tv Charlie Rose PBS December 14, 2009 12:00pm-1:00pm EST
rose: welcome to the broadcast. toght a conversation about the middle east can correspondent anthon shadid and his wife nada bakri who have just been hired by "the new york times" to gto the baghdafwur owe. >> one of the great legacys of the amerin occupation, american invasion, hever you want to characterize is it, the evolution of politics i iraq. the evolutio toward, you know, ey revolve solely around this axis of ethnicity ansect. and think we're seeing th if anything more deeply entrenched. >> there a sense of dependence, on the military side at least, on the americans. i me the iraqimilitary and policere still not in very good ape. and they can't take careof themselves and take care of secuty. >> rose: weontinue with faion icon and filmmaker tom ford, h h directed
new movie called "a ngle ma >> ie always thought of myself as a commeial faion designers. some fason desiers create art. thatheir form of exprsion. for me it' been artist and it still is, ani love it. but it's a commercial endeavor this is the fit time i've ever actually created something that i created beuse i had to express it, because wanted to say somethg. and that's new for me to put that much ofeally myself on scre is easier maybe thanutting it out in e real wor. >> a perspecve on iraq and the middle easand a look at a new movie directed by tom ford coming up. >> funding for charl rose has been provided the following: if you've had coke in the last years, ( screams ) you've had hand in giving coe scholarships... and support to thoands of ouration's... most prosing students. ♪
( coca-cola 5-note mnenic ) captioning sponsored by rose communicaons fromur studios in new york city, this is charlirose. >> rose: antny shadid and na bakri are here, he is a pulitz prize winnin middle et correspondent, formerly the baghd bureau chief for "the wasngton post". he just joined "the new yk times" as a forei correspondent in the badad bureau of "the new yor times" nada is maied to anthony shadid, a former "washington post" staffe sheill also join "the w york times" baghdad buau as a foign
correspondent. i'm pleased to have bo of them at this table, at this timeefore they make final shift going er to the "new york times". d a assume living i baghda >> that's right. >> ros okay, welcome. >> thank you. >>ose: great to see both of you. what is about it, nada, that mak all of us who have h any degree of conntion to the middle east, reporting, ierview, siting, come away saying, you know, wow, thisrabs you. >> you know, it's so diverse and ere are so many chges. >> rose: so ny religions. >> so many religions and it's old and younow, rich and it just fascinating on so many level >> rose: were you both convinced that iraq wou never split up? or do you think that had a al possibility, th would become shi'a, sunni, kurd. >>ou know, i don't think that. i think it's too early to y in a lot of respects. i think,ou know, there is
a great remark that wasade byhe former ambassarn baghdad, rya crocker who ntioned that the semal he vant --vents, i'm paraphrasing, th seminal events haven't hpened yet. i think weboth have felt over the pas year that in some ways we are sti on the preame to what is ing to happen in iraq. >> what mit they be, the senal events. >> i think the election is one. >> with the dwal. >> re: the withdrawal. >> yeah. >> and i think that kind of intersection -- >> polits. >> the intersectn between the eltion and with the draw is going to be intesting. >> the new governnt is going to be in charge. >> rose: history in the end will say what about the invasion. >> f the iraqis i think even for the iraqis themselves, a l of them it was a great thingnd for, but i guess the majority of them, if y talk to them, it wasn't --. >> ros today, you talk to them today the will say we
would rather they d not me. >> evepeople who are not living inood conditions, they feel nostalgic for the days of when saddam was in power. becae you know, it was safe they had security. they had elericity. they had just the basics, you know. >> i think there are going to ba lot of different versions of history later, of whatas been wrought by this invasion. but i think nada is rht. it's difficult for me sometimes when i come ba and talk to relatives or frnds here in the states, is the degree to wch society, inaghdad in particular, has been destroyeor torn apart. theabric of the place has been -has been ripped apart. you know ts a more peaceful place than it was when i was first reporting there ba in say 2004 or 2003. you caget around. u can do more than you ever couldefore. but there is something that i think has really been st. and that is part in due to
the emigratn ofpeople from the country. >> rose: se 3 million. >> i thi it is millions, that went to syria and jordan. >> just a whole class of people, like, you know. >> thahave left. >> re: and might not come back. no, i don't think they uld. there is notng to go back to. >> rose: thacan change. >> at least no rose: we've seen that change. >> they sayif you talk to any iraqi they say i ten years maybe, it will be a better country b not any time sn. >> rose: could it have gon right, the war. >> i think they just didn't know what to expect. ey didn't know wt iq was li. and there was just -- i don'tknow. i don't think that cou ve been possible. >> i think tt what was --. >> rose: the is no estion i haven't ask you two haven't talked about. >> i think whais often missing fromur understandinof iraq, we were talki about this earlier today, in fact, wa the lel of how brutalized
the country was actuay. i mean it had gone through this tenear war with iran in which i think th number is like a fih of the population h somehow ten part in the military. followed by ten ars of sanctions, the america invasion, and then an occupation that foowed. and so i think we were jus dealing th a society that in some ways was so traumatized an brutalize it's difficulto see kind of a linr project of construction or rebuilding it may turn t that way, like nada pointed out, pele often do speak about will have to wait for a generationefore things return to the way that we would hope they would. that things will come the way we hope they would become. but itoes feel like is very far off. and i ink thatlevel of trauma that iraq has gone through almost, n't want to say preordain but it made vy difficult success onhe part of the americans. now and it istill early. like i said, i think the seminal even, i agrewith the remark of ambasdor crocker, ihink the seminal even have yet to happen.
