I think we’re really hungry for family in America, especially when I feel like people are really pulled apart from their families.
I think it’s really important that you don’t get caught up in the way the filmmaking community isolates you and the way your life ends up being.
I wouldn’t necessarily recommend shooting a feature film on a still camera.
I think that all the powerful religions are pretty much the same. People like to pretend they are very different, but they are not. They are really about believing in something bigger than yourself, something that’s unseen, and about having some faith.
A film set is all about hierarchy, but I always like to think about the circus. In the circus, there’s this real sense of tribalism, and they’re all on the road together. I don’t think the ring leader is more important than the clown. They all work together, and I think that I felt that on ‘The East.’
No one dives a dumpster like a rich kid dives a dumpster, because there’s no shame.
I don’t think we set out to make ‘The East’ in order to necessarily change people’s hearts; I don’t know how much movies actually change people’s hearts. We wanted to make something that was thrilling and got you to thinking.
It’s funny how quickly human beings adapt.
If you want to make an anarchist film, make it with a corporation.
I think that the campaign that Fox Searchlight has thrown for ‘Sound of My Voice’ honors the film’s roots and the film’s integrity, and I don’t think it overwhelms the film at all.
I went to graduate school for directing at AFI in L.A., and I wanted to be a director.
I feel like I studied anthropology in college for a reason.
To make ‘Sound of My Voice,’ we had to conceive the entire world and understand it holistically. If you want to show less in a movie, you’ve got to figure out more.
I think ‘The East’ is political.
In every public space, everyone has their head down on their phone. Including me.
I think the political is personal, and the personal is political.
I don’t understand how our story can be so bonkers, but ‘Captain Marvel’ isn’t. A lot of the ideas in ‘The OA’ that seem outlandish are just normalizing as the years go by.
I never think the ends justify the means.
I guess it the one consistent thing in my life was that sense of magic that film provide – I still remember the movies from my childhood that I loved.
A good story isn’t preachy; a good story is always entertaining.
I think if I was interested in writing on my own, I would be a novelist – then you could write about yourself, and that would be it. You wouldn’t need anyone else.
When I call ‘Action,’ I love to be surprised. And the actors I’ve been fortunate enough to work with always surprise me in the best ways.
In film, it is always collaborative, and so to me, it doesn’t make sense to not be collaborative in one of its most critical arenas – which is the screenplay.
Especially in America, when you move away from home, sometimes you get disconnected with your grandparents, your friends you grew up with.
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