David Whyte:”I think one of our great tasks as human beings is to find the part of us that is big enough for life”

When you experience that heartbreak and humiliation, are you able to make it useful in your work?

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David Whyte- I would certainly say so in poetry, and I hope it’s so in human relationships too. I’ve learned there’s a cycle of grief in every art form and relationship. When I finished my last book of poetry, Pilgrim, I realised the tide was about to turn, so I started writing furiously.

There’s that great line at the end of As You Like It, where Shakespeare says: “The words of Mercury are harsh after the songs of Apollo.” The songs of Apollo have poetry and lyricism, and Mercury is the messenger god who is getting the work out in the world—through printing it and reading it. I remember when I suddenly wrote a poem in a very different voice and I knew that particular tide was over. There was a kind of a beautiful, poignant grief to it. At the same time there was a sense of completion and harvest, and a sense of thankfulness.

If you read the great German-speaking poet Rilke, around the Duino Elegies, he had an experience of this visitation—of an enormous tidal current of creativity and presence and then the sense of suddenly being left. This feeling of being left is just the fact that you don’t recognise the new territory. You’re meant not to know. I think one of our great tasks as human beings is to find the part of us that is big enough for life, that can put its arms around the part that finds things difficult, that wants life to be different.

Source – https://www.dumbofeather.com/conversations/david-whyte-is-an-everyday-poet/

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Vladimir Nabokov: “Only talent interests me in paintings and books”

Playboy: In terms of modern art, critical opinion is divided about the sincerity or deceitfulness, simplicity or complexity of contemporary abstract painting. What is your own opinion?

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Nabokov: I do not see any essential difference between abstract and primitive art. Both are simple and sincere. Naturally, we should not generalize in these matters: It is the individual artist that counts. But if we accept for a moment the general notion of “modern art,” then we must admit that the trouble with it is that it is so commonplace, imitative and academic. Blurs and blotches have merely replaced the mass prettiness of a hundred years ago, pictures of Italian girls, handsome beggars, romantic ruins, and so forth. But just as among those corny oils there might occur the work of a true artist with a richer play of light and shade, with some original streak of violence or tenderness, so among the corn of primitive and abstract art one may come across a flash of great talent. Only talent interests me in paintings and books. Not general ideas, but the individual contribution.

Source :  http://reprints.longform.org/playboy-interview-vladimir-nabokov

Rima Das :” I had no option but to do everything on my own. I had run out of money”

You’ve been called a one-woman army. Why did you decide to do it all on your own?

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Rima Das : I had no option but to do everything on my own. I had run out of money while making Antardrishti: Man With The Binoculars, my first feature film. So, when I started filming Village Rockstars I didn’t have the money to engage professionals. Besides, VR is a story about children, by children. This was a tough project. Working with non-actors, especially children who have never acted before, I knew I would need to spend time with them, feel their energy and conduct extensive workshops. This meant I couldn’t have a tight schedule in place. If I had engaged professionals, I would have naturally had to limit this exploration within a time frame and that would mean compromising on many aspects. The story began to develop as I started shooting, therefore I guess I needed the flexibility and freedom.

Source : http://www.vervemagazine.in/people/boss-lady-rima-das-on-village-rockstars-and-why-realism-is-intrinsic-to-good-cinema

Mohsen Makhmalbaf: “We have only one life, but each film gives us another life”

Some have said that these changes – the high-rise buildings, the crowd – have stifled creativity.

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Mohsen Makhmalbaf:
You could have your story. It doesn’t matter — high buildings or low buildings, empty city or crowded city. You can create your story, you can share your story, and through it we can understand your condition.

We have only one life, but each film gives us another life. Watching films and reading novels, they give eternality to the audience. So it’s very important to see different kinds of films, from different nations. Because many of Hollywood films are the same, they have no diversity.

Source : https://www.buro247.sg/culture/insiders/interview-with-mohsen-makhmalbaf-singapore.html

Pedro Almodovor: “I have no real interest in films that have to do with superheroes and sequels, prequels, reboots…”

What do you think about the state of Hollywood movies?

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Almodovor: It’s very difficult for me to go to the theater and find movies that I love — much more difficult than before. Maybe I’m getting old. Either that or I find it more difficult for a story to surprise me. I think that film right now is worse than it used to be. For example, I don’t think that you see the kinds of films you saw in the ’60s or the ’70s.

I have no real interest in films that have to do with superheroes and sequels, prequels, reboots — all this kind of business. Ironically, on some level, the fact that movies are so technically proficient works against them. I used to be interested in the adventure film or any chase film before the effects were so perfect. The digital, the synthetic aspect of the image, has taken some of that away from me. There was a sense of danger that was exciting.

Source : https://variety.com/2016/film/news/pedro-almodovar-interview-julieta-director-1201941446/

Philip Roth:”Fluency can be a sign that nothing is happening”

INTERVIEWER

How much of a book is in your mind before you start?

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ROTH-

What matters most isn’t there at all. I don’t mean the solutions to problems, I mean the problems themselves. You’re looking, as you begin, for what’s going to resist you. You’re looking for trouble. Sometimes in the beginning uncertainty arises not because the writing is difficult, but because it isn’t difficult enough. Fluency can be a sign that nothing is happening; fluency can actually be my signal to stop, while being in the dark from sentence to sentence is what convinces me to go on.

Source : https://www.theparisreview.org/interviews/2957/philip-roth-the-art-of-fiction-no-84-philip-roth

Ed Catmull:”Fear is built into our nature”

The Quarterly: It sounds as though you think a lot about fear and how to counteract its corrosive effects.

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Ed Catmull: Fear is built into our nature; we want to succeed and we respond physiologically to threats—both to real threats and to imagined threats. If people come into an organization like ours and they’re welcomed in, what’s the threat? Well, from their point of view, they’re thinking, “this is a high-functioning environment. Am I going to fit in? Am I going to look bad? Will I screw up?” It’s natural to think this way, but it makes people cautious.

When you go to work for a company, they tell you something about the values of the company and how open they are. But it’s just words. You take your actual cues from what you see. That’s just the way we’re wired. Most people don’t talk explicitly about it, because they don’t want to appear obtuse or out of place. So they’ll sometimes misinterpret what they see. For example, when we were building Pixar, the people at the time played a lot of practical jokes on each other, and they loved that. They think it’s awesome when there are practical jokes and people do things that are wild and crazy.

Now, it’s 20 years later. They’ve got kids; they go home after work. But they still love the practical jokes. When new people come in, they may hear stories about the old days, but they don’t see as much clowning around. So if they were to do it, they might feel out of line. Without anyone saying anything, just based on what they see, they would be less likely to do those things.

Meanwhile, the older people are saying, “what’s wrong with these new people? They’re not like we were. They’re not doing any of this fun stuff.” Without intending to, the culture slowly shifts. How do you keep the shift from happening? I can’t go out and say, “OK, we’re going to organize some wild and crazy activities.” Top-down organizing of spontaneous activities isn’t a good idea. Don’t get me wrong—we still have a lot of pretty crazy things going on, but we are trying to be aware of the unspoken fears that make people overly cautious. If you’re just measuring yourself by your outward success, then you’re missing a huge part of what drives people.

 

Source : https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/organization/our-insights/staying-one-step-ahead-at-pixar-an-interview-with-ed-catmull