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tv   Charlie Rose  PBS  December 2, 2014 12:00am-1:01am PST

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>> charlie: welcome to the program. we begin this evening by looking at falling oil prices with daniel yergen. >> the most important thing now that's happening has been this extraordinary growth in u.s. oil production and output combined with what you just described which is this weakening of the world economy which has become apparent in the last few months and, out of the blue, libya, a failed state, suddenly was putting quadruple the amount of oil put in the market and all those things together finally toppled oil from its lofty price of $100 a barrel. >> charlie: we continue this evening with al hunt and demaurice smith, the head of the national football league players association. >> the commissioner se elected and selected by the own, of the national football league. it's our job to display myths among players and fans there is some sort of beneficent player
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looking over the good of the national football league. that person is hired by the national football league. >> charlie: we conclude with richard linklater, the director of "boyhood." >> i saw the whole film as an emergence of self. it's, like, who are you? are we the same person in first grade as when we graduate from high school. how much are we the same in are we different? nature, nurture? it's a mystery. >> charlie: daniel yergen, al hunt, demaurice smith and richard linklater, when we continue. >> rose: additional funding provided by:
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>> and by bloomberg, a provider of multimedia news and information worldwide. captioning sponsored by rose communications from our studios in new york city, this is charlie rose. >> charlie: we begin tonight with global oil, oil prices have plunged to their lowest level in five years. earlier today, crude oil fell below $65 per barrel before a slight repound. opec's decision last week not to cut out but to continue to shake up markets through the weekend. new data also confirmed a slowdown in manufacturing activity in europe and china. joining me from washington, dan yergen, a leading energy scholar and expert and also author of "the quest: energy, security, and the remaking of the modern world." dna, thank you for doing this. tell me what's going on. >> what's going on is really a redefinition of the world oil
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market where the most important thing now that's happening has been this extraordinary growth in u.s. oil production and output combined with what you just described which is this weakening of the world economy which has become apparent in the last few months and out of the blue libya, a failed state, suddenly was putting quadruple amount of oil it put in the market and all those things together finally toppled oil from its lofty price of $100 a barrel. >> charlie: and where is it goingoing? >> that is probably the 6 64 trillion-dollar question. we're certainly going to be in a whole new price range with the supply coming into the market and the range will be quite wide as people rest mating. a lot depends upon what's happening in the global economy but we're in a different world in terms of oil prices now and that will be evidence to people at the gasoline pump. >> charlie: beyond the price they'll pay for a gallon of gasoline and what that means to
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their own budget which is consequential, what are the other consequences following oil prices? >> for the u.s. economy, it's basically pretty positive because it does mean more money in the pockets of motorists which means more money in the cash registers of retailers. what's strange is that our oil imports have gone way down from the levels that they used to be at and we've had this unconventional oil and gas revolution in the united states which has reached into every state because of these very long supply chains and, so -- and, in fact, that's been one of the most positive things since the 2008 downturn so that's more tempered. but on balance, this is a boost to the u.s. economy and other economies that import a lot of oil. for those who export oil, particularly those who don't have a lot of foreign exchange resources, this is a very big problem. >> charlie: specifically
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russia. >> yes. russia is -- i don't think i would call it a petro state because it's a big economy with other things going on, but it's very dependent on oil and gas. oil is over 40% of mr. putin's budget. so it is very important to its economy, and they have built up fake reserves because, remember when putin came to power at the end of the 1990s, one of the lessons was we won't be brought down again by an oil collapse so they built up several billion dollars worth of reserves so that's staying power, but it's an economy built on imports and consumer goods, and those prices are going up because they're in ruble terms and people's incomes are going own. so this is a probably. russia has been teetering on recession and probably is in recession if not already on the way. >> charlie: what does it mean for putin's future? >> i think putin won't have the kind of maneuverability on the
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economy front that he's had. his basic bargain with people has been i will deliver you a better economy, and he's delivered a lot better economy, and you let me kind of run the show. but that bargain's going to -- and, of course, his pp later has been very high because of what's going on in ukraine. he's benefited from that enormously. but i think the pressure will mount over the next year as this economy gets into a weaker position. >> charlie: why did opec make the decision? normally you would think if prices are going down, you limit supply and, therefore, prices will go back up. they, in some cases, increase production. >> yeah, you have to think that opec is really an association of nations that have not much in common except they all export oil. so you had the venezuela, the iranians clamoring for production cuts, the traditional thing we're used to seeing coming out of opec meeting, but the gulf countries led by
