tv Charlie Rose PBS February 15, 2017 3:59pm-4:59pm PST
welcome to the program. i'm thomas kail filling in for charlie rose. we begin this evening with politics and a look at the fall out after the resignation of the national security advisor michael flynn. we turn first to al hunt's interview with margaret brennan and david ignatius. >> this is expressive, that the range of possibilities here through the campaign, through this period of the flynn's contacts, then after. we're going to be dealing with this for months. people have to understand, this russia investigation is just beginning. >> we continue with tom friedman of the "new york times." >> there's something rather patient and i would say unadult about the chinese in the sense they've seen this before. democrat or republican when i get in i'm going to really give it to them and they get in and
understand the real balance of power and they tend to back. >> we conclude this evening with my interview of damien chazelle, director of lawaw land. >> it's like a single statement which i think is hard with a musical movie you're trying to wrangle three things together, dance, music and then the language of the cinema itself. and the old musical make it seems completely cohesive, the vincent manelli is one in a seemingly way, it's him but also a by-product of that musical system. we try to recreate that a little bit and kind of house everyone together for a sustained period of time. >> politics and la la land when we continue. >> rose: funding for "charlie rose" has been provided by the following:
>> and by bloomberg, a provider of multimedia news and information services worldwide. captioning sponsored by rose communications from our studios in new york city, this is charlie rose. >> welcome to the program. i'm al hunt, filling in for charlie rose. we begin this evening with the resignation of national security advisor michael t. flynn. flynn had served on the job for 25 days. fbi agents interviewed flynn in the first days of the administration about a conversation he held in december with the russian ambassador regarding sanctions levied against russia by the obama administration. after the interview attorney
general sally yates told the whitehouse he misled senior officials about his communication with the russian ambassador including misleading vice president mike pence. joining me now to discuss this, margaret brennan of foreign affairs and white house correspondent for cbs news and the man that really first reported on this conversation, david ignatius, the columnist of "the washington post." thank you for being here. all three of us say we wish charlie a speedy recovery. he is doing great. he's with the blue devils and made it easier. you will be off the bench in no time charles. david, this story it just doesn't stop. and you first reported this. did mike flynn have to resign, do you think, or forced to resign because of what he said or because he became an embarrassment or both. >> i think it's both. i think the fact that there was a record, the intercepted conversation that he had and
that transcript would have surfaced in the congressional investigation. and now the fact that he was interviewed by the fbi and there was that evidence. made this in the end, the whitehouse couldn't walk away from it. i think that they want to, they tried to. >> they've known for a couple weeks now. >> they've known since january 26th. june after the president was inaugurated. there's been every indication that they were hoping to ride this house. several of my colleagues broke the news that in fact this phone call had involved discussion of sanctions which is the issue that flynn had repeatedly denied both publicly and privately to vice president pence. i think the moment that story broke the whitehouse really had little choice but to move
towards flynn's departure. >> the chaos continues because today sean spicer and kellyanne conway were giving different versions. >> the stories change and develop by the moment it seems. but yes, last night we were told that michael flynn decided that it was his choice and he must resign. it was on his own volition. then this morning kellyanne conway told us that president trump called her this morning and said you got to get out there and explain what happened here. and said that this was actually a different, slightly different circumstance here and that this came down to a really misleading the vice president and the president by extension and that it was a matter there of, you know, decision that just unsustainable as it was going. >> which doesn't really matter except it underscores the chaos and the contradictions. >> by midday sean spicer want to make clear it was the president who is in charge and actually it
was president trump himself who made the call for the resignation. that time line for all of us on the reporting side has been trying to clear together. the whielt house is trying to send the message it's not as chaotic as it looks. >> the critics to be sure butt lindsey grahams of the world really seized on this and say we now need an investigation what was mike flynn talking about, did he order him to do it or ask him to do it or how far back does this go. this just highlights this whole ongoing investigation. >> i think this has lagged as we sometimes say in our business. there already was an investigation by the senate intelligence committee bipartisan investigation of russian hacking during the 2016 campaign and possible russian connections with individuals in the trump campaign who benefited from that russian hacking attack. that was under way.
i'm told members of the intelligence committee have asked heads of our intelligence agencies, top officials at the justice department for assurances that this investigation, both in congress and in the agencies will not be diverted. that they will let it run where the evidence leads. that's really important because this is explosive. the range of possibilities here through the campaign, through this period of flynn having contacts. then after. we're going to be dealing with this for months. people have to understand, this russia investigation is just beginning. >> fbi investigation. >> fbi investigation sum plemented by our intelligence agencies and the information that they gather and it's powerful. as we saw in the case of flynn's contacts, there's real evidence.
