When my father was 17, he went to Montreal and found these submarine sandwich shops that were really successful, and weren't in Toronto [his home town]. So he went to my grandparents and said: Look, you have to give me the seed money to open up one of these places. We'll make a fortune. They've got lines going round the block. There's nothing like that here. And my grandfather's response was: Look, I'm sure these sandwiches are really good, and if we scraped the money together we could make a lot of money and your mother and I would be really proud of you, but you need to find something that has *magic* in it for you. It was off of that conversation that my father went to college on a music scholarship, started a film club and became one of the most successful directors of all time.
I've been very, very lucky in my career, in my life - from day one. When aspiring directors say, 'What's your advice?' first I say, 'Be born the son of a famous director. It's invaluable.'
Filmmaking is a completely imperfect art form that takes years and, over those years, the movie tells you what it is. Mistakes happen, accidents happen and true great films are the results of those mistakes and the decisions that those directors make during those moments.
I hate movies that tell people what to think. I'm proud that Democrats thought 'Thank You For Smoking' was their film and Republicans thought it was theirs. I'm proud that pro-choice people thought 'Juno' was their film and pro-life people thought it was theirs.
Well, Toronto, I consider to be the birthplace of my films. I've made three films and this is the third one to premiere here in the same theater on the same day at the same time - they are my audience. They're the people that I think about while I'm writing, directing, and editing. I specifically make movies for them.
Can you design a Rorschach test that's going to make everyone feel something every time - and that looks like a Rorschach test? It's easy to show a picture of a kitten or a car accident. The question is, how abstract can you get and still get the audience to feel something when they don't know what's happening to them?
I'm equally guilty of using technology - I Twitter, I text people, I chat. But I think there's something strangely insidious about it that it makes us think we're closer when in fact we're not seeing each other, we're not connecting.