tv Charlie Rose Bloomberg October 1, 2017 7:00am-8:00am EDT
♪ announcer: from our studios in new york city, this is "charlie rose." charlie: tensions continue to escalate this week between president trump and his counterparts in north korea and iran. in his first speech before the united nations general assembly last week, president trump threatened to destroy north korea and called iran a rogue nation. pres. trump: the united states has great strength and patience. but if it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy north korea. rocket man is on a suicide mission for himself and for his regime.
the iranian government masks a corrupt dictatorship behind the false guise of democracy. it has turned a wealthy country with a rich history and culture into an economically depleted rogue state whose chief exports are violence, bloodshed, and chaos. charlie: over the weekend, the president called kim jong-un a madman and wrongly accused iran of firing missiles. joining me now for a conversation about the most areial issues of our time nick burns, professor of diplomacy at harvard's kennedy school. and michael morrell, the host of a new cbs podcast. i'm pleased to have both of them here. where are we in terms of diplomacy and contingent planning?
michael: the fundamental problem is the north koreans are a few months away, six to 12, from demonstrating the capability of putting a u.s. city at risk of nuclear attack. there are three pieces you have to have. one is nuclear weapons. the ability to get a nuclear yield out of explosion at 100%. we know they have that. they have demonstrated it. they have tested it. got that guaranteed. the second is the ability to deliver a payload the distance you want it to go. they have done a couple of tests that demonstrated the capability to put a missile as far east as chicago or detroit. we don't know 100% what the weight of the payload they tested was, so we don't know exactly how far it could deliver a nuclear weapon.
as far as chicago or detroit. we are not 100% how much the payload weighed. that is a big determinant of how far it can go. check for sure on the weapon. close to a check on the missile. third piece is, can you make a nuclear weapon small enough to fit on a missile? the intelligence community thinks they can do that. the last piece is, can you make it all work? can you make all of the electronics work under the intense vibrations of takeoff and reentry and the heat and pressure? on that, we don't know where they are. the consensus view is they are getting very close to that. they are demonstrating that capability. the president has said they will not be allowed to achieve that capability. hence, the fundamental problem we have. i think diplomacy is the right approach.
i think putting pressure on them is the right approach. after 25 years of pressuring them, i am not 100% sure, in fact i am uncertain that will stop him from ultimately demonstrating that capability. charlie: does the language of the united nations, does it make you realize america is serious and angry about this? or does it make them more certain in their desire to do something that will hurt the united states? nick: i think the language of the president over the last eight or nine days confuses them. what we need to do is go back to what we did so effectively in the cold war. strategic deterrence. he is a despicable leader. he is probably evil in many ways. but he is not a madman. we assume he is rational. what eisenhower would have done at the podium last week, or reagan, or bill clinton, would
have been to have said the following -- the united states is not going to be the aggressor. we will not attack north korea. but should they seek to attack, to attack japan or american forces in asia, we will respond with overwhelming force. that is strategic deterrence. that is what secretary mattis is saying. it is with secretary tillerson is saying. it is what general dunford said this week in congressional testimony. it is what all of our experts are saying. but the president has come out with this shrill, bombastic language -- charlie: destroy your nation. nick: it is too hot for the united nations. it loses its friends. it almost makes kim jong-un to be the victim. i think what the president has been able to do with mattis and tillerson is move the chinese a little bit. we have got to practice
strategic deterrence. we have to envelop in a bear hug the south koreans and japanese, instead of what the president said about canceling free trade. third, sanctions. let me say something positive about the trump administration. in the last week, they have announced two sets of sanctions. sectoral and financial sanctions last week. this week, sanctions against individual companies, some chinese, trading with the north koreans. this is what president bush or president obama did so effectively with the iranians. they increased the leverage and the pain. they raised the cost to the iranians and drove them to the negotiating table. that sanctions piece is critical. if the chinese central bank is serious and instructs the other banks in china to shut down lending to north korea, that is the kind of pressure, but it is diplomatic. it is sanctions. it is not making ourselves into the aggressor. i think that is a tactical mistake. charlie: suppose you were advising the president on the diplomatic front. if the north koreans came to the administration and said we will put a freeze exactly where we are now. we will freeze it if you eliminate all hostile actions
against our country. would you take that deal? nick: i would not immediately. i would open negotiations on some variation. what we probably cannot do right now is agree to a deal that says if the north koreans freeze their nuclear development in place, we will freeze all american military activities. what you want to do in a negotiation is drive up the economic pressure of sanctions, but you also want to have the military preparedness and strength. we have an alliance obligation to south korea and japan to defend them. some variation of that might be a final, messy compromise. but i don't think you agree to it at the beginning. michael: they will not make that offer. they want the same kind of strength going into negotiation. kim jong-un wants to demonstrate the capability of being able to attack a u.s. city, and then he will be happy to have a negotiation about where we go from here in this relationship.
