tv Charlie Rose Bloomberg April 24, 2017 6:00pm-7:01pm EDT
announcer: from our studios in new york city, this is charlie rose. the ceo of microsoft announced another project this week. usa fax.s launching it is a competence of data platform that tracks government spending and performance. i sat down with him on tuesday about his career and the new venture. let me start back where you were. when you had the question that you wanted to answer, how is government spend, and you went
looking for that, had anyone else done this? >> you can find everything on our site. we did not create anything original except for the structure around the data. the answer is yes on every topic. their action is some very good check these topics and do them very well. i saw visualization about how government money gets spent. that is super. you don't see many places where people are adding together state, local, and federal data. that is pretty rare. most governments present themselves government by government. everything out there is available, the question is bringing it together. if you say how many jobs are in food preparation and service, you will find that pure of labor statistics website. you may not navigate it well and you make correlate that with other things happening in the
economy. charlie: who will use it? >> i hope that we get iitially is people in the government field, journalists will benefit, and what i call the most engaged part of the citizenry. people who read publications that regularly cover things in some depth and use of numbers. that would point to the great national newspapers and "theines, "the economist," new york times," "wall street journal," etc. charlie: why do you feel better about how money is being spent? money could debate the is not being spent on your parties. i thought we would find pockets were things look very expensive relative to output. i do not think, at least i did not feel i found that. take transfer payments. i believe transfer payments are
2.4 trillion, if i remember quickly. that is medicaid, medicare, snap , and some other stuff. you can agree or disagree about how much of that we should do, but the truth is you know that money goes straight through separate this. people are eating the snap dollars, spending their social security money. i still good about that. when you look at the people who work and government, i felt pretty good, actually, on what people were doing. i do not mind spending that money. government pensions look high. if you look at government pension costs compared to costs orector pension country b shares, that which a little bit different to me. i went through category by category compared to profession by profession and i felt a little bit better about effective use of money, and as i
said, reasonable people can disagree about what to spend on. charlie: how do you ensure it is bipartisan? >> numbers do not know if they conservatives, last time i checked. we have informally shared our work with people who are clearly democrats and people who are clearly republicans, i.e., politicians. i got no feedback about this thing being partisan. none whatsoever. neither from democrats or republicans. of takeaway,idea you talked but the fact that the government is doing better than you imagined. other takeaways for you? >> yeah. i will be careful because it is the prizes that are important. i will not give you my personal policy views. they are not relevant. and this work, i'm only partisan abt three
ings. partisan about the numbers. my wife and i and our philanthropy are clearly dedicated to trying to find a way to have private and public money, given opportunity to kids to live the american dream, and i have to say, i sort of think over the long-term, balanced budgets are a good thing. i don't understand companies not making money. i don't understand how you sustain yourself long-term. whether that means increasing taxes, decreasing spending, sort of the democracy should figure that out. that is not the point of this work. with that as context, what was surprising, i ran through a few things. we did an analysis of how much money it took, inflation-adjusted, to be in the 2000 versusile in 2015. versus
indexing takes lower income to be in the middle quintile today than it did 15 years ago. that is probably not a very good thing. when people say the middle class is getting hollowed out, maybe that is what they are talking about. i don't know what the middle class really is. i'm a numbers guy. i just say, this must have something to do with income quintiles. that would be another example of something that was surprising, to see laid out numerically. charlie: at this stage, where do they government money is being spent badly? >> again, badly depends on your political views. let me take the simplest ones. charlie: you said you were pleasantly surprised it was doing better. pleasantlye disappointed because it was doing worse. >> that is based on my values. i don't want to complicate this based on my values. charlie: i'm asking about your values.
>> i don't want to share them because it is about the dialogue. charlie: can't you make a judgment about values. everyone pick one that can agree on. let me pick it. bridge quality is improved dramatically in 1980. dramatically. transportation, investment in transportation infrastructure is up. somebody might say, that is a great correlation. somebody might say, and we have not had that many bridge accidents. traffic fatalities are down. there are not a lot of bridge collapse fatalities. somebody might look at that and say, but that continue to go. it is going well. some mother with her baby in the backseat might say, i cannot of thehe fact that 90% bridges in the country are structurally deficient. i can't take that, that is way too hard for me because i value
my betty p -- my baby. is that a good set of statistics or bad? people have to decide. take the economy. a chart in the annual report. 10 things that can stimulate the economy, and at the bottom, outcomes. we do this over time because government stimulation can drive things up and then you will see it phase down or decline. some will say that governnt action has a huge impact on the economy. some will say it seemso be uncorrelated. we have had people look at the table and say both. value judgments by me are not that important. i'm not a politician, i'm not running for office, i never will. i just a guy with a bunch of numbers trying to make sense of the world. charlie: do the numbers tell you the government needs to do a better job, needs to do more,
and the needs to be a better divide between public and private contributions in a philanthropic way? >> we are focused very narrowly on the philanthropic work. we not medical research people, hospital construction people. we do give to our, matters, but i will put that into a separate category. long live the university of oregon, long-lived harvard. when you focus on money that goes to support disadvantaged kids, and many, if not most of the non-for profit institutions we work with, a percentage of their funding comes from government contracts. is it important? sure. there is a whole contracting industry out there funded by the government to provide social services.
