An Interview with Todd Solondz

Todd Solondz, born in 1959 in Newark, NJ, and raised in the suburbs, attended NYU film school.

He made enough of a name for himself that he got a three-picture deal with Twentieth-Century Fox. Unfortunately, his first feature, Fear, Anxiety, and Depression, left him so disenchanted with filmmaking that he took a job teaching English to Russian immigrants at a New York school.

In 1993, that is where he and I first met. After three years, he decided to come back to filmmaking with a low-budget independent feature, Welcome to the Dollhouse. This movie won a Grand Jury Prize at Sundance and an award at the Berlin International Film Festival.

Happiness (1998) followed, earning the International Critics Prize at Cannes and a Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Screenplay. His next movie, Storytelling (2001), was premiered at Cannes and also shown at the New York and Sundance festivals.

Todd Solondz’s newest movie, Palindromes, premiered at the Venice International Film Festival in the fall of 2004. Attendees of the Toronto International Film Festival and the New York Film Festival also had a chance to see it.

The plot follows a young girl’s quest to fulfill her emotional yearning by getting pregnant, and the reception to the movie has been controversial.

Reviews have varied from “enthralling” to “tasteless and exploitative,” with some deeming it Solondz’s best film yet and others saying it will “piss people off.” Palindromes was released in U.S. theaters in April 2005.

This past summer and early fall, we had the opportunity to get together in different places. Oftentimes, the weather was quite nice, which allowed us to take lengthy strolls around downtown Manhattan in the evening.

— By Sigrid Nunez

The author, Sigrid Nunez, emphasizes that our stories are our lifeline, and that they are essential in helping us make sense of our lives and the world around us. She claims that these stories provide us with knowledge and understanding, and can even give us hope.

  1. People who are complete strangers have always felt at liberty to express themselves to me on the sidewalks, or holler things from vehicles that are in motion.

This afternoon, Todd Solondz encountered something extraordinary when a huge cockroach flew into his flat. He initially mistook it for a bat, but quickly realized his error.

Nunez, SIGRID expresses her fear of water bugs, though she recognizes that they are not actually harmful. She states that they make a lot of people uneasy.

TS expressed his amazement at the thought of having a bat in his home and mentioned that he had to take action to capture and put an end to it.

One evening, I was cozied up in bed, reading a book, when I noticed something scurry beneath the bed frame. I was so taken aback, I had no idea what to do. I was certain I could not bring myself to kill the creature and knew I couldn’t even rest until it was gone.

TS: What activities did you engage in?

SN: I ingested an amount of sleeping pills that was twice the intended dosage.

TS: Oh great! The thought of it gives me chills. But the part that has me stumped is that I live on the eighth floor. How did the roach get up to my place? Is it possible that they can fly so high up in the atmosphere?

I would venture to suppose that the animal made it to your window by crawling some distance and then taking flight once it noticed the opening. To prevent this from happening again, you should consider installing some screens.

However, we should move away from cockroaches and focus on the concept of “Solondzian cruelty,” which was used to describe a different film.

Whenever anyone produces a movie, they become the target of criticism that it is horrible, vicious, abnormal, detestable, cynical and so forth.

TS: Definitely. [ A long exhale ]

SN: I have noticed that you are not a very hard-hearted individual. What is the issue?

A lot of people seem to be having difficulty comprehending my work. They especially can’t seem to understand my relationship with my characters, and it often gets misconceived as me mocking them.

Since Welcome to the Dollhouse, once a film is released with characters that are presented as “nerdy” or off-putting or humiliated in any way, it is quickly compared to my creations.

I do not intend to compose stories about victims, and Dawn Wiener from Dollhouse is no exception. In fact, I am often taken aback by the reactions to my movies, including those who enjoy them.

While the distinction between laughing at a person versus laughing at a painful truth can be difficult to identify, it is distinctive. I have been asked why I make films about less-than-attractive characters, but I do not consider them ugly.

As a result, when Storytelling came out, I remarked that my movies are not intended for everyone, particularly those who like them.

It saddens me when people think of me as inspecting my characters in an uncaring, cold-blooded, and analytical fashion, as the process of making these movies is an emotionally charged event for me.

I’m only detached from the characters to the extent that it’s necessary for me to be honest about them.

I acknowledge that there is a certain degree of harshness in all of my work–it’s part of the reality about human life that I continually try to explore–but I certainly do not intend to host a spectacle, where people take pleasure in the distress and debasement of others.

