Some films really do take years to get going, but I'd say that most of the films I want to do are slightly smaller projects. Some could be sketches. They're not all oil paintings.
I always say I'll never make a film in Austin in summer, but I always end up here.
Anything that confirms for me the transitory nature of reality isn't bad. It's a good lesson in human hubris.
We emphasize negativity and violence in the media because that's what grabs everybody's attention, but in the real world, it's mostly people being very cooperative and caring and connected and kind. That's the norm of human experience. And yet, what gets our attention is the very opposite.
I wrote a script - a script about a guy working on the automobile assembly line; I never could get money for that. I did a pilot about minimum wage workers for HBO that didn't get picked up; they thought it was depressing, even though it was a comedy.
I've always been most interested in the politics of everyday life: your relation to whatever you're doing, or what your ambitions are, where you live, where you find yourself in the social hierarchy.
I think I got really lucky with Slacker. That was a film that probably shouldn't have been seen.
I think there are more films being made, but there are probably less outlets for them and distributors.
'The Newton Boys' was the one time I've made a film with really active characters who weren't at all self-reflexive and just plowed through their lives. There's a part of everyone that's like that. We have a biological imperative to keep living, keep moving forward... We have no choice.
I don't want to be nostalgic for some kind of laid-back Austin where nothing was happening.
You're always just trying to make your film, tell the story you're trying to tell - best you can, you know.
I remember playing for coaches who seemed like military-type guys. It always rubbed me the wrong way.
My plan B has always been to make a film about people who talk a lot.
I guess I was just always one of those guys who asked those fundamental questions: 'Who am I? What's this for? Why? What does this mean? Is this real?' All these pretty basic questions. I like making movies about people who are self-conscious in that way, and are trying to feel their way through the world.
The arts were like, there's no opponent. It's just yourself. I'm not saying they don't make the arts a competition with awards and all that, but that's outside the work itself.
I look up and go, 'I'm living in the world I visualized a long time ago.' From making movies, to the Film Society, to just being in a film world. It's a life that I wanted to inhabit. I think everyone has the opportunity to do that in this world - it's just, are you gonna work for it, and how much does it mean to you?
In interviews, I never wanted to play into the myth of, 'Yeah, I was sitting there doing nothing, and then made 'Slacker.'' No. I'd been making shorts, a Super-8 feature, and running a film society. I always try to stress to people that there's a lot of work involved and years of preparation. But no one wants to hear that part.
I like films that just put you in someone's world. It can be very subversive. Hitchcock would put you in the mind of a psychopath, and you'd care about them.
There are really smart baseball players. It's a thinking person's game.
I've always liked the minds of criminals, they seem similar to artists.
A college athlete is going to be competitive. You don't get to that level if you're not.
Well, you have to keep your faith in the fact that there are a lot of intelligent people who are actively looking for something interesting, people who have been disappointed so many times.
I remember daydreaming out in the outfield: I wish I had more time. I want to read 'The Brothers Karamazov.'
Ulrik Ottinger was the most real and experimental of all the German New Wave directors. She was probably the most out-there, too. She's a fascinating artist in that world.
Plots are artificial. Does your life have a plot? It has characters. There is a narrative. There's a lot of story, a lot of character. But plot? Eh, no.
Every college player thinks they're on their way. But, delusions aside, I might have toiled in the minor leagues for a bit.
I lost a year or two in there, trying to get films financed that I didn't know would never get financing.
I really do remember everything. I see people I haven't seen in 20 years, and I can talk with them about what we talked about outside the high school.
As you get older, you want less from the world; you just want to experience it. Any barriers to feeling emotions get dismantled. And ordinary things become beautifully poetic.
The natural phenomenon of the universe is so mind-blowing, but you have to know about it. You have to be curious. You've got to find it on your own. If you're lucky, you do.
I always sensed instinctively from the earliest age that I was being lied to.
I do find myself at the moment, due to the success of School of Rock, to be on people's radar a little.
Every film's different; every story is so different. But I think I've always been attracted to try to take something minimal and to maximize it cinematically. To find out if I can I really go all the way with one idea.
When you have a film that's acclaimed, there's a tendency to go big or get serious or something, but I had an impulse to do the opposite.
When I did 'Slacker,' I didn't own cowboy hats or boots. I was like, 'That's not me.'
No one is asking what happened to all the homeless. No one cares, because it's easier to get on the subway and not be accosted.