I didn't quite realise until we started to put together our first cut of 'Wonderstruck' how much time is spent with no words spoken whatsoever.
All actors are protecting something, in their own way, that happens in front of a camera.
I liked to act in plays when I was a kid, and then in college. But that's the last time I really acted. I always loved it. But my interests were more in looking at the whole, rather than getting completely swallowed up in a single part of the whole.
I'm used to always having struggles getting finances together and keeping precarious budgets alive in the independent film world.
'Carol' takes place at a time the country was crawling out of the shadows of the war years, feeling the new vulnerabilities of the Cold War and conflicts within the union.
At the time I made 'Safe,' I was really intrigued by the whole culture around AIDS, which was turning to people like Louise Hay and these other West Coast New Age thinkers.
We yearn for the desire to triumph, and it almost never does in the greatest love stories because we're left yearning for it more in the end, and we wish the world were different as a result. I do love that.
I do think that, yes, one should always be receptive to the fact that there are many different types of audiences, and they are not necessarily in a clean, reductive demographic like they once were.
I don't know if I ever entertained an academic career, nor did I ever think I'd become a feature film-maker in the market.
I'm pretty single-minded, unlike a lot of directors who miraculously seem to be holding six projects in their hand at a given time and juggling them accordingly.
My problem on 'Safe' was that when I liked something, I would giggle.
When you're shooting concert scenes in films, we try to bring in, where appropriate, as much of a sense of live performance as possible.
Love stories require an obstacle between the lovers, something that keeps them from one another. You have to yearn for the love that can't be fulfilled. And it gets harder to conceive of viable cultural or racial or sexual obstacles between people as we move forward progressively.
There's this homogenization, this big sucking motion in dominant society, to absorb all the disparate elements that define the margin or define the culture or define those who are thrust outside the status quo.
I always learn a lot when I do so. You know, when you step out of your comfort zone and even your cynical zone, and open yourself up to what other people might experience and why they do so.
Films like 'The Godfather,' 'Chinatown' and 'The Exorcist' brought a realism and currency and understatement to their genres that we wanted for 'Mildred Pierce.'
I'm a lover of cinema, and I don't want that to completely expire.
Serious films for grown-ups - 'Michael Clayton,' 'In the Valley of Elah,' 'A Mighty Heart' - these are big Hollywood films, but they have substance and craft and really beautiful performances.
I have a hard time making movies that affirm life and say life is a good and happy place. That's not true about the world.
In high school - that's when I first fell in love with his music and his voice. 'Blonde on Blonde' above everything. I vaguely remember 'Desire' coming out. I definitely remember 'Street Legal' and 'Slow Train Coming.' The first time I saw Dylan was on that tour: '79 in L.A.
There were interesting ways that queerness could hide out and get played out pre-Stonewall. It is part of a vast history that is getting forgotten quickly as we trumpet forward into gay marriage and gays in the military and a much different cultural attitude toward gay lives.
I think it remains a film-by-film process, and since I am relatively selective and slow, it can take a while.
I worked with Jim James on my film 'I'm Not There' - he sang 'Goin' to Acapulco' with Calexico backing him up. We just hit it off, and it's such a beautiful moment in that film.
Films like 'Velvet Goldmine' are an accumulation of research and references. I create an almost random resource of connections and am constantly distilling that into narrative specifics.
When you premiere somewhere like Cannes, it's huge. It's nerve-wracking.
In a way, I think Roxy Music is high camp, in a brilliant way.
I saw experimental film-makers teaching in college. They did what they wanted and didn't worry about the market, but the circumstances ended up offering me other possibilities.
I'll never forget watching 'I'm Not There' with Cate Blanchett, because it was the first time she saw the finished film and saw her performance in it. I was sitting next to her experiencing it vicariously through her fresh eyes and hoping she liked it.
Some directors do recut their films, but I don't if I disagree, and what you suffer is a less passionate marketing campaign, less investment in the film at the other end, which is... fine. I get it.
I noticed that there were all these kinds of practices in a working set that had to be un-practiced on 'Far from Heaven,' which was so interesting.
I've always been interested in visual art and used to be much more into theater when I was younger, or more knowledgeable about what's going on. And literature has played a big part in my life.
I came out of a sort of experimental background, and I didn't ever really expect - or even desire - a career as a feature filmmaker.
I think I'm drawn to female characters partly because they don't have as easy or as obvious a relationship to power in society, and so they suffer under social constraints or have to maneuver within them in ways men sometimes don't or are unconscious about, or have certain liberties that are invisible to them.
I do know my own films don't necessarily work within that high-pressure reductive moment of the opening weekend - or all the ways that many people assess the value of movies.
I think by around the time I was about 8 or 9, the idea of filmmaking probably took hold. I made little Super 8 extravaganzas when I was a kid, the first being my own version of 'Romeo and Juliet,' and where I played all the parts except for Juliet.
By the time I finished 'Poison,' the New Queer Cinema was branded, and I was associated with this. In many ways, it formed me as a filmmaker, like as a feature filmmaker I never set out to be.
The first time I saw Douglas Sirk was in college. I didn't encounter him on the late, late, late show like a lot of people; people a little older than me, maybe. But I saw him already as someone to take special note of in an academic context in college. I was immediately in a state of visual splendor.
Every actor prepares differently and to different degrees of privacy. Some want to talk everything out. Others really don't want to talk anything out - or rehearse much.
I value what I learned from being cast in the margins and what that felt like.
The way I sort of approach my work is that the historical and socioeconomic and cultural worlds that the music is exploring dictate the visual experience and the way that we approach it specifically on film.
There are all these languages that keep people in place that conform us to a set of terms. It's why I think the whole idea of identity as something that is something of a straitjacket. That most of us like to think of as natural and innate. That we just find and go, 'Yeah, that's who I am.'
Aspects of guilt or handwringing that one might expect in a film set in the '50s about women who discover their love for other women - a lot of these things are not in 'Carol.'