SN: People’s responses to your cinematic approach tend to be varied. While some critique your work for its ‘cruel’ nature, others have labeled it as ‘tender’, ‘poetic’, ‘sweet’ and even ‘spiritual’.

When looking at your portrayal of a pedophile in Happiness, the movie’s producer called it ‘nonjudgmental’ – which is true – but for many viewers, it was also an incredibly compassionate characterisation.

This is due to how you presented them and their fall from morality, without ever denying their humanity.

It appears to befuddle people that these films are either all black or, as you don’t approve of the description, comedic tragedies. If we find ourselves chuckling as the protagonists experience misfortune, it can feel, much to your disapproval, as if we are laughing at them.

And I am aware that you want to have it both ways, but not every viewer escapes the culpable feeling of having snickered at somebody else’s distress. Additionally, there’s the concern of casting.

TS: Yes, it frustrates me deeply when people start talking about actors from my films, or those I am considering for a role, and then proclaim, “That individual is ideal for the role because they are so grotesque and revolting.” They think I must agree with that sentiment.

I once had an interview with someone who seemed to like me, until I read his write-up. It portrayed me as an odd, poorly dressed individual, and I felt like hitting him.

Another reviewer praised Dollhouse but still said some unkind words regarding my and Heather Matarazzo’s appearance. At a screening, someone even shouted “Freak!” when I appeared.

There are those who refer to me as the “geek director,” and I see them as being like the seventh-graders in Dollhouse, whose cruelty I was depicting but who are oblivious to the implications.

In order to make the kind of cruelty people can show seem genuine, I have to downplay it. The reality is that people are often far worse. My outlook on how humans behave in this respect is as a result of being a recipient of certain kinds of remarks my whole life.

Strangers have never hesitated to tell me things on the street or holler from their cars.

SN: Do you remember when we were leaving Pastis and we encountered a group of rowdy people who started yelling out “Buddy Holly!” as we walked by them?

I can assure you that “Buddy Holly” is one of the friendlier things people have said to me.

It’s amusing that complete strangers still seem to feel comfortable enough to approach and speak to me, although nowadays it’s generally because they recognise me and have nice things to say.

I want to return to the discussion of humor. It is true that I want to have it both ways, not having found a way yet to tell my stories without making them both humorous and sorrowful.

The comedy in my films allows me to address topics that may be taboo or to target hypocrisy; humor is an excellent means to do so. Even though I am aiming to display the painful aspects of life, I still want to make people laugh.

SN: So, the desire to bring joy to others has been something that has been a part of you for a long time, hasn’t it? Did you ever consider taking a stab at stand-up comedy?

TS: It was only for a short period of time and ultimately led to nothing.

SN: Pursue the ambition of being a musician.

TS: It was a goal of mine that I would have accomplished had I had the ability to do so.

SN: Although you had a fondness and even thought it would be a part of your future, you don’t act anymore. When roles come your way, you decline them.

TS: Honestly, I’m not all that great and I don’t get approached much. Even though I considered taking on more acting, I ended up deciding against it. Part of the reason is that I have a unique look, in part because of the glasses I wear, and people seem to remember me.

Yet I want to maintain my anonymity, so I don’t want to become more recognizable in public than I already am.

It is undeniable that you are constantly receiving attention.

TS: I’m thankful for the compliments given to my work, however, the lack of privacy and anonymity associated with fame is a major concern to me. To that end, I’ve made the decision that I won’t put on my glasses for any more pictures or interviews on television.

SN: It could be advantageous to get different eyeglasses.

TS: I’m all for these glasses! That’s why I’m saying I don’t want to be like certain folks who dress differently, go out in costume, and put on a big brimmed hat and sunglasses. I despise that.

SN: But I distinctly recall you altering your eyewear when you were producing Dollhouse.

TS: I was striving to appear “normal” when I auditioned the children, so that they wouldn’t be uncomfortable in my presence. Honestly, I was scared that they would tease me if I was too different.

SN: Hmm, that’s quite the letdown. It’s a bit disheartening that this is the rationale behind your decision to not pursue acting any further.

TS: I can understand the rationale behind it and, to be honest, it’s not that essential to me. I don’t have any great ambition to take part in acting.

SN: Your time in the industry must have been beneficial when it came to collaborating with actors? Ellen Barkin [the actress from Palindromes ] declared that her time with you was the best experience of her career.

