Hopefully with each thing that you do you're learning something, you're growing, and you're pushing yourself a little harder in some way or another. So I think you'd be in real trouble if each new thing that you create didn't feel like 'Oh, wow. I feel like I'm doing something a little different this time.
Back before 'Brick,' I wrote a short film that I never ended up shooting: hit men in the present who work for a mob in the future who send their victims back in time. A guy is sent his future self, he lets him run, and the whole short was them chasing each other across the city. That sat in a drawer for 10 years until after I made 'Brothers Bloom.
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I do think that I'm a big believer in having an idea or having ideas and just tucking them away in the back of your brain. Even if you aren't consciously thinking of them, I think they simmer. You're working on them, even if you don't know you're working on them, and I think having something in your head for a while is a valuable thing.
I do love science fiction, but it's not really a genre unto itself; it always seems to merge with another genre. With the few movies I've done, I've ended up playing with genre in some way or another, so any genre that's made to mix with others is like candy to me. It allows you to use big, mythic situations to talk about ordinary things.
I feel like people want to be surprised when they get out of the movies. They want something thrown at them they didn't expect. They want stuff that reminds them of the feelings that you get when you're watching art house movies but with the fun of like a big summer movie. That's the goal, I guess.
I'm definitely a big believer in the notion that a heightened style can get you closer to an authentic human experience than so-called realism on film. There are films I love that have kind of a muted or realistic style, but for me on any given day I have more moments during the course of a day that feel like a Fellini movie than I do a Cassavettes movie.
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I bristle a little when the argument for film gets put into the nostalgia ghetto. Film is still the highest quality and best-looking image capture medium available. I don't think it always will be. The digital image will get better, and it will eventually surpass the quality of the film image, but it isn't there yet.
There's something about the sci-fi genre that gets an audience interested in it, so maybe you can take some risks that you couldn't, if you were just doing a drama. It lets you maybe reach a little further and surprise people a little bit more because there's still that little safety base of working on that genre that everybody loves.
Hopefully with each thing that you do you're learning something, you're growing, and you're pushing yourself a little harder in some way or another. So I think you'd be in real trouble if each new thing that you create didn't feel like 'Oh, wow. I feel like I'm doing something a little different this time.'
Ray Bradbury was the first author that I was really exposed to back in grade school. I'm a big Philip K. Dick fan, but the emotion and humanity that Bradbury brings to his stories and the way he uses sci-fi to get at the human heart is something that's unique and for me incredibly influential.