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saudi arabia said, no way, let's let the market decide. we'll not be left holding the bag because we'll be making the big cuts and you will be able to benefit from that. it's two other things, i think. it's a message to high-cost producers and people who finance it saying we're not willing to give up market share. and i think there's not been enough attention to it. it also has to do with the politics of the gulf, that saudi arabia is looking at iran-shiite country. iraq which is increasing production, which they feel is almost a satellite of iran. there are the shiite-oriented people who have taken power in yemen. so i think they don't want to give up market share to iran. they don't want to give up market share to iraq. so i think those issues were very important for them as well. so they basically said we'll leave it to the market for now. >> charlie: what about japan and china? japan is in a recession even though its stock market is going
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up. >> yeah, this is good news for japan in a number of ways. it imports basically all its natural resources so the price coming down is a boost to its economy, its industry, its balance of payments. in addition, you know, they had the terrible nuclear accident at fukushima and as a result of that they have been importing l&g lick fyed gas and that price hinged the plies of oil. price of oil is coming down, price of natural gas for generating le electricity is cog down and electricity costs are coming down. china which is kind of where you started, i was china ten years ago getting in on the high growth track that really stimulated this whole boom in commodity prices, high prices in oil, but now the premier of china recently said we're moving from high to medium-high gross h and others are saying medium growth, so you don't have china as a dynamo of importing oil.
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they import 60% of their oil, so for that to come down, though they have a strong domestic oil industry, that's a boost to their economy, and if it makes the cost of shipping goods cheap around everything else, that will help them right now. >> charlie: tell me where we are in terms of becoming an oil-producing nation and what the impact that might have especially when combined bind with what's happening in canada? >> you know, the u.s. was once upon a time the world's great oil exporter, now we became an importer and became the world's largest importer of oil, but we've had this change that really started -- i mean, it started with technological efforts in the early '80s but we didn't really see the impacts till five or six years ago. what happened in the united states is necessary, it caught opec by surprise and other
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people, but if you remember back other times, people were talking about running out of oil and peak oil, since 2008, u.s. oil production increased by 80%, a 4 million-barrel-a-day increase, bigger than any other opec country except saudi arabia. so what's happened is a big deal and it's redefining the oil market. we're not energy dependent. we still import 27% of our oil, not 60%, but this is a big change, it's been a boost to our economy, and it gives us -- because we're going to start a exporting natural gas, it gives us kind of new influence in the world economy and world politics. you know, a lot of people talk about u.s. decline, but i know, and if you're from the middle east, europe, asia, people see this as a new source of strength for the united states. >> charlie: they sure do. and they also -- >> charlie: they also see our
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economy as one of the strongest economies in the world, even though the levels of gdp growth are different from china and the united states, but when they look at the trend lines, they seem to think, you know, that we are in a very good place. and the demographics are good and lots of other factors that contribute to -- >> right. i mean, we are the strongest major economy in the world. the bricks, you know, either in china, that medium to high growth in brazil, recession. europe flat on its back. the one economy that's really growing is the united states. we've become the locomotive again of the world economy. for the chinese, we're very important because we're a really big export market for them. >> charlie: right. and the prognosis for this continuing, obviously, is dependent on what factors contribute to it. so what's the connection there? what's contributed to it and how likely is it that they will be dominant factors in the future for a while to come? >> well, this unconventional
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revolution in oil and gas has been one of th the biggest benes to our economy since 2008. but i think lower oil prices are the proverbial tax cut that doesn't have to be approved by both houses of congress and the president, so it goes into everybody's pocket. so i think this is going to be still lative to the u.s. economy and it will continue to put us in a strong position. >> charlie: dan yergen, thank you. as always, very helpful to me. >> thanks. >> charlie: we'll be back. stay with us. >> charlie, the national football league is not only the most popular sport, it's the most popular entertainment with soaring television rates and profits but also has controversy, domestic violence charges, team-sanctioned drug killer abuse and severe brain injuries rilletting from the
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game's violence. here to discuss this is demaurice smith, head of the national football league players association. so good to have you here. >> good to see you, al. >> al: good to have you. you met with commissioner goodell this week on the question of personal conduct policy. how did the meeting go? >> it will be fair to say the players are losing patience. it's been several months since the commissioner said everything is on the table but, at the same time, it's been nearly a month and they have not responded to a proposal from the players on how to address this issue in a fair and positive and constructive way. so a meeting where you come in knowing or hoping that everything's on the table when you get there and you actually find out that virtually nothing is on the table should be rightly frustrating to the players and it is. >> al: so what happened at the meeting? what did you do? >> we sat there, the first question to the owners was are they prepared to collectively bargain over both the personal conduct policy and a process to