but we do fe like we' on -- i mean conflict is often still settled by violen in that country and i'm nosure that equatio is necessarily going to change. >> aays settled by violence. >> in ir in particular. >> rose: would sdam poibly have flen under his own weight. >> i think he would hav sent ecomic improvement in the couny. i first went there in 1998. and again in 2002 and then 2003. each time i went back, it wagetting better. mean the ecomics of t place weremproving. the polics weren't. and you know, i think we all -- >> i think if you ve people betterliving conditions they would just accept the rer. rose: some people say this happens off when dictors too. the bargn is i will take care of the politics, and -- you ju go abouthe living, you kn, leave the politics to me andou simply i won't ther you. >> i tnk you've seen that
in syria, egypt. rose: that is the natn of wt it is. >> africa. >> rose: the iranian fluence today. >> uh-huh. >> rose: how profound it? how penetrati is it. >> i think it pretty profound. just religious alone. >> re: shi'a. >> the places are so deeply nnected on a religious level and the ju see iran as their big brother, kind of thing. >> rose: those fears tt it will dominate iraq have been put ase? >> no, i think the frsre therstill, that it would -- but you know, i don't think it's like lebanon where you se iran's influee so much. >> rose:s dow with syria and leban. >> yea i don't thinkit's that way in ir yet, maybe because thamericans are still there d it's so much more compcated still and not stable. but i ink once they leave you woul see that more. >> that's a good point. i think is moreubtle and
more sophisticed in some ways how they exercise the influence. >> you always ad about these visits like for iraqi liticians to iran and vice versa but you read about em like a few days late and they are alws like a secret visit or you know, secret trip ki of thing. so you never really know. >> rose: where ithe polical class going to come from. that is a good question. because i thk if we talk about again legacys or questionthat we want t answerbout iraq, there isn't a class i think a political class right w that clas to speak on behalf of the eire couny. this is i think one of great legacys of the american occupationamerican vasion, however you want to characterize is it the evolution of litics in iraq. the evoluon towar, you know, th revoe solely around this isf ethnicy and sect. and i thin that we'r seeing tt if anything more deeply enenched these days. i think the is a lot talk aut national unite -- unitof trying to bridge the ctarian dive.
we still have in iraq it is almostolely defined by ethnicity or sect and it means you haveo polital class at can cross, can speak on behalf of the country itself or on behalf of the broader nation. until u get that, i feel like it's going to be this nd of protracted conflict, this dee seeded conflict that is vy difficult t resolve. the election l that was just complet took months to agree on,lmost everyone is predicted that the formation of the vernment ne year after t election will take months a well. and think a lot of the poin just toward that, is almost i wanto say divisions that areecoming ossified in so way, they arbecoming so entrenched. people often speak about this comrison betweenraq and leban, lanon a country of wt, 18 different religio sects. ere politics are, they have the same difficuy and so they are deadlocked. i thk in some wayshat is a vision for iraq in the sput as well it may turn out
not to be but i think th a fear of a lot of people. >> withdrawal willake placon schedule. >> i thinkill. i think short of, you know- >> short of an iranian invasion. there is definitely a determination get out. that is one the things found fascating over the pastear. is that ere is clearlyn americ disengagingment from iraq and american officials ar very blunt about it. at we are out of here. but i don't thi tha realization has -- the iraqi political cls, i don't ink they realize the degree to ich the americans are disengaged. >> are sious about it. >> in some ways it encoures a certain brinckmanship because wean be as recalcitra possible and themericans will sp in and solveit fors. until now thamericans are still stepping in an solving the ection laws is an exale of that. but down the road willhey? and i think it could cate danger in the year aad. that gulf an perceptions
are the realities on the ground. who runs the inrgency? >> maliki, the prime minister,il-maliki has blamed, he oft will come up with this idea the ba'athist and ala together ar planning these very high profile speccular attacks we've seen in august, octobeand then again this mont it's tough t say who acally is, you know, it' hard for me to s them necessarily participating together they are so ide ideaologal different. budow just time and again working baghdad you do realize that the bath pay is still very mh a feature of iraqi life. >> rose: and in syria. as it is in syria and part of e leadership isn syria. >> rose: ithat right. yeah. >> rose: w is in syria? >> it is a questionf --. >> rose: i havbeen fascinat by him. i mean does he meepeople in syria,s he there, could people gtalk to him? >> i think it's not re if he is there or not there. but thats wh people -- people think yeah, tt he
is there. >>oing back and forth. >> and he' sick, isn't he very supersi. >> there have be rumors that he has been sick r years now. is probably the higst rankg ba'athist but ao ahd of a sufficienti order which i kind of -- sufi order which is kind of a -- hard to describe. it is arand of -- a versn of islam. the lead of therder actual carrys a lot of influence among his follers is that condered e -- for the next order there. and they have taken a pretty large -- they are very invoed in the insurgency. this is aga since 2003 when we talk aut the insurgency t is so layered, its so different and groups comg together at times and liting part a leerships being -- >> and whatas happened to alqaeda. >> i think it's there but -- very much weaker than it used to . but i think is tryingo
