We were just very surprised and delighted to get the call from (the ratings board) saying that they'd had a long discussion and decided that they'd learned a lot from the screening [of Kinsey (2004)].
He's somebody who's socially maladroit, he's obsessive, he's a scientist, he's clinical, he's shut off in so many ways. Kinsey as the center of a movie was a big question mark.
"You can imagine that a story that is so much about sex could be much more confrontational. What I wanted to do was create something that was more gentle and done in a classical Hollywood style, which would be true to the period in which it's taking place. You get pretty pictures of Midwestern life in the '30s and '40s, and then, suddenly, there's a clinical close-up of a vagina and a penis -- which are images you're not used to seeing in that context" [on Kinsey (2004)].
Politics do affect the Academy. The producers of Life Is Beautiful (1997) had the support of a much bigger studio machine and at the same time Benigni would host private dinners: Elizabeth Taylor, come and meet Roberto Benigni... you know. And the studio throws a lot of money around promoting him. That sounds like sour grapes, but it's not. It's just the way it is.
The idea of bisexuality, that everyone is somewhere along that sliding scale, is incredibly threatening today. Even politicians, who can hide behind the idea of a gay identity, don't know what to do with the idea that everyone is something in the middle.
There's something very constraining about the labels gay and straight, as there is with any label used in identity politics.
Dr. Kinsey was a scientist who tried to categorize everyone and then used that process to prove that everyone was different. That's a wonderful contradiction. In trying to separate sex from everything that is imposed on it by culture, religion, and society, he also, like an artist, tried to work out very deep conflicts within himself
Musicals are all about transitions. How you get in and out of numbers is more important than what happens inside of them.
Bonnie and Clyde led to two things-a love of movies at a fortunate moment when movies were really interesting, and also a love of writing about movies, because Bonnie and Clyde was written about so much. And that's what kind of ultimately pointed me in the direction of making movies as opposed to theater.
[on Julian Assange, the central character in his film 'The Fifth Estate'] He's clever. He conflates anything that might be critical of him as an attack on WikiLeaks. But he may be surprised at how even-handed a portrait it is. Nobody set out to make some kind of hit job. We want to understand what makes him tick. I came to admire him in many ways.