Robert B. Weide Quotes

  1. How do you tell a story that you’re a part of without it being a big ego trip?
  2. I don’t know that Michael J Fox had done anything prior to that ‘Curb’ episode where he got to comically play up the whole subject of his Parkinson’s. There must have been something very liberating in doing that.
  3. I like to make films about my heroes.
  4. The catch in the industry is that if you want to get a picture made for little money, you have to get a big star. But the two are usually mutually exclusive.
  5. It took me little more than two years to complete my film, ‘Woody Allen: A Documentary.’ I conducted hours of filmed interviews with Woody, who put forward no ground rules about questions I could ask, or topics to avoid.
  6. My paid gigs allow me to pay for my documentaries, like a drug habit, I suppose. If I’m lucky enough to be working steady, however, it leaves little time for the documentary hobby.
  7. Sit down at your computer or open your nearest mobile device and Google these words: ‘Directed by.’ What’s the first predictive text that comes up? Martin Scorsese? Quentin Tarantino? Ingmar Bergman? Chances are the first name Google suggested was Robert B. Weide. That’s me. Sort of.
  8. People in the States live for finding something they can lose their minds over. They have nothing else going on. They watch a show and there’s a joke and everybody’s up in arms.
  9. If you’re watching comedy movies, go back and check out the Marx Brothers in ‘Duck Soup,’ or Buster Keaton in ‘The General,’ or Laurel and Hardy or W.C. Fields or whatever – and see what pure talent really was, so that you can see where it came from, and then you can sort of gauge it from there.
  10. I am a little wary of entering another situation where I would just be another director for hire and I’ve been doing this in one form or another since I was twenty-two doing documentaries for PBS and HBO.
  11. Ask any lawyer – if a prosecutor thinks he can win a case, he’ll prosecute it.
  12. Somehow I got a hold of an address for Vonnegut shortly after making the Marx Brothers film. Vonnegut wrote back, saying that he had seen the Marx brothers film and loved it. That became the foundation of our friendship: old movies and comedies.
  13. One weekend, I was driving and in the car next to me on the freeway was a guy who looked like a very conservative Nick Frost, with a short haircut, these horn-rimmed glasses, and he was wearing a jacket and tie. I thought, Oh, there’s Nick if he were an accountant in the ’50s or ’60s.
  14. If you listen to Howard Stern, go back and listen to Lenny Bruce, so you can hear what real talent is.
  15. Kurt Vonnegut and I – it’s not an exaggeration to say we were best friends. And I grew up just idolizing him.
  16. I feel like a lot of the guys who are trying to do political or socially relevant humor just haven’t figured out who the enemy is.
  17. I consider myself allergic to gossip and tabloids, and go out of my way to avoid them.
  18. Writing, to me, conjures up a physical act, like running or eating.
  19. I think directors who care about their work should be invested.
  20. In the States anything dealing with religion, people go nuts, because they are nuts.
  21. In the States I got asked to do every TV show.
  22. On ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm,’ I remember that sometime in Season 3, there was a Yiddish phrase, ‘Kinahura,’ and a friend of mine who was Jewish said that the closed captioning said ‘Can of Hurrah.’ And I thought ‘Oh, God.’ I never had bothered to see the transcripts but from that point on all the transcripts had to come to me and I checked them.
  23. The documentaries are one thing – I was highlighting someone else’s work, someone else’s genius. Once I had to find my own voice, I’m glad I was a little bit older and had some confidence and had all these great inspirations to draw from.
  24. I’m always looking to move on to the next thing.
  25. I have some kind of knack for getting to know or becoming very close with people I’ve long admired.
  26. A lot of British comedy feels foreign rather than feeling universal.
  27. It’s not writing in the traditional sense, but I’ve always said that the writing process continues on the set and even into the editing room.
  28. A few months ago, a friend emailed to simply ask, ‘Do you get a piece of this?’ The message included a link to a site selling T-shirts emblazoned with ‘Directed by Robert B. Weide.’ My wife soon ordered two.
  29. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – one can believe in Woody Allen’s innocence without presuming Dylan Farrow to be a liar.
  30. I hate to sound like someone twice my age talking about these comics today and all that, but it’s as though their intent or goal on stage seems to be to see how uncomfortable they can make the audience, or how viciously they can savage their subjects.
  31. In any movie, there are a number of scenes that get cut in an effort to keep the film from running too long. Some are of little consequence, but others are important scenes that are very painful to lose.

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