is that money well spent? on the philanthropic side, we are focused on that. most government dollars are not spent, at least in the service sector, with a pay for performance mentality. it is not whether those kids are getting good outcomes from the system. you pay based on the number of people who go to jail, not the number of people who stay out of jail. our deal specifically, with interest, the one that i am willing to talk to publicly, i think that money can be better spent. when i talk about balancing the budget, everyone here is an expert. charlie: where is the human element in this? >> te o biggest things that we did, human element, was trying to decide how the
government does what they do. part of the problem with government databases is everyone has a different taxonomy about what the government does. what are the government actions? you go to these databases and find that the government does millions of things. in a way, it does. in a way, it can be simplified. that is part of the human element, the decisions we made. they are human decisions we decisions.umerical we pick the family types, the income levels, race and ethnicity is more obvious. 55decided we would look at plus. we did make some human decisions before we presented the information. we presented in context.
we decide what is material and what is not material. can you tell me what is that on the national parks system? i went and tight in the search bar, national park spending. guess what. we don't have it. charlie: where will this be in five years? >> the most important thing, i would hope, is we have the same missions and submissions. so, we have consistency in presentation, and much more data . a simplified way to present it, to find what you want. and, you want to correlate that inh education spending, say,
where we have a basketball team -- charlie: the lakers, i think. >> i'm leaving. me off really have target. charlie: what are some things you have to have that will accelerate growth? for example, connection to a search engine, for example. bing,erally you can go to my favorite search engine, or google, and pose as many questions as you can. as like them to come back answers. we have a lot of work we need to do.
wouldn't it be great to have a debate once a week, or once every two weeks on youtube or facebook live, where you had somebody from the left and mebody from e right debating a topic. you have to look at the data, being vouch for the integrity. people cannot get away with saying things that are not right, or adjectives not framed by numbers. charlie: let's talk about the clippers. a the joy of owning basketball team, an nba franchise, everything you thought it would be? you are, at the games, how do i say this, a crazy man. >> it is everything i hoped for and more. i'm sitting here at the table with glenn hutchins, who i've college,ce i was in
owner of the boston celtics. we just made a deal with the celtics and the clippers in the finals. that was not fun. if you want to have the fund, you have to take pain along with it. and the boardyou at microsoft decided you had different visions for the company and it was time for you to leave, how was that for you? you have been at this company, you build this company, you had remarkable success and have become amazingly rich. you will still be amazingly rich, but you were not doing day-to-day what you had been doing all of your don't life. what do you go through? work life plan had been to and then have a second phase of life. i always wanted a second phase
of life that i could hit before i was too old to enjoy it. charlie: mid 50's is when you did that. at the end of the day, i made a decision that if we could not agree on strategy, it made sense for me to go. that was fine. it is tumultuous. always tumultuous when you start doing something you have done for 43 years. is ireally happened to us had a sort of principle. i was going to work hard until the last day. the last day, and i had not planned anything for the future. what the heck am i going to do? thankfully my wife challenge me, i got involved in philanthropy. usafacts thing got in line, and the clippers were forced to
be sold. i had already looked at three uy.ms to b it was like this sign from heaven that the clippers were being sold. i had a tough year. charlie: microsoft, it is done, many say, really well. stock prices have gone up, benefiting you, the largest stockholder. how do you assess how they have been so successful since you left? >> let me get three comments on that. number one, i think they're doing a great job. charlie: approve of your successor? .> i approve of my successor they have to do more, better, faster, but they are doing a good job. charlie: meaning they are not doing as much and they are not as fast? >> i would have said the same
when i was at the place, more, better, faster. i think they are doing a good job. charlie: what keeps them from being more, better, faster? >> there is so much to do in any tech business. you have to push yourself relentlessly i do know that the industry moves quick and you have to move quickly with it. number two i think they have done a great job reestablishing the image of the company. how much has really changed, i cannot comment. one thing i did tell the board successor will have a better opportunity to change the company than i would. think my successor had an advantage. charlie: so, he had a fresh look? >> it is a little different, but how you are perceived as often
