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Like a layer on a pearl, you can't specifically identify the irritant, the moment of the irritant, but at the end of the day, you know you have a pearl.
Jazz is a very accurate, curiously accurate accompaniment to 20th century America.
In most films music is brought in at the end, after the picture is more or less locked, to amplify the emotions the filmmaker wants you to feel.
In a sense I've made the same film over and over again. In all of them I've asked, 'Who are we as Americans?
I treat the photograph as a work of great complexity in which you can find drama. Add to that a careful composition of landscapes, live photography, the right music and interviews with people, and it becomes a style.
I think we too often make choices based on the safety of cynicism, and what we're lead to is a life not fully lived. Cynicism is fear, and it's worse than fear - it's active disengagement.
I think the problem with a lot of the fusion music is that it's extremely predictable, it's a rock rhythm and the solos all play the same stuff and they play it over and over again and there's a certain musical virtuosity involved in it.
I think my expectations for myself are much more severe and much more direct. You can't work on a film for six years without being your own toughest critic. So you can't really be distracted by the expectations based on your previous performance.
I subscribe to William Faulkner's' view that history is not just about what we were before but who we are now.
I record all of my music with authentic instruments in a studio before we start editing, doing many, many versions. The music shapes the film as we edit so it has an organic relationship to the content.
I read cover to cover every jazz publication that I could and in the New York Times, every single day reading their jazz reviews even though I didn't put them in the films. I wanted to know what is going on.
I never, ever want to apologize for a film. If it's bad I'll say it's my fault. And that's what I can say so far in all the films that I've done, that if you don't like it, it's entirely my fault.
I have made all my films for my children with the exception of my first film because my oldest daughter wasn't born when I was making the film about the Brooklyn Bridge.
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