charlie: he has more arrows in his quiver? michael: absolutely. charlie: do have a feeling about the notion there is anything short of a full-scale attack we can do militarily, in terms of cyber, being able to shut them down from a power standpoint? nick: just with iran in the last decade, we have to use all instruments of american power to try to weaken him and coerce him to the negotiating table. i agree with mike. you have to have a rigorous benefit analysis of an attack. there are 30 million south koreans living below the dmz. 200,000 americans and 35,000 american troops. the most heavily mined place on or. the north koreans have a tremendous conventional capacity with artillery. you would have to assume in first days or weeks of the war, maybe hundreds of thousands dead. that is not an exaggeration.
that is why you see serious people, general dunford, secretary mattis, going to the hill and speaking publicly saying diplomacy is the way we go. we get back to rhetoric. as the president keeps punching kim jong-un in this kind of eight-year-old taunting war going on, you listen to mattis in india this week, he has diplomacy eight or nine times in a paragraph. secretary tillerson. they are the calming influence. charlie: we don't want war with the north koreans. we don't want war with the north koreans. korea.t attack north nick: that is a very important signal to the north koreans. michael: the problem with the punching. one problem is he does fear, incorrectly, that the united states wants to get rid of him, his regime, and wants to reunite the north and south. he sees these weapons as the ultimate deterrence against us
doing that. when the president uses the kind of language he is using, it reinforces in kim the reason why he wants to have these weapons. the second is, and this is a strange thing about north korea, they use the vitriol like no other country i know but are incredibly sensitive to it. one thing you hear from the north koreans all the time is when south korea says something not nice about kim jong-un, the north koreans get their back up. this language not only reinforces their policy but it is dangerous because it forces them into a corner. nick: the problem with tough rhetoric that plays to the president's base is it introduces into the mind of kim jong-un and his advisors a doubt. are the americans in a defensive posture? will they only attack us if we attack them?
or could president trump be serious? if they think he is serious, that we might attack them first, you have the risk of conflict. they put their troops on alert. we have american aircraft this week flying just outside the 12-mile airspace limit. i worry the rhetoric is destabilizing to strategic deterrence and deeply unwise. michael: the chinese did something interesting three or four weeks ago during the height of the kim/trump rhetoric. the chinese said if the united states preemptively attacks north korea, we will fight on the side of north korea. and then they turned around and said if north korea were to attack first, north korea is on its own. that was a message of deterrence to both of us. it was the chinese being the adults in the room. very interesting. united states of america used to be the adult in the room. charlie: is there some back-channel communication going on now between somebody advising
the north korean leader who speaks to the president? nick: i don't know. i'm not in a position to know. charlie: would you expect that to be happening? nick: i would hope so. in a situation like this, if you do not have a diplomatic relationship with a government, and no one in the current government admits to meeting kim jong-un, you need to establish communication. i think secretary tillerson has been trying to do that.
in the summer, he was saying if there is a pause in some of these nuclear and missile tests, maybe we can graduate to the next level. kim jong-un didn't give him a chance. there has been a flurry of tests of both varieties. i see secretary tillerson and secretary mattis as adults. i think they are trying to move us toward negotiations. they understand this is a long-term struggle with north korea. it is not going to be resolved this year or next. we need to get to the negotiating table probably for a compromise that will be deeply unsatisfying to people who want to end the crisis. but if you can avoid a war and freeze the north koreans in place, that is not a bad outcome if you can get it. michael: here is one of the things you have to worry about in a war scenario. when i described the three pieces they need to put a u.s. city at risk, i said we know a lot about one. we know mostly about the other. and the one in the middle we don't know a lot about. at the end of the day, we don't really know what their capabilities are today. if kim jong-un fired an icbm with a nuclear weapon on it today, it might work.