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address these issues. they told us they were not. the players heard a little bit of the arguments gore why they don't -- for why they don't want to collectively bar bargain for the issues and the players left. >> al: you walked out. we did. >> al: you have been very critical of the commissioner on the issue. you said he's lost the confidence of the players and it's been mishandled. is it time for a new commissioner? >> i don't know whether it's time for a new commissioner. frankly, al, they don't ask me for my vote. the commissioner is elected and selected by the owners of the national football league. it's our job to dispel any myth amongst our players and frankly our fans that there's some sort of beneficent person out there looking over the good of the national football league. that person is only hired by the owners of the national football league. but if i were an owner, i would look at a two-year period where we've seen the lockout of the n.f.l. referees, which was a disaster from both a health and safety standpoint and a public
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relations standpoint. over the last two years, we've had owners being adjudicated as being engaged in fraud. in new jersey you had an owner whose company saw several of the vice presidents plead guilty to criminal actions, and you had one owner who owned a home where a woman overdosed to death. this has not been a good run for us, and our players deserve better. i know our fans deserve better. i know the sponsors who are concerned about their brand and associating their brand with the national football league, that has to be a concern to them. but our issue is we want to keep our players safe, but we also know that we are engaged in a great sport, but also it's great business. >> al: the last two years haven't been run the best to make sure that this is the best business in the world. >> al: you have criticized the commissioner for his handling of
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the adrian peterson case, a star running back i guess convicted of striking his child. but do you think the crrgs was especially tough on mr. peterson because he was criticized for not being tough enough on ray rice? >> i think we're in a bad place where you structure process on the fly to respond to negative publicity or criticism. and for the players and for this union, the space where we live is the space in between some sort of misconduct by a player and what it means about discipline. the space in between those two things has to be a space that is transparent and a process that both you and i have confidence in. so when a player engages in misconduct, there needs to be a transparent and fair process that leads to discipline, and i would argue if that process is unclear, if that process is inconsistent as it has been in
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the past, if that process is one where our players and fans scratch their heads at a commissioner's press conference and wonder whether they're making it up as they go along. >> al: let me ask you about one more case, greg hardy of charlotte. he had due process, was tried in a court, found guilty. the "chart observer" described what -- the "charlotte" observer said he flung a woman out of bed, into the bathroom, put his hands around her throat and threatened to kill her. should the union represent someone like that or be thrown out of football. >> i was a prosecutor in this great city for ten years and i've tried more homicide and violent crime cases than i would bet anybody in the family of the national football league. i don't tolerate violence for anyone. but in the same way every homicide trial i prosecuted in
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this city that there was a good defense lawyer on the other side, that was their job, their role, our process. do i believe that we have to have a process to handle discipline in the national football league that is as transparent and fair as the criminal justice process? yes. so, in greg hardy's situation, he has a right to appeal to a jury trial. once the league makes a decision about a fair process, the players don't have any problem with a fair process. what they have a problem with is take the adrian peterson case, would you feel comfortable if a person who calls roger goodell his boss is the person who is going to weigh in and make a decision about whether the commissioner or anybody who works with him engaged in misconduct? >misconduct? well, charles barclay weighs in on a lot of things and says
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you and goodell should sit down and agree that striking a woman is totally unacceptable, first time with due process, if anybody is found guilty, should be suspended, second time, banned for life. >> look, charles is a friend of mine, and he is always outspoken, as he is. the one thing i think we would all agree on is this issue of due process. what happens, what can both parties decide to do when due process is applied. >> al: if you get due process, would you agree second offense banned for life? >> i think it would depend on the facts of the case. i don't think we have a cookie cutter system in the world of criminal justice. you don't have a cookie cutter system anywhere else. i think what our fans would want and everybody engaged in this great business would want is let's know what the rules are out front. and i would love to reach an agreement are roger goodell, but
