gift to suffer sometimes and to embrace it, heartbreak and all.
That's just how I see things. I think things that are the most dramatic or tragic can also look the most ridiculous and funny. That's part of being human.
Gay marriage is a complete red herring to distract everyone from the economy and the war and health care and education.
That's the most beautiful thing that I like about boxing: you can take a punch. The biggest thing about taking a punch is your ego reacts and there's no better spiritual lesson than trying to not pay attention to your ego's reaction.
It's easier to control people when they're afraid.
The investigation of consciousness has come to be regarded suspiciously by most smart people and by most scientists. That's a legacy that began with the Inquisition, which considered non-Christian spiritual inquiry as blasphemous.
Bush was in a shithole on September 10th. 9/11 was the best thing that ever happened to him.
I suppose what I like about Zen is that the teachers are constantly questioning your insight and challenging it, looking for sloppiness or laziness in it, and ways you can go past that.
It's not easy to follow Jesus' example, and if you go to church it doesn't mean you're automatically doing it.
The religion itself may have some great ideas, but I can't take it seriously if it's blatantly exclusionary.