group,aybe, in so pas of iraq but more in pakistan. >> yeah. >> night draws nr. iraq's people the shadow of america war which got a lot of attention. uninteed consequences, tell me why that is so centl to the way you see the iraqi world. one of my most distinct memoes of 2003, i was in baghdad during the iasion. i rememritting and you know that was where the statue camdown famously. i remember walkg, before the statue actually ca down, hi walked do the street a little bit at this american convoy, and i member this distinct feeling that we had n idea what were weere about to unash t happened quickly en within weeks there was the beginning the insurgency. by that summer there was this ndf sense tha politics were going to be much more organiz on a
searian and ethnic basis some of the problemse were dealing with. >> rose: y saw it immediaty. >> you saw it ally early. but unpected. i don't think a of us had a feeling out how powerful eyea sisni was before the invasi we saw itquickly after. we saw the emergence of sadr. >> rose: is he stillhat powerful. he is,ly more powerful than people think. >>ose: assad err is still ve power. nobody her about him any re. does that ny he is building his pow base. >> it is a quintessentia will movement, the sadrists, i think they understand their the cstituency was exhausted byhe violence, that w part of the caulation to pull back from the fighting. but i thk they still prablynywhere from 20% to a third of the shi'a they could claim loyalty. so they are going to ay a viceive role in the elecon in march. they are going to be a pler. in some ways they have, i ink they are the only movement in iraq, i don't want toverstate this but theyre one of theew movements in iq that have
a popular following, that have an organization in the street, not jt a leadership in baghdad. but althese things emerged, they were unintended consequencesf the invasion, things that would not have happened yorz otherse but very few if anyone foresaw ahead of time. >> rose: when u look at th syria, and heollah, what impact is syria havin today on iraq? >> the iquis say that syria is involvedwell, at least in the latest boings. >> that is my point >>he big bombings, so i think me peoplfew its alik-- view it as a civil lyng rule like with heollah in the same role in iraq. but you know, maybe because the ba'ath party is still there and they blame the ba'ath party for that. i don't know. i mean i n't seeow influential syria could be orot as iluential in iraq as it is in lebon because in le gone --
lebanon they have hezbollah. and heollah is very close syria. >> rose: who ithe most important an influential ayer in the region. iran or egypt? >> ihink iran far. >> bfar. >> you know, i think >> i think iran andsaudi a lab what -- >> i think that ione of the stories is the decline of egyptian statu. >> cinema an tv and just music, everything. i think it's being reviv now little bit, getting tter. >> but in termsf political clout t is -- >> they haveeen asleep for a long time. >> when you lo at sudan its southern neighbor it is azing how little influence it can even play there. i think iraq is another example, in some ways. i think we will see this the election in march is iraq wilbe kind of a proxy battleetween the iraans and saweduis where lebano was earlier this yr. turkey is going it thave a -- turkey is the kind of sleeper in the region.
>>he x-factor. >>xactly. you know who wou have imined that -- >> i mean. >> stepping . >>s i said that expression for a whe who won the argue,ran, now people can say no, turkey won because of the oortunities that came out of it for them cause of it, the kurds. >> andho would have imagin the turks and kurds having relatis up in rthern -- that was anoer unintend consequence i think. >> re: all of us are fascinated by hoiran will play itself out internall. >> right. >> rose: and t per of the revolutiory guard toy and the influence of the supme ader, the role thathmadinejad is going to play how do you see that. >>t it's so interesting. the reverberations of thi remaable conflict rely haven't been felt around the region yet and i have always been struck by tha even in iraq, for instance, tre is not people don't even talk about it that much but when youee the dynamic playinout in iranand i
won't speak withoo much auority, i haven't been ere in years but you could most see the putti down of this current round of dissent. the emgence ofmilitary dictatorship let's say with the revolutionary guartess forefront but you fl that is not the end ofhe story. iends i talk to other ople that follow it closely, i mean thereoes seemo be, this avenue of dsent is going to be closed and it's goi to find another way to be released a does that mean some kind of armed conflict down the road, some kind of insurgency, civiltrife, it hard to say but i do feel lik this apter could end violently but tha doesn't mean the end o the sty. and this cou be, younow, this could easi be a story that dra onor years. in waythat could get more violent. >> but i mea my impression of the most recent demonstrations that they were -- >> you don't feel the reverberations cause i don't think much known of what is going on inside iran you don't see imageon tv
in the pers or - >> in the end does everybody in the region fear the iranns? including the syans? >> i think pretty much, yes. >> i really -- >> yeah, i thin >> you no tre have so -- i guess it pends -- >> i guess se people do fear it but otrs feel a sense of pride that, you know, this islamic country is defying or u know building a nuclear power. >> rose: my impressions the people ithe region don't wanto see iran as a nuear power. >> dependsn who. >> ros who does, who wts the ate as a nucle power. >>here is such a current of anti-americanism that exists in e region t i almost- it is a changeeople wod love to see islamic, midd eastern country that s nuclear power but if we're taing about saudi arabia or egypt or. >> re: jordan or. north africa, i don't know. >> re: qatring. >> tre a lot of fear. >> political class ione thing. i think that is the sense.
