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Yes. Yes, lock the gate. All right, let's do this, how are you? What the fuckers, what the fuck buddies, what the fuck sticks? That one's not particularly nice. What the fuck sticks a fuck stick. It's not a great thing. What the fuck? Tolkien's. I've been doing this for over a decade, what, like two years? What is this, like 12 years? What is it, like 15? What is it, like 19 years?
How long am I doing this?
Forty five years. What's happening? Today on the show, Azazel, Jacobs, Oza, ASAT Jacobs.
He's a director and a screenwriter who made films like Terry with John C. Riley, The Lovers with Debra Winger and Tracy Letts, and his new movie is French Exit with Michelle Pfeiffer, who actually got a Golden Globe nomination for it.
And I love that movie. The interesting thing about about Asia is that I met him years ago.
He was somehow connected to my ex-girlfriend, Sarah, and we talked a bit.
I knew he grew up in New York and knew his parents were artists. But I did learn about his parents sort of more in depth later, Ken and Flo Jacobs, who were and still are experimental filmmakers. But what we learn in this conversation is that is like firmly sort of steeped in that world.
And it's a small world and it's an interesting world. And it was a world that had an impact when the entire world was smaller.
Before the big Internet, where little pockets of humanity and art could really sort of serve an entire community or be special and almost a global way and had a sort and a certain traction and integrity, a sort of uniqueness.
But now it's just blown open. Man, I could be an experimental filmmaker. I think I'm going to be experimental filmmaker. Have you ever made an experimental film? No, but I got a phone.
I think I'm going to be a novelist. Have you written anything? No, but I got I can.
I've got a computer. I think I'm going to be a comedian, have you ever done standup? No, but I. I watch you can do it. I just got to get I there's this place near me where if you bring 10 friends, you can be a comedian. And now I'd call myself a comedian because I brought seven friends in this age of fucking entitlement.
How are we not all preoccupied with just ourselves? Jesus Christ, man. Some days I'm just full of fear.
Other days I'm smoking fish, I'm playing with a kitten and building shelves, I'm still sorting out what was in the old garage.
I brought some stuff to be framed. I'm getting my house together. I guess I'm planning on staying for a little while. Obviously, this is probably going to be the last house I live in.
It's weird to think of that shit. What am I doing it all for? Right, I think I'm starting to appreciate why we do things, maybe meditation has something to do with that, maybe it's just age, maybe it's just the fact that my father does nothing and he has no interest in doing anything and hasn't for years.
But he does complain about having nothing to do. He doesn't want to do anything, he's not interested in anything. He's bored and he complains about having nothing to do. I don't want to be that guy. Hey, maybe you're ready to turn your great idea into a new website, or maybe you already have a website and you want to freshen it up. That's where we're at with WTF podcast. And thankfully, we use Squarespace. So giving it some new touches is a breeze.
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I'm finally putting my office together, but as I was saying, I'm still sorting through the massive amount of stuff that accumulated in the old space tchotchkes, bits and pieces of fan art, pictures, books. And I'm trying to make an office in my house.
And it's just odd to go through a lifetime's worth of shit, I'm not that nostalgic, I'm really not.
But there's a few things, a few key elements from my life that I'm nostalgic about. And they have direct connection to this undertaking, to this podcast. There's a painting I put up on the wall in the house, in the office of it was a fan and a piece of fan art had come to visit the studios when we were doing Air America.
When Air America Radio is at the old Libbey studios, there was a door into the studio and there was a little sort of saying that was taped to right next to the doorknob. A little kind of affirmation that was put there before we even got there. Libby was an African-American station. Some of the people from that station worked on Air America. My partner, Mark Riley did. But just above the lock on the door to do something today, which the world may talk of hereafter, and that was just beside the door, was an on the air sign that lit up and someone very cleverly I can't remember the woman's name, I have to find it did a painting of just those two things.
And it's a great little painting. And I put that up in the wall in the office. And I had been sitting on it for a while. It wasn't up anywhere for a long time. But now it means something. It means to be getting me walking through that door was the beginning of me figuring out how to be on this microphone.
And then there's another painting that I've just brought in to be framed by another fan whose name is I believe it's Dimitri Semmelroth.
I believe he is a artist and writer. I think he's from Chicago. But I love his art.
And he somehow from a picture of the inside, the picture of a photograph of the inside of the garage, he did this painting that almost looks abstract. But if you look at it for a while, you realize it is of the old garage, of the interior of it, and I love it. So that's getting framed. But the point is, on a day to day basis, because I don't have children and I don't have, you know, as much of a connection with my parents in a kind of.
Detached way where I don't I can't really quite explain it, that I don't always know what life is for, I don't always know, you know, what I'm supposed to be doing. But because of this year off that we all took we all took a year off to be, you know, terrified and existentially devastated and financially compromised many people. It was a great year off for many.
And it's ongoing. It's we're still in it.
But because of that and because of what I went through over this last year, I really confronted with the idea of like what is what is life? What is the big payoff? Is it to stay engaged and keep working? Is it about achieving things? What is it about? I mean, I don't have children to look at and say, look what I did. I guess I have a. A body of work. That I'm proud of, but I'm just trying on a day to day basis to have a certain amount of acceptance, but also to, like, enjoy life a little bit and be OK with that.
Or to at least have some sense of what it's for, and then when I'm doing all this stuff in my house every day, every action I take that brings me some joy is counteracted with this idea of what fucking difference does it make?
If they operate together in me that, you know, I love that, who gives a shit? This is amazing, but does it matter? God, God, I love doing this, but does it mean anything? Now, if I could somehow get rid of that second part, that second voice, that that that counterweight to everything, at least for a little while, would be nice, I think that meditation is helping. I think the kitten helps.
I'm also I feel like maybe I should be of service more.
I think I rationalize that.
Because it seems that this podcast and my presence in the world on Instagram, again, for those of you who care.
Or who listen to this, I think. I think it's helpful, I hear from a lot of people it helps and I'm glad to help, but I don't know that I can say, like, well, like, I'm really doing my part.
Am I? I guess what is the point of this, it's Passover, it's Jew time. You're not supposed to be in the bread. I don't celebrate any of it, but happy Passover and maybe my tone isn't good. I hope you're enjoying family the best you can. I hope that some of you are able to spend time with your family.
I hope that, you know, you're being as Jewish as you possibly can as a Jew.
