Filmmaking requires a lot of energy and time on it. It’s been said a million times, this is just what it is. But when done well, it’s incredible, it’s a very different form of human expression. It’s something we’ve never seen before, and it’s fascinating to the viewer.
You know that’s what I’m talking about: watching it. Watching what’s happening, that you’re involved in. You’re not just watching the performance. You’re having a conversation with the actors, you’re having a conversation with the director, you’re having a conversation with your collaborators, you’re having a conversation with the rest of the audience watching them at home, you’re having a conversation with the outside world, in whatever it is you’re doing. And it makes it all worthwhile, or it seems to. (Laughs)
I’ve always said the first film I made was a feature. To me, I can see the first film as if I’m a student in school. You sit in your room and think to yourself, “I have to make a feature film.” (Laughs) What would you say if somebody told you? Would you say, “Fuck it, I’ll sit behind a desk and think about this.”
I don’t know. There are always things that don’t feel right at the time. Like I’ve always been influenced by the film I made in “The Last Emperor.” People always ask: “How come you didn’t have a bigger influence on you?” And my answer is: Because I think I was trying to make an original thing. I wanted to be someone who was unique. I wanted to be in a space that I think is not often seen in the world.
That was more difficult than I thought, to try and find a certain kind of role. When you’re working with a director, you have more control; you don’t need people’s permission. When you’re working on the shoot of “The Matrix,” it’s all going on automatically. You’re just there.
In “The Last Emperor,” you get to do a lot with the robots. I remember reading about the idea that the robots were supposed to be a metaphor, and you came up with the idea of them being basically a collective, or an organism. Does it matter if they’re artificial intelligence?
I mean, it’s a movie. There’s only one robot, that’s my guess … (Laughs)
It did feel
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