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here's the one thing that won't happen -- this isn't a situation where roger and i are supposed to hug it out and just figure out between us whether there is something that he and i can live with. this is a union that defends its players. that is an ownership that has an interest in the grand of the national football league -- the brand of the national football league. somewhere in between that space, we can reach an agreement about what to do in all these cases like we've done with drug policy, like we've done with on-field discipline and shares of revenue. we have a collective bargaining agreement that's about 500 pages, torturous, and for you that's your holiday gift from me. but we have a collective bargain agreement where we have sat down and we have fought over everything, and the result is we have a business that will do in excess of $10 billion in revenue this year. fans love our game. i don't understand why the
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national football league doesn't want to collectively bargain over discipline the same way we've done with everything else. >> al: let me turn to another issue which is the d.e.a. raided or investigated several teams, as you know, a few weeks ago amid widespread suspicion many of your players are given painkillers to stay in the game, one of them being toradol which is used for race horses. is this really going on? >> two years ago, this union sent a memo to all our players about our concerns about toradol, and we also raised concerns about a particular doctor in san diego that we had concerns about because that doctor had not only been found liable for malpractice by his license was reviewed by the state of california. we have been on the forefront of this issue for two years. the fact that we are now in a
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place where d.e.a. agents are raiding teams on game day is a place where this league should not be. so when we raise a concern two years ago that a team together is referring our players to a wikipedia page about toradol instead of giving each and every one of our players informed consent about what the drugs are and what they could do to you, that is a bad place to be. >> al: great game as it is, there have been tragic stories -- junior seau committing suicide, fred mcneil can't remember the score to have the super bowl he was in -- terrible stories. the league has started to address the issue of brain injuries. there is a settlement that's still pending. is the response sufficient so far? >> the response is never going to be sufficient because i would hope that roger would agree with me that we should never be satisfied about where we are.
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that is league taken some steps in the past few years mostly at the urging of our union to make changes? yes. we started the fight for neutral sideline concussion experts two years ago. the league resisted it till the end. we wanted a standard concussion protocol to return to play. the league resisted it up until the end. seems to me that we ultimately always get there, to use your word, belatedly. so i think what we need to do is we have a team of doctors that work on the side of the union that constantly pushes the envelope to keep our players safe. i'm happy to say i think that process is actually working. do we need to do better? yes. do we need to be arriving at a place where we are all satisfied? we should never be satisfied when it comes to the health and safety of the players. >> i grew up on football.
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so did i. >> al: the essential appeal of the game is its violence. the collisions, people love sacking the quarterback violently. is there anything that can be done to reduce the violence and still keeping the appeal of the game? >> well, i think you've seen that. every year when we make decisions about changes in the rules, are changes designed to improve the health and safety. a lot of players we grew up watching could use close arms. they could pull players down from the back of their helmet. there were leg whips. there were shots to the head. all of those things are things that have changed. we've made drastic changes in things like the amount of contact our players have during practice. >> al: what more could be done? >> if i had my wish list, one, the national football league should simply say that if you get hurt playing this game, we will cover all your medical
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injuries that result from injuries to the game. to this day, we fight for workers' compensation like every player, but last year, al, the entire new orleans saints team finished practice one day, got on a bus, drove to baton rouge in order to confront a legislature who was hearing a bill sponsored by the owner of the new orleans saints to cut our players' workers' compensation rates. >> al: i'm going to quote the presidents of the united states who said if he would have sons he would have great reservations about them playing football. lebron james, once a great football player, says he doesn't want his sons playing football because of the violence. i know your son is a great lacrosse player. if he came to your tomorrow and said he'd like to switch to football, what would you say? >> we've had the conversation and i told him if that's what he wants to do, that's fine.
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we would insist on a coach knowing the right way to coach players and keep them safe. you as a player, as an athlete need to know you need to take responsibility for your body. you cannot cede responsibility for taking care of you to somebody else. you have the best medical care in the world, i know if something happens to you we'll take care of your medical cost. after that, it's a individual decision. i've read about players who wouldn't let their son play football, that's a decision every parent needs to make. >> al: demaurice smith, our pleasure. we'll be back in just a moment. >> charlie: movies have always been connected with time, but perhaps never as this year's film. "boyhood" by richard linklater filmed with the same actors over the course of 12 years, follows
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the maturation of a boy in texas from first grade to his first year in college. richard linklater writes to witnessed the concentrated passage of time is to watch in a true moving way your own life unspooled before your eyes. here is the trailer for "boyhood." ♪ >> hey, stop! but the barrier up! >> you guys ready to have some fun? >> yeah! oh! don't worry about it.