And those people who don't understand what Passover is or it's not their holiday. Once you try being a little Jewish to look, if we learned anything in the past year, it's that time is precious, folks.
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I don't know, man, I guess I just want to be at peace with who I am and what's around me, but that it becomes very difficult because some of that requires some engagement, some service, some. Vigilance and. Probably a little bit of righteousness in the sense of. Principals. But other days, I'm just like, fuck it, man. I mean, I bought a set of shelves. From a company that I know is not good.
That I know donates money to the wrong place, but they had the shelves I wanted, they had the shelves I needed, they had the exact things I wanted.
So I'm like, is my two hundred dollars really going to create the next dictator? Might help, but do my shelves feel good? Yeah. Do they hold everything? I wanted them to hold up.
Did they come out exactly at exactly what you wanted. Yeah, they're making me happy.
What is that. Is that too big a price to pay. For the next fascist dictator for putting a few bucks towards that, I know these shelves look really good, but you shouldn't support.
I know, I know I but I but I mean, the shelves is like. All right. But just know. You know, when you're being taken away from that house with those shelves. You might have paid for those shoes that guy's wearing for those boots. That he's got at your throat. I put the shelves, man, I mean, you know, it's like, right, I mean, I don't know. So Oza Jacobs, interesting talk, I find that there's so much art and there's so much music and there's so much I don't know and don't understand and haven't been exposed to.
And I think of myself as an open minded, educated and exposed guy, but it never stops.
You can always put new stuff in to the mind as this movie, the new movie is French Exit starring.
Michelle Pfeiffer and Lucas Hedges, it opens in theaters across the country this Friday, April 2nd. I enjoyed the movie. I enjoyed talking to Asa. I'm ready for the art.
Are you ready for Oza? Here he comes. Asa. Hello, Mark, how are you, buddy? Good. Nice to see you. Thanks for doing this. You have to California.
I mean, you know, what happened is about I think about four years ago, we had a fire in our place in Highland Park, not like a huge fire, but a big fire that we had to move out of that place and put all of our stuff in storage.
And then we've been kind of just my wife dies and I've been kind of just going to wherever work is and we've been going, and especially because my folks are still here.
And so I've been going here a lot and kind of spending time here and less in New York City and Los Angeles.
But then when this whole thing happened, I was just pulling my hair out over there, really a plague, the plague like it wasn't no one got hurt and.
No, no, no, it was a drier fire. So it was it was a real one, like it was a few fire trucks.
I was not there ideals at home. Did you own the house? No. No. So it was kind of a perfect time for the. You know, for the landlord to get a stop because the neighborhood was changing so much and she could sell the home for a lot, so it all kind of worked out, especially for her.
And now she's just back in New York. Got your folks house?
No, I'm nearby, though. So we're at the Lower East Side. And so they're still in Lower Manhattan where I grew up. Man, I miss it.
Now that I think about it, we're live down there in the snow. I lived on second between A and B and yeah, it's I can't imagine New York.
It's so sad and empty now.
Right. It's amazing. I mean, it's just it's just right up in your face. Every day I walk out, I see another store that's gone and you just there's like people that did nothing wrong, just. Suffering, suffering, like in and places that I remember well and have had history and only contributed to making this city what it's been for so long. Yeah. And so it's it's it's very different than being in Los Angeles, where it was easier for me to just kind of avoid.
But at the same time, the the the life that's still going on that's persevering is kind of like the weeds that keep happening and the conversations that you hear behind people like that's happening still on the streets, even through the mask I can hear and all these amazing stories that you just want to kind of keep walking behind somebody and seeing what's going on with their life.
Yeah, I mean, I talked to Patti Smith a few months ago and she's down there and she posted on Instagram about it. And I sort of like that feels tapped into me when I see her talking. Patti Smith in her house. Yeah.
And I go down to my folks and we walk around the block and just seeing the city from and like that neighborhood is exactly pretty much how it was growing up. Now it's that empty again, you know, like I would try go.
Yeah. Before it was called Tribecca, it was just this, you know, place that I could play in the middle of the street. So it was just an empty empty. That was just the artist there.
And it was like industrial lofts. Right.
It was totally industrial and also a lot of abandoned, not abandoned lots there. It turns out they were landlords that had these lost all boarded up. So they're waiting for the market to change. And I never made sense to me. There were so many buildings that were just empty. Yeah. And I didn't really. And I remember my parents explained to me, well, they're holding on to it in case the neighborhood goes up. And I didn't make there was no chance that this neighborhood could go up.
You know, it's just it in your mind just. Yeah, in my mind.
But clearly, I know nothing that wasn't so it was just like it almost felt abandoned down there. Yeah.
Like I was like, wait, so like, you're I don't know if you edit your Wikipedia page, but there's like not much on there.
No, I don't. Yeah, I edited it completely off. I took it. No, there's nothing I don't like. How old are you. I'm forty eight.
OK, so I'm ok. I'm fifty seven. So you go back, you remember the 70s down there. Yeah. Yeah I do.
I mean especially because that's where all the other filmmakers and artists or so I definitely remember the neighborhood kind of going a few blocks to this way. Or there was a theater, the collective living cinema that was on White Street, like those were all kind of happening. What year were you born?
Seventy two. Interesting. So your dad, both your parents are artists?
Yeah, my mom was a painter, but she's really been a collaborator with my father. He's been making films since the late 50s.
But it was like it's a very specific type of lifestyle because it's not these are not big pictures now.
And so the whole audience, their audience was in the neighborhood. I mean, that was it. It was just them.
And so the screenings were happening in all those lofts, you know, like you would walk into these places and people had screens set up and they'd have a screening there.
And those are my earliest memories for sure. Just watching these films, that kind of made sense to me, especially at that age. You know, like when you're four or five, you're not seeing any difference between those films and Superman cartoons. They all kind of feel like movies or even bigger films.
We romanticize that era of art, you know, in New York and in general. Right.
So I guess what do you think your father was doing, like in terms of film, like, you know, when you grew old enough to sort of wrap your brain around that this was the nature of his art, but it was clearly not the movies that you would see in a movie theater. You know, who were his contemporaries? What was the movement?
Well, I think that it was a matter of survival for him. I think definitely want to hear him talk about the fifties especially, and just the kind of dearth of films and what how far away the art world scene.
I mean, he was very much grew up poor working class and fell into. The art I mean, just seeing what he told me is that he was given a like a school card to the museum modern art, because a little kid and then he would go down there and just to kind of pass time, he would wind up seeing these films, these foreign films as a kid. And just that had this huge impression he would just be there all the time.
