Written By Cigarettes & Red Vines
November 17th, 2003
This interview is based on questions submitted by the xixax.com message board. Paul's responses are unedited.
1. Let's talk about Couch. Was it shot on 16mm? Furthermore, was it shot on a Bolex? Tell me about the location? Lots of people have been asking.
The illustrious "couch" was shot in 35mm with a panavision camera and primo lenses at a Levitz in Chatsworth, California. can't remember what stock we used, my short term memory is shot at that moment. The location was simple - it may only appear un-simple because of the bizzare backing we put up in the middle of the store......did i forget to mention "couch" is my favorite thing ever ever ever ever?
2. The "Solar Flares" or "Lens Flares" in PDL appear at remarkably timed moments throughout the film. Were all these intentional down to the specific moment? Please explain.
they were specific for the most part. hitting on a line or a moment, etc. some just happened because the Sun wanted to contribute something nice....
There really is no direction you can give to the Sun....for instance, when Lena meets Barry - the Sun directed those lens flares and I thought he/she did a wonderful job....
3. Finish these sentences...:
You might be surprised to learn that I can...
tie my own shoes.
One thing I can't live without is... (refrain from saying movies, music, television, etc.)
swimming in the sea, baseball playoffs. my Nikon Cool Pix 5000. Apple.
I don't get it. They can put a man on the moon, but they can't...
fuck, that's a long, long list. How much time do you have? They can put a man on the moon but they can't clean their own back yard. There's a great song by Gil Scott Heron that answers that question better than I ever could called, "Whitey's On The Moon."
I'm not obsessive-compusive, but I always have to...
?????? But I am, you see!
Besides "A warm gun," Happiness is...
a cold and unloaded one.
My favorite meal is...
a happy one. Breakfast! eggs, any style. w/hot sauce (chilula) iced tea.
4. What's going on with the largo/jon brion collaborations? i see largo the site still has a spot reserved for pta movies coming soon...???
great question. not so hard to say. I have hours of stuff that I shot just for the hell of it - and once I get my head from around my ass, we'll probably just throw them up there - they just need to be found amongst many unlabled and half-shot tapes. There's also another thing we did as a test a few years back with Fiona, sweet elliot Smith, the great Brad Meldau and Jon at Cello Studios - just a test on shooting three cameras (video) and seeing if we could capture something - and that may soon find a home somewhere...more soon on that...it's all nice stuff, very simple, straightforward, no flashy pants - just music. it was a (relatively) successful test and if we tried something similar again, it might be more flash and pants and last waltz-stop making sense style....if these things ever make it out, look for a bizarre and wonderful bette midler cameo! ha!
5. Name a recent film that you thought was amazing, and why do you consider it that way.
lost in translation, lost in translation, lost in translation! enough said, it speaks for itself. mystic river. noi albinoi.
6. Andy Serkis has expressed a strong interest in working with you. What did you think of his work on the character Gollum in Lord of the Rings, and what are your feelings about the effect that computer generated special effects are having on cinema?
i love the lord of the rings and i can't wait to see the final chapter. i have nothing against computer generated effects. it's just like anything else: use 'em right and they work - otherwise i should just go home and stick my dick in a nintendo. (quentin's line...) The gollum/andy serkis stuff is truly wonderful and the perfect example of effects done well...praise Peter Jackson. I could never have the patience to do what he's done....a computer made frogs fall and lots of other sweet things, for me so I like them.
7. How many drafts do you usually write for each screenplay?
about 1,000,000,000,000 and 3 or 4 maybe 5.....but then again, I keep writing all the way through the making of the movie. it never really stops. once in a great while something remains completely untouched from the time it comes out of me to the time it makes the street.
8. Lot of people stand by the theory that Lena was an alien from outer space based on a few things you said and all the lunar footage shown on TV. Thoughts?
I stand by that. Have you ever met anyone as lovely as Emily Watson that WASN'T from outer space?
9. You've mentioned that you've been working on an adventure type film for awhile. Can you give us a bit more info? Any timelines on when you might finish up and begin filming?
errr, um, shuffle, scuffle........maybe sooner than you think.
10. Tell me about your relationship with Quentin. How did you meet? Do you spend much time together. Talk about your trip to the Kill Bill set and your thoughts on the film?
quentin and i were both raised by wolves in california and we reunited in 1997 through a mutual friend. I love him and i love his work. kill bill was one helluva friday night movie and i suppose we all have to wait for saturday night to really make sense of what the hell is going on....we spend as much time together as we should.....just enough. My trip to China to visit him was mostly about making sure that the extascy was good enough for him to try....seeing the great wall, visiting all the landmarks, sleeping in a nice hotel, watching him kill people, getting blood all over me and helping spend Miramax's money....
11. Have you seen the new DVD collection of short films and music videos by Spike Jonze, Chris Cunningham and Michel Gondry. Any chance in hell you'd collect your stuff?
i haven't seen although i was given the chris cunningham dvd - can't wait to watch, they are all great. i don't have the collection of b-sides that those guys do - maybe someday when there's more stuff....don't wait for it, I'll stick to my day job for now....
11. How about some new DVD Picks.
that's two number 11's!!!!
Dancer In The Dark - I know it's obvious, but this remains the best movie in the last 5 years. Hands down. No question.
You Can Count On Me - I was really late seeing this movie and I think it's just superb and simple and sweet.
The Shooting/Ride In The Whirlwind - must see low budget westerns.
The Life Of Mammals - BBC series.
Day Of Wrath - Carl Dryer DVD box set from Criterion.