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The way I work, the interview never becomes larger than the person being interviewed.
The stories from 1975 on are not finished and there is no resolve. I could spend 50 hours on the last 25 years of jazz and still not do it justice.
The genius of our country is improvisation, and jazz reflects that. It's our great contribution to the arts.
The flame is not out, but it is flickering.
One of the things I really like about Ford's films is how there is always a focus on the way characters live, and not just the male heroes.
Louis Armstrong is quite simply the most important person in American music. He is to 20th century music (I did not say jazz) what Einstein is to physics.
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.
50 Year Old Birthday
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