the former dia jim clapper is saying publicly we have to assume, prudence requires that in military planning and diplomatic thinking, you have to assume he might be able to attack us successfully today with a nuclear weapon. going to war today not only risks definite war with south korea, between north korea and south korea, but maybe a nuclear strike on korea, maybe on japan, and maybe a nuclear strike on the united states of america. that is how serious this is. charlie: let me turn to iran. they also suffered some rhetorical assault from the president. he said not only was the deal an embarrassment but he called iran a corrupt regime and rogue nation. why is he doing that? why was that necessary? what was the point? michael: let me tee up the problem and let my diplomatic friend solve it for us. charlie: i will sit back and listen.
michael: there are two buckets. one is the iranian nuclear weapons program. the second is iranian misbehavior in the region. their own conducting terrorism, their support to terrorists, their support to insurgents, desire for regional influence, desire that israel be wiped off the face of the planet. that whole set of issues. right? on this first issue, i believe the jcpoa, the nuclear deal has put that issue in a box for the next 10 to 15 years. it is not perfect, but it is pretty darn good because it has put them in a box for 10 to 15 years. as far as i know, the iranians are living up to almost the entirety of the agreement. there are a handful of small
issues where they are not in compliance. but those are minor issues. the president had to make a decision about how to handle the first one, and he also needs to make a decision on how to handle the second one. how do we disincentivize, deter, the iranians from this misbehavior in the region? that is the second thing he has to decide that has to be done against the following backdrop which is the most interesting internal politics in iran in a long time. there is a real struggle internally playing out publicly between the hardliners and what i call the centrists, many people would call them moderates. charlie: rouhani. michael: he is a centrist. it is a fight, a struggle over whether iran will remain a revolutionary nation or going to be a normal nation. it was fought publicly -- charlie: i asked the prime minister of iran. he said he wanted to be both. michael: you can't be both. both cannot exist, coexist at the same time. this debate played out publicly on the debate stage between rouhani and this very conservative candidate for president. the iranian people voted and
spoke overwhelmingly they wanted to go in a certain direction. the question in trying to manage the nuclear issue, president has to make a decision soon, and managing the regional misbehavior, how do you do that in a way that does not strengthen the hardliners and weaken the centrists? nick is going to tell us -- charlie: before you do that. when you talk about supporting terrorism, the charge against iran is they are heavily involved against the saudis in yemen. that is one. go ahead. nick: iran itself conducts terrorism around the world against israeli and jewish targets and the targets of its neighbors. charlie: how does it do that? nick: it has an apparatus -- charlie: what is it doing? it's one thing to say -- i'm asking because --
nick: assassinating -- not carriedt was out -- nick: nick: the saudi ambassador in the united states several years ago. charlie: that was not carried out. it was interrupted. nick: it was interrupted. there was an attack in europe several years ago. the iranians were involved in that. i think it is fair to say they are the only state in the world is still practices terrorism as a statecraft. they provide support to terrorist groups, hezbollah, hamas, and others. hezbollah could not exist without the support it gets from iran. support to insurgents in the region trying to overthrow sunni regimes in yemen, iran, and saudi arabia. their support for people like president assad is another issue. that is what i mean by regional misbehavior. nick: to use mike's construct of these two big problems, i think president trump is right to try to push the iranians back on the big struggle for power in the middle east. president trump is wrong to try to wiggle out of the iran nuclear deal. why?
>> there is a big shia/sunni struggle for power. charlie: we have taken sides and said we support the saudis who represent the sunnis. nick: president trump was right to do that. charlie: why was he right? i thought president obama's tactic was different. i thought president obama's tactic was to try to recognize iran has a legitimate interest in the region and try to get the saudis to talk to them. the foreign minister said at this table we cannot get them to talk to us. the foreign minister said, we cannot get them to talk to us. isn't that what the president wanted to do, obama, he wanted the saudis to talk to the iranians? nick: it is hard to do that when the iranians are launching military offenses through the houti rebels in yemen trying to establish a line from tehran to damascus to lebanon. it is as if the great shia power of iran is punching a big hole in the sunni world challenging the power of the sunni state. this is an existential issue for the gulf region and israel.
