CHICAGO – The issue of gender identity, especially for those who are born with a vagueness as to what to call themselves between/beyond boy and girl, has come front and center in the U.S., both with the legalization of gay marriage and the callous repudiation of identity by trying to pass laws dismissing it (the North Carolina “bathroom” laws). The performance companies of The Living Canvas and Nothing Without a Company is currently staging “[Trans]formation,” which presents gender identity art by six performers, who perform most of the play in the nude.
Interview Highlights of 2009: Quentin Tarantino, Jason Reitman, Rachel Weisz, More
CHICAGO – The staff at HollywoodChicago.com met with some living legends and some rising stars in 2009. As we prepare to bring you even more in 2010, we thought we’d look back at a few of our favorite quotes from the year. Enjoy.
Highlights of the year in chronological order:
Writer/Director Kyle Newman on the troubled production of “Fanboys” - ““It was very disheartening to watch everything that you’ve done positive be undermined in a week by a bunch of idiots, this team that was brought in to do this. Mainly just the director who they brought in to re-shape it who was opening his mouth online and really offending our core audience. So, I was shocked. I was like, “Oh my God.” It was just getting out of control and here we are on the sidelines and I’m watching the movie fall apart. I’m watching our fanbase dissipate.””
Writer/Director Henry Selick (“Coraline”) on taking chances with modern animation - “And I am not just talking about stuff like Robot Chicken or South Park. The current version of Batman is dark—it is great and beautifully art-directed and that is what my 10-year-old loves the most. I think it is a strange thing, with movies in particular, that people want to pretend that it is 20 years ago and there is no Internet or adventurous animation on television—that is where we are being prevented from reaching kids.”
Photo credit: AP Photo/NBC
Actor Craig Robinson on “The Office” - “The show will always have a lot of heart even though it is set in a world where the most outrageous things can happen. I am actually surprised sometimes on how much heart they put in it, balanced with the humor.”
Actor Tony Curtis on what advice he would give his younger self: “Pay attention to everyone around you. Learn little subtleties about what the human condition is like. You’ll meet people who don’t ever express who they are or what they want to be. We’re all made up of secrets.”
Actress Angie Dickinson on her career - “Some roles were great, some not so great. But just like a ballplayer, if you hit .375 that’s not too bad.”
James Toback and Mike Tyson
Photo credit: Tracey Morris, Courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics
Writer/Director James Toback on his subject’s response to seeing his film “Tyson” - “People always used to say they were afraid of me and I wondered, ‘Why? What are you afraid of? Why would people be scared of me?’ Watching the film tonight I realized that I’m scared of that guy.””
Writer/Director Pete Docter (“Up”) on what makes Pixar unique - “We have a system where people are selfless about giving up their own time, their own energy, their own comments,” says Docter. “Brad [Bird] will be off in the middle of directing something and we’ll drag him in to watch this movie and he’ll spew out all these great ideas that I get to use and then I’ll do the same with whoever comes along next. Between that and the philosophy of “If you don’t make mistakes, you’re not taking enough risk.” We’re sort of expected to fail along the way. It’s expected that we’re going to falter and pull the emergency cord and get everybody on board to make this good.”
Actress Rachel Weisz on her chemistry with Adrien Brody in “The Brothers Bloom” - “You just get to know them. That stuff is very unconscious. You can’t make chemistry happen. It just have to happen. You’re playing a character and what happens between the characters is what happens. It’s fiction, but it’s real.”
Writer/Director Duncan Jones in the inspiration for “Moon” - “Most of the stuff was quite personal, to be honest. Story-wise, it was really something that I came up with because I wanted to address a few things in my own experience - the idea of being able to meet yourself and talk to a younger version of yourself and maybe give yourself a little slap. Or tell yourself that everything is going to be okay. That was something I found interesting and assumed that everyone has gone through - wanting to be able to tell the younger you that either everything is going to be fine or that you need to change something.”
Writer/Director Harold Ramis on the ensemble approach to comedy - “Well, you know, I can only think of one comedy director who does it all. That’s Woody Allen. He trusts his own instincts totally. I come from the kind of comedy where it’s only funny and as good as the people
around you. People think directors tell actors what to do, but essentially a big part of the job is hiring the person who’s already doing it right or already doing it better than you even imagined it.”
Writer, director and actor Harold Ramis strikes a pose for his hometown HollywoodChicago.com
lens before being honored with the Just for Laughs lifetime achievement award at the Chicago
premiere of his latest film “Year One” on June 16, 2009 in Chicago.
Photo credit: Joe Arce of Starstruck Foto for HollywoodChicago.com
Actor Martin Short remembering friends Gilda Radner and John Candy - “Gilda and John were two very close friends of mine, and they are the same memories that you would have with any close friends. A million laughs, a million funny dinners and hysterical moments. Great times. I can see them walking through that tent (pointing) right now. Sometimes when you so saturated with people they never leave you. That is what is great about them.”
Writer/Director Neil Blomkamp on Peter Jackson’s involvement with “District 9” - “When I got Halo and when they helped me make District 9, I was very grateful. To give a film as big as Halo to a first-time director was a big deal and that hinged on Pete. When that collapsed, they allowed this to happen. When I was making the film, you get lulled into a sense of repetition. You’re existing and not thinking because you’re working like a motherf**ker. At the end, now that the film is done, I’m starting to realize again how appreciative I am. It’s pretty rare for a first time filmmaker to get “go off and make what you want to make”.”