there are transcripts of conversations that are lawfully collected and those are going to power what congress and fbi does. >> and the stories which again talked about these reports about a connection between some people associated with trump and the russians and the hacking, unverified also non-frivolous stories suggested there were surveillance tapes of some conversations also which i think underscores your point that this is first of all to call big deals to under the case. it has implications that are extraordinary david and there's an awful lot we have to learn. >> just to say one more word about this. i believe the fbi is continuing to investigate several associates of trump's prominently paul manafort for a time was his campaign manager. possible legal issues that
arise. that's ongoing and ut's explosive. and i think it probably will take many months. this is the kind of investigation you can't do quickly. we all know how these law enforcement investigations work. you go step by step. you go to the lower guy to tell you about the more senior person. i think that's what's going to be going on through much of this year. >> it might not have been a strategic decision by the president to appear at least to have gone to war with the intelligence agencies of the gate. and many who say that michael flynn had 33 years of public service. some great respect because of it but he also made some enemies. and this suggestion you could lie publicly or deceive other officials and get away with it really hit some people the wrong way to say look, this is something that there is verifiable evidence of in terms of a transcript of an
intercepted phone call. you can't stand at the whitehouse podium for the vice president of the united states out to perpetuate something that is proveably false. >> i'm going to add just one thing to what david said. i've been told by formerly high justice department officials and the democrats who think james comey made a terrible mistake in october who say they have no doubt he will be straight, he will be rigorous in this investigation. and if it leads to anything, that something will happen. >> comey is reported today initially opposed the decision by the acting attorney general sally yates to inform the whitehouse about the problem that flynn had because he was afraid that that would interfere with his ongoing fbi investigation of this broad set of issues. >> that's a pretty serious thing. >> that's what it tells you. he's worried about this whitehouse interfering with his investigation. imagine that, the fbi director saying don't tell the
whitehouse, it might interfere with my sensitive probe of these activities. >> the other thing, margaret, if they want to call mike flynn up to capitol hill, he can't invoke the executive privilege i don't believe about this call because he wasn't working for the president. >> he was working for the transition team at the time, that's right. and i think one of the other questions that many on capitol hill want answered is either release the tran transcript or complete the rest of the sentence. the whitehouse tried to say this wasn't a legal issue. they disputed the case those in the justice department had made that there was actually something to be worried about here so this just became an issue of trust. but when you were talking about thought being able to trust your chief national security advisor on the most sensitive issues, yet allowing him to sit in the room with you even in the hours leading up to these announcements, with key phone calls, the leader of nigeria and
south africa. he was still very much touching very sensitive information and we don't know, maybe some of discussion of sanctions is as they are spending it to be. which is it was a conversation in passing about sanctions and we moved on. but to have deceived and be caught in a lie is the problem here. >> is there any, at least early sense of what the departure of mike flynn might mean for national security decision-making in this administration. does that depend on who replaces him. who is up or who is down or does it matter. >> those in the running to replace him there is some concern run of the things taking the job would have to include some understanding of what that reshuffling of the national security council that recently happened would actually look like. does that mean anyone who takes this job have to go head to head with steve bannon in every situation. or do they actually get more of a voice and more of a guaranteed voice in terms of controlling
flow of information to the president and really being the one with the credentials to lead the direction to what gets to the president's desk as a national security issue. that's going to be a challenge whether it's david petraeus if he gets the job and negotiates that deal or whether it's vice admiral where there's a lot of talk about right now. >> david. >> i think what the perceptions are over seas, this will be seen as restart. general flynn was not well-known overseas but there's been a lot of buzz, is he the right person for this. his views on russia for enthusiasm worried a lot of our european allies. there may be some relieve
