, ">

On Making Movies

When seeing something which I consider to be a masterpiece, I begin to get jealous, for I would also like to produce one. But how can one produce a masterpiece (of art) without writing novels, directing movies, composing sonatas, and so on? [Commenting on Joseph Losey's movie, The Servant, Paris, nd]

Back at the hotel, I found a note from Nestor Almendros, who had spent a week filming in London, and asked to be called. I did, but he wasn't there; in his apartment I mean. He was back only(later). So we had dinner in the Hotel. And he gave me a few interesting tips about the use of the movie camera. Let's hope that I have learned themproperly. [Barcelona, 1967]

One of these days, as soon as the damned proof will be read, I will go out with my Fujica lovely camera and try to take a number of interesting “shots.” I have finished one of the “cartridges,” but I am not sure what will comeout—it should contain “shots” of various friends, both from Madrid andBarcelona. . . . [Barcelona, July 11, 1967]

All those originally planned movie shots are still in the limbo, and I'm wondering whether I will be able to do anything in this respect. [Barcelona, July 14, 1967]

I assume that I will have to go to Filmmakers of Phila. sometime, or times . . . I have nothing else to do with my film except supervise or something. I'm glad it's finished, as far as I am concerned. All things considered, I really worked on it. Wouldn't it be nice if it were shown somewheresomehow? [Bryn Mawr, nd]

Today is the most perfect day in the year for strolling and possibly taking pictures: the sky is absolutely blue. Looks like Cap Sa Sal—more or less. I hope you will come with me, not on a Sunday, to Valley Forge, if it is sunny enough, to take some pictures for “The Glory of the Fall”sequence to be added to “For Me to Remember.” As a matter of fact, I spent some forty-five minutes yesterday by Dove Lake taking some pictures for such a “sequence,” but the day was much less glorious than today. Too bad. If you have time, we will also go one day to the Poconos, and to theZoo. [Bryn Mawr, nd]

I have been splicing again with the wonderfully professional “hot splicer” (this is how it iscalled). . . . I am becoming quite a good splicer, by the way; a technician of the cutting room, which is a very humble job in the realm of the motion picture industry. To be sure, I do not confine myself to the mechanical operation of splicing: I consider, and reconsider, whether “this” should be removed, and “that” be held in abeyance for further removal. I may end by removing everything under a wave of self-criticism. [Bryn Mawr, 1969]

I had just come back from New York, which was rather deserted (relatively speaking). So I had to focus on windows of skyscrapers. That is why I said that I had taken few views; only “The Two Faces of Eve” (my next production) will show in all its splendor the catching possibility of the camera. I am looking forward to it, but will have to wait until enough heads and tails pop up in the neighborhood to start shooting. [Bryn Mawr, nd]

I leafed through a British book entitled “Film something,” where the author contemptuously dismisses the 16 mm. gauge as being “substandard.” Since I cannot cope with even the substandard gauge, I better give up.Peggy Lee's contention (dictated by the author of the lyrics) that “Things are swinging” does not have the ring of truth, as I already pointed out (visually) in my subsubsubsubsubsubsubstandard film “The Shape of Things to Come” (which, by the way, is better than it was, but still very substandard). [Bryn Mawr, Fall, 1969]

back to Unpublished Letters | The Letter Writer