>> becse of the ti-american sentiment you feel >> rose: didbama's sech change any of th feeling of anti-americanism in the stre. >> n >> i think it softed it. >> you know, i d't think so. because th, you know, ty always tell yo you know, words are different than actions. anif we don'see any actions than you know but what are wor for. >> i think there is distinction between obama himself d -- i don't think anyby is talking about. >> rose: you thinkhat. >> nody is talking about his speech any more. >> rose: arehey talking out what he is doing in afghanistan? >> no, not that i've -- not ally. >> in thmiddle east you hear --. >> rose: is the a great fascination of how this wi play out in afghanistan. >> i don't think it was ever. >> think ahanistan is considered remote. >> rose:nd irrelevant? >> ielevant, i'm not sur irrelevant necessari or just less, more fficult -- less tangible.
but i won ferr there i not a distinction made between oa and american policy as a thing that is unchanging, going on for generation. >>aybe oa is himself because theyust see him as a new leader, as having a muslim father, younow, ey just kind of like that. but doesn'mean that they like whahe is going too or wt he is doing or, you know, but like as a rson. >> i think at's true. >> rose: you areoing to go to younew assigent when. >> january we start in baghdad. >>ose: both in baghdad >> uh-huh. >> rose: so are you going to live in bagad. you know, we're expting so -- >> i will b there t months a then i will go on maternit leave in mch. >> rose: and where wl you go. >> beirut. >> yes >> rose: gooluck. >> thank y. >> rose: greato meet you. great to meet you too. >> rose: thank you for coming. i have admired yo work for a lo time. >> thank y. rose: we'll be right back. ay with us.
>> tom ford is here. he is a giant in the fashion world as the creative director of guch frei 1994 to 200 heevitalized a company and its brand. he left chi five years a to sta hiswn label, tom fo this year he lived out another dream by directing his first feature fm. it is calledthe singleman and stars colin firth and julianneoore. after de -- debuting it is already again razing- generating buzz. here is a ok at the clip from the film. >> it takes time in the morninfor me toecome george. i'm to adjust to whats expected of george a how he iso behave fr the time i am dressed and put the fin layer of polish on the now sghtly stifbut quite perfec george, i know fully what part i was sposed to play.
>>ooking in the mirror staring back at me wn't so much a face as the expression of a predictment. >> jt get through it. >>'m pleased to have tom ford bacat this tle. welcome. >> tha you, it's nice to here, charlie. >> here is what i nt you -- i want to begin with this. this is your thd or fourth appearance on this progr. >>t is. >> rose: a right, take a look at this clip, roll tape. >>h god. >>hy film? >> film, the ultimate design project. i mean fashn are you designg a dress. filmou are designing a worl you're designing a world that is hermetically sealed in a bubbleforever where you are deding what the characters, what thewear work what th look like, whether they die, what happs, it is inense th ultimate design project. and think that o of the frusating things about being a fashion design certificate th it doesn't la. you dign a great dress, and you know, it's over like that. it doesn't lk the same two months ler.
you don't love it as much as you did the first time y saw it because your ey become austed to it. >> rose: so ere you are. >> you d't need me again. you ar just play that, because i don'thave anything new tsay. >> re: yes, you do. >> still feel exactly that way. >> rose: buthis was 2004. >> yes >> rose: and theuestion that cambefore that is what do you really wa to do. and yosaid i want to be a filmmaker. i did, and i do, and i'm happy to s i'veade my first film. >> ros why did you want to do it? >> oh,god. >> rose: beyond what y just said. >> i will try to phre it differently but it wl be hard because that really why wanted too it, you know if you are someone who like creating when you create a fil you really are creating world and it never chans and are you really designing what thos people do and this is exactly the same thing just said. but i haveto say, what i didn't expect then when i said that was i expected it be fulfilling. i didn't expect it to be as fulfilling as it was. and didn't expect maybe -- mae i hadn't come to terms with that moment with time of being able to puts much of myself intoomething as i ultimately did.
>> rose: so this, that w four years ago, five years ago. we looked good, don't we. we lk the same. >> re: we're ang quite well >> we look terfic, maybe better, actually. >> rose: i ctainly hope so, at is actually my op rative ia, get beer looking,etter looks. >> jt better lighting makes you look good. >> rose: yes, indeed. this notion of this film then. >> uh-huh. >> rose: so in a five-year press you found this oject. why this fl number. >> it to me awhe. you know, sitting ere talking about ming a film i don't think had figured ouwhat my voice was going be as a filmmaker. i knewhat i stood for as a fashion designer buthy does anyone need to see a tom ford film, who cares. why does the world need anotr film. so i hado really think, you know what do i have to say. what is aningful to me. i ad this book by christher -- lled the single man whens way20 years old livi in los angeles, i was a yng actor and it really spoke to me it spoke to me cause i was is a beautifully written character study of areat character. whi really felt like i was going to run int somewre,
and meet. ulmately i did meet him, it was vy autobiographical, ner understood which oneas the right word, stu as most of his bos were. and thenuickly start reading everything christopher had written. st forward to the future, i had when i first decided to really become certificate quus about making afilm, i oponed a couple of books. i was sent lots of screenplays in los aeles, the kinds of screenplays that i think ople would think that a fashion designer would want to me. they were very sck, surfacey. no really a lot of depth, not a story. >> rose: an extended commercial. >> extended commcial, exactly. so was driving to my office o day on sunset an realized i washinking of this character george. and i thought you know, have thought of this book off and on for theast 25 ars. i should pk it up and rd it ain. well, speaking, or ading this from my mid 40s, now late 40s, it spoke me in a tally different way. it is the story oa man who cannot see h future, o at a crossads.