And so by the time he came out of the Coast Guard, he had an idea of something about art.
But it was really kind of falling, falling through that kind of learning about on his own and then wound up studying with a painter named Hans Hofmann that introduced art. That was no chance of a commercial life. It was just a really a matter of expressing kind of so much of the despair and so much of the path to politics that he feeling it was a way to communicate in a way, especially to himself.
But what wound up happening is this and again, this is what mind for me, because I was a little kid. So I'm now looking back and thinking about this is an amazing time. But these it was always the same people at the screenings. You know, it was the other fellow filmmakers like, what are we talking like 10 people?
No, yeah. I think 20 people definitely is what I remember. And homes that could be somewhere between 10 and 20. And I remember there would be these screenings and then there'd be these conversations that would go on later and later. And then my sister and I would fall asleep with the other little kids. And at a certain point, things would turn into big shouting matches over films, because this was this was the pay at the end of the day, like the conversation, the kind of.
That's the that's all there was. There wasn't anything there was no such thing of like anything more than that.
Was anybody writing on the films on that community of people? Yeah.
Jonas Mekas was at that time writing for The New York Times, and he was really shining a light.
And there was other writers for sure that were doing that and saying that there's something important going on here.
But it was very, very obviously far away from what Warhol was doing, which was kind of the closest kind of commercial version of that world. There was there was an intersection, but then tensions were very, very different and the worlds were very different, like the whole models and drugs and all that stuff.
Could it be farther away from what my father and the people, I think, especially my father, was interested and he just was, I think seeing that type of money and seeing that type of money wasted, it was so insulting to them. For him, it was really a choice between doing everything he can to not get a normal job and just survive doing the work that he felt like was essential for him.
Well, how did they do that?
Well, ultimately, to raise my sister and I, he became he taught film SUNY Binghamton, and that was kind of an only could have happened. He could only have gotten hired in the late 60s because he had no college education. I mean, barely graduated high school. So there was like that one sliver in society where you could hire somebody to start a department. And then other than that, it was just very, very cheap living. And I can't tell you how cheap New York City was, a totally different thing.
So the it wasn't how am I going to pay this rent? I mean, rent another place I think was thirty five bucks a month when I moved in.
Get out of here. Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. And that's what that whole neighborhood was. It wasn't. You need you'd walk into these huge places and you never think to yourself like wow, how much are they paying for this. It was just that was normal.
It was like just above squatting. Or was it comfortable when my mom like my dad here, he definitely had no windows, like no no windows. It was just a plastic. And I mean, he she she civilized him to a degree. But that stuff was so unimportant to him and and not very important to her until I think, you know, kids start happening and then you start kind of looking ahead.
What kind of paintings did she do, abstracts or. Yeah, yeah. And believe it or not, my mom went to RISD and she started painting abstract paintings while she was there and the teachers felt like she should be doing much more commercial work. So they call their parents in. And they told her told told them, listen, if your daughter doesn't start painting more commercial works, we're going to kick her out.
And our parents were completely excited by that idea. They said, yes, kick her out, kick her out, because they said they were totally did not want to do so. They did. They kicked out and she really just went if anything went further into that direction. And that's how my parents met. My dad was just painting on the beach in Provincetown.
And she saw him, and I think the fact that he was supposed to be like selling these paintings were so crazy because nobody would ever buy them, but she loved them immediately. And that's kind of how their romance began.
It's heartbreaking somehow. You know, it's beautiful, but there's something painful about the commitment. To art over commerce and art over there is almost like an intention to it that, like, you know, we don't want that kind of attention. Yeah, definitely.
There was a whole side of that, the commercial side of it that was so repulsive and so other and so outside of who they'd want to become and who they'd what they'd want to contribute while they're here.
And they've stayed in that. Oh yeah. Yeah, my dad's working. He was eighty seven now and my mom and they're just, that's what they do. And I would say first and foremost my dad makes his films for my mom, you know, she's the eyes that he trusts, you know, like that person says, oh yeah, there's something there, there's something not.
And does anyone else see them at this point? They do. They do. And if anything, there's probably like a bigger audience and a lot of ways because, you know, the young kids that are finding this and seeing, I think kind of maybe it's OK. Yeah, they are finding them.
And I've been working with Keino like a big kind of box set that will come out soon. And they really are finding them.
And, you know, I would say the other thing about these screenings, because it's completely true, like so many screenings as a kid, I just remember the theater being emptied out, like especially if we're going to outside of that world. Right. Like at the moment, just that sound of chairs going flat, flat, one after another, you know, and I would just see the place.
But there would always be besides the people that already were there and into that work, there'd be one or two people left over at the end of the screening that would go up to my dad and look at him like, oh, I thought I was completely alone until this moment.
And I remembered that. And that's that's stayed with me. You know, like that was something that I think when that kind of solitude and the pain of that, which is a parent like, it's definitely not an easy life to choose. That's something that always stayed with me.
The one guy that really connected. Yeah.
That goes up and go, oh, I did not know this is possible.
And I saw that over and over because I imagine, like growing up with that, like like the like I just saw the title Star Spangled to Death.
Yeah. Yeah. And I'm like, yeah, I kind of like I could I can sort of wrap my brain around the the period and what it probably was about, but it was a big epic movie, right.
Yeah. Yeah. And he spent and that was one that he actually I mean that's one that he started before my sister and I were born and then finished after he retired like he had it start at teach for thirty years. Computers had to happen so he could actually finish it very cheaply because he didn't have the money to how long.
It's like it in an epic.
Yeah, it's about six and a half hours and it really is. I mean, it's his view of this country and it's the view of definitely where this country is now.
I mean, he started it back then, but it completely understood where we're heading. And I mean, where we are now is something that he's been in. Both of them and talking about since I've been a little kid like this has been a clear this whole this whole insanity has been really clearly where things have been going for my whole lifetime to them.
And those are the conversations I had with other filmmakers. And that was, you know, what they were trying to to show the world or what they were reacting to by being committed to expression, overcomers.
There's that. But also, like I don't like the art of it was really important. The Ken, is there another way of seeing it? I got to study with Stan.
Brakhage is another very big sure. Heavyweight in that world. Where did he teach? And in Boulder. So I went up there just for a summer course.
He took it to you. I mean, you would think like, you know, like Brakhage, you know, your old man, he must have.