egypt.dan, for as we all know, israeli relations with these countries are the best ever because they have a common enemy. i think president trump has been right. despite my deep respect for president obama and support for him, i did not think he was effective on this. we have to be sending military aid and acting politically to isolate the iranians. charlie: we made a big deal with the saudis to sell them military equipment. nick: we did. i think we were right to do that. we were right to do that. on the other hand, as you know, i was the point person on iran for the george w. bush administration 2005-2008, we spent our time sanctioning the iranians. we never got to the negotiating table. i think it would be a great mistake for president trump to
walk away from the nuclear deal. charlie: why shouldn't we be trying to have a better relationship with iran so you can push back wherever they are being adventurous, wherever there is behavior that does not follow what you hope would come out of the nuclear deal? we thought the nuclear deal with -- would lead to some betterment of relations because you could build on that. that has not happened. people on the right will argue that as soon as they release the sanctions, the money coming into iran would immediately turn to support their misbehavior. nick: i supported the nuclear deal, president obama's deal, because i thought if we could freeze them for 10 to 15 years, good for us. strategic, tactical advantage for us. they get sanctions relief. we put restrictions on them. if we walk away from the deal, they get sanctions relief and all the restrictions are off so we lose big time. charlie: you can't rebuild the sanctions. nick: there are people more idealistic about the iranians who argued in 2015 for the deal saying it will change the behavior and middle east. we have seen nothing like that. theyie: i don't know if
that.hat but they hoped said that. we have seen nothing like that. and they are a threat to israel and the arab partners we have had for generations. charlie: should we view them as a hostile power to american interests? therefore, anybody against iran is our friend? michael: i agree with nick 100%. on the nuclear issue, they are in compliance. stepping away from it would be a strategic mistake. it would split us from our allies. it would play to the hardliners. it would send them back to working on the nuclear program. it would create in a few months a nuclear crisis. we already have one with north korea. let's not start another one with iran. leave that alone. second, i agree we need to find places in the middle east where we can push back on what the iranians are doing to raise the cost to them, to deter them.
charlie: what is an example of that where we can find a place to push back to deter the iranians? what policy would do that? the implementation of what policy? michael: we are doing that as we speak. there are u.s. special forces on the ground in yemen that were put there by the trump administration to support the saudis. that is supporting our allies and pushing back on what the iranians are trying to achieve in yemen. that is a perfect example. we should be willing to do things like that to raise the cost. we should, in order to not disrupt the political debate in iran, do as much of this with our allies as we can. when we do it by ourselves, we become something the hardliners point to. charlie: your argument is we
need to band with the people who want to isolate iran. michael: we banded together and isolated them on the nuclear issue. let's band together and isolate them on the regional issues. charlie: so they hurt, and therefore may change the behavior. michael: right. nick: the other place is syria. we have american special forces on the ground. it is a dynamic fluid situation where the eastern half of the country is up for grabs. we want to deny iran basic control of the syrian space with the syrian government, given what that future would portend for the syrian people. charlie: "the new york times" had a piece on the front page in the past week. "assad in full control." nick: he has survived. he is in control. he is stronger than he has been in many years, in the six-and-a-half years since the civil war began. on a line from damascus all the way to a level, there is control. idlib province is under siege right now. the eastern part of the country is up for grabs.
charlie: with the russians on facebook buying ads and a range of other things, it is clear it was a policy of the russian government to disrupt the american democratic process. this is apart from what happened with hacking. michael: i think we've learned two important things in the last 24, 48, 72 hours. one is that the russian propaganda in the united states -- their influence operations went well beyond just the elections. they were playing deeper in u.s. society. they were playing in the black lives matter issue trying to divide americans on race. that is one thing we learned. the second thing we learned is they are still doing it today. today. within a few hours of president trump and the nfl scrumming with each other, the russians were playing on that issue, trying to
divide america on that issue. they have not stopped. they are still doing it today. charlie: how are they doing it? michael: they have fake accounts. they are starting to be uncovered. they have fake accounts. they also use bots, robots, computers sending out these messages, these tweets, these facebook posts to social media that gets their message across. nick: nine months into his presidency, our president has not defended the country against these actions mike just described. any other president would have formed a bipartisan committee to investigate and raise our defenses. it does get to the credibility of 2018 and 2020 elections. it goes beyond it. charlie: it is urgent. nick: it is urgent. the fact that the president this week denies there is a problem means congress needs to exercise its constitutional responsibility and take this matter into its own hands, as
they did with the russia sanctions. charlie: former secretary of state hillary clinton on this program on monday night was rigorous in calling for a bipartisan investigating committee to get to the bottom of this. nick: she is right. it has to happen. the executive and legislative have been tussling since 1789 over who has power in foreign affairs. congress has to take it if the president is not going to exercise it. charlie: thank you both. we will be right back. stay with us. ♪
♪ charlie: president trump was in the united nations this week. evil,d the new axis of venezuela, iran, and north korea. me now with the reaction the bbcresident is chief international correspondent. i must say to her, as she will knows outside of my own news she is my favorite international correspondent. it is great to have you.