and it is a very spiritual book which didn't get the first ti i read it christopherisherwood was a student of the dan and spenthe second half of his fe at the a danta center discovering the iritual side of mself. and the story is really about learning to live in the present, appreciating the small thingsn our life because they are really the big things inur life. and connection. with other peop. and i thinkthat certainl i s in a pla where i had really m identy had sort of, yoknow, been pulled out from und me, i guess. maybe it was selfmposed. and it spoke to meecause i was at that same kind of crsroads. i could sympathize with our character george. >> rose: is this a midlife crisisr something else. >> mlife, i don't know. the ree principal chacters in the story, in the filare going through a change of le crisis. i thinkthat can happen to you when youre a teenager beming a man, when are you -- i tnk at different stages oyour life when you have t shifted into a different period of your life. and u have to look at the wod in a different wa >> so you identify with
george faulkner. >> absoluty. and there are ts of other things todentify with george faulknefirst of all he dsn't have the name in thbook, just george. faulkner came fro a dr friendf mine. but i had to also take the story and renstruct it quite a bit becau the book a beautiful interior monologue tt when i arted to break todown sin matically anto figure out a way to show it as aost a silent fm as i have hea when you decide you are going to direct you art listening to everyone and listeninto all of these maxims about y know how to make a film, one of them is make a silent film it a visual medium. make something you canatch an understand the sto and lay on the diague. this particular story didn' have a lot of outwardction that td you what was happeng. so ihad to pull from the part of the ory that spoke to me. pulled from my own life. there is an enormous, the basic pl of the story. i drafted my o story and my own life on tohe story of christopherherwood, the singleman. >> rose: and what do y know now tt you didn't
know when yo started making this mie. >> ha, ha, ha. what do i know. i hope i know a lot of things. i n't know. i thin i know that i know thing, maybe that. i don't know. i don't know. i know a lot of thingsbut i know nothing. >> do you have a spiritual side. >> i defitely have a spiritual side. and that is maybe something that i realize now me tha ever. and hi always had it. bui neglected it. and i think in o western culture and i knows hard 0 listen to a fashion designer tting here. >> ros it is all commeral, you have gone from a life that is all commercial to a life which yothink of youelf no asn aur. >> i wouldn't- think of --. >> re: you thought the word. >> i haven't thought the word, you thght it i'm very proud of th, it is maybthe morse psonal thg i have ever done. i alys thought of myself as a commercial fashio signer. sochs some fashion designercreate art that their form of expression. fome, it's been artisc, and it stl is. and i love it. but it's commercl
endeavor. th is the first time i've ever actuall created somethinthat i created because i had to eress it because i wanted to say something. and that new for me to p that much of really mylf on screen isasier maybe than putting iout in the re world other than to a w close friends. >> rose:ere is the story of a guy, is the story ofa ma whose lover of how ma years, 16 years. >> 16 years. >> ros has been --has co to an uimely death. >> uhuh. >> rose: ande's trying to cope with it. >>h-huh. >> rose: and he doesn't e any light the end of the tuel. >> no, hdoesn't, none. >> rose: hs thinking about the last day on earth. >> uh-huh. >> ros and that's what happening to him ts day. >> yes. >> ros but. >> b once he decides that is is his last day on rth, for the first time i months he starts really looking at things and he becomes pulled by the beauty of t world. and all of a sudden cols
become iense, shapes and things and the surfacef our world and the eerience of being alive stts to pull it helso makes connections with people. the film is filled with eyes, because this is a m who for the st eight months has not looked anyone in the eye, hasn'tade any connections. an all of a sudden he's nnecting with people. because of that, they are responng to him in a completely different w. and by the end o this day, he has h a kind of epipha. he's uerstood this place in the universal he's undstood that the important things in his lif ve been his connections with other people. that hhas those, that he s the ability to have em. and he understds all of e gifts that the material world an lif on thi planet can give. >> he is a gay professor in los aeles. and a small school. and did you want to ke a vie about a gay man. >> no, i didn't think about at all. but i forgot --orget that
i'm gay. and yoknow, you know, i -- ane've had this conversation befe. name ten things u know about --. >> rose: gay i would would not be one of them. >>ell, yes i am gay and i've alwaybeen open about my lif i live withsomeone i have been with for the last 23 ars. but i don't necessarily defineyself by my sexuality. now that comes because a t of m and women before me ve forged the way for at. and i can behe in that way our culture today. but i wanted to make a sry that was about love, a sto that was -- i ink is a very universal storyhis, because this is sothing, you know this n could have, we could have almost the same story if he los s fe of 16 years. he couldn't see his ture. he couldot pull himself out of his brief gra. he decided to end his life anbecause of that going thugh this day, he rediovered the beauty of the world. it's a story tha was important. gay, not gay, of course bookhen it was written in 1964 was ground breaking because christopherisherwoo
portrayed gay le in a very matter of fa way. th was the way i wanted to portray it o scre. the scene of the twmen liing th their dogs reading the book. it's right out of my lif i have to pay richarto walk the dogs. takes the money. althou he doesn't take$5, he takes 20ow because it is 2009, itead of 1964. so people occionally will say to me,ven good friends, your life style, what is that, my liftyle. i live with someone lov you kn, weead books, we cook dnering to, we owe ocsionally argue. go on vacation together, we have been togetr for 23 yearthat is correct is my lifeyle some for me love isove. it waepted aut wanting to do a gay stor or straight story, i was just the story spoke to me. >> ros did you feel like you had togo off and learn to direct or did you instinctivelknow what to do? >> i don't know. you know i felt so comfortable, i don't mn this in an egoistical waat all, this was first fil, i learned a lot doing.