Through directing, I have found that I am able to empathize with actors. Many of them have expressed their gratitude to have someone who speaks with them while they are on set.

SN: However, I presumed all directors must communicate, expressing to the performers what their expectations are?

Absolutely not. In some cases, directors don’t converse with their actors in the slightest.

SN: I recollected something else that disturbed you: When we were at another eatery and the server referred to you as “sweetie.” She was quite young and attractive. You did not care for that, her addressing you as sweetie. You noted it was too close.

TS: I was not fond of it. What was there to like? It felt far too familiar, almost as if it was an attempt to belittle me. If I wanted to interpret it that way, I could take it as if it was saying “You don’t pose a threat, darling.”

SN: So if you wanted to, that’s fine. But, what example can you give me of a film that has needless meanness or harshness?

TS: Absolutely. Fahrenheit 9/11. Wolfowitz with his comb dampened. There was no reason to have that moment except to embarrass him.

SN: I’m in total agreement. And, it certainly did the trick.

You recently told me I was too harsh. For instance, we both had negative things to say about [that individual], but I went too far when I stated she had the same teeth as a horse. Do you recall?

I don’t recall, but it is true that something like that would really bother me. It is unavoidable for people to look the way they do.

SN: It’s true that folks can’t do anything about their intelligence, but I feel like I’ve heard you reprimanding people for not having a high IQ multiple times.

TS declared that the circumstance was unique.

SN: Uh-oh, it looks like we’re in a bit of a pickle! But what I want to know is, where are we right now?

TS: This is my first time here, from what I can tell it’s a housing project. There’s a body of water. Let’s explore it by taking a stroll.

SN: Todd, I’m not sure. It’s so empty here.

But I’m in the mood to be daring.

SN: I sense it’s getting late and the darkness has descended–

TS: Don’t be concerned; I’ll look out for you!

SN: Don’t speak so loudly, it could sound like an invitation to compete.

TS: It wouldn’t be too difficult, right? [ Chuckles ]

SN suggested to Todd that they should flee the scene.

TS: You are correct. However, I’m curious to know what bridge you are referring to?

SN: I have no clue.

When observing the architecture from this point of view, one could be fooled into thinking they were living in the 19th century.

SN: I can keep an eye on our rear while you examine the bridge.

TS: I find your sense of humor quite amusing.

SN: We seem like real foreign visitors with my backpack and your shirt. “Two sightseers were discovered under the Whatever-it-is Bridge….”

TS: Alright, let’s go.


SN: You have refused various acting chances as well as scripts. Although you are open to the idea of adapting someone else’s work, you have never been persuaded to do so. What is the reason behind this?

TS: My own ideas are the most important to me, which has been true up until now and I assume it will stay the same for the foreseeable future.

It isn’t surprising that this is the way it is, as I’m sure there are many more talented and passionate filmmakers out there who enjoy adapting novels and playing with genre conventions. I’d like to join them someday, but for now I’m still drawn to my own stories.

SN: My pondering extended to the subject of secrecy and protection of privacy, and how I believe you can be too extreme about it.

For instance, how you were displeased when I informed a buddy of mine that I had suggested a movie to them based on your positive comments.

TS: It did make me mad. The concept of people going to the cinema because of my individual opinion was upsetting. I felt conceited, self-important, and proud of myself, whatever. It’s as if I’m being exploited–

SN: That’s unbelievable.

I am attempting to express my emotions in response to your inquiry.

SN: I cannot fathom how saying to a friend, “I have not yet watched that movie, but Todd seemed to enjoy it,” can make one become angry.

TS: All right, all right. I will own up to it, this particular thing does make me overly sensitive. I’m not sure why this is so mortifying, yet it unquestionably brings out a feeling of disgrace in me.

SN: I remember a writer I know who voiced her opinion that publishing her fiction had a sort of embarrassing quality to it.

Similar to what John Banville noted in an interview for [this magazine]. I’m not sure I comprehend the sentiment, but I do recognize the feeling. Do you have a similar experience?

TS: Definitely. Before the release of Dollhouse I felt absolutely wretched. I was petrified that I had committed a horrendous mistake and would be found out and mortified in front of the whole world.

Some of the humiliation is connected to a sense of arrogance. Who do you think you are to make a movie?

SN: I recently came across something about Marlon Brando’s attitude towards acting: he was embarrassed and ashamed of it.

