DE PALMA: "I DIDN'T KNOW I WAS SUCH AN AMUSING RACONTEUR"
In the above video from the Venice Film Festival yesterday, Brian De Palma is asked whether he'd discovered anything new about himself from De Palma, the new documentary from Noah Baumbach and Jake Paltrow. "Well, I didn't know I was such an amusing raconteur," De Palma replies with good humor. "I mean, since I'm behind the camera all the time, and I was usually the court jester in most situations, but I never saw myself in front of the camera. So to see me telling these anecdotes and finding them amusing was kind of a surprise."
VIDEO: ON REACTIONS TO FILMS, THEIR WEEKLY NY DIRECTORS GROUP, & TV AS PRODUCER/WRITER MEDIUM
Below are select transcripts culled from the two videos above, which show De Palma speaking from the Venice press conference yesterday:
SENSE OF HUMOR IN THIS BUSINESS, AND LUCK, TOO
"If you're in this business, you'd better have a sense of humor. Because when you make a film, the reaction is usually the opposite of what you expect. You know, you think, 'Oh, they're gonna hate it,' 'no, they seem to like this one.' And then, 'Oh, this is my great masterpiece,' 'Ehh, it's terrible!'" [Laughter]
"You know, when I started in this business, I was associated with a group of young filmmakers. And we all used to hang out together, we used to talk about our movies, actors that we thought we’d like to use. We’d review each others’ scripts. And we did that in the seventies, and then suddenly everybody got kind of big and kind of went to different parts of the planet, and I missed that kind of directorial comradery. And I was very fortunate, because we all lived downtown in New York, and I met Noah like twenty years ago, and then Jake about ten years ago, and they're very close to Wes Anderson. So we started a group that basically met every week, and had 'directors talk.' And it's a great thing to have, because we're the only ones that understand what we go through."
ON WALKING AWAY FROM 'HAPPY VALLEY' - TOO MANY MEETINGS, TOO MANY NOTES
"I find that television executives are very intrusive. I've never had so many meetings with so many notes, about a script that I developed for Al Pacino that he wanted to do, that they proceeded to try to influence it in a way that made it unworkable. And I got to a point where I said, 'Guys, I'm done.' So, you gotta understand about television: it's a producer/writer's profession. The producers and the writers run the show. The directors [shakes head no], they bring 'em in... [looks at Paltrow next to him] well, you've actually done this. They bring them in, Director A is over there, Director B does this section, Director C does this section, and if you can tell the difference from one episode to another, God bless you."