correlated to how well you do. number three, the hot products they are promoting today. watch.start with my profit growth has not changed much since i left. i know that not making money is cool, but i am a big believer in profit growth. charlie: is that the proudest thing that you did, in terms of your tenure, how you got a huge lift in profits? >> i would say yes, but also, we ing, surface, b and office 365 all on my watch. very proud of that. the team in place today is largely the team we had went i left. my successor found those folks all worthy of staying in their jobs. he is a guy that i identify with
a high potential star. those people, the team, i have great pride. the products, i have great pride. charlie: greatest regret? >> i think the company should have gotten into hardware sooner. that is my mistake. charlie: why didn't you just go -- you? >> apparently the board disagreed. charlie: bill disagreed, apparently. ourur biggest miss was position in the phone business. it is very hard to have a business case for doing phones just with the royalties. google does it by forcing their game.a engine into the apple does it with the growth margin. our model, trying to reproduce the windows model in phones was flawed. i pursued it for a long time but
it was fundamentally a flawed model. charlie: you cannot put windows into phones? >> you could put a version into phones, but you cannot get paid for it. it is not just how the product should be but how you mind ties the product that you bills. apple and google both had a monetization approach. we never had a monetization approach which means we did not invest in the right way. we cannot get our product volume.pped at high i would approach it differently if i could again. charlie: yahoo! dateere prepared to pay dollars. -- big dollars. >> i would have looked like a genius if we bought it. charlie: mainly because of the investment into alibaba. >> absolutely. that would look like a perfectly good investment. .hirtysomething
$33 a share, whatever that meant back then. you put the two things together and there would have been a lot of synergy and speed to market that took a lot more time. the cost benefits did not accrue as much for microsoft. the final partnership we would have acquired. with 10 years of hindsight, when we first proposed acquisition, it would not have looked good five years ago, with 10 years having passed, i think that would have looked like a great acquisition. charlie: when you look at the future, cloud has been a huge part of microsoft's success today. where do you see the future going? what will be be talking about? >> i think it is fair to say i spent two to three years working on usafacts because data was not accessible. in a sense, you would like technology that can -- you
express your interest in a topic, and the artificial intelligence, if you will, that lives in the cloud, is smart enough to say, i'm not just going to bring back one data element the way that search does, i will bring back a picture of what is going on in this area. i will understand intent, and work off intent. whether that is preparing me for club,it to the economic of everyf the bios person. i'm interested in government spending, and actually brings back to me a picture of government spending. so, the notion of technology, software, understanding intense, ,nd being able to harness data however that comes about, there artificialic words,
intelligence, probably changing to a three more times. that is what i think there is a lot of opportunity. virtual reality, augmented reality, in a way, they are part of intent. i have on my augmented reality glasses and it gives me your bio becausei recognize who you ar when i am 85, i may not mechanize who you are, but at least there is a laser shining into my eye, and the laser will work better than my eyes work because it can tune in automatically to my vision. thaty, this is technology serves on intent. charlie: we look at elon musk, and drivers list -- driverless cars. is that something that microsoft would have been interested in? >> you have to ask management. charlie: i ask might have been
interested in? a lot of it is driven by software. >> yes. if all of your writing is in software that gets embedded in cars, there might not be a lot of money in there. you might spend a lot of time trying to convince automakers. you might get there slowly. it might be the right approach or the right approach may be to build a car, which is what tesla has done. it sounds like what apple might do, google might approach it differently. there are two reasons to get the model right. one is to get paid. the product to market quickly. if you do not get to market quickly, the guy who builds their own car market ahead of you. on the other hand, tesla does not build many cars, that not -- may not be the way to get there.