guest: it is great to be on your program. charlie: talk about the role for you at the bbc as the chief international correspondent. are you on one plane from another 21 spot hotspot -- are you on one plane from another two one hotspot to another. guest: people say i am always in a different place and i said i am not always. my role is to cover the main stories of the day. in the last six years i have to say that i have been to places like syria, iraq, the gaza strip . it is a measure of our time that many of these stories of the day are not historically elections although we do have those today. it is often front-line coverage in terrifying wars of our time.
charlie: six years. we are witnessing people who are killed, people become refugees. have you seen anything like that in all of your years of coverage? guest: it is because we are now witnessing the most documented war ever. the first social media were. the vietnam war was the first television war. in the living rooms of america. everyone can watch streaming on you tube everything that happens in syria and yet it seems to be a war of our time that all of the institutions, all of the great powers have proven to be unable or unwilling to end this war. this war stopped being just about syria a long time ago. their summary powers with so many interests. so many proxies. they are worried about turkey,
saudi arabia, iran, america playing a certain role not the kind its arab allies would want. iran is there because it is defending its interest. russia is there defending its allies. it is in them mediterranean, everyone has something at once in syria. unfortunately if you drill down and is not about the welfare of the syrians. i said from the beginning, the fate of one man, prison awsat has matter. more than 22 million people, those who say assad must go, those who say he must stay. president assad is still in power. the mainstream opposition has lost any territorial foothold that could challenge president assad. charlie: they have to have credibility with the syrian people. guest: more than half of syria's prewar population is either displaced inside syria, dad, or
-- dead, or eight refugee abroad. that is serious today. and existential crisis to syria today. syria as it existed no longer exist. you sit with syrians and you can say they don't want to believe that something called syria still exist. but we are looking at how jordan met has an influence in the south, turks have influence in the north, the russians and iranians have influence where president assad prevailed. there definitely tensions pulling it apart. there are people trying to put back together. i think there are many narratives about syria, it is not black and white. there is a kaleidoscope of interests and it is constantly changing. , itallegiance with turkey
deals with the russia towards the end of last year which ended in a negotiated solution. one of the most serious battles of the city of aleppo. i know you did a lot of reporting at that. look at the region. interest, most's especially serious that we have another country that collapses. even saudi arabia would save they do not want the region to collapse in syria. charlie: look at that transition, they want that wouldn't they. guest: even though the west has, you know very well indeed they would be first about 30 mistake interest. president obama -- in his last term -- aboutent trump would talk
to use his words, "the murderous regime of iran." i think most people would say it is not essentially a doctrinal fight, a religious fight. it is a political fight between saudi arabia and iran. they are vying for influence across the region. saudi arabia does feel threatened by what they see, despite it iranians' complete denial. even under sanctions, they became a power in iraq, and yemen. i think when you get down to it, it is about power. it is about access to the government, access to money, access to positions, access to determining the future course of a country. the saudis are trying to get more involved in iraq because they want to challenge iran on its spheres of influence. i think that is where you see this, because it is interesting. when you speak to senior saudis, they say the battle in syria is less about president assad. i have to say for long mitigations for the past couple years the syrians in the syrian government delegation have never really indicated they are ready to go for political transition. it soundsand ridiculous to say it, is a government of international unity. you can take care of social housing with something like that, we are not giving you
defense, interior, finance. you have become to us. if you did not defeat us on the battlefield why can you defeat us on the negotiating table? world powers, france, britain. i think maybe russia understands, because russia, iran, china, those the ones who are going to get the big contract and that is what they talk about in syria now. they have neither the money nor the -- i think with moby dean, the rights, we got the money but if you want this money you have to engage in the political transition. he talked about that in his report. that is where the syrian crisis is now. charlie: another conflict is between saudi arabia and around. yemen? it is seen in syria to a degree. where does this sort of battle , betweenhia and sunni koran and its allies -- between
allies, arabians, others? guest: it comes down to power between saudi arabia, sunni power in the region. shia power. charlie: in some of president -- p's electives guest: yes, he did. charlie: that was reflected in what he said. lashed out against iran. korea was know, north the first one in to use his words "the murderous regime of iran" is the second one. i think it would also say it is not essentially a religious fight. it is a lyrical fight. between -- political fight the between saudi arabia. saudi arabia does feel threatened by what they see. -- see say it between
iran, even under sanctions, became the prevailing power in iraq. charlie: -- -- t: but [crosstalk] guest: i think when you get down to it is it is about power. money. positions. determining the future course of a country. the saudi's are trying to get more involved in iraq because .hey want to challenge iran i think that is where you see it because it is interesting when you speak to saudi's they will say you know, our battle in syria is less about -- although that is essentially where they are but it is about a wrong.
