Ever wish you could see what happens inside private dealmaking sessions for Hollywood films? Well, Alec Baldwin and James Toback ran around the Cannes film festival trying to pinch heavy cash from finance fat cats, and lucky for us, they filmed the whole process! Compiled into the new HBO doc Seduced and Abandoned or as some have tagged it, what's wrong with Hollywood, we get a pithy look at filmmaking from everyone from Ryan Gosling to Francis Ford Coppola. Below is a roundup of memorable quotes to ponder.
It's both refreshing and disconcerting to hear from the likes of Martin Scorsese about how difficult it is to get funding for a film. As Toback and Baldwin head down the rocky road to remake Last Tango in Paris (to be set in Iraq and titled Last Tango in Tikrit), we get a pretty entertaining look not just at financing, but the whole messy, lovely art of filmmaking.
There are plenty to choose from, but here is a selection of ten quotes worth thinking about.
1. A line from Orson Welles flashes on the screen and sets the tone for everything to come:
I look back on my life and it's 95% running around trying to raise money to make movies and 5% actually making them. It's no way to live.
2. And you thought it would get easier to get financing after you make and epic like The Godfather? Francis Ford Coppola says otherwise:
No one wanted me to do Apocalypse Now and I had finished 2 Godfather films, won a ton of Oscars -- I was so frustrated, I said, "What do you have to do to get to be able make the movies that you have in your heart?"
3. Then Alec Baldwin takes a whack at what it:
The way you make it in this business is that you have to become a really selfish motherfucker.
4. From Avi Lerner, Co-Chairman of Nu Image, Inc:
When I make a movie, all I think is, what's the profit? Before I make a movie, I know how much I'm going to sell it.
5. Jeremy Thomas of Hanway Films on the state of visionary studio bosses:
It's very hard to find anybody today who says, "I want to do that, I want to do that." No, let's run the numbers. So it's not anybody whose got some type of vision anymore. The visionary studio bosses are a thing of the past.
6. As if funding meant the hard part was over, Bernardo Bertolucci on directing a great performance from Marlon Brando in Last Tango in Paris:
He didn't speak to me for 5 years -- Maybe he felt betrayed by me because I stole from him so many sincere things -- real things from him.
7. James Caan on good directors and bad scripts:
The good directors, they're supervisors. If I have trouble memorizing, it's pretty much written wrong.
8. Baldwin's take on the future of the movies:
The technology is splintering the audience, and it's happening slowly, but something tells me its going to shatter.
9. Roman Polanski tells us that the glory days of, er, film school in Soviet Poland courtesy of a quote from Vladimir Lenin. Chew on that:
"Among all arts, film is the most important for us." "Us" meaning socialism. That school was fantastic really and I have great memories.
10. And finally, Scorsese:
You have to fight very, very, very hard to do what you want, because it always comes down to the money.
If you've seen Seduced and Abandoned, do you have a quote that you thought rang true? When it comes to getting movies financed, is the film industry broken? Or is this a necessary part of the art?