Oh, yeah. They were super close. Yeah, yeah, yeah. So you went to study with your dad's pal.
The other guy did this class that was kind of called sex death in cinema. And like I and I was already studying film. It was an amazing I mean, the whole thing that I kind of take away from at least what stands big objective was, was to go back to that place. When you're a kid, before you get before you're told that grass is green in the sky is blue, like what is happening in the grass, what is actually making up those colors?
Like how do we go back before we get so close minded and just dismiss things that beautiful, amazing things are happening. And so the art side of what they were trying to do and how to kind of take things back from not only like five. Financial place and just an internal connection was, I think, just as essential as the politics. I mean, that is political, right, just to be so that was OK.
So those are really the two schools you're talking about because like in Brakhage, my experience when I had the experience, when I was open minded enough to understand what was happening in the legacy of Brakhage, where, you know, you're watching a cinematic experience that could just be, you know, COAS, it could just be just poetic, you know, kind of framing of of things that you can't even identify necessarily. Like there's an experience to watching the way those things flow together.
That is not it's not verbal necessarily. It's not narrative, certainly. And it's it's something about using the movement of the medium to to express something, you know, primal or poetic, whereas the other side of art movies, not art movies, but film as art in the purest sense, I guess, you know, would be more of an intellectual exercise.
And I would say if anything were my father's work has kind of returned much more to painting, using his paintings, using abstract images and learning how to and showing like depth, even with 2D images. So he's. The work is is extremely abstract now. It's not like shooting in the beginning, it was definitely shooting friends, doing different things and actually shooting film. But now, especially with computers, it's been so much about really bringing paintings to life in the way that he feels them and sees them.
And so they connected in that way.
You know, I mean, that was the other thing about them. Like, I just the conversations was pretty much every day between them on the phone, you know, like they would stand would be calling all the time. I really talk. Yeah. This is like, again, like this is the pay is hey, check this.
Right. This is your life, the life of an artist.
Because like, you know, there's nothing more disturbing than the art world, really, in terms of of the business of art, which I knew nothing about, you know, until I dated a painter. And I was like, oh, my God, this is like obscene.
I can imagine I don't know that world, but I know that, like with my dad, like him and my mom started this theater here in the East Village called the Millennium, where it's gone now from there. And my dad would sometimes show or quahogs films whose the films he cared about. And he'd wound up sitting there and he was projecting them. And he he told me about talking to Warhol about the whatever film he was showing and that he was so touched.
My dad had to watch it because everybody that would come to his screenings would stay in the hallway like we would actually sit in the theater.
Yeah, this was just a party outside in the lobby, but nobody would venture in and actually take respond to the work itself. Yeah. You know, and so that was like the closest that he got to that side of things.
And by complimenting Warhol and showing Warhol's movies and well, just seeing how empty what the you know, the the relationship between that type of audience at work was, at least at that point.
So when do you decide that you're going to approach film? I mean, it seems like, you know, it was inevitable on some level you were either going to be an artist or run far from it, you know, and they gave me this name so that I just no chances of going into politics, going to synagogue, you know?
And I was like, definitely the idea of getting behind Özal was they they they were always like, you know, you could do whatever you want, but they kind of immediately limited. What is Azazel mean.
Others is a is a fallen angels name. And my parents' idea who Israel fell for good reasons because he disobeyed God. But it's it's you know, they have very, very strong feelings against religion. And I mean, the amazing thing with us is that I didn't fully understand until I got older. It was like if you meet an Israeli and you say that you better Özal, they won't believe it because that just like they say, go to hell.
They said go to Israel all the time. But that's their curse word. So, yeah, you try that out and they will say, no, you never met like they it seems impossible that someone would name their child that.
Yeah, yeah. It's just not like what's done. And actually I had to when I was like 20 something I had to go to I went to Israel once in my life for like a thing with MTV that I was working on.
And even when I got to the airport, they just did not want to let me on the plane. They just couldn't get over. They looked at my passport and they were like, this is not your name. This can't be. And they kept calling people over and they they'd asked me to step away. So I see a name that you give yourself my your name. No, your parents gave it. Yes. Your parents are Jewish. Yes.
ADL is not your name.
Over and over and over and over and over again. And then I get over there, you know, I'm like, it's same thing. I just keep introducing myself and the kids.
The only people I loved it. They thought I was on something death.
All right. It was. So it's a demon name. Yeah, it is. It is.
But yeah. So they they were definitely like the world is yours.
But at the same time they gave me this name that I definitely felt like I was art was what I supposed to be doing, but I thought cartooning was what I really loved. Underground comic books like Spiegelman.
Who are you guys.
Yeah, definitely Charles Burns. All those people burns. How great is Burns?
The main thing he's Spiegelman was also a student, my father.
So I knew and I knew that he had to know. Your dad had to know Spiegelman. Yeah. So he was he studied with my dad and they've been very, very, very tight. He still. What can those camels he's on e-cigarettes now are? And I have been writing something we're now we're collaborating. Oh, really? Yeah, we've been working. We've been. How's he doing? He's doing good. He's pulling his hair out because of this.
What's going on in the world as well. I mean, this is like every nightmare that I think has been on their mind for years.
So everybody's he's surviving, is managing. And it's been great to to to work with him so closely.
What are you working on? It's definitely it's a TV thing. It's something that we've been developed.
We have been developing with Neil Gaiman for a while now with Neil Gaiman, too.
That's interesting. You, Spiegelman and Neil.
Yeah, yeah, yeah. It's cool. And it's kind of really kind of talking about when art was was a threat, when art was still deemed a real threat to documentary series or it's just under a narrative, but it's really fantastical.
It's kind of far out there.
It's very, very yeah, it's wild that we're able to do what I think would be something special when art was a threat.
When do you what do you think was the last piece of art that was a threat? When do you see that? At time. What was that time?
Oh, well, look, I mean, for sure, if we think about comic books burnings and we think about Little Richard or Little Richard, Tutti Frutti, I mean, there's they constantly I think there's examples throughout right here is where we think of like, oh, this is actually something that people don't they hadn't figured out how to market yet.
Right. And it ruptured the culture and then it was appropriated. Exactly. This smells like teen spirit situation.
So you wanted to get into graphic art?
I don't know. I don't know how thoroughly I thought about this, but I definitely was a you know, it wasn't a good student. I mean, I was like I was actually pretty good. I mean, I had its own way. I was I was A's and F went to high school here in the city and things that I was interested in, like art and history, I would do.