but felt really comftable through every part of the process d i loved it. course when i decided that i wanted to direct, i liened to a lot of people. mr. nichols o we were talkg about. >> rose: said you couldo it. >> listening to everyo, d you start watching fms in a different wayand watch every camera angle d try to figure out hothey are doing things and watch th lith imof a cup o ory the type ofamera used. all those technical things. >> re: were you conscious if i do this, people are gointo think of me and say there he goes, tom ford, fashion director, tomord who has to ha a certain look >> no. >>ose: that's all he is about. >> n i never think about those things. i n't know why. when i want to do something and i believe in it of cose i have fear. i never let it stop me. i don't usuly think about what people are going to think of me. in fact now at i have made this film, peoe keep saying how does it feel have done this when everne was laughing at u. d i didn't realize they were. becausof course none ever does that to your face an i justelt coy make a movie anope i ma a good one ani just got on with
it. so i don'tusually lethose thingsou know infuns me. >> rose: you like the writing. >> i loved it. i love it because it's perfect when you write are you siing at your computer oi am in my bed, with my little fo terrr curled up onmy legs who made her way into the film, the way. and you know, everything is perfect. because it's inour mind. so there is nothing going wrong, it is not at you can't have that camera it i not that you startedaining and you he to shoot outse or get outof th locati, it's all perfect and it's ry solitary. i don't know whether it is growing up in new mexico in the middle o nowhere, the older i get, t more and more i love to be alonedd out made d by myself and i'm quite solitary. how much liberty did you take in this nov. >> i took a lot cause althou i thi i sted very true to the intention the story. n, christopher'song time partner, boyfriend, lor, theris not a good me for that, we have to cove it
out. >>ose: also boyfriend, girlfriend when e girl is 40 years o. >> boyfriend trivializit, lover makes it sound like all dow is in sex. there is not a good word for same sex couples. >> rose: what aboupartner. >> partn soundsike business partneryou aremy ceo. >> rose: what your word. i usually intduce richard as my betr half which he is, indeed. but anyway, what we we talkg about,hat did you ask me. >> rose: about the wring and taking liberty. >> you know, i really wanted to say vy true to the boo because i loved the book and is a greatiece of lirature. i was strugglg trying to figure out how to ta parts of the bookhat spoke t me and tu them into the film that ianted to make and make it cinematic. i was havinginner with don e night, christopher's lover, boyfriend, partner of 40 somoddears. >> rose: better half. >> better half, and i out of into where i didn't ll him i was struging,hinking ybe this is the wrong prect. he id make it your own. whatever you are doingmake
it your own. and when he saw the film which he loved and he wte me a big wonrful long letter but he was iolved through the procs. he gavme abig hug and said you me it ur own. and that gavme in a sense licence to take this book and to say okay this is wha it mea to me. this is at this bk means to me. how do i express that. and i bough final draft which is a software screen writing ogram. i read a few books oscreen writing. i will make it soundasier, i struggd for a year and a ha. and create a new plot. and you kn, layered the characters innd when i eventually got it to a place th i was happy with i sen it to juliannmoore and hi written her character hoping she would respond. and she sa yes rlly almo immediately. and that gave the projt a kind of validit that helped. >> rose: was she first or colin. >> colin was first choice for orge, but julianne was the first person i sen the screplay to. because as said, hi written that part really hopinghe wld respond.
