I’m appreciated more abroad. In America, Japan… and in the United Kingdom.
The psychiatrists examine you and ask you about your life and work, and then they decide whether your film can be shown or not. It’s a horrible experience.
This is my life – I want to tell stories. There is something huge inside me that pushes me to tell stories, and tell stories for an audience and everybody.
To try and raise a budget for a film that is strictly for adults and both strong and graphic in content is not easy, especially when there is pressure to spend serious money on good special effects.
I first came to cinema as a passionate filmgoer, when I was a child. Then, when I was a very young man, I became a film critic precisely because of my knowledge of cinema. I did better than others because of this. Then I moved on to screenwriting. I wrote a film with Sergio Leone, ‘Once Upon a Time in the West.’ And then I moved to directing.
Shooting movies has changed, and me too – I have changed. And then, every film I do, something in my mind, my soul, changes. My natural change, I change at the same time as the films, I think.
We had many good directors – John Carpenter, Brian De Palma – but things have become polluted by business, money and bad relationships. The success of the horror genre has led to its downfall.
I make a film – and once I’ve made it, everyone comes along and says ‘Ah! This is a film that’s political, or social’, or whatever. But I’m not telling the story that they see. I made a film, told a story, but I wasn’t thinking about exactly what it all meant.
My daughter, Asia, has been in many of my movies. I love working with her. In the beginning, I was not supportive of her being an actress, but now I think she is fantastic.
Films are dreams. Many, many critics say to me that my films are not good because they are too unbelievable, but this is my style. I tell stories like they are dreams. This is my imagination. For me, it would be impossible to do a film that is so precise, that resembles real life.
For a long time, censors have been cutting my works. This makes me so sad, because many times they will tell me, ‘Television won’t like, so we have to cut, cut, cut!’
Then I realized my early work did have something special that audiences adored apart from what I humbly thought about them. They occupy a distinguished niche in Italian film history and probably always will.
When I see a film I’ve finished, it’s like another person made it. Like another mind.
‘Deep Red’ (1975) is my favorite movie. The character David Hemmings plays is very much based on my own personality. It was a very strong film, very brutal, and of course the censors were upset. It was cut by almost an hour in some countries.
I think the camera was always my obsession, the camera movements. Because for me it’s the most important thing in the move, the camera, because without the camera, film is just a stage or television – nothing.