Well, in what generation are you? Are you like were the Beastie Boys your age or they my age? I think they're my age.
Beastie Boys were. Yeah, we're a bit older. I definitely like them growing up. But who is my generation? I mean, I had this kind of strange experience that I got to I had my sister was four years older and because of that, I was able to get into a lot of punk and stuff quite early. Like I got to my my first show was going to see the clash with her eighty two when that was something that kind of completely changed my life and.
Yeah, yeah, yeah. Like I came back a completely different kid. I was nine years old and that set my whole path for the Clash did. Oh completely.
I mean yeah we went out again, we were out and my dad was teaching that summer out in Boulder withstand. They were doing like so stand him and asked him to come out. So we all were out there and we'd go out there for each summer like between eighty, eighty one, eighty two. And the class came through and it was just one of those things, you know, like it was at rocks and red rocks. And that's already mystical.
Oh, the whole thing was, you know, I was it was where I was in the car with my when my mom and my sister and they're like, OK, so and this is gonna see the clash. And so tickets were nine bucks. So we're going to give you nine dollars worth of quarters so you can go to the arcade. And I just kind of threw out this thing, like being a little snotty brother saying, oh, why can't I go see the class?
And my sister reacted so quickly. I was like, no, no, no, no, no.
But I was like, oh yeah, yeah, yeah. I definitely, you know.
And so my dad had two students, Steve and Julia, that were big Clash fans. And so they wound up taking me and my sister. They must have been about twenty. And we went there the day before and slept out, slept out like waiting and on the steps.
And that was like everything I can remember that so well.
I mean the first time really smelling weed and just wondering like what that is going and. Yeah, yeah. I remember some point, like there's a conversation with we're really we the first one. So there was a whole line of people sleeping on these stone stairs at some point, like somebody put their hands over my ears and you know, you just start here, you start really listening. And it was somebody.
Somebody was offering a blowjob to get in earlier, and I was like a blow job, like what kind of job is that?
You know, like I was trying to figure out what kind of job I knew was something that would get somebody in something early offering you a blowjob. Yeah, I think somebody next to us was offering the security guard. Oh, my God. Yeah.
And so then I remember, like, we got in, you know, first thing at 9:00, 10:00 a.m. and then suddenly you're waiting hours and hours in the sun for this concert to start.
And so because I had brought all these mad magazines with me, I wound up being kind of like really popular, you know, in the way that I could pass out and clean up and then kind of getting passed around and and just loving it, you know, just seeing this whole other world open up. And then by the time the show started, we were so close. So, I mean, it was it was that sense that I kind of I mean, this is, again, like in retrospect, but obviously like seeing this band come out that looks like an army is so impressive for, like, a little boy in the moment and all that shit.
But also just seeing the love that was coming towards this, especially coming from the world that my dad was in, was just like, oh, wow, this is this felt just as pure. And it was also being loved a thousand times more. And it just had such an impression.
You know, some skinhead put me on their shoulder and so I just was about a foot away from Strummer. I sang and I definitely knew, like, something really significant happened. And then my parents were like, I came back just a different kid. And that became like that set me. Oh, yeah. Yeah. That set me like I'm on an insane level with them to this day. I'm just like, you know, the drummers and undersize, you know, like I'm crazy.
How how did it change your approach to life? I mean, what was it that changed first, first and foremost?
It's like the energy from the music gave me and has continued to give me some kind of courage in terms of pursuing my own path and then obviously going to getting so into it.
You're hearing these words and you're hearing these interviews and you're hearing somebody being so direct again, kind of going back to this idea. I know that one of the things about the class is just kind of how hypocritical or contradictory they were. But to hear them talk about not pursuing money but pursuing art and pursuing a message completely connected to the world that I was coming from. Right.
And it was a different type of message. It wasn't your parents' message. It wasn't them and their friends arguing about art. It wasn't it was more like it was visceral in a way that was probably different.
And at the same time, it was like the blowback that they would always get for changing and trying all these different things and the combination of influences or something that. They would always get a lot of shit for I mean, now they're looked at back in this kind of legendary status, but that wasn't the case for so long.
And that definitely has been the thing for me in my own films of trying to bring in different influences and see what I can do different from it. And how do they combine and what where is that clash in my own work? What kind of sparks comes out of that? So I always keep going back to different.
Music of their ears to help guide me in terms of going, OK, this is something this is my interest and that pushes me in these directions, definitely in the idea that, like with every film that I make, I always try to go in the opposite direction. The last film, I try to do something really, really different and something I feel like that definitely comes from the clashes influence.
So when did you start actively pursuing film? I mean, how old were you?
So I picked up I mean, one of the amazing things was like, you know, I grew up really rich in a certain way, not financially, but there was always cameras and there was the books. There was so much to grab around. So I want to pick up a camera on senior year of high school, Super eight camera and shooting something and liking how it came out. And then when it came time to applying to schools, I applied to SUNY Purchase.
I applied to a bunch of art schools and Cooper Union.
I didn't get in, but I wound up being invited to the film department at SUNY Purchase. And that what I was thinking, OK, I'm going to go here for one year and and then we'll see about applying to Cooper Union, but then immediately kind of going to purchase especially that school at that time asking which were so good at asking of you like, OK, do you have something to say? Do you have something you want to see? If not, get out of here?
And the more that they asked of me, the more I got into film. And it was also the first time I was starting to see independent film. Like I just didn't really understand that there was a place in between Hollywood films about my father did until I got to purchase and start seeing how Harley and Amish and all these people and. All right, go like, oh, wow, OK, there's a space race between and that's the direction I want to go.
And what were the conversations like with your old man when you started pursuing it?
You know, there weren't like it's not supportive in the way like, oh, whatever you do, we like. But they responded to the work I was doing and even the conversations, even the films that I started making that they had issues with, there were real conversations that they took seriously.
It wasn't this thing where they were going like, oh, you have you have it or you don't have it. Right.
It was just like, OK, this.
Yeah, there's something here or I have issues with this were I mean, I can't like my parents just didn't lie about things like how they felt about not what they did. So they were very honest about it, but they take it seriously.
And I, I also was confident about what I was making. You know, I started purchase. I started gaining real confidence and feeling like, OK, this is whatever it's giving me is feeling like worth it and asking more and more and exciting me.
So you did a bunch of short films first.
Yeah, exactly. And then I graduated with my senior film, which is called Kirchen, Kerry and Juanda, trying to figure out how to make a feature film.
