He was in love with the world

Mike-Nichols

His closest friends this week marveled at the depth of the impression he made on all whose lives he touched. “He’d make you feel you were better than you believed—smarter, funnier, more alive…” A friend noted something else: his unbounded excitement about life, his ability to retain a freshness, an innocence. “It was always possible that this was going to be the best dumpling, the best conversation, this play was going to have a moment in it we’d never forget. . . . He was in love with the world. He was in love with Egg McMuffins ! He took such joy in what was. Maybe the Buddhists have it wrong, maybe the great livers are the ones who love things, too—that book, that painting, the McDonald’s breakfast.

A thing that distinguished Mike professionally is that he thought he had to know things. He came up in a generation that thought to know the theater you have to know the theater. They read. He read, all his life. He knew the canon—his Chekhov, Ibsen and Molière, his Shakespeare, Tennessee Williams and Tom Stoppard…

…To make great art you have to know great art. And so his learned, highly cultivated mind. He dropped out of the University of Chicago and sought to teach himself through great books and smart people. Great writers and directors have to start as great readers or it won’t work, nothing needed from the past will be brought into the future, and art will become thinner, less deep, less meaningful and so, amazingly, less fun, less moving and true.

~ Peggy Noonan, on Mike Nichols

Read entire opinion article here: The Pleasure of His Company


Mike Nichols, 83, died on November 19, 2014. He was a German-born American film and theatre director, producer, actor and comedian. He won the Academy Award for Best Director for the film The Graduate. His other films include Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?Catch-22Carnal KnowledgeSilkwoodWorking GirlThe BirdcageCloserCharlie Wilson’s War (his final picture), and the TV mini-series Angels in America. He also staged the original theatrical productions of The Apple TreeBarefoot in the ParkLuvThe Odd Couple and Spamalot. As well as winning an Academy Award, Nichols won a Grammy Award, four Emmy Awards and nine Tony Awards. He was one of a small group of people who have won an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony Award.

Image Credit: jewishcurrents.org

I don’t need 20 pair of shoes

werner-herzog

Werner Herzog is interviewed by The Talks:

I do not relate to things such as popularity. It is completely vague and unknown to me what it means. I still live basically the same life. I do not have and I do not need material things. My material world is extremely small and limited.I own one single suit that I’m wearing right now and in the last 25 years I’ve never had another suit. And the shoes that I’m wearing I’ve been wearing for 3 years and they are my only pair of shoes. I need to replace them because they are starting to come apart. I don’t need 20 pairs of shoes. I have a car that I’ve had for 12 years. It’s fine, I enjoy life and things are very basic. I don’t have social networks in the Internet for example. I don’t even have a cell phone. I’m probably the last holdout.

I just don’t want to be available all the time. I love to connect with people but in a more fundamental way. I never go to parties, but I invite friends and I cook for them. We sit around a table, maximum 6 people, because if there are more people there is no space around the table. And when we speak to each other, everyone speaks about the same topic. Whereas when you are at a party, there are 200 people and loud music and in each corner there is a different topic, and small talk.

I cook meals for friends or for people for whom I care. I cook with my wife, but sometimes when it comes to a solid steak I do that myself. It’s a great joy to have discourse and while this is going on I take the steak and serve it and have a good bottle of wine. It’s more fundamental, the kind of social networking that I do.

Read full interview: The Talks


Werner Herzog, 71, is a German film director, producer, screenwriter, and actor; and an opera director. Herzog is considered one of the greatest figures of the New German Cinema. Herzog’s films often feature heroes with impossible dreams, people with unique talents in obscure fields, or individuals who are in conflict with nature. French filmmaker François Truffaut once called Herzog “the most important film director alive.” American film critic Roger Ebert said that Herzog “has never created a single film that is compromised, shameful, made for pragmatic reasons or uninteresting. Even his failures are spectacular.”


Image & Quote Source: The Talks.  Thank you Mme Scherzo for sharing.

 

Do I or Do I Not Want To Do? (How to Decide)?

baz-luhrmann
Luhrmann doesn’t want to give in to the pressure to repeat himself. During the making of “Gatsby,” he said, he felt challenged and alive, “not panicked that somehow the universe was leaving me behind.” That is the way he needs to feel about his next project, whatever it is. “I’d love to have done James Bond,” he said. “I’d love to just go and do a rom-com or a jeans-and-T-shirt film, because that would be fun.” But he can’t. “It is both maddening and also has a degree of exultation about it, but I’m addicted to doing not that which I really want to do, but that which I feel must be done.” His job now, he said, is “to draw some kind of lines. I have a big inner life. My struggle is how to organize it. How to aim the gun.”

