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If you go into a bar in most places in America and even say the word poetry, you'll probably get beaten up. But poetry is a really strong, beautiful form to me, and a lot of innovation in language comes from poetry.
I've always loved films, always. I studied literature and I went to Columbia in New York and I went to Paris for part of one year and ended up staying there.
I'd wanted to be a writer and when I came back to New York worked as a musician too, but I found my writing starting to get more and more referential to cinema.
I wanted to make an Indian character who wasn't either a) the savage that must be eliminated, the force of nature that's blocking the way for industrial progress, or b) the noble innocent that knows all and is another cliche. I wanted him to be a complicated human being.
I think of poets as outlaw visionaries in a way.
I think it comes from really liking literary forms. Poetry is very beautiful, but the space on the page can be as affecting as where the text is. Like when Miles Davis doesn't play, it has a poignancy to it.
I started working with friends of mine and that, to some degree, continues.
I start with actors that I know personally or I know their work, and there are things about their work or their presence or their own personality that make a character, that exaggerates some qualities and suppresses other qualities. It's always a real collaboration for me.
I love rehearsing because in rehearsals there are no mistakes, nothing is wrong, some things apply or lead you to focus on the character and the things that don't apply are equally valuable because they lead you to towards what does.
I like to rehearse with the actors scenes that are not in the script and will not be in the film because what we're really doing is trying to establish their character, and good acting to me is about reacting.
I like doing them and they're ridiculous and the actors can improvise a lot, and they don't have to be really realistic characters that hit a very specific tone as in a feature film. They're really fun, I want to make more of them definitely.
I have to tell everyone that when I finish a film and it goes out and is released, I never look at my films again. I don't like looking back. I don't even like talking about 'em! So I'm really digging back in my memory because I don't like to sit and look at my films again.
I don't like American football. I think it's boring and ridiculous and predictable. But baseball is very beautiful. It's played on a diamond.
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