And definitely New York City at that point was changing as well. And the you know, financially, it was becoming a totally different type of city, but that was the next thing. And I really hadn't thought about what kind of feature films, but it was very much kind of just seeing one foot in front of the other.
And I was also coming out in this certain era of New York City films that everything felt possible. It felt so distant, different, so far away from anything about awards or money or making money. I felt so far away.
So. Yeah, so that that that wasn't being taught yet. The business of films.
No, no. There was nothing about business that that film. There was no no conversation.
And who were you kind of working towards, you know, when you started like what were the defining movies for you.
Like they were coming out during that particular tiny time?
I mean, like, you know, it's like I've been watching a lot of movies lately that I've never seen before, you know, and I know people talk a lot about the 70s or this or that, but but there's definitely movies that were definitely not on my radar at all.
And I'm profoundly moved by them. As you know, even as I get older, it's like it's like music. There's never there's no end to the number of movies out there. Then, you know, so many people land on the same dozen movies in terms of being influential just.
But there's definitely you must have movies that you not unlike The Clash that you saw and you're like, holy fuck.
Oh, yeah. I worked at this movie theater where I was a projectionist and popcorn maker and everything on Vandam Street called Cinematograph. Right. It was with me and Jonah Kaplan, my roommate, who, you know, because he made Stalker Gelsinger.
Oh, my God, Jonah Kaplan made the stalker guilt syndrome that I started. I don't know how he got me. I guess he was a fan of my comedy. Yeah.
And when I saw it, I was like, oh, there's.
There's the guy from Cybercafe, you know, because I'd know like and journos, the guy I know, I was that guy doing I think he's well I hope he's well, I mean, we don't see each other that much, but, you know, he works advice and doing Biznews is one of a bunch of Emmys. And I think he's doing really. Really.
Yeah. Well that's good. Yeah. It worked out. He found a way. Yeah. Yeah he did.
And and we worked together one summer at this movie theater that was an independent movie theater that we wound up having this retrospective of Cassavetes. And each week somebody would come in to introduce the films and it was always like Ben Gazzard one week then.
So and generally it's, you know, like every week. And I did not know these movies. I did not I just didn't know them. And we had the keys too, so we could project these films after everybody was gone and just sit there. And so John and I and other people from my class and purchase would come and watch his films late into the night. And just with my mouth open, obviously, I know this is like clearly a and understood genius.
But for me, the first time seeing those films, and especially at that time, I mean, I can't even underestimate the amount of the fact that I had to see that kind of level of truth in film.
I just. Yeah, I just watched.
Woman under the influence like a few weeks ago, it just stays alive. These films all stay stay alive.
That's a good way to describe it. They stay alive.
Yeah. And I mean and again, I think Hal Ashby for me is somebody that I always go back to. Oh, yeah.
And then if somebody like these are people that whose films play playing a loop in my head and then all the films like, you know, I've been since a little, you know, maybe since I saw I saw a comedy in the theater when it came out.
But that's a film that I go back to all the time, every couple of years and go, how is this film possible?
It just seems. Oh, yeah, it just seems dramatic. Yeah. Yeah. So there are films that definitely have had life changing influences and that I keep thinking about and never trying to go, OK, can I make a film like that, but definitely have it. I want to be in conversation with them.
But the movies that I make, I want those films to answer and at least thank them for giving me what I feel like they've given to me in my life.
Yeah, I was obsessed with McCabe and Mrs. Miller for two decades.
Yeah, well, some of these films just seem impossible. But I mean, for me, Popeye is the one that I go back to Popeye all the time. It seems like that type of commitment to that world. Taking it that seriously and that playfully like that, that juxtaposition, again, going back to class like that mixture for me is like everything that I want in the films that I make interesting.
That's the one, Pappi, because of the commitment to the conceit of it, because it's it's so fantastical and it's so much about what this world is.
It's so I recognize that world, even though it's completely not ours.
Huh. Do you think they had something to do with your connection with with comics? Well, I think so. I mean, I think so. I've been thinking about one of the things that I would I would say has also been a huge influence to me.
On me has been radio like I would go to bed listening to old radio shows since I was a little kid. So that was a huge connection that goes kind of straight into comic books, because that's kind of how so many of those artists, those kind of golden age artists were working from and inspired by and bringing images even no matter how. And those those radio shows are so, so wild and so surreal in their own ways. Right. And it lends itself straight into so much of the radio that I still listen to that I think has just as much of an influence like Joe Frank or Jean Shepherd like that, that Mad magazine feel to things.
That was the other thing.
That was the other template for your Brain magazine, that kind of a way of seeing the world.
And that really is like I know I'm starting something new about the clash with the Mad Magazine view of the world is very much kind of I think goes straight into Strummer's view.
Yeah, I loved it. I loved it. Mad magazine, if you were Mad magazine, it was just like that. It was like the secret world. It was it was our entry into the way grownups think. Yeah.
And it made everything that was popular just not cool at all. Like you're looking at cool kids, then they're not cool to you anymore. Like anything that that seemed like was this thing that you're supposed to want is suddenly you had eyes on how ridiculous and how silly you planted the seeds of rebellion.
But like but like Popeye esthetically, like, you know where you're at.
Now, we should talk about the last couple of movies in the evolution of your particular point of view.
But like like I watched a TYKO Waititi movie recently, The Hunt for the Wylder people. And his sensibility is kind of amazing. Like and he directed the Thor movie. Would you do a comic book movie?
If I could make part of the story, like the the inventors and creators got completely fucked and uncredited like that could be part of the story. Maybe like I'd want that to be part of I don't know. I mean, that's not I don't know anything really about those films. That's not the films I gravitate towards.
I do I know a lot about where that world comes from and those stories of like the pain and like the immigrant story of some of those artists and the bitter Jews at the heart of the mix.
That's interesting to me. And I'd want that to be somehow addressed. Like, I don't know how you can not tell the stories without kind of seeing the kind of fucked up path that they're based on.
No one talks about that.
And amazing like these, these people were trying to fight Hitler with their work with these superheroes in their own way. And they're coming from just complete poverty and their chances of becoming, which wasn't possible.
So all that this is to say like, no, like the superhero, I just don't really know enough. I did get to see Thor because I saw something about the advertising made me think of, oh, this is a person that likes Mad magazine. And that's true. Like I found I found that film really wonderful, like and I found it very playful. Thor Ragnarok. Yeah. And I don't think it's something that I could do, but I found it.
