Category: Cinema
Werner Herzog | On Celluloid
Werner Herzog, Thailand @ James Nachtweh / VII

Werner Herzog, Thailand @ James Nachtweh / VII

From Marc Maron’s WTF podcast.

Marc Maron: Do you miss film?

Werner Herzog: Celluloid? No, I am not nostalgic. I still love it. Of course I love it. But digital film making has helped me to work faster and to work less expensively. So that’s why all of a sudden I’m coming out with four films, all of them ready for distribution. The system of distribution is too slow for my output.

MM: What did you lose with celluloid?

WH: Well, the kind of magic of the flicker of 24 frames in a theater. And celluloid, you alway have to understand it as a layer, a three dimensional thin layer of emulsion that stores the information. Whereas digital film is only a file of zeroes and ones. It’s strange that we sense there’s a different life to it.

MM: Also I imagine the editing process is a bit more decisive.

WH: When you work in celluloid, you better come to some conclusions quickly and what I see today in digital editing, there are directors who do not know what they are doing and they create twenty-two parallel versions and they never can decide. I’m editing almost as fast as I am thinking. Because I do not have to search for that small reel of film and look for…making some pen marks on it and glue it, splice it and feed it into a system and roll it to the right moment.

I’m editing much much fast now. Closer to writing in a way, yes.


Ridley Scott | Kubrick Footage in Blade Runner

I’ve got a very nice story about Stanley. I’d finished Blade Runner and it was a disaster. And my investors who were giving me a really hard time, said…’You can’t end the film with this picking up this piece of origami, looking at the girl, walking in the elevator, and nodding, that’s called a film noir.’

I said, ‘What’s a film noir.’…

‘We have to test this with an uplifting ending where they will go off into the wilderness together.’

I said, ‘Well if they can go off into the beautiful wilderness, why are they living in this dystopian environment?’
‘Allright, I’ll do it.’

So by then, I had talked to Stanley a few times. I called him up and said listen, ‘I know you shot the hell out of wherever it was in The Shining, and I know you’ve got four and a half months of helicopter stuff…[inaudible]. Can I have some of the stuff because it will suit me fine.’

The next day I had seventeen hours of helicopter footage, it was stunning. So the end of the film in Blade Runner, that’s Stanley Kubrick’s footage…

But he said,’You got a vehicle, what is it?’

‘It’s long.’

‘Oh shit, every shot I have has a Volkswagen in it.’ Then he went, ‘Oh, what did you shoot?’

I said, ‘Anamorphic’

“Ah jolly good, when you project mine, it’ll look oblong. You’ll be fine.’

Then a day later he called me.

‘It’s Stanley. One other thing. I know you’re going through my footage right now. If there’s anything I used, you can’t have it. Got it?’

I went, ‘Okay cool.’

That was it. That was Kubrick.

– Ridley Scott

Footage from Stanley Kubrick's Shining in the theatrical release of Blade Runner

Footage from Stanley Kubrick’s Shining in the theatrical release of Blade Runner

Footage from Stanley Kubrick's Shining in the theatrical release of Blade Runner

Footage from Stanley Kubrick’s Shining in the theatrical release of Blade Runner

Footage from Stanley Kubrick's Shining in the theatrical release of Blade Runner

Footage from Stanley Kubrick’s Shining in the theatrical release of Blade Runner

Footage from Stanley Kubrick's Shining in the theatrical release of Blade Runner

Footage from Stanley Kubrick’s Shining in the theatrical release of Blade Runner


Martin Scorsese | Spielberg and Cinematography
Empire of the Sun, 1987, Steven Spielberg

Empire of the Sun, 1987, Steven Spielberg

It took me a long to understand about cinematography and lighting. I was talking about it to Spielberg one time and he said he grew up in Phoenix, Arizona. And he realized one morning on Empire of the Sun, he saw the mist on the ground and he realized the sun was going to come up like a red ball. He got the shot of the last kamikaze going out, silhouetted against that red ball.

And I’m like, if I see mist on the ground, I run. I’m a New Yorker.

– Martin Scorsese


John Ford | The Searchers
John Wayne in John Ford's The Searchers, 1956

John Wayne in John Ford’s The Searchers, 1956

This no happy ending though. There is no home, no family, waiting for Ethan. He is cursed, just as he cursed the dead Comanchee. He is a drifter, doomed to wander between the winds.

– Martin Scorsese


Vernon Wells | Road Warrior
Vernon Wells in George Miller's Road Warrior, 1981

Vernon Wells in George Miller’s Road Warrior, 1981

I was doing a play in Melbourne and George Miller’s girlfriend was at one of the showing. She suggested to George that I would be perfect for the role of Wez. I had no idea what the “Road Warrior” was about so George came down for a meeting and after about an hour of telling dirty jokes we both went on our way. A month later I get a call saying I got the part. I still had no idea what the film or the role was even about. It wasn’t until I had to go to Sydney for my costume fittings did I start to figure it out. Originally I had thought that I couldn’t do the role and was in my own way trying to get out of the role. Once I got the whole costume on George stood me in front of the mirror and I was scared shitless. After George doing that I figured I could probably do the role.

– Vernon Wells

Vernon Wells in George Miller's Road Warrior, 1981

Vernon Wells in George Miller’s Road Warrior, 1981

Originally there had been a scene that explained I had raised the the boy on the back of my motorcycle, which would explain why I go mad when he is killed by the Feral Kid. However, in editing they felt the character played better without it, which would make everyone assume we were lovers. I respect what it did for my character, and because of Hosana, it wasn’t an issue for me if my character was gay, even if in my real life I am not.

– Vernon Wells

Vernon Wells in George Miller's Road Warrior, 1981

Vernon Wells in George Miller’s Road Warrior, 1981

Probably the most insane thing I did was when I was on the back of the snake truck, with one foot on it and one foot on the tanker, crossing to climb onto the tanker, and the snake truck veered away from the tanker to avoid hitting it and I nearly became a wishbone! But alls well that ends well.

– Vernon Wells


R. Lee Ermey | Stanley Kubrick
R. Lee Ermey in Stanley Kubrick's Full Metal Jacket, 1987

R. Lee Ermey in Stanley Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket, 1987

Stanley told me he didn’t understand actors. He had no actor friends — they were basically working associates, and he thought they were a little bit strange, totally spoiled and in most cases had to be begged to give him a decent performance. Half the time the actor would argue with him. Vince D’Onofrio didn’t like Stanley’s “craziness look.” He wanted to try it some other way. The problem with Vince was this was his first film, and he’s telling Stanley Kubrick how he thinks this look should be. They stand there arguing. Stanley finally said, “Look, do it my way and we’ll load back up and we’ll shoot it your way.” Well, when they shot it Vince’s way they didn’t have any film in the camera

– R. Lee Ermey

Vincent D'Onofrio in Stanley Kubrick's Full Metal Jacket, 1987

Vincent D’Onofrio in Stanley Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket, 1987


The Prophecy | Christopher Walken as Gabriel
Christopher Walken as the archangel Gabriel in The Prophecy, 1995

Christopher Walken as the archangel Gabriel in The Prophecy, 1995

Christopher Walken as the archangel Gabriel in The Prophecy, 1995

Christopher Walken as the archangel Gabriel in The Prophecy, 1995

Christopher Walken as the archangel Gabriel in The Prophecy, 1995

Christopher Walken as the archangel Gabriel in The Prophecy, 1995

Christopher Walken as the archangel Gabriel and Amanda Plummer in The Prophecy, 1995

Christopher Walken as the archangel Gabriel and Amanda Plummer in The Prophecy, 1995