it is about around. it is about around. iran. s about it is about iran. it is about iran. charlie: explain that to me. why don't the saudis at some point say, enough is enough, they are supporting people that are opposed to us and they are supporting terrorism? that's what they said about qatar. they said, we've got these 13 demands. turns out most of them boil down to not so much al jazeera and all those other things, but boiled down to some sense of please stop supporting revolutions against us and our allies. yes or no? you tell me. you are there. what is at the heart of this? guest: again, i think it comes down to power. in their eyes, qatar, from its inception, has been a maverick rogue nation.
they punch above their weight. you listen to the qatari, they say we should be able to forge our own independent policy. we are a very small nation. we have big ambitions and we are very wealthy. charlie: and we play all sides. we have a big american base here. >> yes. they gave refuge to hamas. the united states was also very aware of that as well. but they also give refuge to alical clerics who go on jazeera and most of the are channels and condemn the monarchs in the gulf, condemn the saudi's. so the saudi's see it as a direct threat. in this battle there are rights and wrongs on both sides. charlie: how will it end?
guest: and we'll take a long time. president trump said, this is easy. can do it. but you know, the west and that europeans tend to think that it is a squabble. can't you just get along? your little unity is being affected, your financial unity is being affected. why would you do this? it is true they feel threatened but it is equally true, take the one phrase president trump used time again in his speech. hypocritically. "sovereignty." qatar sees themselves as a sovereign nation. the saudis and egyptians and emirati don't like it. they don't see the muslim brotherhood is a threat. it is not seen as a threat by the injections. president trump got the emir of qatar and the crown prince of saudi arabia to talk to each other.
apparently the call didn't go that badly. but the way they played it out, charlie: net was a day or two ago. guest: a yes. it just set off sparks again because they then presented it as being different. charlie: thank you for coming. great to have you here. chief international correspondent for the bbc. back in a moment. stay with us. ♪
♪ charlie: alfred hitchcock's film "psycho" was hailed as a classic upon its release in 1960. the unexpected violent murder of cannot lee's character marion crane shocked the world. effective the most slashing in cinematic history, suggesting cinema is more details. than graphic here is analysis into the making of the shower scene and its televisionfluence in history. itred hitchcock: i once made a movie. it was intended to cause people to scream and yell. >> it was actually the first time in history of movies where wasn't safe to be in the movie theater.
of violence ist so suggestive, so unlike anything like you have seen -- >> murder was now going to be an acceptable part of entertainment. ♪ happen you thought could to you. this was the first movie where you thought you could be make it and alone in the shower and someone is going to come in and you.stab >> and had to be done the impressionistic late. the head, the feet, the hands. ] creams >> he has broken the covenant for filmmaker and audience and the audience cannot wait to see more. charlie: i am pleased to have alexander philippe at this table. thank you so much. what is it for you? was it hitchcock? an obsession with hitchcock?
and of session with this particular scene? guest: i think it was pretty much an obsession with hitchcock and his work. i remember being five-years-old young myars-old and father was watching hitchcock movies and colombo. both.m well-versed in growing up in watching his movies over and over again in geneva, switzerland, there was a point where i keep starting to wonder, why do i keep going back to these movies? they are extremely entertaining but there's something he is doing. i think mr. hitchcock has become an endless source of inspiration or me. thisie: why is it that "psycho" has this kind of effect on audiences? guest: there are many reasons.
