Split Screen 2000: Episode #64 - Projections: Buck Henry

From Faber & Faber's Projections: Tod Lippy's interview with Buck Henry

Tod Lippy: You made another taxi vs. limo reference in an interview from some years back, where you said, "You can't just take taxis or limousines or you forget what the streets are like. You've got to take a bus or subway now and then." Was that meant to be a metaphor for the Los Angeles/New York thing, or were you being more specific?

Buck Henry: What I always meant by that was that I do believe that a lot of directors, and writers, and sometimes producers just lose their edge because they haven't seen anybody or talked to anybody or been with anybody who isn't a kind of replica of themselves for a long period of time. If you're massively talented, you can intuit the way people think and behave who have absolutely nothing to do with your life. But you have to be pretty damned talented to do it. In the kiddie movies that are made today - I am being condescending - almost everyone talks like everyone else all the time. There are some distinctions to be made, but for the most part, everyone has the same language and the same approach to life situations. So the differences between people and between voices just gets wiped out, unless you're there to hear them. We're always bemoaning the fact that there are great directors around who haven't made a decent film in 20 years, or writers who have ran out of stuff, but I don't think it's that so much as they simply lose their ear - or maybe their ey - because they haven't been looking and listening. You know, we're voyeurs and eavesdroppers, and if everyone is voyeuring and eavesdropping on what's being said at Spago, you're not going to get a lot of really good material.

Projections 11
New York Film-Makers on Film-making
edited by Tod Lippy
faber and faber
© copyright Tod Lippy, 2000

Split Screen: Projections - Buck Henry Credits

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