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Popcorn & Prejudice: A Movie Blog

Seattle Times writer Moira Macdonald muses on moviegoing. Email Moira: mmacdonald@seattletimes.com.

March 11, 2014 at 2:18 PM

Advice for directors — from Sam Mendes

Sam Mendes, busy director of both film (most recently “Skyfall”) and stage (he’s returning “Cabaret” to Broadway this season), was honored the other night by Manhattan’s Roundabout Theater Company — and responded by sharing a thoughtful, literate list of what he called “25 steps towards becoming a happier director.” It’s pretty terrific advice, even if you’re not a director. Read the whole thing here; below are a few highlights:

  • “Try to learn how to make the familiar strange, and the strange familiar. Direct Shakespeare like it’s a new play, and treat every new play as if it’s Shakespeare.”
  • “There is no right and wrong, there is only interesting, and less interesting”
  • “Paintings, novels, poetry, music are all superior art forms. But theater and film can steal from all of them.”
  • “Get on with it. Robert Frost said, “Tell everything a little faster.” He wasn’t wrong.”
  • “Always have an alternative career planned out. Mine is a cricket commentator. You will never do this career, but it might help you get to sleep at night.”
  • “Never, ever, ever forget how lucky you are to do something that you love.”

Well put, sir.

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