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we want the bumpers. you want the bumpers? life doesn't give you bumpers. >> there's a new student joining us today. >> welcome. hi! ♪ >> who do you want to be, mason? what do you want to do? >> charlie: joining me now the man behind the movie, richard linklater, the director, pleased to have him back at this table. welcome. >> thanks for having me. >> charlie: people are saying all kind of things about this is your crowning achievement. you may have said or they said it was not just a masterpiece
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but in fact a miracle. was ate miracle to be able to do this? >> i think maybe it borders on a miracle that we got through it. it's such an unusual undertaking to demand 12 years of not only the cast's life but the crew and hope that it all worked out. >> charlie: it had never been done before so no one knew if it would work. >> i know now why no one's done it before. most of us film directors are control freaks and you're collaborating with the unknown future. we want to kind of control our elements to control our stories and this was kind of admitting you can't control everything. we have a general plan for our life but you can't say exactly what's going to happen. >> charlie: came out of being a father? >> a father and son. growing up, i wanted to make a film about childhood. having a kid, my daughter was about seven, when i started thinking about it, she was nine when i started filming. but, you know, having a kid you can't help but relive your own childhood and your relationship
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with your parents changes, too, that my parents make a decision i'm making now and you appreciate them in a new way. i was looking fo for a vehicle o tell the story about growing up. it took me time to crack the code and come up with this structure to house my ideas of all of it. >> charlie: your daughter who plays mason's sister is now 20. >> 21. >> charlie: 21! she's a senior in college. she was 9 when we started. eller was 7 and she was 9 when we started. >> charlie: tell me about a eller and how you found him. >> the biggest single decision certainly for this movie but maybe i'll ever make because when you're casting a movie you're finding someone -- that's a big enough decision -- but to have to jump into the future all these years and say what kind of person will you grow up to be. i didn't have him read scenes
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ivment spent time with him to sense who he was. >> charlie: because people become different. >> yeah. >> charlie: six years it into he could have said i've had it with you. >> right. nothing we could have done. you can't contract a kid to do anything anyway, which is good, but, you know, it was a long commitment. my hope is it would be fun for him to do artistically. >> charlie: did he find it to be? >> very much. it was a special thing in our lives. he never wavered. he was there every year. the joy was to see him come into his own artistically and my daughter laura, too. >> charlie: with ethan hawke, you already had this collaboration. >> yeah, long term. >> charlie: what is that
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correct director/actor. >> it's special. it's artistic. you have similar energies and enthusiasms. i've always loved the way ethan thought. he's gung-ho. a committed artist. he's a very good actor and enthusiastic and brings so much. he'll bring all of himself to everything. but this film required that. patricia arquette and ethan had to give everything of themselves. we're going to see you go from your 30s to your 40s and you're going to age. so much of the movie from the kids' point of view. is how you see your parents age. how a parent sees his parent in first grade is different than high school graduation. >> charlie: what is mason's transformation? >> i saw the whole film as an exploration of the emergence of self, like who are you. it begs the question, are we the same in first grade as we are
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when we graduate from high school? how much are we the same and are we different? >> charlie: what's the answer? is it nature or nurture? it's a mystery. i think no one will ever completely figure out how we get to where we are. >> charlie: no single thing. no. we can always look at our lives and say there's this one moment that determined that but that's always in hindsight. you're always saying you're trying to make sense of it. what the film is about is the moment-to-moment lives we all lead and the narrative thrust of the film is we're following a very passionate woman who is doing what she thinks is best for her kids and that kind of takes her kids in a lot of areas. >> charlie: this is the first clip, ethan playing mason senior tells his kids to talk to him. here it is. >> talk to me. samantha, how was your week?
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i don't know, dad, kind of tough, alan and i broke up. alan's mad because he saw me and billy talking in the cafeteria. and the unicorn i was working on, the horn broke off and it was a see bravmen zebra. mason, how's your week? well, it was a hard week. i was tempted to smoke but i knew you had such a hard time to quit. >> these are hard questions to answer. >> what's hard about answering about your sculpture? >> it's abstract. didn't know you were interested in abstract. >> no, they make us do it. dad, why is it all on us? what have you been up to? do you have a girlfriend? >> i see your point. we should just let it happen more natural, that's what you're saying.