ofrlie: they do have a hell a market cap. core confidence, steve jobs, what was it? ani think that steve had ability to put together familiarity with technology as well as an understanding of what made sense to consumers and conceptualizing products. i think that was a talent. in my world, anybody who can do one magic thing in business is great. most companies do not do what we call a single trick. you talk about a single trick pony, most is is is our zero trick ponies. steve jobs did more than one trick. mac , and thei
series, iphone, ipad, etc. i think microsoft did two tricks. that was certainly a skill of steve jobs. charlie: jeff bezos? >> jeff bezos is a guy that for the -- bet for the long-term. he has pushed into multiple areas. i marvel at the market cap they have and i wonder about long-term profit streams. i think what they are focused on is commoditizing a lot of industries, taking the profit down, and having them benefit from their huge scale. yet, they have not proven the benefits, at least in terms of profitability and having that scale. charlie: bill gates? >> bill gates, super energetic businessman able to comprehend and really see the market .pportunity
hielf, a decent profit mobilizer. charlie: i think it was steve jobs to say rockefeller was more inventive than einstein. >> i think that is way overstated. was bill a better businessman than steve jobs? probably. did steve jobs spend more time on product creation? probably. are they both amazing people who did amazing things? yes. if people said i was close to either of them, i would feel good. [applause] charlie: one last name. competency,r, core relies on data. we know that. >> i think my core competency
has to do that i can really form a simplified picture of a complicated product. facts but also core competency when i was with and part of the reason that microsoft makes as much money as it does, the ability to see opportunities through numbers. the other thing that is a core competency of me is getting people fired up. i think i'm good at that, i have a lot of energy, enthusiasm. in order to be good at that, you have to be good at simplifying things. i think i have an ability to simplify. we will only have four goals, let's go. of course, if you are pointing people the other direction, that is bad.
he's a professor of sociology and religious studies at yell. his new book is called "american " and david brooks calls it essential reading. . this is the story some say of struggle between two traditions. it is a struggle between three rival traditions thinking about the meeting of the american project. charlie: what do you mean by the american project? guest: what do i mean? that is exactly what is at issue. .nd so, three different visions one that sees the united states as a christian nation, another that sees it as a secular democracy, and the third, the
one i'm defending, which sees it as a combination of sacred and secular values. charlie: as you have pointed out, there is not a third way? this is different than the conversation that took place at the time in britain with the coming of tony blair and somewhat in terms of the political direction that bill clinton took in america? philip: i don't think there is a third way. i think it has been the central way all along which the american project has proceeded for much of our history. i don't think there is a mushy middle, and averaging out of the bank different positions, but it has its own logic and coherence. charlie: tell me about religious nationalism. philip: religious nationalism is the idea that to be a full citizen of a particular nation, you have to belong to a certain religion. in the case of the united
states, that typically has meant christian nationalism, though some accommodations have been made for other faiths. most religious nationalisms, including american religious nationalism, tends to think about history as a cosmic struggle between forces of good and evil, and they place the nation on the side of the good, and its opponents, internal, external, on the side of evil. in other words, they think the line between good and evil runs between people and groups rather than running through them. charlie: how much do they take that from their own religion? philip: it is interesting. i think the features you find in religious nationalism throughout differentand in very traditions, when you are thinking about christian nationalism, it developed within the united states. i think the key sources have been two. one is apocalypticismbelieve and a end of the world
very literal interpretation of how that is going to happen, a literal interpretation of the book of revelation in particular, but it also draws on the jewish scriptures. in particular, on the idea of a conquest of canaan, that the nation has to struggle against to beemy, that blood has shed, has to be sacrificed to an angry god. charlie: but that is not all of christianity? philip: absolutely not. i think that is the dark side of christianity. charlie: you think religious nationalism is the dark side of christianity? philip: i do. one of the things i'm trying to get across in this book is to help secular people understand that religion does not poison everything. hitchens once purifiesularism everything. there is darkness and light in both secularism and in religion. charlie: when you talk about
secularism, and secular democracy, what are we talking about? philip: i think there is a kind of secularism which is perfectly reasonable, which almost all eptricans except that -- acc that we characterize with the phrase "separation of church and state." too much mixing of church and state is not good fothe state and it is not good for the r, achurch eit for the most part, we respect that. when i say right up, what i mean is a much more combative position than that, little bit like what i described, the idea that religion poisons everything and secularism cleanses everything. what you have to do is create this hermetically sealed barrier around public life and you cannot let any religious symbols, and he religious talk, any religious values, into them without polluting values.
