Neil Young’s Film Lounge – The Twenty-Nine Points
THE TWENTY-NINE POINTS
Bruno Dumont on Twentynine Palms
unfairly excerpted and jumbled-up, from an interview by Mark Peranson in CinemaScope (Winter 2003 / Issue 17 : p16)
- People are way too set in their ways. They have to be woken up. What I expect my expectation from a film, a book, a painting, or any work of art is to be awakened. I don’t want to fall asleep.
- You can never definitely say you are human; you have to be regularly confronted by something, to remind you that you still have a lot to do as a human being.
- If you’ve been driving for a long time, you sort of tune out. I really wanted to do a movie that was about atmosphere, I wanted to create this kind of atmosphere.
- I wrote this very quickly: my idea was to make a movie without actors. And so I chose the actors very quickly. They were secondary, they were not really important, they would be just there.
- [The actors] were bad. I didn’t want them to act, and I very quickly stopped them from acting. And then after that I took my lead from them.
- I basically chose two psychological profiles: she is neurotic, and he is an introvert, a nice guy, maybe, but a bit pathetic. They are opposites.
- I wanted to to something that was in fact an essay.
- I had no specific idea or intention to start out with. I didn’t have characters as such on my side.
- I don’t believe in composition. I can’t say to an actor this and that, I don’t believe in that.
- [In painting] we went from the pictorial to the abstract, and that’s what Im interested in. Im interested in the exact essence as opposed to the form.
- I want to explore different avenues, and this time it was this type of film, but I certainly don’t want to be labelled as a nut.
- Whats insulting is if someone stays, watches the movie, and is laughing. Thats an insult.
- Im not a sociologist. I don’t have anything to say about America because I don’t know anything about it.
- Its like my other two films: its not true, its not precise and exact, its not a sociological film at all, its totally anachronic in that sense. Its about sensations, that’s what Im doing in this film.
- Im not an intellectual. I feel much more like a painter.
- What I am really worried about is repeating the same type of things, so I tried this type of film-making now.
- Im very interested in working with stars. I want to work with them because its them, and because its me. I want to reach the public, so never mind the stars, they’re just a way to get the public into the film.
- Its not about thinking that bores me. Its sensation and its poetry.
- Political problems are way too complicated for the cinema, which is a personal experience. Cinema is for your own self, and its quite modest.
- There was never a movie that changed the world. But, of course, a movie can shake things up a little bit.
- I hate civilized films. You can watch a good movie that’s not going to make you a good person. Goodness is an awakening, an apprenticeship.
- It seems that cinema the world over is creating a narrow sensitivity for people; its a nice little package, they go to bed at night with no problems.
- My next film will be a war film about the wat that has not yet happened. So as painters like Bracque and Nicolas de Stael have done, I want to go to the abstract and then back to the figurative.
- My mise en scene is very basic, I don’t add, I just take out.
- I don’t choose. For example, for the motel, if I had to figure out what it would look like, I would say white. Or when the set people would ask me what colour for the car, red, I would say, Ill just take what you give me.
- When she cries, I didn’t ask her to do that. And when she laughs, too, she laugs. I didn’t ask her, she just did it.
- Thats what cinema is for me, a three-legged dog. Every time I see the dog in the film, I say, Thats what cinema is, its a three-legged dog.
- You can’t go against the audience if you want your film to succeed.
Sunderland, 2nd January, 2004
by Neil Young