I like that anarchy that it had like. And he clearly was able to make the film personal. And it feels like he has a strong point of view throughout.
He's an interesting filmmaker. He's funny. Yeah. But I don't know, like, that's not I can say that I would know enough. And also, I think with those superhero films, I feel like you better come correct and serve the fans like those fans know that world better than anybody and they're paying a lot of money to be there. So why wouldn't you completely satisfy everything? And it's like if somebody made a film on The Clash and I would just look at what everything was wrong, you know, like I know idea the Clash superhero movie.
Yeah, well, yeah, but I mean, you know what I mean.
Like, they should be spoken to on the level that they are at and that wouldn't be something I could even begin to dream of doing. These live in these comic books.
You don't want to piss them off. They're going to get pissed off, dude.
Yeah, I am. But I can say that that's like the thing better. I know my. About right now.
OK, so the last few movies, like when you talk about the evolution of because it's just like Kerry is that that sort of personal story about that kid and then the lover, is this something? The lovers is sort of some sort of I don't know, stylistically, it's just very interesting, contained tension of a strange evolution of a romance, you know, with these affairs. But it seems like there's a real human story in there. But there seems to be parameters to it that were very specific that you were working within.
You know, what I mean is completely contained. No, it was really I was I was using whatever limitations and wanted to use what the limitations of work on choice it was.
But it was also a way that I knew I couldn't make that film.
I wrote something to be small with few actors. It's where I wanted to be and it's what I felt like, what I needed to tell at that point. It's a great movie and it's great.
I mean, I love those those actors. And I hadn't seen Debra Winger in a long time. And Tracy and I have become friends. I texted him yesterday about this movie because he's in it. Yeah. I said you did a great job, but. But the French accent I really liked.
But it is. I guess I guess what I'm looking for is like, you know, and we're talking about these are films and paintings and about all the things we're talking about is that you have, again, this strange collection that seems to get bigger and bigger of humans.
And there's the conceit of the movie is sort of like a it's almost like an upper class fable in a way. And it's not like it necessarily. It's not that I've seen the story played out, but, you know, but but it seems familiar to me. But you have Michelle Pfeiffer, who is spectacular.
And I haven't seen her in a long time, and she's doing something she's never done before, and you got that kid. Hedges what's his first name? Lucas, who's like kind of a brilliant guy, brilliant actor.
But like, I guess my question is around it. And how it kind of unfolds is why this particular movie go from the lovers?
Like what what was the evolution from the lovers to this?
What were you trying to challenge yourself with?
Well, definitely. I like that it was took place instead of creating the world in like, let's say in the Lovers was inside this all this middle class home. Right. This was creating a world outside of the home. These are people that are leaving their home and it's expanding. And it was. It was something that was intimidating and it was a place that I wanted to go to like I read, and I don't overthink like I read Patrick towards novel projects in and immediately it was on instinct that it was like, OK, this is what I work where I want to go.
And then you kind of ask these questions that were, what? Why is this personal to me? What is this connection as you're going along? But I think in retrospect, there's so much that I like about that kind of like take it or leave it or just fuck you attitude that Francis has that I would like to have in my own life, that I wanted to be around, which was like and I like the idea of telling a story like not a quote unquote important story.
It's not like a life and death story. It's life and eventual death and and that I relate to it's not an underdog story. It's not it's not somebody overcoming great obstacles in their life. But it is, I think, something a really warm, funny.
World and interesting and serious and somber, all these different tones that I wanted to be around and I felt like it could also bring me to get to work with the people that I wound up working with, the people, the actors that would be attracted to doing this are exactly the type of actors that I really would like to to get a chance to work with. And that began with, like, you know, that whole experience of then going to cast going to Michelle and Tracy and Lucas and immagine like suddenly this is the thing that I dream of doing, you know.
And so that's I think I saw that as a possibility with this story.
Did their interest enable you to do the movie completely? Like when I was working both ways, I was working on getting the financing together and the financing would be together in terms of like who the cast wound up being. But then. There is definitely no chance of making the film. I don't know if there's no chance, but it became very, very clear like this was the path of making this film and this was the right path. I was because the money came from different places and came from abroad, or it's a Canadian Irish co-production.
I was able to have final cut on the film. And so that was a thing that was on top of everything was like, OK, how do I make sure that this isn't the film that I want to make? Because there's a really different very kind of on the surface reading, I think, of the of the book that you could have made that film like which could have been a fine film, but it's not the film I wanted to see, you know, something maybe more.
I don't know if it's whimsical or whatever, but Lestrange, I really like the strangeness of this people on this world and. And wanted to embrace that my own way. Yeah, and I thought that was sort of the amazing thing about it. I guess the the guy who wrote the book wrote the screenplay. Now, did you have were you part of that process? Yeah.
So back to it. He wrote Terry. And for whatever reason, like, Terry brought us very close. But then in the past bunch of years, now he's somebody that we speak every day, like we just check in.
A lot of times it's just the bullshit about random stuff. But yeah, sometimes it's more heavy. But we for whatever reason, we really do kind of call each other every day.
Somebody calls and checks in and I get to hear a little bit of what he's working on and I talk about what I'm working on. But it doesn't mean that I get to read sometimes before books are completely finished. And so I read this in a manuscript form and called them up and said, like, I'd like to make this into a film. And so that conversation of how can we turn this into a script happened even before the book was finished.
And then he would come over to New York or wherever I was, and we would work together and they would send him off on his way.
And then that kind of work on the script kept on going on. Once Michel came on and Lucas, like we had, they we really embraced the book as much as we could. And so we'd go through the book, certain things that were missing or certain things that we felt could have been clarified and more we'd go back to Patrick and see if we can, you know, shift. And that would happen, I think, even sometimes during the shooting.
So you you make a movie where it's going to exist, not unlike your. Your father's movies were, you know, they are these singular things and whether they please everybody is not really the issue, but do they stand on their own as as a as a piece of a as a finished piece of work? But there's something that sneaks up on you about this movie. Like there's these questions where you're like, why are they all staying at this apartment, you know?
And I don't know and I don't know why. But, you know, at some point you made a decision, Patrick made a decision that nobody leaves the apartment. Everyone's going to be sleeping at this apartment at some point. Why? I don't know. Do you?
