Watching: Iconoclasts – Quentin Tarantino & Fiona Apple
Transcription on a discussion of the creative process I’ve always very much agreed with, and a fair portion of why I took a psychology course that looked at the theories behind artistic creativity:
The whole reason why I wanted to make an album in the first place was because I was so tired of trying to explain my personality to people. I was so uncomfortable with the social situations that I thought.. and I really really thought.. that if I had a CD of songs, that I could just.. have that.. put that out in the world and that everyone would understand me, and I would have all the friends in the world. And what happened to me in my particular situation.. I think most people find out that what they thought.. if they got richer or if they got famous, then everything was gonna be solved, and it wasn’t. But in my case, not only did I not get what I wanted, I got the exact opposite of what I wanted to have happen. Instead of have everybody want to be my friend and understand me, everybody thought I was awful.
[There was a six year gap between Apple’s second and third album release.
There was also a six year gap between Jackie Brown and Tarantino’s next film, Kill Bill Vol. 1.]
QT: You know, in a weird way it’s funny- you’re really one of the only people that I know that has done what I’ve done for the same reasons.. and what I consider the right reasons.
FA: Yeah I got a lot of shit too like after the last album.. from people close to me.. like ‘you have to keep on working, you’re being lazy.. why you have to get to the next thing. you’re wasting what you’ve got. you’ve got this great opportunity.”
and it’s like, no! Really, if I were to force myself to do it, then it would be crap. That’s why there are so many people that are crappy. and that’s why people get so awful and they lose their thing.
QT: Directors don’t get better as they get older, they get worse. They get really out of touch…
FA: Yeah I won’t write a song unless serves me in some way where I feel like I have to write the song, to make myself feel better. You know, if you’re not overflowing with something, then there’s nothing to give…
FA: ..I don’t want to do it just for the sake of doing it. Like I don’t want to do it, and because I want to do it I’m gonna go and try to write songs. It’s gotta be the other way around. Like, if I write songs, then I’ll be doing it. But if I don’t feel like writing songs, I will not force myself to make an album.. just pull one out of my ass.. just to continue being in the spotlight.. it doesn’t always have to be my career. There’s no law that says this has to be my career my whole life.
QT: …If you’re a real artist-and you will go all the way-, and if you’re an artist as opposed to a careerist, and your movie is more important to you than a career in this town, they can never beat you. You have a loaded gun in your waist-pants… you know, in your belt. You’ve got a loaded gun, and it’s filled with bullets. And you know you’ve got what it takes to put it in their face and blow their heads off. You have what it takes to do that. If you know you can go there, it’s about *never* taking the gun out. It’s about *never* touching the gun, never raising it, never pulling the trigger, never blowing their heads off. It’s about not going there, it’s about not doing it, but you know you can. So if you have to flash it, you know it means something.
Oh man, that is touched-by-god genius moment: the opening shot of a guy jerking off to slasher films, that is so cool. And I remember telling some of the guys at video archives where I worked at, I was like: ‘Man I’d love to do an opening like that in a movie sometime. that’d be really cool’ And then somebody goes “yeah! they wouldn’t let you.” and my answer to that.. and people have said things like that all my life.
And I’m like: who’s they? There is nobody I’ve given.. I’ve given nobody that kind of authority over me to say I can’t do anything. i can do anything I want, or I can achieve. I don’t ask permission, i might ask forgiveness, but I don’t ask permission. There is no they. By saying there is a they, you’re creating a they.