i'venown her a a friend for quite while and i love her as an actress. and i was hoping she would --. >> rose: you can't deny this the fi does have a certain styled quality. >> it does. rose: he loo -- i mean we are talking abouthirts. he is putting h shirts on. you said, i said to them why are ey folded. >> iaid who would wear a shirt that wasn't fold, no starch, folded with a ban ound it. >> firstf all, georg the is a cerin style. t style without sstance, meaningless. so fst thing, story. then the style needs t support thstory. this is a chacter who holding himsf togethe by his outer world. hisuter world and his ner world are linked. inside he's this soulful, romantic, crushed man o is keeping himself together by all of this outer armor which i candefinitely relate to, you know, on a bad day, andhis is a good piece of advice for most people. when have a bad day, i polish my shs, i putn my
st suit. i . beuse it is armor. >> rose: tdo what, polish your shoes ango out to dinner. go to wherever have to go. if i have to go to the ofce, to dinner where i have to go. >> rose: wherevebusiness calls. >> because it's armo you feel le okay, if i can control all of this, everything in here will hold together. and th's what thi characr is about. so and tt's directlyfrom thbook. he says in the book christophethat it takes time in the morning for him to become geor. and not be too philosophical bu the book is written in the third person. >> rose: exactly. >> and it is really written the soul of grge othe tr spirit of geor writinabout the materl george going throu his day. >> rose: okay, let's te a look. he is a scene with georg and his friend charlee, charlotte who is played by julynn moore. >> what are you doing this ekend? >> i think i might ju be very quie. >> you never really to me
seriously diyou george. >> i tried to charlie, remember, lo time agoit di't really work out, did it. night charlesie sleep tight. >> rose: nic >> thank you. e way the door closed. >> thank y. we, the doors close on her in his life that's the last time --. >> rose: just set her up. she had los her guy and she had something withhim 120 years ago. >> 10 years. >> rose: 2years ago london. >> yes. >> ros and she justs lonely, she's reachg out. she loves hisompanionship, she wants. >> she's ithe same position he is she is aa crossroads in fe. she cannot see her future is is a great beauty. and by theay this type of
woman, i know soany of them. and i sympathe. no one talks about women in our culture and the kin of female midlife crisis that happens when you are a betiful woman. you ve through our culture in a y, beautiful women are real one of the most powerful things in our culture. and u know, women learn to operate in aertain way. and all a sudden one day, the carpet is just pulled out from under these women who, you know for no fault of theirwn, theorld doesn't respond to em i the sa way. and they have to change theiway of dealing with things in order to exist and it is mething i sympathize withecause i ve worked with women a t and have very, i have a lot of great female friends. anthat ishere julianne's character somebody who is still clging to the past. she thinking if she can just stay betiful, have e latest car, the lates music, the last, you know, most beautiful house. she wants gege because he iser best friend. i think that a lot of times, i have had wonrful relaonships with women throughout my life i have hadexual retionships with women.
i ll in love with men, george saythat. inhe story. and you ow there is a romance. georgend charlotte he a ronce. it ia different kind of romance it has lasted for 35 years, it can mayb, you know, be one of the greatest ronces of their life but to the going to be a sexual romance. and i thin that julianne's chacter, you know ts very hard, unrequted love is one of th hardest things, i think. and if you have ever been granted physical access to someone, if you have ever beenble to sleep with someone, touch the, kiss th, and one day are you t granted that accessny more, but all the emotion is still the, very hard tng to dl with. and that is what her aracter is dealiith orge. >> ros all right, te a look at this. this is george givg a leure to his class, early in the fill and and it is just a terfic scene, here it is. >> we're going to talk about here, here afterallis our real enemy. fear is taking over our world. fear is being used as a tool of manipulion in ou society. it's our politicians peddle
policy, it on madison avenue sells us tngs you don't need. think about it. fear of being attacked. the fear that the are communistsurking around every rner. the fear that some little caribbean cotry that doesn't believe in r way of lifposes a threat to us. the fear that black culture may ke over the world. e fearf eis presley's hi. actuallyaybe that one is real fear. >> rose: so what was the rdest part of this process? >> oh, god that's so hd to answer. i think really breaking through with resucturing the story finding my voice figuring out wha i wanted toay and what i thought deserved to be told. i'm glad you showed th scene though because fear i somethinthat georges railg against. he's becoming to critici. he doesn't love the america he is living in in the early '60s. he feels t dumbing wn of sociy and culture, a loss of manners.
and we're being manilated to buy thing through fear. >> rose:his is also the time of the cuban msile crisis. >> exactly. but is also th beginnings of the culture that we currently live in, dumbing down of arica and the manipulationfll, throug fear, fear, fear. you know, as a selling too and as a way to get us to wah television and to dre us. so when someone looked a this vie asou hope many will, should they say to themselv i'm looking at tom ford? >> i hope thathen people see this film, they see a ttle bit of themselves. cause i would like to think that what orge is going throu isuniversal. isation, we all feel. we all feel -- loss, sometimes we feel that we can't connect,that we don't love that no one loves us, that we fe isolateand i think that tt is univeal. when y ended the filmdid yoknow that you had what you have now oridyou make wonder in th eting room.
