Curtain’s Up / Vorhang Auf / Cortina de Cima / Cortina Arriba

Cinema is a language. It can say things, big abstract things, and I love that about it. Some people are poets and have a beautiful way of saying things with words, but cinema is its own language and so you can express a feeling or a thought that can’t be conveyed any other way. It’s a magical medium.

For me it’s so beautiful to think about these pictures and sounds flowing together in time and in sequence, making something that can be done only through cinema. It’s so magical, I don’t know why. To go into a theatre and have the lights go down – it’s very quiet and then the curtains start to open and then you go into a World.

Although the frames of a film are always the same, the same number in the same sequence and with the same sounds, every screening is different.

There is a circle, that goes from the audience to the film and back. Each person is looking and thinking and feeling and coming up with their own sense of things. I like a story that holds abstractions. And that’s what cinema can do.

I was a painter. I painted and went to art school. I had no interest in film. One day I was sitting in a big studio room and I had a painting going which was of a garden at night. It had a lot of black with green plants emerging out of the darkness.

All of a sudden these plants started to move and I heard a wind and I thought ‘Oh, how fantastic this is’ and I began to wonder if film could be a way to make paintings move.

An idea is a thought. It’s a thought that holds more than you think it does when you receive it. But in that first moment, there is a spark. Desire for an idea is like bait. You bait your hook and then you wait. The desire is the bait that pulls those fish in, those ideas.

Little fish swim on the surface, but the big ones swim down below. If you can expand the container, you’re fishing in your Consciousness. You can catch bigger fish.

When I started meditating, I was filled with anxieties and fears. I felt a sense of depression and anger. Anger and depression and sorrow are beautiful things in a story but they’re like poison to the filmmaker and artist. You have to have clarity to create – you have to be able to catch ideas.

Life is filled with abstractions and the only way we make heads or tails of it is through intuition. Intuition is seeing the solution. It’s emotion and intellect going together.

Personally, I think intuition can be sharpened and expanded through meditation diving into the self. There’s an ocean of Consciousness inside each of us and it’s an ocean of solutions. When you dive into that ocean, that Consciousness you enliven it, it grows. And the final outcome of this growth of Consciousness is called enlightenment which is the full potential for us all.

There are many many dark things flowing around in this World now and most films reflect the world in which we live. In stories, in the worlds that we go into there is suffering, confusion, darkness, tension, and anger but the filmmaker does not have to be suffering to show suffering.

Negativity is like darkness. You turn on the light, and darkness goes. We’re like light bulbs. If bliss starts growing inside you, it’s like a light. You enjoy that light inside and if you ramp it up brighter and brighter you enjoy more and more of it and that light will extend out farther and farther.

Maybe enlightenment is far away. But it’s said that when you walk toward the light with every step, things get brighter. Every day, for me, gets better and better and I believe that enlivening unity in the World will bring peace on Earth. So I say, peace to all of you.

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