sounder management somebody like david petraeus. >> do you imagine him taking it. >> i think david petraeus would like to have another act in public life. i think if it was offered under terms that were appropriate, that he would take it. i know he thought about it hard. i think the question is, he's a person that brings a lot of independent stature at a whitehouse where there are so many competing centers of power. >> is there any strategy or agenda for this administration on foreign policy? i know it's only three and-a-half weeks old and things evolve. but these are big things. >> they are. they're learning on the job as it were. parts of their agenda, they moved to carry at in particular domestically. i think it's unfortunate they shredded the transpacific partnership which is the best thing the u.s. had going in asia. but other than that, they put
asia policy on, i think shinto abe over the weekend despite the embarrassing twitter shoot national security huddle at mar-a-lago, i think it was a good visit and really mattered to the japanese having their prime minister be referred in such a personal way is a big deal. i think getting china relationship right and back on the kind of a basic framework of a one china policy. i think those are important things. i don't know if it was clear president trump was going in that direction. you could say he's on the job learning things which i would judge more sincable as he moves into the job. >> let me ask you finally, prime minister netanyahu will be here this week and maybe it will be confirstable meetings than with barack obama but is there any
policy implications. >> someone that president trump feels closest to is his son-in-law jared kurshner. what i've been hearing is that the focus that they wanted to be on is on iran and this discussion of moving the embassy while it has not been taken off the table by my means moving it from tel aviv to uses lunch has been put on the back burner a little bit as he articulated as president not just as a cant date want to assess the viability of some sort of deal in the middle east. the challenge is while you had all this high level very warm friendly contact with the israels there's been next to knock, you have to get them
talking. >> david. >> there's been a lot of contact with leading arab countries. jordan's king came to washington and after he met with trump, trauma changed his line on settlements. that was interesting. jared kushner is advertising his be friend in town is the ambassador. the saudis are telling everybody in sight how much they like donald trump. so there is that. once you decide you want to be president, you want to be commander in chief you're no longer disrupter in chief. you have an interest in getting to the deal, getting to the frame work in which you could negotiate something on israel. it's such an inexperienced person tempermently and is learning and we'll see in dealing with netanyahu will have
his eye on the prize which for any american president is peace agreement. >> let's hope you are right. i want to thank both of you margaret brennan and david ignatius for bringing enlightened conversation and we will be right back with thomas friedman to talk about how the rest of world views what's going on in washington. scwaryks. >> from a global perspective on the trump a -- driving in the age, your 7th book thomas talking about huge changes taking place in the world technologically driven among others. who is going to benefit from the and what should i worry about. >> i think we all have a potential to benefit but i think what really is interesting for you covering politics right now is the political parties in
america and i believe europe the whole industrial world is actually blowing up. the republican party basically blew up here. it was a fallow garden and donald trump is an invasive species. we see it splitting and we see it in europe. why is this going on. these parties were designed to answer questions on the industrial revolution, the early it revolution and civil rights, women rights and racial rights. i think what parties are together to have to respond to, what i call in the book the age of acceleration. the fact that the three largest fosters on the planet which i call is the market on globalization, mother nature, climate change, population, technology are all in this incredible acceleration. and really politics is about now getting the most out of those and curbing the worse. >> understanding those and taking advantage of that which is a hard thing. >> it's a real challenge.
it will be a blend of policies so the traditional left right division -- >> are there some countries or societies that seem to better grasp this than others? >> one thing you can really point to are, some are more authoritarian, singapore and others are scandinavian. what they do have in common are very pragmatic hybrid approach understanding. there's no simple -- and that's part of the response. but that there's no just cut taxes, just raise taxes. that is much more complicated if we're going to preserve an expanding middle class. >> tom, let's talk about this, let's play off this latest flap in washington, the first 25 days of the trump administration which looks chaotic. give me your sense. no one travels the world as well as you do. let's talk about some foreign capitals and what you think they might be thinking right now. let's start with beijing.