I wanted to bring up the fact that you’re quite guarded when it comes to your films. You go to great lengths to preserve their secrecy, never giving away any details before they’re released and requesting the same of those around you.

Other directors are more open with their projects. Could you tell me why you prefer being so clandestine?

TS: Being a parent, it’s natural to possess a protective attitude.

As for my films, I understand that the more people talk about them, the more the public’s opinion may be swayed by that discussion. Naturally, I don’t want public opinion to interfere with the viewing experience of my work, as it tends to bring a lot of contention.

I’m aware that I’m a bit of an extremist. For example, when I visit the Korean grocer, I choose to receive my groceries in a paper bag instead of plastic in order to keep my purchases private.

SN: Absolutely! Keep them guessing. I recall a time that I was in the elevator of my residence and had a plastic grocery bag in hand. One of my neighbors then questioned me with a tilted head, “A yam and an apple.

It’s always interesting to see what single people buy.” Though, it was not the case, as I was not single then. The individual was a pleasant person–

I was definitely not impressed with her. That’s what I’m trying to say. It was really inappropriate of her to make that comment!

SN: So what road are we on right now? Weehawken Street. How did we end up on this unfamiliar avenue? Do you think we should turn around?

TS: Let’s continue our journey. People have frequently commented that I’m too reserved. They have said, “You don’t divulge much, you should be more forthcoming, and you’re a tough one to figure out.” But whenever I have let others in,

I didn’t have a positive reaction afterwards. Rather, I experienced regret and a sense of humiliation. When people tell me “You’re a tough one to figure out,” my caution only heightens.

SN: When someone suggests that you put your faith in them, what do you think?

TS: That’s right. Shall we go have some ice cream?

SN: Yes. One of the words often linked to you and your creations is dark.

Andrew Sarris, not a fan of yours, believes your movies are overly dark. I also mentioned the rumor about someone who supposedly worked on one of your pictures who said–this was gossip repeated at a gathering–“Todd Solondz is just similar to his movies: rather dark.”

I’m not familiar with the individual in question, but unfortunately, I’m all too aware of how people will use the term “dark” to put me down.

SN: However, “dark” doesn’t need to be interpreted as something negative.

TS: When it comes to me and my work, the sentiment is generally not seen in a positive light. Many individuals consider my movies to be products of negative emotions such as bitterness, cynicism, and hostility, as opposed to anything that is uplifting.

SN: I recall when I first came across the characterization of you as evil; I was taken aback. Yes, there is a part of you that is dark, pessimistic and guarded. But, on the other hand, you are very welcoming and inquisitive when it comes to the lives of others and the world in general.

I would never call you dark or anti-social. To me, you are a sunny individual, always cheerful and entertaining to be around; when you turn up, it’s always a cause for celebration.

TS: You must be right.

SN: You possess an inner child-like quality that has never matured. When I’m with you, I often sense a feeling as if

If I could go back to being twelve years old.

TS: I accept that as a kind remark.

SN: It’s almost like I’m in a Woody Allen movie. [ Laughter ] Our relationship spans over a decade, dating back to before you created Dollhouse. You remain the same person to this day, living alone in the same place, lifestyle unchanged.

You stay a solitary individual, with all the fame and still untouched. Apart from aging, nothing has truly changed.

TS: What was the motivation behind your statement? What was your expectation? Why did you anticipate any sort of transformation on my part?

SN: It’s an oft-used saying, but I have witnessed it myself: when someone is successful, they can be changed by it.

I don’t think you should be so sure of my success, do you want any of this ice cream before it gets thrown out?

SN: However, you have only taken a single bite!

TS: It’s not very appealing to me right now because I don’t feel well. My stomach is bothering me.

SN expressed concern that their dialogue was the cause of the problem.

TS declared that the evening’s meal had been the Moroccan one.


SN: We have seen a lot of films together; however, I’m still often taken aback by your reactions. For instance, the way you gasp at violent occurrences or become squeamish when you see something gruesome, even if it’s not real.

Additionally, you make an “aww” sound when a cute animal appears in the movie, and I can never forget that peculiar sound you made during the remarkably intimate scene in Strayed.

I don’t think I have ever encountered someone who responds as strongly as you do to what’s displayed on the screen.

TS: Surprisingly, I’m not particularly drawn to comedy, not even my own. I’m not the best judge of my material because I’m not particularly responsive to humorous content.

