Episode 47 - TIM ROBBINS - Actor (4 replies and 9 comments)
Team Deakins has a great conversation with actor, director (and punk rocker, as you learn in the episode!), Tim Robbins. Tim shares a lot of his thoughts on acting, the importance of “generous actors” and how fame can lead you astray. We learn about overcoming the temptation to take a job for the wrong reasons and the importance of patience when choosing your work. He tells us about his experience of working with Bob Altman, Clint Eastwood and Ron Shelton. We talk about his directing experiences and how directing made him a better actor. The movie “Easy Rider” even comes into the discussion! A fascinating conversation you won’t want to miss!
RECOMMENDED EPISODE VIEWING: 5 Corners, Bull Durham, Bob Roberts
Please post further discussion and comments below.
The closing discussion made me want to get back into the saddle. When I left the military, the last thing I wanted was to be reminded of war and human conflict. I wanted and needed entertainment - escapism. Now, years later, I am more like the average spoilt Westerner who can take a more detached view of suffering and see it as another type of entertainment.
But there are issues that are not easily dealt with - if we start making 'meaningful' films and fewer 'feel-good' films, who pays for them? Studios know that gritty urban dramas do not do well (to put it mildly!)
Somebody said to me that we could work for points - well, that only goes so far. One needs money coming in for such luxuries as food!
But this and the Zwick discussion are to be strongly recommended! Thanks again!
Turned it off, first time in series. Interesting was looking forward to this particularly podcast (the series is just incredible and helped me so much) but Mr Robbins ideas on the cultural decline of civilisation and cinema itself were too painfully blinkered and repetitive. He is obviously a wonderful, passionate artist and great human being, but I found a lot of what he was arguing naive and arrogant and wrong. I think we of an older generation have to be careful we don't forget we are an older generation and things have changed and I would suggest there is an argument to be made that its normal we (in particular) dont quite understand what's happening during cultural shift.
Just because you disagree with him, does not mean that you should not listen to what he has to say.
If you never listen to those who have differing views to your own, then you will only exist in an echo-chamber of your own prejudice and/or views.
Yes you are 100 percent right.. totally good point you make and probably the only real way to face these fractured times. In my defence i listened a lot of it but just wasn't going anywhere and pretty dreary to be honest (which I guess was my real problem with it) and feel genuinely bad disparaging a great artist as Mr Robbins.
Up to the government plot to close the record shops was pretty wonderful as usual.
That is not what he said at all! He said that the record shops and books shops have all closed as a result of a coming together of a multitude of circumstances.
He went on to point out that the gate-keepers of what comes up for you to choose online do not curate in the same way that a bookshop owner or record shop clerk of yesterday would have done. Online, you get whatever an algorithm chooses for you, whereas a human would try to point out new things that he/she finds interesting.
As Ms. Scheindlin likes to say - try putting your listening ears on!
okay i will try
Forum member Baudelaire made a great point earlier. When Robbins began his "old times were better" rant it just became hard to listen. Change is the only constant and every intelligent person should acknowledge this, even when it feels subjectively bad to lose something. Do we really lose everything great in the future? You need to embrace what we have now and what comes next. Make it yours, take part in it. Robbins is doing what many older people seem to do, they are lost in the now and they grasp for nostalgia. This is understandable and part of being human.
Understanding where he comes from, his arguments have still some basis. Like when he talks of physical stores, heck, I love them myself. The problem is, Robbins' arguments are black and white. There ARE still physical stores, mostly specialist, for example for vinyls, and if there are not near you anymore, you can order almost anything online. Yes, you can't talk to the store owner (and hey, they were not always people who would talk or know anything, anyway), but guess what, you can have discussions with people online, read blog posts and so on. That is the change. Medium has changed, everything else is nearly the same. People still collect physical media. Books are being published, CDs and vinyls pressed, Blu-rays released. Might not be like this forever, but at the moment, this is the reality.
Talking about streaming, catalogues and who chooses what. You want quality, older films, art or something different? Instead of talking about Netflix, maybe pick your service? We have Criterion, MUBI and others. The whole landscape is admittedly too fragmented right now, but the idea of streaming is solid. Eventually there will be a solution that will work better. It's not like TV was great when it started, right? Instead of just complaining, maybe take part in the discussion what would make things better.
I would also LOVE to read a fact based article on how things in cinema are OBJECTIVELY worse than before. Give me some stats, even. This is the only recurring part of the podcast I don't like because I find it entirely subjective. Team Deakins are also pushing their ideology more than I would like personally. Same goes for technology (VFX/CGI/etc) and I find it's not based completely on fact, but personal dread. Of course, I am not saying it is wrong to feel that or have an opinion. I'm just saying, are we REALLY having worse films and less interesting films because we have event films or because we have streaming? Are films worse because they are not shot entirely in-camera? And come on, why are we STILL having the discussion over superhero films in that particular way, when there are so many other films out there. Even other event films.
What I am trying to say with all this is: there are many obstacles and problems in the current film producing and distribution landscape, but when was the time when there were none? When did we NOT have event cinema in some sense? Think about it. Is it facts or just nostalgia?
thanks. Reassuring to know it wasn't just me. Team deakins has blown me away with this podcast series; its basically a film school. Im trying to make my first movie and is been so helpful in some many ways. But i understand you comments entirely , but again they are coming from a very certain perspective and i can't really hold that saints them. I also tire of this presumption that we are all of us by default against marvel blockbusters. When they (marvel) pull it off is a spectacle unlike anything we have ever seen before. it needs to be considered through a different prism.
I guess I'd like to also hear what kind of landscape creators want who dismiss spectacle and event cinema. Most kids love this stuff, I loved it when I was young. For many big and loud escapist cinema is the portal to other cinema. Who did not start with that? And who would want to erase it anyway? What kind of compromise would be fair and reasonable for people who loathe blockbusters? Because I have hard time seeing films (or any other medium) without some content that is mostly for entertainment purposes. Why can't these things co-exist, like let's face it, they have always done?
i personally have no problem with people not liking or even hating these kind of films. Its the presumption that everyone who is serious about films and /or film making must the feel same that bugs me. Thor Ragnarok really was excellent.
Interesting points. However, and I always have an 'however', as Orwell put it so well, when we constrict our language we lessen the breadth of our thinking. Tim was not saying that any one creative endeavor was 'better' or 'more worthy' than another, only that when there are fewer options we are diminished as individuals and as a species. That is as true of film and TV as it is of books and political opinions.
I find it interesting that a Shakespeare play was mass entertainment in its day and, pre-covid at least, his plays are still available to be seen and read. When I was a kid it was a 'Brian Rix' farce or a 'Carry On' comedy that played at our local theater. At the time I found Brian Rix extremely funny. I don't always need Shakespeare but I would be diminished without it.
A well put "however".
(That carry on screaming scared the beegesus out of me as a kid, (not sure i ever really got over it))