>> i think really confused but also there's something rather patient and i'm going to say adult about the chinese in this sense. they've seen this play before. people running the campaign either a democrat or republican boy when i get i'm going to really give it to them. they get in and understand the real balance of power and they tend to roll back. chinese has real weight in the world. 1 point 3 billion people world's second largest economy. i think for them, they've never seen this thing called trump, you know quite that phenomenon. but i think they are being rather patient as trump first of all was playing around with taiwan. and then he got right back, in terms of american policies. so i think the chinese are watching and waiting. >> how about north korea. >> the north koreans also i think they, and they heard trump say rattling during the campaign
probably raised the temperature before but they weren't afraid to test him with the missile test. and i think -- >> while the japanese were here. >> that was a little hello, hi. been there. we've seen this act before. remember we've got real weight. >> our close allies in europe, bond -- bond. london. >> yes. i think they are more unnerved for two reasons, really. one is they really depend on america and security umbrella for their own security. and really galvanize the rest of the alliance. but the other is, you know, america as an ideal has always been important to these countries and people like to make fun of our country. those americans they're so naive they think every problem have a solution. deep down these are more cynical societies and i think
historically they often envy our naivete, our idealism. >> our can do. >> our can do. if we go dark they go dark. when we go dark it affects them i think in ways that with a don't always articulate but when you're there and i was over in london, people feel it. >> and the middle east. whether it's i guess prime minister netanyahu arrives this well again, you got a wide nge of reactions. i think for the iranians there is worry that because they knew general mattis came in with a very tough approach with the iranians because he was in iran when iran was making the ieds these explosive devices that killed many of our marines. so they know this group of american national security people are on to the iranians and will take a tougher line. i think for israel huge confusion because trump came in
saying i'm moving the embassy to uses had lump from tel aviv didn't happen. baby i'm with you and suddenly you know those settlements aren't a good idea. with a i don't know you could count on all the republicans in congress defending him. but what happens if a republican administration starts talking like obama, that's going to be very confusing. >> goes back to the days of jim bakker. >> not when jim bakker wouldn't let him in the state den. >> it's good for him to have a villain -- >> he loved having i don't know because he could go -- obama because he could go to his cabinet and said i would have expanded settlement but obama broke my arm. i would love to be with you and he's not going to have this. this comes out at a very important time, i rote my column about this for tomorrow actually because israel is very close, they just passed a law
legalizing wild cat settlements that were establishing in the west bank by settlers independently where they just squatted on palestinian privately on land and state has now legalized with. israel parliament, the israel supreme court may strike it down or not but we're getting close to the end of the two state solution. as long as there were a two state solution on the table, the jewish community was left right. i'm for the line here and i'm for the line here. hen you go to a two state solution to a one state solution it's now right wrong. when that happens, you will see the jewish community in america, every synagogue, every jewish community center, every jewish social service agency, they're all going to fracture over this. >> that's something over the long run is really dangerous. >> they're isolated to a large, tent right now. without american support they're
in a very dicey situation. >> history is funny. basically what, i think my column is titled tomorrow can trump save the jews. ironically of all people at all times, only if trump comes out and very firmly says you are not going to erase the two state solution. i think this is heavy in place where it will be a disaster for israel and the jewish people. trump may not be interested in jewish history but jewish history is now interested in him. >> yes, that's fascinating. people a while back hoped netanyahu might do that it's rather clear he's never going to do it. he's a politician and a very good politician. >> he's someone always dog pad ling. >> the president fixed the
transpacific pact. my cousin was over there for years, he says it's the worst thing that happened for america. it was the counterbalance to china. china was privately pleased he did that. they had their asian infrastructure initiatives and china's on the march there. how are we going to respond and how, you know, basically what are the parameters. >> well again, it's an example of how nothing in trump's foreign policy is thought out. to me they were a series of tweets. trump is basically won with one paragraph, one paragraph on trade, one paragraph on iran, one paragraph on this, one paragraph on that. he never has a second paragraph. now he's write ag second paragraph on obamacare we've seen he doesn't have a second payer. hillary had a second paragraph and never had a topic which is one of the reasons that she lost. so tpp is a perfect example for me. do you know what the real story
is we actually fleeced the agents in terms of they have access to our markets and we don't have access to theirs. why did they give us so much because they so much want to be in alliance with us. they were ready to pay. that's the real story. now obama couldn't say hey we fleeced these guys but the fact is that's what we did. so if you are trump, you're coming in saying i'm going to stand up to china. i'm going to have a tougher china policy. i think i will have an 11 nation trading block people shared my values, shared my interests, want to share my rule of law. wait a minute i might even call it tpp transpacific partnership and you know what he did the first day. he never read this thing. it's that kind of behavior that's so wreckless and this is somebody took so long to build. >> i went to the north the first time four or five years awe tbee
and spent some time with a foreign minister and talked about how important the americans were. it was almost a surreal experience if you grew up during the vietnam war and he made it quite clear, he didn't put it directly we need you desperately as a counter for the chinese. >> again it goes back to this point that you may not like a world of too much american power. like they often did. my friend he really won't like a world of too little american power. you go weak in the world your kids and mine they won't grow up in a different america they will grow up in a fundamentally different world ordered by russia or china or nobody at all. trump is so because he's never lived abroad, he's never really looked at america from the outside in a prolonged and deep way that he has no sense of what america in the mind of the world mains. how much america is the source of optimism, a source of excellence what it means for so
many people out there. >> tom friedman author of thank you for being late if you want to now how to get ahead. pick it up. thank you for being with us. >> really a measure. >> thank you, we'll be right back. >> again i'm the thomas kail filling in for charlie rose. damien chazelle is here the director and screen writer of la la land. is nominated for 14 awards best director and best screen play. >> two options you either follow my rules over you follow my rules nierks -- >> thank you very much.
