About the impossibility of endless progress. That the notion of
progress eventually turns on itself. That science eventually turns
on itself. That the creative impulse of this country, because of
the limits of geography, because of the inherent limitations of
language, turns on itself and becomes self destructive.
Interesting... makes me think back to the pier... the symbol
of the pier in the film.
The pier is the limit of a certain kind of progress from which the
character must evolve. The end of the road for his limiting viewpoint.
He can't go any further. He must let go of language, of science,
of preconceptions, and define reality based on something else other
than science, art, or technology.
And what is that definition?
Love. So it becomes very simple, like Christ's message: go love
one another. That's what the truth comes down to.
So you're a Christian.
Well, I don't know. Christians wouldn't say that love somehow emerges
from a nothing, a zero...
St. John's [the male protagonist's] equation.
Yes, he finds his equation brings him to emptiness. But once he
finds emptiness, he has a choice. To bring innocence to emptiness,
to bring love into it, or to bring anger and hatred, which is Tab's
[the antagonist's] resolution because he sees the emptiness as a
lack instead of a possibility. Beatrice [the female protagonist]
prompts St. John to see the possibility of love in the emptiness,
and really takes the activist's stance: that we must act in love
despite the emptiness of life that logic and science try to force
us to accept as true... the coldness of a mechanical universe that
is defined by physical laws... and if we continue on this path of
the scientific not counterbalanced by the spiritual... I just call
it love... then we destroy ourselves in nihilism and cynicism. Even
if there is nothing, we must believe, we must believe fully and
with vigor. That belief, even if it's a folly from a certain perspective,
is necessary to keep us human.
But how can we believe if there is nothing at the core of life?
Because love is real. Because we, as human beings, have made love,
or its opposite, real. We have made love real just as we have made
cynicism real. If everything comes out of emptiness, as the Buddhist's
say, then everything is up for grabs. Everything is possible. To
love completely, to create a perfect universe if you will, or to
create a universe defined by our so-called human nature, a nature
that is in reality pliable, even though we have become convinced
that it isn't pliable.
It's a rather existential point of view.
It is existential in that responsibility arises from human endeavor,
from human choice, not from some absolute law or God but from within.
It is the naked responsibility of being alone in the universe. Of
being without God or mother or father to finally define you. Or
institutions, or movies or T.V. or terrorists to define you. For
the definition of self to come out of your own individual quest
Most people don't want to think about life
or a movie -- that much... (laughs)
Sure. It's just a movie. It's just... life... being an American.
A good consumer. To question too deeply maybe means you won't be
such a good consumer. That's why I got a reaction. Because they
felt it -- the critics. Just like they felt it with Ibsen in his
day... where liberals and conservatives alike both hated him because
he questioned life beyond their status quo or politically correct
labels of meaning. Felt he questioned the whole system, even though
he questioned nothing. But many people loved him because they understood
his intent, which was good. He cut through labels and got to the
I want to do is to prompt people to feel, for a moment, their own
responsibility for the entirety of their life, for their consciousness,
and all that means. It is a painful realization, but it leads to
love, if you follow it. It leads to the ability to feel again, instead
of being numb, instead of mistaking the stimulation of media overload
for feeling. To tell people they can have an inner life that's their
own, not just one that's manufactured by Hollywood. But you know,
I'd love to make a comedy about all these ideas!
"Tibet Does Not Exist" -- my play -- was a comedy... but
it was also a play of ideas. Parkey Posey called it "an intellectual
action movie" when she read the screenplay adaptation. But
when it got its legs as a play, it was very funny. People enjoyed
it as a comedy. But finding investors has been a tough one. Difficult.
I don't know. Maybe because of the politics of Tibet. Maybe because
I deal with the issues I mentioned. But I have to say many people
-- talented people -- have read the play subsequent to its production
and told me they couldn't put it down. It's entertaining, not uncomfortable.
I hope you succeed in getting it produced.
I do too! Maybe I'll just have to produce it as a low budget digital
video. Make it cheap, like Linklater with "Tape" and "Waking
We continue to produce and co-produce through nextPix -- we've
been involved with this great film called "Singing
the Bones" -- gone to all kinds of top film festivals like
Montreal and Mill Valley, and we're collaborating with top notch
directors like Rob Nilsson. And of course I'm also developing my
own screenplays. And then there's our partnership with SolPix...
a great idea.. I think yours! To find synergies between film and
fiction. To help the two worlds network and create great art. It's
all fun. I'm very excited.