Skip to main content

tv   Charlie Rose  PBS  October 20, 2011 12:00pm-1:00pm EDT

12:00 pm
. >> welcome to our program. tonight, we begin with rem koolhaas, the great dutch architect who designed what many people consider one of the best new buildis of the 21st century, the cct building in beijing. >> i think a gre buiing completes what t owner or the client thought iould do, it isxceeded by what actually does, and you always get a number of ingredients, a number of demands, but if you really ok very carefully, you see at within those demands and with the money you can actually do something which gives more, which does more, and which is more generous. >> rose: we conclude this evening with the 50th anniversary of the publication of joe heller's classic novel
12:01 pm
catch-22, the conversation with the editor of the book, robert gottlieb, the film director, mike nichols who made a filmf the same title and heller's friend who writes the forward for the book, chris buckcally. >> i, buckley. >> i hadn't read it since i sent it to press in 1961, and i was always scared to read it because i was afraid i wouldn't like it as much and i have been in self-delusion all of these years but because of the celebrations i thought ietter reread it and i just finished it two days ago and it is wonderful, and basically that is why it survived. of course, it went a long way because it anticipated the vietnam war and its greatest success in sales in paperback was through and during the vietnam war. it spoke for that generation. >> the madness of war. >> the madness of war. >> b, you know, we alwaysad the madness of war, and the real reason it survived is so that -- that is usually tru
12:02 pm
>> i have to say a the tng about making a movie that is going well is that you are not sure, t you are not terribly unhappy, but some sometimes you have a terrible suspicion this is an end of all of you and you can't say anything to anybody. that is how i felt all through catch-22. >> there was no moment that i didn't feel that this was going to be a humiliation for everyone concerned, and i remember arkin had a sort of quiet tantrum is the wrong word because he wasn't visibly -- he wasn't yelling or anything, he said i don't like anything about it. i don't like any of the performances, the only one i like is marty sheen. >> he said everything that was wrong with it and i didn't terribly disagree. >> i reviewed the sequel to catch-22 in -- for the new yorker in 1995, i titled it
12:03 pm
-- 22. >> and it was a respectful review, but not entirely favorable, in fact, i really -- anay, it came out and i -- about a week later, i received a handwritten note, yeah, and i saw joseph heller on the upper left hand corner and i thought, oh, god, you know and i opened it and it was brimming with affection and in fact, i won't quote it because it will sound self-serving but it said, my wife valerie was moved nearly to tears by your last paragraph, which was a pan to joseph heller. >> rem koolhaas, bob gottlieb, mike nichols and chris buckley when we continue. >> funding for charlie rose was provided by the following. to
12:04 pm
it feels like the experience of a lifetime. that is what ifeels like to be a member. >> rose: additional funding provided by these funders.
12:05 pm
captioning sponsored by rose communications from our studios in new york city, this is charlie rose. >> rose: rem koolhaas is here and one of the best known architects working today and also the cofounder of the office of metropolitan architecture his well-known projects include the building in beijing and architecture school, he revolutionized the field of urban design and rose to game after riding the life of the city, his latest book is called project japan, metabolism talks, i am very pleased to have him back at this table. welcome. >> you just said to me the most interesting thing.