>> you're fired. good luck in the new year. >> i just heard you were fired and i want to say ... with a keep running into each other. i get it. >> you could just write your own world, write something that's as interesting as you are. >> what are you going to do. >> have my own club. >> is that going to happen every time. >> how are you going to be a revolutionary if you're such a traditionist. you're holding on to the past
what went into it, what you were thinking about. one of the things i've been reading about a lot and listening to you talk the last couple months is your background in cinema and making documentaries and you put sort of captured moments something that happened literally in a kitchen and know a couple moments later we could be flying in a planetarium. with your experience with documentary how did you find your way to docs and your way out of it into this. >> it kind of happened at the same time. i always want to do movies when i was a kid. i started doing docs in school. it was just my camera on my shoulder going down the street see what's there. observational. kind of notes of direct involvement in what you're shooting. you shoot it and sort of let it play.
i was watching a lot of old movies. again i had been a movie buff my whole life but hollywood musicals wasn't what i turned to first. for some reason i'm not really sure why around the same time i started to make docs and started using old musicals. documentaries and musicals that was kind of like the eureka moment that led to the work i've done and certainly led to la la land. these are two things that should be opposite how can we find a way, how can a musical be real and spring from a real city. how can a documentary feel like it has music in its bones. how can this thing be the same
organism. >> yourerer lai lationship with your choreographer which is, how did you meet, the process of finding the right person. >> did you know manny moore at all? >> just through stage production. >> so mandy, yes, it was a tough nut to crack because it had to be old and new at the same time. it had to be, it had to have its own language but it also had to be you know kind of embrace the tradition that we want this movie to kind of pull from. and it also had to like adapt itself to performers who are not professional dancers because when it comes to people ready to sing and dance at the drop of a hat. >> how did you know that. >> going back to that idea of documentary musical. just trying to not that one
necessarily suits the other but at that time idea of really keeping it like you or me, like the royal you or me breaking into song. that comes later, right. so keeping that sort of grounded thing. and she, after many months of kind of looking around, she happened to meet with her and she just kind of blew me away. she has this sort of energy that just makes every problem seem surmountable and there were a lot of big could be problems on this movie, you know. she had worked with actors before who don't dance, you know, or don't normally dance so she's kind of this rare beast of not just a choreographer but an instructor and someone who can make those two things come tobacco because the choreographer had to be formed by the actors and everything had to be organic. >> right. and you talk a lot about in your
process, you're big on story boards, you detail, you script and you get in and allow stuff to happen on the day to happen and she also had hat sensibility because you guys had something mapped out and you get somewhere whether it's this or the wall didn't work there's that emprof cisional feel to the movement and the way the camera was choreographed. you seemed very insync. was that intuitive between the two of us. >> it was that this movie had a lot of stops and starts which became our best friend because that kind of instinct feeling was as a result of months even years i think with mandy of just talking and flushing these numbers out, not in physically but just in words or you know, diagrams or story boards or just kind of i mean i would do a lot of embarrassing kind of trying to dance out moves i want her to make real. and that's actually how we spent a lot of our time was like
sitting around a table somewhat like this and kind of talking through each number of the movie and really visualizing it. and she just kind of rolled with that and she would sort of start to develop that into shapes with her crew of dancers, you know. she kind of go into rehearsals and stuff, this is long before we were a cast and ago movie. we had time to do that. so by the time we had cast and were rehearsing for real, there was like this, we spoke the same language in every sense of the term. and she also had worked with my dp before which is another kind of very nice like coincidence in way because they had done this old movie, american hustle together where she was working from the dance sequences for that and he shot it. so they, the two of them kind of spoke the same language. i was introduced to this incredible camera operator who shooth a lot of dance who mandy
knew as well and a lot of her dancers knew. it was easy to develop a family sense. >> relationships that they formed become your friend as you bring them in which is part of fun of it. >> yes, absolutely. it was sort of the, it's kind of what prep became as well. once we got into hard prep we all lived together in a collection of warehouse in the valley. >> you made your music today ins hollywood let's no the intra structure the way they used to be. there's a reason these movies aren't made the way they were in the 40's and 50's and back then there was a complete set of machinery and every studio would contract players and rehearsals on site and actor who were going