"psycho" wrote a number of taboos and changed profoundly the cinema and also the way we watch movies. back in the day, people were walking in and out of a theater with this idea that you have to line up and wait for a movie to begin. there is this idea that you have to line up in weight. there was this idea that he did not want people to walk in on the middle of the shower scene. i think you look at the shower scene and it is quite frankly the ultimate cinematic trick. i think this is something hitchcock had been working towards his entire life. he saw an opportunity when he read the book by robert bloch to have this sort of epic murder in the bathtub. it is a fascinating to me that thisok seven days to shoot one scene, something that had never been done before and probably has not been done since. charlie: this is what your movie
is about. guest: the movie really focuses on very narrowly the shower scene. i am a big believer in looking at details as a way for me looking at the shower scene is a way for me to investigate hitchcock antennas draft and of course to talk about cinema. the scene -- i've been working now three years full-time on it -- and i feel like i am just really scratching the surface. i'm getting to the point where i'm starting to understand. i could be working on that scene for the rest my life and never, ever get to the bottom of it. charlie: let's take a look. this is generally's body double recalling her audition with hitchcock. guides i was 21-years-old. i was a pinup model. : i wasorking -- guest 21-years old. i was a pinup model. he said universal was looking for somebody to pose in a film. so i called in made an
appointment. i went and spoke with mr. basically had to strip down. got dressed again and then was introduced to jenna leigh. i had to strip down for hurt too. i was in my underpants. but anyway, my body was very similar to hers, so i got hired. i had to report for make up one or two days later and there is the red light flashing and all of this. oh gosh.ught, they are expecting a stripper. i was not quite completely nude. i had what was called a crotch patch. during filming and everything, it would come loose. i told hitchcock, why don't we take this thing off? he said, no. the whole time he wore a suit, black tie and white shirt.
i was hired for two or three days and wound up working for seven. charlie: what did you learn about hitchcock? guest: oh my goodness, i don't even know where to begin. i think that for me it was really sort of an investigation into his process. for instance, he sort of gives you little clues along the way. the trailer we just watched a little bit of, the six minute extended trailer he did for reviews where he is walking around the property showing you things, giving you". there is one point where he approaches the painting of is in norman bates office, the the painting he says has great significance. he removed it to people through the wall and watch marion. he says, "this painting has
." then heificance pauses and goes on. he wants you to figure out why he is using this painting. i went to great lengths to find out why this particular painting, and there are hundreds of versions of susanna and the elders, white was this one. -- why was this the one? hitchcock was so precise in his filming that everything had meaning. same with the investigation we did with the sound of the knife striking the flesh. which, you know, he used a very specific type of a cassava melon. some.red there are hundreds of varieties of melon. some of these are special orders and you cannot ordered just one. so we had hundreds of melons the melonse stabbed
and recorded each melon specifically to try and find out why he picked this one. i will not give it away. charlie: how did this influence phil making forever after? -- influence filmmaking forever after? guest: in terms of technique, a created a brand-new language. people were not used to watching movies in this particular way, the sort of fast editing, different point of views. the scene is edited and a way where you are both marion and also the killer. it is really something that people in 1960 were not used to seeing, and sure enough the reaction was extremely powerful. i just lost my train of thought. charlie: how did this influence cinema? guest: you are looking at a scene that i think is quite problematic because it is, quite frankly, the first true slasher scene where you have a woman vulnerable and alone in the
shower being brutally killed with a knife. i think it opened a possibility of violence in cinema that we quite frankly have not recovered from. so, you know, i mean, here we are 57 years later and i think we're still talking about the shower scene. it fascinates and horrifies. charlie: did hitchcock talk about it? was he interviewed about it? did he uncover all the secrets? guest: no. in true hitchcock ian fashion when he was asked about the
shower scene, he said "i am really quite surprised about the reaction. 'psycho' was a big joke." but this is its copying hitchcock. -- but this is hitchcock being hitchcock. i believe he truly cared about that film. that rings could happen for absolutely no reason. he does it again in "the birds." i look at "psycho" and "the birds" as companion pieces. on that front. but, you know, nobody knows why the birds attack. or you know, it is just never explained. but they do. charlie: good to have you here. "78/52" opens in select theaters
carol: welcome to "bloomberg businessweek," i'm carol massar. julia: and i'm julia chatterly. we're inside the headquarters in new york. carol: more details about the crisis in puerto rico. julia: steve bannon's crusade in china. carol: what it is like living next to america's number one -- superfund site. julia: all that and more on "bloomberg businessweek." ♪ carol: we are with the editor in