UNEDITED ENGLISH TEXT
INTERVIEW WITH LH MAGAZINE (SPAIN)
1. Imagine you are the director of a high school and that due to budget
cuts, you have to are forced to do without either the science dept, or
the humanities dept. Which one would you save?
There is no way that someone with my personality and current knowledge
of high school administration would succeed as a director of a high
school. I would be a very different person if circumstances had brought
me to that position. I can only imagine that were I to find myself
there, I would have already some of the practical wisdom to deal with
such situations. I also imagine it would involve looking at the details
of that particular situation and making a “lesser of two evils”
decision. Maybe my heart lies with the humanities, but that department
is run by mediocre teachers? Or vice versa? It’s the curse of holding a
position of power to have to make these kinds of decisions. And to have
self-styled “thoughtful people” who don’t understand the complexity of
such situations sit and make judgments about you from the safety of
their weakness, based on empty abstractions.
2. At the same high school, there is a fire in the library and you just have time to save 3 books. Which ones would you pick?
I can’t imagine any of those books would be irreplaceable. But I think
you’re asking me a different question. “What are 3 of your favorite
books?” My favorite books are the ones I read once and really loved,
and now I’ll re-open them at random and read, and it’s like turning all
the lights on in my brain, and I feel like myself again. Something
about the book hit me at a particular time in my life when I was ready
for it. The book itself might not be especially good, or a “classic,”
but it suggests a new way of thinking, or a new world of storytelling,
or possibilities for future work. Of course there have been many books
like that for me, and if I were to pick three I’d be picking ones that
weren’t embarrassing—safe choices that were impressive and sparkling
and pretentious. You can find these books if you know where to look. I
have a blog where my wife and I keep track of books I read and there’s
a lot of recommendations on there. husbandversuswife.blogspot.
3. After the fire, you take some days of rest at home and you get a
call from Jim Jarmusch, Todd Solonz and Terry Zwigoff offering you to
adapt to cinema Glenn Ganges' stories. Which offer would you take?
I’m not a big movie buff, so I’m not that familiar with these
directors. I've seen a few Jarmusch movies and they seemed pretty
good? I liked the Neil Young guitars in Dead Man. I did not like Ghost
Dog, but I don’t know whose fault that is. As far as making a movie out
of Glenn Ganges—I’m not sure I have any interest in that, if only
because it sounds exhausting to have to talk to so many people. Making
little web videos might be fun. Of course since the character is so
internationally beloved and successful, it’s a surefire box office hit
waiting to happen.
4. During those days, a friend suggests to go hunting. Another one, to go playing golf. Which one would you go with?
I’d go hunting, which I’ve never been, though I wouldn’t kill anything.
I kill spiders but I'm trying to stop. I like the idea of hunting with
cameras. I golfed a lot when I was younger. I might enjoy it now with
the right people, but I get so mad at myself if I’m not playing well.
If I play well it’s just boring. In general I think sports are boring
and ridiculous. When I was younger, however, I played a lot of sports
because I was very athletic, and my dad was into sports, but I slowly
realized I could do other things that I enjoyed much much more. If I
never golf again for the rest of my life I’d be perfectly OK with that.
5. Finally, the Glenn Ganges film project moves forward and you have to
choose someone to compose the soundtrack. Who would you choose?
Stereolab, to piss off my wife. In general I kind of hate pop music in
movies, but when it works, it works… I guess it depends on the kind of
movie we were out to make. I kind of like watching a dumb movie more
than a brilliant one. I’m not often in the mood to be emotionally
devastated or have my breath taken away. And if that happens I want to
savor it for a month or so. I don’t always have the patience for
movies. A Wes Anderson thing where the Who plays over Glenn Ganges
making coffee in slow motion…or Tarantino thing or something like that?
I don’t know. I listen to music all day. I tend to like quieter,
“pretty” music, but my friends all seem to prefer loud, aggressive
music. My wife too. This year I’m trying to listen to more orchestral
music—Mahler, Brahms—but I know very very little about “classical”
music. In general I’d rather lie on the couch and listen to music than
watch a movie. But of course I love watching movies or shows with my
wife—we usually do that when we eat dinner.
6. The movie is premiered and it's a huge success. With all the money
you get you spend it in all luxuries and build a mansion, but still you
have so much money you don't know what to do with it and you decide it
to give it for a social cause. Which association/cause would you give
I’ve always been a fan of Doctors Without Borders. Since I was once a
high school director I might consider giving back to education. I think
you have to support something and stick with it. I like the idea of
buying land and leaving it forever wild, but I understand how
ecotourism has to be part of that. Maybe a good cause would be giving
money to poor cartoonists! It’s easier to be creative when you don’t
have nagging money problems taking up your mental energy.
7. As you still have so much money, you decide it would be a good idea
to be a superhero, but you doubt between being Batman, Ironman or Swamp
Thing ... which one would you prefer to be?
I hate superheroes more than I hate golf… And I don’t know anything
about Swamp Thing. He’s a plant? I imagine he’s a plant and protects
the wetlands. I would chase people off of golf courses. Batman is
clearly nuts and Ironman is a prick. They’re both rich guys who become
vigilantes… Is Swamp Thing a rich guy with family issues who decides to
become a plant and protect nature? I’m in. In general I think rich and
powerful men are more of a danger to society than violent