through the grind of vocal lessons, dance lessons even if they weren't on a picture, you know. and an orchestra for that studio, etcetera etcetera. everything was in place. show, it made things go quickly but it also kind of allowed. the reason the old musicals worked is that they all feel like a single, good ones are like a single statement. that's what i think is hard with a musical movie you're trying kind of wrangle three things together, dance, music and then the language of the cinema itself. and the old music comes make it seem completely cohesive. vincent minel limit musical is a cohesive statement in an effortless way and i think in some ways it's him but also a by-product of that studio system so we tried to recreate that a little bit and house everyone together for a sustained period of time. >> that's when you distill it which is the director's job actually is make sure
everybody's on the same page telling the same story. and your job was to unify and you did. when you were making this with justin hurwitz and once you brought in your lyricist. what happened when they came on. >> when they came on we had maybe it was three or maybe it was four years up to that point of developing this movie, me and justin and my producers and i'm not a lyricist justin not a lyricist. it was read like a normal script and every time a song would come it into imloa into italics what people were singing about. and i wrote dummy lyrics just to have something. so we had all this material and
i think what was actually really trickly and what they were able to do so well was insert themselves into what was already a very kind of like a real structure that you know, it was really like this puzzle where they had to kind of put the pieces just so in there and yet make it seem like those pieces has always been there and always been a foundation. again time was our friend. like the movie continually falling apart was our best friend because we spent a couple years kind of going back and forth between new york and l.a. and just hashing out the songs, you know. and kind of multiday sessions and they would go off on their own path and workshop stuff and send stuff back. this was back and forth for a while. and it took a heil -- while buy were so brilliant at being able to kind of adapt words to justin's melodies which were pretty most are kind of notey
melodies because a lot were very fletch and -- french and stuff. it's like people are singing a mile a minute. people don't go quite that far but it's like da da da da. like swung eights and stuff. it's not easy stuff to put words in. so again i can't give enough credit to these two guys for just the story of like acrobatics they had to do making it seem very easy and making it seem effortless. >> so you had all the music but it's not like we had that song for the second act and someone comes running in out of town to do it. when did you have to say this is what the script is. >> it was right at the beginning of me writing the script. i think even in just like treatment phase where he was just kind of like hashing out the story just continue was work -- justin was working on melodies. first he figured out score theme because there would be a
recurring theme that ryan gosling plays in the beginning and becomes like their love theme. i want to find that before i dove two deep. once we agreed on that then i was kind of giving him scenes very early and he would start writing songs just piano demos really. that's how he works. and so it was like right from the beginning, we kind of, we had to be sort of working concurrently and so the stuff got baked in very early on and it was very clear where the term would be and where you need the song to kind of complete the emotion. and you know i think i imagine if i looked back at the early drafts some of the structures of song to day log are probably relatively the same. i know the thing that kind of became a big question mark is
there's a big stretch sort of the back half of the movie with no song. and i kind of felt strongly about that from the beginning that just you kind of needed the movie to stop being a musical in a way because the music is, the music really, the musical is the language of their love the character's love. so once stuff, once the magic starts to fade you kind of have to find yourself literally tumbling into reality and wishing you could, you talk about getting up off the ground or settling down wishing you could get back up you know and building that anticipation until you're finally in the final 20 minutes of the movie you have two numbers again to kind of close it out. for a while we played around whether there would be a number a hint of a number in that sort of chunk. i think out of fear so long without one knowing it was an unusual structure but it never felt right so that avenue wasn't pursued. >> one of the things you do so
well is music and the world, the physical world to let us know the emotional life in a very full way. i want to actually look at the clip which is when sebastian is singing city of stars. so here is a very quiet moment that if this were just a film without music he might just be walking but we got a chance to do something else. let's look at that clip. ♪ are you shining just for me ♪ city of stars that i can see. ♪ is this the start of something
more. a dream that i cannot make true. ♪ >> so this idea of compromise, i was thinking about a lot as i watched your films, it was in your brain as looked out of music into film making or they were concurrent. >> i think they were sort of very personal bordering on auto biographical at times film and i think if anything whiplash which is my way of trying to hash out my feelings about my time as a drummer which is really for me high school really. for me it was mainly when i was a teenager and i was in a very kind of intense sort of jazz band. >> this is in new jersey. >> yes.