i do not believe that. i think that leaves behind much of the best of our traditions. charlie: what makes america? is it best that we are talking about? philip: there is a good kind of american exceptionalism and the kind of american exceptionalism. the bad kind is the united states is completely unique and above all other nations, without sin, without blemish. the problem with this kind of exceptionalism is it refuses to face up to the mistakes, the transgressions, the bad things that are part of our past. there is another kind of american exceptionalism, that we did not usually call back, which i am completely happy to affirm and i think many americans affirm, and that is the idea that this is anique expement, a democracy, an attempt to make a nation of nations and the people of peoples. this is something many political
philosophers thought would be impossible, that you could only have a republican form of self-government if you have a homogenous population. charlie: is this because of the genius of the founders? they were geniuses, but imperfect geniuses? philip: absolutely. on happy to agree with you that. they were imperfect geniuses for sure. charlie: they had a sure sense of the purpose of the nation they wanted to establish? philip: i think they did. i think can find the way they thought about the nation, something like this tradition i'm talking about here. i think one of the most interesting discoveries i made in writing and researching the book was the importance of the idea of a hebrew republic. this is the idea that monarchy actually was not even to the israelites as a gift, but given to them as a curse. why give it to them as a curse? because it is idolatry.
it is the government that benefits a corrupt people and not virtuous people. thathe founders thought republican self-government was the kind of government that suited a virtuous people, though virtue washat fragile. benjamin franklin's famous remark, leading the constitutional convention. what kind of government do we have? "sir, of republic, if we keep it." charlie: it is hard to step forward because of the way it is, the nature and nastiness of what goes on, and secondly, because it is such an invasion of self? philip: i think that has dissuaded a lot of people from going into national politics. i see reading gauge meant of folks on the local level. i see actually quite a bit of that. you know, i have never seen as
much local activism in my lifetime as i have seen in recent months. that to me is a very hopeful sign. charlie: i will so you another hopeful sign according to what i have been told. millennials have a higher sense of service, a higher sense of wanting to be engaged in some public way than the generation before them. you would know that because you are on a university campus. philip: that is my curious, too. it is in an ironic way that the financial crisis of 2008 and economic fallout of that has made some of them really reassess and think about whether, you know, making a career and making money are mosty the only or mors important persons in life. many are determined to do something that it contributes to
the billboard music awards. sunday, may 21st. 8, 7 central. only on abc. i've spent my life planting a size-six, non-slip shoe into that door. on this side, i want my customers to relax and enjoy themselves. but these days it's phones before forks. they want wifi out here. but behind that door, i need a private connection for my business. wifi pro from comcast business. public wifi for your customers. private wifi for your business. strong and secure. good for a door. and a network. comcast business. built for security. built for business. charlie: frank cap, john houston, william weiler, john ford, and stevens were five of the most successful directors working in hollywood in the 20th century. they put their careers on hold to enlist in the military and
used their filmmaking skills to document world war ii. five came back in the new dr. useries.hat will -- doc it is adapted from mark harris' book of the same name. gear my doubts were, -- directors offer commentary on the five iconic directors and the impact their war documentaries had on hollywood and america at large. entertainment weekly called "i've came back a fascinating, thorough history lesson. .> follow me i will make you masters of the world. >> a lot of people left. if they were not so evil. america stands at the crossroads of its destiny. become aning had
essential part of american americans did not understand the threat. americans realize we can win the war. western civilization is at stake and we are going to fight until we win. five filmmakers wanted to respond. they chose to serve. but these documentaries were powerful for american -audiences. >> we had an enormous story to tell. >> the greatest heroes and villains on the world stage. >> this was real filmmaking. >> this is the people's war. it is our war. >> these five men were saying
goodbye to families who never knew if they would return. >> coming out of it, each one made the greatest film. >> i believe a film should have something to say. >> people will think and feel. long after they left the theater. nothing could prepare anyone for the intensity of the conflict >>. these filmmakers changed the world. i am pleased to have the author of "five came back," mark harris at the table. thank you. where did the idea come to make this into that? mark: when i was working on the became interested in
this era and in these world war ii movies. when the book came out, i was surprised at the number of early readers who said to me that it was fascinating to read about these documentaries. too bad most of them are lost, and i would say the documentaries are not lost. they all still exist. property of the u.s. government. this is a real opportunity for us as well as i could try to ,escribe these films in a book there is nothing like being able to show them to people, so that was the germ of the idea to make it a documentary. charlie: and then the idea was to take five directors and explain each director? mark: yes, that was our director's date innovation. >> we were trying to figure out an innovative way to tell the story, and it was steven spielberg who said to me, you know, "let us try to think of a very interesting way of telling those stories and, you know, who better than directors to talk