I in my own mind and again, this is just my own answer, but I think that they find something that's the most interesting place to be. Hmm. You know, I think that's what I think of these people. What's interesting about all these characters is that they all are walking their own paths. And I think that they feel like they're the only ones interested. And then they find each other and they find this is the place that I want to be.
And it just seems like you just assumed to be there, that just that makes sense to me in a logical way.
It also seems like at the very base of it, like, yeah, but you're willing. But you had that conversation. Yeah, definitely.
I had that conversation. But also it wasn't question so much of going why it was also creating a situation where you would these characters would want to be there. It was a place like it was where the activity was going. It's where the connection was. Yeah, I understand that.
And I you know, and I you know, it's not your job to ask why this is just the way this is. Yeah. And then, you know, the questions are asked by others later.
But trying to balance these kind of things that are saying no and saying is what we're doing all day long on those things that just don't make sense. And how do we put this into one place? We go to our Instagram and we go, oh, that's horrible.
That happened. Oh, that's amazing. There's a lot we go back and forth and it all becomes one. And we we just bottle this up into the same place and we make sense of it. Right. So I feel like that's the same thing with these films.
For me, at least, they just they they have a logic to me and they have a logic also overall as a full thing where sometimes within a scene, I especially feel this way with French exit.
There's things that happen all throughout the film that's not necessarily connected to the very next thing you're going to see. But when the film is finished, it's a whole if you've if it's your type of thing, if you if it's, you know, vibe with you, that you're going to see it as a full piece. And I know it's not for everybody. Like, I understand that when I'm making these films that that's not the idea.
It's like I want it to find its audience. But I also know it's a really particular story.
And, you know, like a film, like you're kind of half in the room all the time. You're looking at a story all the time. You're like, oh, how can I take this scene? How could this be mine? How can I not fully there to the way that when you're working with an actor and you see them. Surrounded by all these people in these clothes, you know, whatever, and they become completely present, it seems impossible.
It seems like magic. It's just amazing to me how it forced me to become completely presence.
The only time when I'm making a film where I'm not thinking about emails there anymore. Oh, yeah.
When you go on when you say action, it's mad. It's the whole it changes time.
It does, but not all the time. Like I and it doesn't happen sometimes. Right. You're watching films or you're on the set and things are just dead and gone.
How can I get present and how can I be there? And when it does happen and when you see especially with like the actors that I want to working with chose it. And it just happened every day, all the time, where suddenly it's action and they are there in that moment. And then I'm in the edit room and I'm seeing all these choices that there's no way I could have seen that they're all making and they're all in tune with themselves and with each other.
Like, that's a great moment, right? It's it's the it's what it's all about for me. That's it.
It seems that's when you feel like, OK, with or without me, this film will walk on its own.
And it's been so long since we'd seen Michelle. What what were what were those initial conversations about? Was she nervous?
She says she was I was very nervous. I mean, look, she had a completely different way of working than I had worked before. And I remember like Tracy Letts and I love her. He called me on it right where he'd go. He'd asked me a question and I'd answer him with a question. Oh, I know what you're doing.
You you you put a question to all my questions.
And I was like, yeah, you know, because then together we would work on figuring out the answer and that would become his answer. It seemed like a technique. It seems like my technique. Right. And Michelle wasn't playing with that at all. Like, I would kind of she'd ask me a question and I would ask her questions. What, like?
No, like what do you think? And and I realized that she wasn't asking me, like, what do I think? So that she could think it, but what do I think about this? And like she expected me to have thought of of something about it. And it forced me to go back to my home and to write out every question that I could think of and answer them for myself. And I always thought this was like a precious thing that you can't touch.
You can't come up with these answers. It's supposed to be alive. Right.
It turns out that that for me was just me being kind of cowardly, like I liked having these things to to ask myself. Interesting.
So it was it was sort of like your idea of what that was was a copout. Yeah, ultimately, I think that it was a it was a it was a it was lazy, right.
But it was also a way to protect yourself from a sense of failure in a way that like if you just, like, let it go. I'm not going to answer these questions. And then if something great happens, you're like, amazing. But if you got the questions answered and you can't manifest, then you like that.
Fuck, you're right. You know, and when I went to Afir, we had to take an acting class and I was going to have to buy an A and I'm a terrible actor. Like, I know they don't know that I'm not an actor, but I was doing a scene and I asked the director something and they started bullshitting me. And I was like, oh, shit.
Actors can see this vantage point. You can really see bullshit. It's so clear.
Like I have to remember to say, I don't know from here on, because that would have meant so much more to me than some. We just kind of wing it. And so that was like the way that would go. Like, if I don't have that answer, I don't know. That's a good question. Blah, blah, blah. Let's go through this.
But didn't mean but ultimately that wound up me kind of not preparing in a way that I would like to learn that I can without actually touching this thing that I thought was like a precious right. The what Tracy called pixie dust, you know, like which is not real. He's like, you know, I remember him saying that about the his connection with Debra Winger, you know, in in the Lovers. And he's like, it's not pixie dust.
It's like it's what we do its work like that's that's what acting is.
And it took me a bit to learn. He's one of those guys, man. He's like, you know, he's he's he's he's got a work ethic is like, this is this is the craft. We've been doing it all our lives. Yeah. And, you know, we turn it on and off. We've we've prepared and we work.
And that voice you're doing is the voice I hear in my head still. And so when I read Tracy, I think. Yeah, when I saw like that's why he was smart, Frank, I read and I heard this voice of this guy that kind of had a very this is the way that I'm doing things. And all I could hear was his voice. So that was an easy call to go chasing. Hey, with your voice and your voice is already playing in my head.
I thought you did a great job, man. And it's good to see you again. Yeah. I have to hope one of these days in person. Yeah. We can hang out again and like you've been healthy. Did you get the covid or. No, no I didn't.
And I'm trying not to. I was able to get my parents their first shot, OK, weeks ago. And that's good Jack. Yeah. So I mean, they'll be going for their second one pretty soon. So yeah. It's just, you know, plugging a lot of things. Yeah. Yeah.
Well it's great to see a man and I love the movie and there's no fucking way this means a lot to me. All right, buddy.
I'll see you soon. Yeah. OK, that was nice, interesting film, our talk Azar's movie, The French Exit, starring Michelle Pfeiffer and Lucas Hedges, opens in theaters across this country this Friday, April 2nd. Good movie. Great Phifer movie. Great. OK, now let's play some guitar. Boomer lives. Monkey Alfond. Was everywhere. Sami islanded.