12:06 pm
you said to me, unless -- i am less interested in cities today and urban life and more interested in the country side. now, i suspect thatverybody who knows you would be. >> do a double take. >> ye >> wel i think that the whole point is i le cities and i try to really think about what the city is today and how it is changing and how models are becoming obsolete and simply by the feat of building the city the city is changed and everyone knows that and everyone knows also that more than half of mankind lives in cities and everybody is move moving to the cities, so at some point i became interested in simply the question what didhey leave behind, you know, all of these people going to the cy, and i was working on this thing, and i go to the country side and
12:07 pm
discoverinthat the count side now is a totally, a quiet field, nobody thinks about it, and that in spite of that it is changing incredibly fast and the country side is no longer, where genetic engineering happens, where religious warfare happens, its much more agitated and changing tha people typically recognize. >> rose: why is it where religious warfare happens and genetic engineering happens, why is that in the country side raer than everywhere. >> because the countryide is in a way, there are a number of things that are difficult, you cannot do them in the city anymore. they areind of dangerous or controversial, so the country side becomes where all of those controversial or difficult things happen. and even for instance, coming to the -- for 20 years and if you look there now, you see that the
12:08 pm
swiss fields are managed by labor from sri lanka, the houses are maintained from labor from thailand and swiss dogs are walkewalked by people from camba and nothing is the same anymore, and it is for that reason it is incredible friction and incredible recent n the country side. for instance the swiss anti-islam feeling is stronger in the country side than in the cities. >> rose: that is fascinating, i had no idea. i thought it was all, you know, in certain -- i thought it was in the suburbs of paris is where it was best expressed, most often. >> but france is in a way similar. you are looking a looking at whl areas that are islamic, i didn't know it myself but i started to inquire and became, you know, first fascinated as a private person, but then i started to ask so-called farmers and the first farmer asked me where do
12:09 pm
you come from? how old are you what is jury background? i am a scientist that resigned from a job in frankfurt, and now doing -- >> rose:hen you first said that i thought it had some kinship to something pastoral, it is not pastoral at all, you e looking at the country side in a place for conflict and a place for change and a place for -- >> a place for change. >> rose: as a place -- >> but, of course, part of change is almost industrial industry for nostalgia and tourism and so pastoral still playsñr a role, but it has a pastoral momentum, for instance, can whole sections of tuscany are now bought by tourist institutions, five-kilometer patch, includingville languages, villages and they ask the residents of theville language to stay around so they can maintain the fiction that this
12:10 pm
is italian life. and so wherever you look you see the same thing and the same history, russia, and china. >> rose: so just for history a moment, what was it that attracted you to urban ism? it was congestion? it was diversity, it was -- >> i think what interested me was simply my own experience, i grew up in rotterdam, a city that was reborn, it was very exciting and i went to indonesia, even more exciting, and so then simply for me, the city was connected to a number of deeply forming experiences. >> rose: all right, let me take a look at some slides and let's talk about japan which is all new for me. the first place is the exterior of the mill seen hall at cornell, you can see it
12:11 pm
here .. >> it is a number of orcs we are doing currently that are less extravagant and, than the current architecture, i felt in the past four or five years that there was a kind of exaggerated nature to architecture, so what we are trying to do here is to focus more on performance the building than on formnd on shape. so this is a building that forms in a very precise way, a particular role in connecting three different entities, and in this connection it has a hidden treasure you see it, it has a plate that connects and then underneath it there is a hidden world where we put the -- >> rose: now, are you saying that the more emphasis is performance than functionality? is that the same thing? >> no, functionality is boring, and performance is really what role this building plays, and
12:12 pm
what kind of scenes does the building trigger,. >> rose: what does it create? >> what does it create? and what does it sponsor and what does it stimulate. >> the next slide is of the milstein hall. >> thi is the hidden part. t underneath the ground? it>> is under a dome so basically tsis resting on a dome and tshi is the interior of thes dome, it loo straightforward but aituay lly building withlex t of different experiences, architecturally in it and we have to be architectural. >> project japan, metabolism talks, documenting the last moment that architecture was a public rather than a prive affair. explain. >> basically, in the last 30 years, since reagan, the typical client is no longer a public
12:13 pm