SN: But comedies are something that you enjoy.

TS: It’s not the same as being a fan of comedies. I’m not the type of person that would be sought out for a test screening of a comedy, as I don’t usually find it amusing enough to laugh at.

It doesn’t mean I don’t like it, though. But then, when it comes to violence, I’m too vocal. When I was making Storytelling, I had to turn away during the shooting of the violent sexual scene between the student and the professor – it was too intense for me.

SN: Even though the broadcast of the show was blocked for viewers in the United States by the red rectangle, you were still content with the outcome, correct?

TS expressed his satisfaction that the scene in his movie was censored as per the agreement in his contract.

He stated that it was the only studio movie with a big red box that would clearly demonstrate the censorship. He was pleased about this, as it was his intention to avoid the same fate as that of Eyes Wide Shut.

Take note, that no-one uses the term censorship; instead, they talk about “the rating system”. Most citizens in the US are unaware of how much is taken away from the original work of the director when it is presented on the screen.

With Storytelling, it is clear; this is what the censors prevent American people from seeing, regardless of their age, even though it can be viewed by people living in other countries. You could say this is a stand taken as a form of political expression.

SN: I’m familiar with a lot of writers who don’t read works from other authors, particularly not from the same era. But you watch a lot of films, do you gain a lot of inspiration from them?

When I write, I often draw inspiration from various sources. For instance, for Happiness I was thinking of the character of Uncle Charlie from Shadow of a Doubt, as well as elements of Lolita and Vlad from A Feather on the Breath of God.

I know you might not be too pleased with me, but I really liked that character.

SN: The protagonist of my book is Vadim. However, when you adapted him, you depicted him as a much more scandalous figure.

Something like hitting his wife would never have been in the book’s characterisation of Vadim. Nevertheless, I can’t help but think of the works of Fassbinder when I think of your work, such as Fox and His Friends.

Despite having admiration for Fassbinder and a special fondness for Ali: Fear Eats the Soul, TS doesn’t feel that the director has been an influential figure in their life. Rather, they attribute their development to the television and popular culture of their formative years.

SN queried if they could take a pause in the park, noting the pleasant atmosphere of the evening.

TS: Absolutely. When I was a kid and living in a rather dull suburb, where there was nothing interesting or stimulating, no real excitement, I would always fantasize about what my life would be like if I moved to Manhattan.

It wouldn’t be about the theater and the art galleries but more about the street life and the variety of people you’d see. It’s something that never gets old, whether you’re out and about or just observing it all.

It’s a rare thing to have a dream come true and have it turn out to be as magical as you imagined.


SN: After having watched Palindromes, I’m curious about your initial plan to employ eight distinct actors to portray Aviva [the lead]. Did you have this unconventional notion from the start?

TS expressed his enthusiasm for his project, though he was aware of the risks associated with it. The idea of it stemmed from the common reaction many had to the character of Dawn Wiener in Dollhouse – people from distinct backgrounds all related to her.

The director wondered what effect this could have on the audience in terms of connection and empathy with the character. Additionally, he wanted to use the device to add a magical element to the film and explore imaginative freedoms.

Ultimately, he envisioned Aviva becoming a more meaningful character by being portrayed by multiple actors instead of a single one.

SN: Furthermore, it is rather paradoxical that you chose to utilize the technique of having different actors portray the same character in order to emphasize the idea that Aviva’s character does not change in the end.

TS: Indeed. I wanted the same thing from each of the performers who depicted Aviva–which includes a six-year-old female, four teenage girls, one adolescent male, and two adult women–the same aura of innocence and fragility.

Despite the numerous difficult experiences she goes through, Aviva’s essence remains constant. This doesn’t mean she hasn’t grown in any way; however, the core of who she is is still the same.

She is still the same yearning, love-seeking girl, and no less innocent than in the beginning.

SN: Dollhouse clearly has an important role in this story, correct? Palindromes is a tribute to Dawn Wiener, starting with her funeral.

Aviva is Dawn’s cousin, and Mark, her brother, makes an appearance and gives a thought-provoking discussion about the capacity of humans to transform and change–many will interpret this as your own opinion. Are they accurate?

TS: That’s not exactly right. I’m in agreement with much of what he says, but I’m not as pessimistic. Even though free will and decision could be imagined, coming to terms with one’s imperfections can be freeing.

