Charlie Kaufman:”It’s hard to be human”

Q: As Michael asks in the film: what is it to be human, to ache?

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Charlie Kaufman : I don’t know. It’s hard to be human. I get angry at being human and at humans and I wish there was more kindness and I could be more kind and other people could be more kind. I get very rattled just in traffic. On the road, a certain combination of selfishness and aggression exists. I think it’s analogous to look at people in cars and people online because it is an anonymous situation where you get to act on these impulses without repercussions – unless you’re in an accident – and just to be mean. I just find it so upsetting.

I was driving last night on this quiet road and this person was driving towards me and had their lights on. I flashed them to let him know, not in a rude way, that I couldn’t see. And he or she turned her brights off immediately and then turned them right back on. It was like: ‘Screw you. Don’t tell me what to do. Fuck you.’ I can’t really figure out any other version that makes sense. It just puts all of my cortisol or some sort of adrenalin nightmare stuff coursing through my veins.

The converse is true too. When I see something that’s just kind, I find it the most incredibly moving thing. It just makes me relax and tear up. When someone looks at you warmly for a second as you pass them on the street – rather than just an obligatory nod – it gives you some sort of renewed faith.

Source : https://www.theguardian.com/film/2016/dec/16/charlie-kaufman-anomalisa-interview-donald-trump

Maria Popova :”If we are so busy being successful that we don’t have time to be happy, then we need to seriously reconsider our definition of success”

Q: The “Information Age” seems to have ushered in this hectic, new pace of working that’s driving us all a bit crazy. And it feels unsustainable. How do you think we ended up here?

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Maria Popova : I think that word “should” in our internal narratives is very toxic—this notion of, “what should I be doing?” and it’s always pegged to some sort of expectation, whether it’s self-imposed or external or a combination of the two. It’s hard to balance those expectations of what you should be doing with what you want to be doing. I feel very fortunate in that to a large extent what I do is exactly what I want to be doing for myself, and I still write for an audience of one. I read things that stimulate me and inspire me and help me figure out how to live and then I write about them. The fact that there are other people who enjoy it is nice, but it’s just a byproduct.

I think there is a high correlation between “type A” personalities and people that “do their own thing.” But we typically do that thing within a structure that’s borrowed from the world of working for the man—the only difference is you’re the man now. When you’re your own boss, the demands you place on yourself are probably higher and more intense than any demands anyone else would place on you if you were an employee.

If we are so busy being successful that we don’t have time to be happy, then we need to seriously reconsider our definition of success.

Source : http://99u.com/articles/29651/maria-popova-staying-present-and-grounded-in-the-age-of-information-overload

Orhan Pamuk:”I think that fiction teaches us something essential about life”

Interviewer  : A year ago, a very famous Dutch art critic came into my house and saw all my books and said, “What a waste of time to read all those novels.” For him literature is something that is really dead.

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Orhan Pamuk: I would say that his kind of understanding of reading literature, which implies that one could have done something more useful with one’s time, is very utilitarian. I think it is very premodern to look at books as objects that will educate you, or benefit you, or to consider reading as an intellectual investment you could somehow rely on in the future. With his statement, this art critic implies that, unfortunately, reading literature is a wrong investment. Right?

Interviewer: Yes.

Orhan Pamuk: Well, I think that fiction teaches us something essential about life. I have learned a lot about life from fiction — from Dostoyevsky, from Tolstoy. My understanding of major categories of life comes from fiction rather than the laws of psychology. But I will tell you something. For me, the urge to write and read fiction is not utilitarian. Instead it is like playing with toys. When I was a kid, I just wanted to play with my brother, or with this toy or that toy, without knowing why. The instinct to write fiction has that aspect, and the instinct to read fiction has that aspect.

Source : http://bidoun.org/articles/orhan-pamuk

Margaret Atwood :”rights did not descend out of the sky

Q: This idea, especially when it comes to women’s rights, that, “Okay, well, things are moving forward. Women are better off than they used to be.” Do you think we’re rethinking whether that is always true right now?

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Margaret Atwood : Well, there’s no such thing as inevitable progress. And it always has been true and always will be true that rights did not descend out of the sky. Rights are things that people agree on, and they end up agreeing on them because people work to get them to agree. So they can always change their minds. They say, “Well, this has gone too far. We certainly can’t have high heels; let’s abolish them.” Or whatever it may be. And people are prone in times of crisis, turmoil, and social unrest … to limiting things. Because it makes them feel safer.

So there’s no inevitability about it. And you can’t have human rights for women unless you have human rights. Think of that. You cannot. Because unless you decide that women are some class of nonhuman beings and should have special treatment, then you have to have a general category of human rights, which includes women as human beings.

Source : https://www.vox.com/conversations/2017/4/26/15435378/margaret-atwood-handmaids-tale-interview

 

 

 

 

 

Richard Linklater: ” I was always intrigued by what people said”

Q: Why is it that your movies are so verbally driven? Almost all of them are built around conversation and speech. Do you see language and verbal expression as the place where we really see who people are?

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Linklater : Well, I always thought so. If you look at the world around you, we define ourselves more by speech. I remember Sam Fuller saying, “You don’t talk about things. You show it.” And I said, “He’s right. That is cinema.” But when I turned on the camera, it really was about people talking. That was the world I had experienced. I hadn’t been to a war. I hadn’t been a crime reporter. I was always intrigued by what people said, what that meant about what they were saying, and what that betrayed about them—regardless of whether what they were saying made any sense or not. I had done that first film [It’s Impossible to Learn to Plough by Reading Books] that’s very much a kind of structural thing that was about a lack of communication. And in Slacker I wanted a world where the interior was brought forth—kind of like in theater. That’s just the way it came out once I really started to do stuff that felt personal to me. It was people just rapping, talking a lot, with not much going on, technically speaking. It wasn’t really conscious. I’m not that verbal. I’m more of an observer than a talker. So I was as surprised as anybody, really, that that’s how it came out.

Source : https://www.filmcomment.com/article/lost-in-america-richard-linklater-interview/

Kurt Vonnegut : “One thing I hate about school committees today is that they cut arts programs out of the curriculum”

Q: Tell me the reasons you’ve been attracted to a life of creation, whether as a writer or an artist. 

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image source : internet

Kurt Vonnegut : I’ve been drawing all my life, just as a hobby, without really having shows or anything. It’s just an agreeable thing to do, and I recommend it to everybody. I always say to people, practice an art, no matter how well or badly [you do it], because then you have the experience of becoming, and it makes your soul grow. That includes singing, dancing, writing, drawing, playing a musical instrument. One thing I hate about school committees today is that they cut arts programs out of the curriculum because they say the arts aren’t a way to make a living. Well, there are lots of things worth doing that are no way to make a living. [Laughs.] They are agreeable ways to make a more agreeable life.

Source : http://tim.blog/2007/11/29/lack-of-seriousness-the-last-interview-with-vonnegut/

 

 

 

Anton Chekhov: “I try to show man to himself as he is, not as he is in our imaginations and myths”

Q: Why should people read your plays?

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image source : internet

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.

Source : http://yesandrew.com/the-sunday-interview-anton-chekhov/