client. >> rose: right. >> it is a private client. reagan. >> rose: i thought everybody was building a whole bunch of museums and things like that. >> yes, but museums are also not -- museums are als -- and so basically, whenrchitecture traditionally was connected to the public, you could feel a asn architect you in some way were a public servant, now we serve totally different interests. we work for private, rothschild, we work -- we d't work for the public sector anymore and it makes a big difference for what an architect can think of themselves. and basically, our connection with goodness has been cut, and before we were on the good side and now we are on the side which is more ambiguous and more individualistic. so i wanted to look at the last
12:14 pm
mome tha chitects were working for the public sector, and we looked at a number of japanese architects who -- who connected themselves and who made this association, call themselves the me backist. >> and worked, they worked in tandem and worked in a complementary way, aorked in close communication and i was looking at that and also comparing it since we work for private interests we have become also much more alone. i think if you look at the milieu of architecture today we are all competing against each other, continuously, so there is much less kind of a sense of community. it is completely gone. it is -- here there is still a sense of community. >> rose: this began -- when did this begin? >> this movement, and it is an interesting question, in itself, it actually began before the
12:15 pm
war, as you know the japanese invaded china, and that was the first time they were confronted with wide, open spaces, before japan, everything is like this, soll of a sudden they saw ese enormous territories and that was the first time that they began to think about planning and about doing new things. and so even though japan lost the war, that same mentality in many case it is same teachers taught a new generation after the war, and that new generation was then kind of cemented together in 1960, you can be very precise, because the japanese state then organized a world design conference where it confnted its own japanese avant garde with the worldwide avant garde, so it was to some extent that is what the book really revea, because we are also talking to civil servants and to bureaucrats an to government people that acally the architects themselves were
12:16 pm
of course individual and ver creative people, but the govement orchestrated their appearance on the international scene. and then that is not unlike things, the way in which in america, for instance, it promoted modern architecture, modern art and modern arts, in general. >> rose: and so what were the distinguishing characteristics of this architecture? >> i think the distinguishing characteristics and that is also something we constructed that we looked at japan as a whole, so its vulnerabilities, japan is very prone to earthquakes, prone tsunamis, that the whole territory is completely picks lated, pixel lated, so they developed together an .. architecture that over came all of those handy caps, so to speak. so instead of -- they went into the air, instead of land they
12:17 pm
went into the sea, and in general, they simply mada repertoire of how to overcome the problems of japan. >> rose: and what impact did it have around the world? >> well, that is another discovery. in 17th there was the so-called old crisis which made the arab world very rich and the rest of the world and jap can kind of poorer, and that became the moment that both in old middle eastern countries but also in africa, japan and architecture became the most famous architecture so there was a great wave of japan architecture in kuwait, saudi arabia, an da by and in abu dubai and everybody who was ambitious went to the japanese beuse they were not western .. and had developed and aesthetic that was
12:18 pm
not assocted with western modern at this. >> how would you define that aesthetic or modernity. >> that was maybe more vivid, i would say more fragmented, more provisional, and less, perhaps heavhanded. >> rose:. >> imaginative i wod say. >> rose: let's take a lk at some things here h is a photo from project japan, tell me what this is. >> this is a capsule house, i was interested in the capsule and that was one of the keys o the governnt movement so you see kind of the concrete core and then this building has kind of four different caules, each dedicated to different things, slipping capsule, living capsule, working capsule and there is even a tea ceremony capsule, and this is the beauty of the japanese situation, that even though they were -- they
12:19 pm
were always connected to tradition. and that is why i think at this point it makes no sense to call me an english or dutch architect or an american architect or a french arcbute, ctt it still makes sense to call it japanese architecture, there is still something of the national qualities and spirit that is present in their work. >> rose: even though i has a global sort of acceptance? >> yes. >> rose: and maintains that kind of -- >> ? how, myeriously it maintains it. >> rose: very good. >> this is a photo of and eppo. >> expo. >> which was an incredible experiment, where kind of one fifth of asia actually appeared, visited the expo, and what you see is kind of the frame and underneath it there is a plaza where mankind can comeogether, but ere they are also dancing robots and kind of a lot of futuristic elements, where the roof is in habited by, indf o
12:20 pm