I had to use the Wieners for a purpose. I was writing a story about a girl who is comparable to the main character in Dollhouse and I couldn’t simply disregard the Wieners; I had to use them to progress, if you understand what I’m saying.

SN: We have discussed some of the inspirations for your films. It is noticeable that Palindromes is reminiscent of The Wizard of Oz, Night of the Hunter, and Alice in Wonderland. What other movies had an impact on the creation of this movie?

TS: I had considered Gulliver ‘s Travels and Huckleberry Finn, yet I remain cautious. I merely made reference to them in the same way I did Shadow of a Doubt when creating Happiness.

But this is not synonymous with saying that Palindromes were impacted by any of them. It was not, to any substantial degree.

SN: To my astonishment, the fresh movie has fewer jokes and funny scenes than any of your previous releases. Even so, I’d still classify it as a comedy.

TS: Agreed. It’s far less humorous. Palindromes is my most sorrowful work and also my most compassionate one.

It is likely that the part the children with disabilities take in the production, particularly their performances of pro-life Christian rock, will be highlighted.

TS: When we were filming those scenes, I was overwhelmed with emotion. Watching the children take such pleasure and pride in their work, and realizing that they had formed a bond during the process, caused my eyes to fill with tears.

It was clear that they were loving every moment of performing.

It’s clear that they did an exceptional job.

I can certainly attest to the distress I feel when people contend that I was mocking them in an offensive way.

It was evident to me that my listeners were perplexed by a range of matters, but primarily the unclear stance on abortion.

No one seems to find comfort in the lack of clarity regarding abortion, as both sides appear to be in agreement.

SN: At a press conference in Venice, Ellen Barkin made an extremely inappropriate remark about her twelve-year-old daughter getting pregnant.

She said she’d drag her daughter kicking and screaming for an abortion, which was really strange, and it obviously didn’t go over well with the pro-life crowd. I personally think this was a completely outrageous thing for her to say at such a moment.

TS: She was articulating her emotions.

SN: In conclusion, there is a good chance that Palindromes will be just as, if not more, controversial to those who are pro-choice as it will be to those who are pro-life.

A recurring question to arise is whether viewers can decipher the filmmaker’s opinion on abortion from the film and if this affects the way they judge it.

TS: To commence, I’d like to emphasize that Palindromes is not about any particular issue, but instead about the characters and a narrative I devised for them.

As I recount the tale, I explore the circumstances of a young woman who, out of a strong longing for affection, develops an intense yearning to be a mother.

We witness her parents’ reaction when they discover she’s pregnant, and then we observe the contrasting opinions of a variety of individuals on the matter. As a filmmaker, I found it vital to investigate all the opposing perspectives on this issue.

When it comes to my own views on abortion, I did not want to make that stance clear in the film. It would be too easy and the audience would be let off the hook, feeling that they were right and the “other side” was wrong.

I wanted to avoid creating a movie that made one side appear right and the other wrong. I understand that this may not be comfortable for some people, and I don’t make films to make people feel better about themselves or their opinions.

SN: What does it feel like for you when the public opinion of your films is so divided? I remember a musician telling me that if you don’t get criticism you aren’t doing your job properly.

Do you consider the conflicting opinions and criticism you receive as a sign of respect for your work, more so than a unanimous approval would be?

TS: Sadly, I cannot say that. It wouldn’t be wholly truthful. The negative criticism and reviews have been hard to take. Even though there’s been claims that I intended to pick certain topics to get attention, that isn’t true.

I’m not getting any joy from the debates and attacks. I’d much prefer for people to appreciate the films and provide positive feedback. I’m just like everyone else, wanting to be praised and respected.

Recently, Pedro Almodovar claimed to be more open and genuine in his films than in reality. This leads me to question: Is the representation of me that I observe in movies more akin to Todd Solondz than the individual walking beside me presently?

I don’t believe I choose to keep certain elements of myself solely for my work, but the parts of me that are depicted in my films are still obscure, even though they are not explicitly stated. It isn’t a conscious effort to do so, but it’s still a form of elusiveness and concealment.

SN: It seems like the topic of keeping information confidential is back on the table. I realize that you typically don’t reveal any details of your plans or prospective projects. You always respond with the same response: We’ll see.

However, we do know one thing for certain, since you often state that the best stories are ones about love. Do you still share this same sentiment?

No matter what, I will be steadfast in my conviction.

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