>> first oall i was incredibly depressed when stopped shooting i thk, well it's like having a child i thi. i have never had a cld, i n't say that but when yo work on something, work on sothing and then it stops, you have wrapd. i got over at because then i went n editingoom. and that to mewas like rubiks cube, i had always hed a film could be made or unmade an editing room. i didn't really understand it it is absolutely true. you can rewrite a movie in an eting room. you need great materia coming i i took 21 days to sht, five monthsto edit, click, click, click, click, click, until just kindof sain a way tha i couldn' imagine sitting in any other way. >> rose: you saidirecting is like being godecause u have power, you can move things around. >> in your own little bubble. the reason it like being god is, you know, u are designing a world an alternate universal that never changes. d you decide whathese people do, how ty look where theyive what happens
to them at they say. and a 100iersfrom now whatever the medium of wahing things will be, meone will be able to project this, tch this, envision this maybe it wil be three dimentional, i n't know, but they wil b neatly tnsported back in that world and reacting emotiolly with people that no longer exist and they will be inse your alternate universal forever. it is e mostpermanent thing i think can create. very pealing. >> you said one tng that was funny about th idea. when you left guchi, you saidou went home at 4:00 p.m. a got in bed. >> did. >> rose: because? >> i was so depreed. i didn't kn what to do. >> rose: aut? >> well,or ears guchi had been my life. and i threw absolely everhing i had into it. d all of a sudden is and my calendar wa booked solid, boom, boom, boo, boom, boom, for 15 years. >> rose:nd you liked what tom rd was and what he was abt and everything about it. >> ioved everything i was ing. the last cple of yea,
though, itarted to feel maybe i had said al coy say. despite the fa of what happened witthe company and e fact that we sold the company and alof that, even creatively, ias starting to feel a little wrestls. and unsatisfied so i could see it comin leaving was the best thing that ever happen to me. i really knew at the time. but still all of a sudden when you know you go from this intense schedule to just blank space on your calendar andou have no longerhe ability to have a voice in ctemporary culture, i didn't kn what to do with myself except ge into b. >> rose: iever knew until i did reading out you about hodifficult it was to work withaves st-laurent. >> have only recently talked about that. >> i know. >> first of all i never worked wh him. we bought his company he was retired. the difficulty came that ery single thing i tried to do, very very binning weere friendly. and i ink hewas happy at i was there. i think en the company started to do well, and our colltions started to uble in sales evy year, and all of the women who used to hit sit in his front row were sitting in my front row, i have to say i srted
to get somee pretty nasty letters. rose: what would they say. >> i don't want to in it, but theyere two and three ges long handwritten. >> rose: sayinwhat. >> saying in one show u have uone 40 years of my life andy work because yo know iadn't ed the ght shade of lstick. but the worl needs to mov on and we hav all our time. and yoknow, sometimes our window movesy. i hope i'm smart enoug to realize when my wind has moved on. >> rose: you said they were ev, piee borge --ere evil. >>vil, i don't know. >> rose: that is what u said. >> evil to me, s, they were. >> rose:hat could you -- how did you take this did you -- >> i didn't take at all. just -- sa great, fine, i'm move o with what io. >> rose: you were nfident engh in yourself. >> yh, but they didn't make my life easy e ceainly not with the french press. >> rose: so you have this company called tom fd. >> yes. rose: now have you a successf movie. we'll see what it does at the box ofce butcritics are saying ver nice things about it and about you and what you he done here.
>>hey are. >> rose: so where are you. >> where ai, sitting here talking to crlesie rose, where else would anyone want to be. >> rose: at an opportune moment. but ere are you iterms of how youee your futu. >> oh, i would ke to see ani hope i will see a parallel ceer. love what i do as a fashion signer. if i had to sit around for three years with nothi to do between film projects i would lose my mind i function theest when i'm doing a lot of thgs. you know, i love what do so it's not work. i work 24 hour a daybut i lo it. i don't think of it as work. i had a brief three month period of retirement when i left guc. i thout okay, i'mot gointo work anymore. i'm going to get golf clubs and play golf cause i playedolf as a kid. ohy god, nightmare. fit of all my ga was terrible and i was bored out of my mind. i loveo work. >> ros can you do two thin without both of them ffering? if you get serus about lmmaking. >> whyot. i was serious abo this. >> rose:f course you were but so what happen to tom fo company while you were out king this movie. >> oh, it did pretty well, yeah. well, it might have bn
hard on myteam because i made th fly back ard forth with suitcasesfull of clothes. >>ose: did clothes still have a -- >> oh, sure, ju because hi become more spiritual doesn't mean i've, you ow, given up the material world. we a in the material rld. and if you keep things in perspective, there is still a lot of eoyment that you can get out of thematerial world so i lov clothes. >>ose: and does making a lm and making clothes come from theame place, is there a creative place in all of us. >>eah, i think it does. >> rose: a these things come from however they are expresse >> i think so. i think se people right books, some people pat piures, some people create musi i think it's sometng that u have to exess, certainly for me it is. >> rose: all rht. one last scene, heretis. >> d't you just envyt. >> why. >> because he just does wh he like, like yeerday, i was standing in the ont yardnd susan came over to talk. and that littlerat of hers chriopher came running over wavin that damn n of his around and her leg dog walked right up, hiked his like and peee all over
christophers, actlly. perfectly exuted. ter all theimes -- the kids he tortured that poor y. you shouldtake a lesson. they don't stay up allight woying. they figur out h to get the two of us to do ectly whathey want. theyre basically very phisticated little parasites en you think about it. >> spe to that scene. >> wel that is myog an guess. th my dog an guess thatis an guess and that sce is right out of moo i life, you know that is my fe. i mean sitting there reading with your lover. >> absolutely, lover, boriend whatever we are calling him, yeah, that's my domestic homeife. >> rose: and thiwas a flashback. >> this is alashback becae in the book we don't ha that many ashbacks of jim. needed to see paradox before we could understand paradise los so we had to -- you know w had get to know george's evious life so we could grieve with him. >> rose: do you kn what
your nt movie ? >> maybe, i have something i have been working on throu original seenplay, not an adaptaon but i need se spac ifinished this in august. we had veni in september when colin won best actor. th toronto film festival, loon film ftival, stock couldfilm festival we're opening this week. and so i need to, you know, e this through, the promotion pa of it. and then i need toet a little space becse i would like to think that every film i make will be something as personal d something that spea to me in the way that is did. and that isn't necessari the easiest thing t find. i ne some diance rses thanks f coming. >> thank you for having me. >> ros tom ford, the movie simply called a singl man it opens in a limited lease on december 11th. thank u for joinings. see you next time captioning snsored by ro communications captioned by media access gro at wgbh acce.wgbh.org