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okay. that's what we'll do. starting now. >> charlie: you were saying about that scene? >> it was funny seeing a father willing himself to be as good a father as he can be but it's a film of bumbling through that. i don't think anyone knows what you're doing but you're just doing your best. they do care, both the parents, for all their flaws. they do love their kids and want to be connected to them. >> charlie: you describe ethan as your muse. >> i don't know if muse is the word. patricia also. >> charlie: yeah. this film was very personal about my own parents and my own life, but it became personal for all of us. >> charlie: you never considered using different actors for different ages? >> i think you can only do that if you have a big enough age gap. a little kid to an adult. but you can't mince four years, three years, it's too close. i had kind of given up on this
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idea till i got the idea to film a little bit every year because i don't think you can get away with that. >> charlie: you have said this is as much about motherhood as boyhood. >> yeah, i think so. >> charlie: the role of patricia arquette becomes crucial. >> absolutely. i've always admired her so much as an actress. she gives everything. i met her once and she was a mom when she was young around 20. i couldn't imagine doing this with, you know, a woman who wasn't a mom. i don't think she could fake that. you know, she had to draw so much on her own history and, you know, all of us were ourselves as kids. >> charlie: the director -- yeah, the film demanded you bring everything. >> charlie: another clip. goodbye crape myrtle and mailbox! good buy box i'll take because we don't want to throw away!
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goodbye, house! i'll never like mommy as much for making us move! >> samantha, say goodbye to that attitude. we're not taking that in the car. >> goodbye to riding the motorcycle! >> charlie: that's a great line. you wrote all of it? >> it's all scripted. the way i work on all movies is i have a strong outline and a script, but then i spend a lot of rehearsal-intensive time. i think especially for a movie that's really about the believability of the intimate little moments, it's not so much about them getting the words right. it's something believable and true. so a lot of that comes out of the rehearsal process. so we do a lot of w rewriting wh the actors. >> charlie: a lot of rehearsing. >> yeah. >> charlie: where does that come from, within your own experience or did you get it from some other director? >> it's kind of what i need as a filmmaker to figure out what the scene is trying to say and trying to maximize what it's trying to do and figure out how
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i'm going to shoot the scene. i spend a lot of time. some people don't. everyone's different. you kind of have your own personality. but for me to get a believable performance, i want to spend as much time and talk as much as possible to the actors and create an environment where they can feel comfortable and do their best work. >> charlie: and feel collaborative. >> i want them to own their character. patricia and ethan, i wanted them to name their characters. it's a big decision. we actually thought about it and that kind of thing. it's fun. >> charlie: who influenced you in terms of the filmmaker you've become? >> that's one of the big mysterious questions. i think there is different categories. there is films and filmmakers that make you want the make film. but those are not the kind of filmmakers -- i remember when i first started out you're so inspired by it. but then you start making films and say, i'm make aing films like this because you're in touch with the stories you want to tell. so there's a big gap between the
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ones that made me love film and the ones that are closer to the kind of films i do, i think. >> so there's a big spectrum there. if you love films, you kind of love them all. i love all films and documentary and world sen ma. >cinema. >> charlie: it's an ensemble situation. >> yeah. i was at the museum of art and they were doing a robert altman retrospect and it was kicking. altman the greatest when it comes to an ensemble and a unique style of storytelling so i think he's forever very influential. >> charlie: a lot of people have taken notice of the last scene. it's emotional. >> a couple of last scenes. there's one with the mom, when he leaves for college, and that's just kind of a gut-wrenching scene that was unevitable. there it was in the outline, but we couldn't have shot it year one. we had to actually live through
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all the years to get to the place where they're saying goodbye, and all i had on that initially is i remember leaving for college, my mom was very quiet, sitting alone at the table, and that's my image and is what's in the movie but i needed more dialogue and i needed to make it more literal. so i would ask people what it was like when you went to college. i remember my experience. ethan's mom, there's a couple of lines she had said that found its way in there. one of my producers took her daughter to college and she had a line she said. i built the scene thinking of what the moment is but it ends up as an emotional purge on patricia's part and you see the gap between mother and son, how he can't relate to her in that way. she can totally relate to him but how parenting is often a one-way emotional street. >> charlie: this entire movie is on film.