~ Amy Wallace on Baz Luhrmann, Do I or Do I Not Want To Do? (How to Decide)?


Mark Anthony “Baz” Luhrmann, 51, is an Australian film director, screenwriter and producer best known for The Red Curtain Trilogy, comprising his films Strictly BallroomRomeo + Juliet, and Moulin Rouge!. In 2008, his film Australia was released, starring Hugh Jackman and Nicole Kidman. His version of The Great Gatsby was released in 2013.  On 26 January 1997, he wed Catherine Martin, a production designer; the couple has two children.  (Source: Wiki)


I do it for me. That’s it. That’s it.

ricky-gervais-arrives-at-the-69th-annual-golden-globe-awards-pic-ap-936706034

“I do it for me and like-minded people. That’s it. That’s it. My career, I look at it in a Darwinian framework. I’m going to do exactly what I want, and I’m going to survive or I’m not. I’m not going to pander, I’m not going to change things, I’m not going to do focus groups. I’ll live and die by the sword. I don’t care. Because I couldn’t live with myself…Everything I’ve done has been existential. Everything, really. Everything is always about, ‘Am I living a good life? Am I making the most of my life?'”

Ricky Gervais


Clips from GQ.com (Note “R” rated for vulgar language): Chris Heath on Gervais: “…I think there is a sense that someone who seemed like one of us, and on our side, may have slipped his moorings.” [Read more…]

Big Things

Quentin Tarantino

“I remember reading a review that Pauline Kael wrote about some director’s big epic, and she said: Now, look, it might seem unfair to judge a talented man more harshly when he tries to do something big than a less talented person who’s doing something easier. But when you try big things, you take big risks, and if you’re trying to do something that is maybe above you and you can’t quite pull off, then whereas before we only saw your gifts, now we see your failings.

I’ve always been pushing that envelope. I want to risk hitting my head on the ceiling of my talent. I want to really test it out and say: O.K., you’re not that good. You just reached the level here. I don’t ever want to fail, but I want to risk failure every time out of the gate.”

~ Quentin Tarantino


“Quentin Tarantino was born in Knoxville, Tennessee in 1963.  In junior high he attended drama classes and he actually dropped out of High School at age 15 to attend acting classes full-time at the James Best theater company.  After he left the acting school he became an employee at the Video Archives, a now-defunct movie rental store in Manhattan. It was there that he began to truly think about and discuss cinema as he worked with customers to find the best movie for them. He actually credits that store as providing the inspiration for him to become a director by saying that ‘When people ask me if I went to film school, I tell them, ‘no, I went to films.’  Tarantino is the famed director of classics ‘Pulp Fiction’, ‘Kill Bill’ and ‘Inglorious Basterds.'” (Source: ID Poster)


Sources: Image and bio – ID Poster.  Quote: 99u.com via New York Times story: Quentin’s World

Happy Birthday Noel…

Noel Coward (5)

My importance to the world is relatively small. On the other hand, my importance to myself is tremendous. I am all I have to work with, to play with, to suffer and to enjoy. It is not the eyes of others that I am wary of, but of my own. I do not intend to let myself down more than I can possibly help, and I find that the fewer illusions I have about myself or the world around me, the better company I am for myself.

Noël Coward

Happy Birthday, Noël Coward, who was born on this day in 1899.  In his bio, he is defined as having “virtually invented the concept of Englishness for the 20th century. An astounding polymath – dramatist, actor, writer, composer, lyricist, painter, and wit — he was defined by his Englishness as much as he defined it. He was indeed the first Brit pop star, the first ambassador of ‘cool Britannia.’…Coward was on stage by the age of six, and writing his first drama ten years later…His between-the-wars celebrity reached a peak in 1930 with “Private Lives,” by which time he had become the highest earning author in the western world…Since his death in 1973, his reputation has grown. There is never a point at which his plays are not being performed, or his songs being sung. A playwright, director, actor, songwriter, filmmaker, novelist, wit . . . was there nothing this man couldn’t do?”

Noel Coward: Top 10 quotes

  1. It’s discouraging to think how many people are shocked by honesty and how few by deceit. [Read more…]
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