it's its own breed. and rest ling with those kind of feelings. and then la la land, just being in the position like calculators like the actors in the movie. like this movie for instance, like this movie was so clear in my head for so long and it gets very frustrating because you can't just make your thoughts reality but you wish you could and it's a bad idea of trying the make the dreams reality. i think music musicals are gret conveying because they were at their core at least musical movies about like somewhat unhappy characters really that's the irony for such a joyful
genre characters who are frustrated who are kind of projecting an idealized vision of the world on to reality. they are changing reality by putting their emotions out there, you know. that's why so many of the greatest musicals, a sung through musical like that or a star is born or gold digger's pictures or singing in the rain are actually such good portraits of either artistic compromise or just the kind of problems that you go through as an artist or just as a human being like these are not, these moves i guess what i'm trying to say is these movies are not the sugary kind of fluff that they times get incorrectly labeled at. they are actually profoundly truthful movies about the human
experience that use their genre conventions to talk about emotions in a way like you said you can't do in another kind of movie. >> were there people you looked up to. did you have mentors on the phone making side that helped guide you because as you said you could go to l.a. and it could be a lonely place. you're not quipped to do or have to do. did you find people early on. i know you had your collaborators but were there other folks that helped you. >> i did. tend of the day that's how any kind of door is opened. it's just one person believing in me at this one juncture and then another believing in me at another juncture and it's, you become very, you realize how much you owe to people around you. there's i think for me it wasn't one helping hand, it was a bunch at various kind of critical moments.
but you always remember who those are and think it was also just the kind of history of movies or artists that i wanted too, the kind of movies i would watch and say i wanted to do that or the kind of directors i read about and go that's what i want to do. that gives this push, sort of lights this fire that sometimes i really need in those kind of seasonless l.a. years where it's just everything that's kind of staying the same and the clock seems to be looping and time seems to be faster bond it's not like an east coast winter. it felt like a year happened passed and i was still in the same place. it really helps to kind of, i mean sometimessate would trust great me but it really help me to be kind of gorging on film history and just watching a lot of stuff. writing and watching were two
things i didn't need money to do. you need money to make a movie. at least a certain amount. but you can write anywhere and these days at least you can watch anywhere. that's what i was doing. >> la la land is about this idea how we make space for ourselves and that there are things that are possible. and yet in the film making itself there's such love. >> yes. and i think i'm thinking back the way you're saying about compromise, i think in a weird way la la land is also kind of there's probably a movie i couldn't have made certainly kind of ten years ago like i had a slightly different vision of art which was more exclusionary. i used took more like sebastian where this is right and this is wrong and there are like battle
lines drawn. >> what makes you feel -- >> maturing a little bit. your feelings your thoughts about these things change or they get more complicated. i want la la land to be a little bit an embrace of that complicatedness, an embrace of compromise which is not to say it's somewhat odd thing to say because i think really at the core of the movie at least i ended it to be a kind of anthem for the idea of just going after your dream no matter how unrealistic it seems and not compromising on that dream. that's something i always felt but it's what the characters in la la land have to learn or are in the process of learning even if you leave them at the end of the movie is that if you say there is space, there's space for different kinds of art there's space for different kinds of people. there's also space for different
kinds of relationships. not every relationship lasts forever and that doesn't mean that it's the, that it's a failure you know. not every kind of art form has to be in this kind of closed box, you know, where just because you try to introduce another element into it corrupts it. and sebastian, you know, he goes through a journey where you has to learn to open his mind to that and he has the to come to accept a little bit that kind of who he is, kind of content to have thinks little sand box and that's how you see him at the end of the movie that he's kind of letting the world go by as he just sort of plows a little bit of terrain and there's a beauty to that. but yes, i think this is, you know, i think i wanted to say something a little bit how dreams and reality have to coexist and sometimes that coexistence is not the worse
thing in the world. >> thank you for coming and spending time on your tour for saying things and i appreciate it and i'm humbled at a chance to sift at this table and i'm sure they'll kick me out immediately. >> same here. we'll get kicked out immediately. >> thank you, i appreciate it. flush captioning sponsored by rose communications captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org
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