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>> yeah, we're shot on film. we're a dying breed. when we started in 2002, the high-def mediums, they were changing a lot so i knew film would be a steady gauge. so you do digital to finish movies. so i was able to do things in post. you know, you can correct things in a way you -- >> charlie: how long did you think about the first scene. >> in the movie? >> charlie: yeah, were you staring into is it sky? >> the first year, obviously, but i got to look at it 12 years in the editing room. i was still editing from year one eleven years later. >> charlie: so over the process you were rethinking your movie. >> forever shaping. it was like a time sculpture. it almost didn't feel like a movie, just this kind of personal -- >> charlie: can you imagine doing this again? >> well, i don't think it would ever be 12 years again but i
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think this way story-telling-wise. i'm obsessed with cinema narrative and what stories can be told in this medium that can and can't be told in other mediums and how to use cinema in a way to tell a new kind of story, so maybe something similar, yeah, certainly i think this kind of opens the gate in a certain way, even to my own thinking, to think it's possible. but again, it's wildly impractical. >> charlie: but if you had to do it over again, would you do it? >> oh, absolutely. it was a wonderful life project. i think for everybody who worked on it, not just the cast and myself, but the crew, the over 400 people who worked on it all these years, you could see the momentum build over the years. bill asked, oh, what if people lost interest? it went the other way. people felt more vested as time went by. you can imagine by the end when we're shooting the last shot of
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the movie, the emotions of the crew and the cast, i'll never experience anything like it again. we're on a mountain in west texas up in big bend. it is the last thing in the movie, the last thing we shot. the sun was going down overlooking rio grande. it was incredible, you know. 12 years of a project. it was one of those big life things. but the movie felt like that and it built to that. so, you know, it's just beautiful, you know, poetic. it's like what the movie was attempting to do, to magnify these little moments and make them worthy of inclusion in a movie and this movie ends up a movie about that. >> charlie: can you make a point that -- you live in austin. >> yeah, texas. >> charlie: which is a culture center in its own rite in a big way. but can you make a case of what
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makes you want to be in austin rather than los angeles is what makes you make the films that you do? >> i wonder, i don't think it's so much geography as to ho how r mind works and the stories you want to tell. >> charlie: but the difference in culture, right? >> maybe. they've called our industry kind of a great dream industry but if you get too close to the industry, like parts of l.a. and anywhere near the studio system, where it kind of is more about the business, so i prefer to spend my time dreaming about stories and not thinking about certain things. >> charlie: what part of you wants to go out and just develop something entirely different, that someone wouldn't even expect from you, just to say you might not think i have this muscle, but i do. >> well, i think i've done a lot of different films over the years, now that i have kind of
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mid-career veteran status. early on, i felt everyone has, like, a little pigeon hole awaiting you, like, you do this kind of film, and when i stepped out of that, it was, like, you're sort of punished. i've just wrapped my 19th film so now people give me some latitude, oh, you want to the that, maybe you will do something interesting with that. >> charlie: is time fascinating to you? >> time and cinema have always been an obsession of mine. the time elements in my films i think are largely structural devices. you know, when you approach a story, often there -- you know, there's characters, story, plot, devices. i think i've largely dropped conventional notions of plot and replaced that with time, whether realtime or a limited amount of time, say in the before trilogy. in this film, it's very much about time, the passage of time.
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so, to me, that becomes the story. and it often doesn't make sense on paper, but i always instinctually felt, like, an audience will get it because that's the way our lives unfold, that's the way we process time. we process our lives moment by moment, intimate small moments. occasionally there will be a plot twist. but our lives are a narrative unfolding in each of our lives. >> charlie: moment to moment. and it's really populated with characters and an overarching story we're still trying to make sense of our lives. that's where the human storytelling impulse comes from, to try to understand the world and our relations. it's fictional. we're concocting it as we go. there aren't a lot of plots in our lives. there are little things that happen and it's largely artificial. >> charlie: certainly not planned for most of us. >> the plot twists. >> charlie: you have no idea. never do.
