Q: People who use wheelchairs face many difficulties in leading a normal life. Having experienced difficulties yourself, what is your message to people who have to use wheelchairs?
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Hawking : Although I was unfortunate enough to get motor neurone disease, I have been very fortunate in almost everything else. I was lucky to be working in theoretical physics, one of the few areas in which disability was not a serious handicap, and to hit the jackpot with my popular books. My advice to other disabled people would be, concentrate on things your disability doesn’t prevent you doing well, and don’t regret the things it interferes with. Theoretical physics is one of the few fields in which being disabled is no handicap. It’s all in the mind. I must admit, I do tend to drift off to thinking about physics or black holes when I get left behind in the conversation. In fact, my disability has been a help in a way. It has freed me from teaching or sitting on boring committees, and given me more time to think and do research.
Source : http://elpais.com/elpais/2015/09/25/inenglish/1443171082_956639.html
Q: Why should people read your plays?
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Chekhov: I’m not sure they should.
I try to show man to himself as he is, not as he is in our imaginations and myths, or as he is on our modern stage. Life is composed primarily of banal events like greetings, partings, menial labor, meals, and unremarkable conversation; so, too, are my plays. If man were sufficiently aware of how he lives, I would feel no need to write plays about it.
Q: Were you surprised at the criticism you received after writing, in your first book, about leaving the kids from your first marriage behind you?
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Doris : Of course I wasn’t surprised. The thing was that this was a terrible thing to do, but I had to do it because I have no doubt whatsoever if I had not done it, I would have become an alcoholic or ended in the loony bin. I couldn’t stand that life. I just couldn’t bear it. It’s this business of giving all the time, day and night, trying to conform to something you hate. Nobody can do it without going crazy. My husband was a civil servant who became increasingly high in the ranks. He couldn’t afford a wife who had [radical ideas]. I wouldn’t have lasted. I became friends with the kids later, and the grandkids, and so on. I’m not pretending that anything terrible didn’t happen.
Q : Do you think digital technology is making the world increasingly distractable?
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James: I mean… the whole computerised world now is somewhat distressing with cellphones. People constantly have to check things, and then they just check for a second and leave. It’s just all so weird to me; it’s a weird world that we’re in.
But there are people who are realising that too, and are going in the opposite direction… Some people are learning how to work with technology so it doesn’t completely destroy their autonomy. Like, for me, I’ve been thinking very much about the computer and what [Unabomber Ted] Kaczynski’s written about technology, and that is that the computer offers me complete autonomy in my work; I don’t need a lab, I can do these collages, all this stuff by myself. Sometimes I need some help from a few technicians, but basically it’s not like I have to buy things to make a film any more. It’s all available once I have this equipment.
But because of that I can work constantly now, because it doesn’t cost. All of a sudden maybe the more important autonomy of control, of what your life is about, has gone. Now I’m the slave to this machine, working and concentrating on what I want to do. Now I like that, but at the same time I’m not sure it’s healthy. It’s something one has to negotiate.
And when I see young students who can’t let go of their cellphones, constantly having to text and do that, that worries me… it’s so seductive. A lot of it’s just nonsense, right, what’s going on with those things? Or maybe they have important things to text, but I doubt it.
James Benning (born 1942) is an independent filmmaker from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Over the course of his 40-year career Benning has made over twenty-five feature-length films that have shown in many different venues across the world.
Q: Going off of that point about morality, there are a few characters in The Salesman who, in any other film, might be completely vilified or else deprived of the detail and humanity that other characters are afforded. How important is it to you that we feel empathy even for the characters who do despicable things in your movies?
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AF: This is the most important goal that I have in my films. I was talking with my friends and I told them, “If you want to write something on my grave, it should be ‘empathy.’” I’m always working towards empathy, even with the characters who do wrong. Audiences usually put themselves in the shoes of the good characters. They never put themselves in the shoes of the person who has done something wrong. And there is no challenge when you put yourselves in the shoes of the good people. The films where characters are heroic and do lots of great things are satisfying and comfortable to audiences. But I want audiences to put themselves in the shoes of characters who have done something wrong. In order to do that, I have to create empathy for the character. And [the audience] can then ask themselves, if I were in his shoes would I do the same thing or not? And if I were to do that, what decisions would I make after that? This is kind of an excuse for the audience to make self-realizations. For example, in About Elly, the audience has to ask themselves, If I was one of those people who went on the trip, would I lie to the fiancé as well and say we didn’t know [Elly] had a fiancé? Could I lie like them or not?
Q- Hollywood isn’t eager to finance your work?
Bill Forsyth– Financiers are suspicious because I work in low-budget. It’s easier for me to get three times the amount of money I really want. If you ask for relatively little money, they worry that you are going to get involved in something that is unwatchable or, worse, unmarketable. Unmarketable is a much more worrying term for them because if they can find an angle to make something unwatchable marketable, they’ll do it every week.
The studio system reminds me of the stock market. People think the stock market is a place of levelheadedness but it actually works in a totally emotional way: the President gets a pimple on his nose, and the thing plummets. The movie business is very much like that: people in authority making purely emotional decisions instead of interesting rational ones.