about directors?" so then came the search for five directors to speak for the five guys, and it was great. we had a very short list. everybody sort of organically was available. it worked out. charlie: what were they charged with? >> they were charged with being interviewed, the same weight you are interviewing me right now, but they had to come in with a lot of knowledge. they had already the book, even before we approached them you , know. and they also did a lot of research. mark wrote scripts for each of the episodes and would hhlight exactly if steven spielberg came in to talk about william wyler or the things pertaining to him, so they were prepared, but they
were so familiar with the movies, so familiar with their lives. some of them, steven spielberg new wyler so they came in with their new knowledge and appreciation. laurent: it was really well done in the book and it was not only to connect them but to make sure that on one hand, you know, we had this epic story of world war ii, and on the other side, we had those five very specific stories, very personal, so it was sort of the back and forth , the balance between the personal and emotional and the world stage. charlie: and that changed their lives? mark: changed -- laurent: changed their lives. charlie: this began as a way to honor your father? mark: it did. my father was a world war ii veteran. it was a way to honor him posthumously. he died when i was young. i wanted to apologize for the fact that i did not listen to his war stories very much. it was scary to me the idea that someone would leave his family and go overseas to, you know, fight for his life and his
country, so of course as i got older and more interested in war history, i regretted not pay more attention to him, so for my father am i my three uncles, who were all world war ii veterans this is my way of trying to , reopen the conversation. charlie: how did you choose which director for which director? laurent: well that's a great , question. you know we had a lot of , thoughts. one thing we did not want to do is try to think "who is the modern version of william wyler?" it was like trying to find directors who had sensibilities or traits that were comparable to those of the five original directors from the past. so steven spielberg, who i had no for many years i was always , impressed with his humanity, how kind he was, and also, you know, his fascination with his own roots, being jewish, and we felt that william wyler was very similar in spirit and steven spielberg talks about meeting wyler and being a young director
meeting a legendary director and saying "i was so impressed with wyler and how kind he was, and that was my experience," frankly, and i thought, perfect casting. francis coppola, i remember being a teenager living in france. it was a huge event in france -- apocalypse now came out, which was a huge event in france. coppola had done a press conference at the festival and had said that making the film was like a war, and he was so passionate about it, and it was combat, filmmaking, and there were famous pictures of him holding a gun to his head. and i'm like, you know this , echoes john huston in many ways. in the sort of fiery personality. paul greengrass comes from the documentary world and he identified with john ford.
very personal and could relate to his own journey. guillermo del toro is known for fantasy and horror films just , but he is an immigrant, just like frank capra, and his films are extremely emotional, and so he really connected with capra. lawrence was extremely famous for being a screenwriter and coming up with the most iconic movie lines whether it be "raiders of the lost ark, "empire strikes back," so it was important we had a director who was also very famous for his screenplays, and therefore, we enrolled him to speak about george stevens. he had a great affinity with stevens, so that is how we got our five guys. charlie: when frank capra saw
triumph of the will how did that , affe him? mark: he came to new york when he was charged figure out how to make the series of movies that became "why we fight." capra was in a tough place because the government wanted to have him make these new training films for soldiers, but they did not give him writers, they did not give him a staff they barely , gave him a budget. he comes to new york and sees l," andh of the wil his first reaction is that we are going to lose. we are going to lose the war. and then, he thought, "i can use this movie and kill two birds with one stone. first of all, we can turn their own propaganda against them by showing our incoming soldiers, how the enemy thinks, and second of all, we have all this seized propaganda footage from germany, from japan, from italy. i do not have the money to shoot these movies, but i can certainly compile a movie from existing footage and get the message across that way." charlie: the movies were in part
propaganda. mark: yes they were. , they were. that was part of the task that the government gave these five filmmakers, to sell the war, not only to the american public, but to soldiers who were 18 or 19 years old and were coming in and really did not know the reason we were in the war in the first place. charlie: give them a reason as to why we were fighting. mark: not just to give them a reason, but to excite them and inflame their patriotism. capra was very good at doing that. charlie: did any of them have resistance to that at all? mark: i think they all wanted to serve their country. capra had the most directly propagandaistic assignment your . the others thought they would travel the world to wherever the battle fronts were and bring document the war, bring the truth of the war home to the public. sometimes, their impulse
as filmmakers is to tell a great story, and their impulse as you know, to sell the war, and to make a case for our side. as artists, they clashed with each other, and sometimes, one thing led to another. charlie: you look at the five you made these films. is there one you admire more than the others? laurent: i have a real fondness for william wyler. this in france. it was just my dad and i. discovering that movie was like discovering a whole new itabulary of images and touched me tremendously and got me really interested in cinema. so wyler. all of them made gigantic contributions and i studied all of them. through this documentary, i