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>> charlie: it's the age-old question. people say, well, you've changed that. well, not necessarily because that fact that it happened brought you to where you are today. >> absolutely. >> charlie: and if you were different, you might not be the person you are today. >> and it takes a great person to admit -- it's galling in the political world and p professional world where people say, i wouldn't change anything. you go, really? you don't regret a war or a shooting, you wouldn't change anything? >> charlie: it's a road untaken. >> it's an unknown parallel world you don't want to get into. >> charlie: there's a documentary out about you. >> embarrassing. >> charlie: what do you think of it? it suggests in 21 years you can summarize a life. >> i know that's kind of a fool's errand and kind of impossible. so if it scrapes the surface of anything, maybe that's up for them. i mean, it's both a little
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embarrassing and a little flattering, but, i don't know, i guess it's just where i am. >> charlie: if you were going to make a documentary about something, what would it be? >> you know, i do approach the world kind of like a novelist or a documentary filmmaker. i keep files of all the things i'll never do, but my interests are out there. i have been thinking about a documentary about the notions of, like, belief, changing minds, the science of it, brain things. but it's not really my field. i'm a stor storyteller, but my interests kind of get me thinking. >> charlie: you also were a baseball player. >> yeah, played college payables. >> charlie: had an irregular heart beat. >> yeah, i had that experience my sophomore year in college. i couldn't run anymore. >> charlie: how tough was that for you? >> it hit me in a point in my life where i was ready to move on. as much as sports had been a big part of my life, i was always
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writing. i had taken a play writing class. i was an english major person which is unusual for a lot of athletes. i was standing in the outfield thinking i want more reading time. and it wasn't traumatic. i never thought twice. i just started closing down the library every night, writing plays and life shifts. but i feel sorry -- there's something tragic act sports when the career ends or it's over. even the most achieved careers, you see grown men not sure what to do. >> charlie: because the entire life has been focused on making it in the big leagues. >> as long as you're wearing a uniform, you're stale boy. i don't care how old you are. you may be 40 and still playing, but you're still a kid you felt don't really grow up as long as you play sports. >> charlie: probably why we do
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it. >> yeah, men and women are striving. it's fun, bonding. >> charlie: any of the great classic novels ustled like to tack? >> wow... is not really. >> charlie: hemingway, fitzgerald -- >> there are periods in history and writers' lives i would like to touch on. i have been working on a thing for years about transcendentalists. that's been kind of a lifetime of thought and specific readings and studies so maybe there's something there but not one big novel. those usually don't make that good of movies. >> charlie: why is that? i don't know. there are things that are more literary that should stay there. >> charlie: another genre is bio picks. you've had at least two. >> two or three. >> charlie: stephen hawking,
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aalan turing, james brown. >> we're fascinating with these big characters in history, and to take you back to those times, it's always fascinating, but it's a hard storytelling genre to pull off. you can take a wonderful life and make a mediocre movie. it's hard to crack the genre, in my opinion. >> charlie: what are the movies you made with ethan after sunset and before sunrise. >> yeah. >> charlie: what is all of that about for you? >> it's a depiction of connection between two people over 18 years, you know. >> charlie: was that your idea from the beginning? >> yeah, based on kind of a personal experience that was -- just felt worthy of a film. so many of my films, doesn't feel like a film. the plot never kicks in. it's just something small. like a moment of two people who
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feel a connection. i think, i want to do a movie just about that. but you don't really make movies about a feel, but i think like that. i think it is a story. it's is story of our life. >> charlie: whether jealousy, ambition, fear. >> how we relate to each other, how we negotiate time and space around one another. to me, that's the essence of -- like, to me, i want to tell stories about people in real lives. >> charlie: take a look at this. eller asks his father about magic in the world. >> dad... there's no, like, real magic in the world, right? >> what do you mean? you know, like elves and stuff. people just made that up. >> i don't know. i mean, what makes you think that elves are any more imaginicle than something -- any
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more magical than something like a whale? what if i told you a story about how underneath the ocean there was this giant sea mammal that uses sonar and sang songs and it's so big its heart was the size of a car and you could crawl through the arteries. you would think that's pretty magical, right? >> yeah. but, like, right this second there's, like, no elves in the world, right? >> no. technically, no elves. >> charlie: as you watch that, you know, we're talking about the fact there is something child, like, in doing this job because you have full range of curiosity and you said the questions are more interesting to you than the answers. >> always. i always feel like every film i do is kind of a journey to
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answer questions or it's a true inquiry into something you're trying to solve or make sense of and, you know, this 12-year journey, say what did you learn at the end? and i'll say a, well there's no one thing i learned. it was a good way to go through 12 years of life and examining life is really important and life is pretty great, you know, just to be alive. you know, the real basic stuff, i could come away with existential simplicity about what that was. but questions, yeah. i don't want to be one of the guys where you're imparting answers. you want to throw out questions, the mutual seeking we're doing in this world is important, much more important than one person with the answer because no one ever has that. >> charlie: and th the experiene is looking for the answers. much success.
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much talking about, 12 years in the making with the same actors. thanks for joining us. >> charlie: pore more, visit us online at and captioning sponsored by rose communications captioned by media access group at wgbh
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