futuref settlements. ha>> r te:t was t an amazing achievement. >> yes. t amandhe azingishihe ng that in 1970,hich is almost a year of the world trade towers that the concord flew, i would say that is a kind of moment that mankind was acted more competent. >> rose: more competent. >> and mankind also coul enjoy its own achievements instead of this more ross at this about who we are. >> and the next thing is the rothschild bank headquarters in london. >> yes the rothschild bank is also a portrait of the more sober moment that we are doing. it is a very exciting building because it is in a part of the city so democrats that you never see it, and so it is kind of seen as fragments and we lifted off the ground so you can see the patterns of medieval
12:21 pm
lowland. so it is kind of a very subtle urbanism, but otherwise the building itself doesn't draw too much attention. >> the next one is one you have become added to your game, the cctv building in beijing. >> so how does the architectee this building? >> the ahitect sees this building as a very huge effort, of course, and this effort is now coming to an end, itis alst and we had certain ambitnsd of, coof, with the building, we wanted to kind of modernize media, and i tnk toa, some extent tst thi is ppening, simply because, of course, it has been nine years, english news channel and that in itself makes a big difference, but what i can see now is that programs the greatest virtue of the building is that it doesn't have a single identity. if you move around it or through
12:22 pm
the city, it alwayss lks completely different, and, therefore, as the building that is an unstable entity and i think put intohina which is so fixated with stability, fix ted with stable civilization, with stable political system, stability of the building is actually, for me, its greatest virtue and its most inspiring virtue. >> rose: some have called this the best -- the best new building of the 21st century. >> well, i don't know -- >> rose: you have heard that. >> i mean, of course, i am very happy that people think so, but ihink it does introduce a certain quality, particularly to the sscraper, the skyscraper, i think is so far a building that ialways takes pla, its place and consumes it pce and
12:23 pm
doesn't generate anything else for the city. this is a building that defines an urban area and invites you to come to it. so i think it is definitely interest manager terms of the history. >> rose: what does a great building accomplish? >> i think a great building accomplishes what the owner or the client thought it would do, it is exceeded by what it actually does, and you always get a number of ingredients, a number of demands, but if you really look very kaiferlt, you see that with those demands and with that money you can actually do something which gives more, which does more, and which is more generous. >> it is eerie to hear you say that because as you left here i introduced you to the film director me nichols and he nted toeet you and he said to me, t this time, but chatted about it, that he expects from an actor, what do you expect from an actor? he said i want an actor that will
12:24 pm
surprise me, and he said the same way i feel about my architect, want the architect to add to whatever i think i want. >> yes. >> rose: andive me something i didn't know i wanted. >> yes. >> rose: and that is the element of surprise. >> that is important. >> and that's what a great building ought to do. >> that is what a great building ought to do so therefore it is really not only an issue of how it looks but actually how it performs, so i use the word how it performs. >> rose: i am also interested in terms of the notion of whether people who write about someing, as to whether it is a novel or whether it is a building see things that the architect did not necessarily see, but the architect accepts, because wants the building or the piece of art to say something to each person, andñi you don't know all the things it is going to say. here is whatthe former critic of "the new york times" architecture critic said about this building. what this period in history, he created an eloquent race into the future and more generally
12:25 pm
life in the developed world at the beginning of the 21st century. he captures and e.r.a. much as a great works of the early modernists did theirs. well, of course,. >> rose: there is some truth there? >> i am extremely interested in participating in moments that matter, and i have a very fascinating kind of choice here at the beginning of this whether we wanted to participate in kind of the groundero or whether we wanted to participate in trying to define a ne chinese identity, and exactly because i felt that there was a window of doing it there, that we went for this one. and so i am constantly trekking in a way the worlds for similar
12:26 pm
kind of moments and simply trying to align ourselves and to try to offer our knowledge to those kind of efforts and for the same reason for instance i am now very involved in qatar, that is also a country that is extremely ambitious. it istrying to reinvent a number of things almost from scratch, so i am deeply attracted to those kind of moments. >> rose: it is also an example of leadership, in fact, notjust in terms of some of the people there who really want to provide a venue for things like that to happen, whether it is an education or whether it is in science or whether, you know, and especially in terms of using ose things, buildings that have, as you said, purpose, performae. >> yes. performance. and performifferently, so -- and i must say that one of the
12:27 pm
pleasures is also that we get, we are getting better at it. >> rose: getting better at what? >> getting better at finding this extra performance, and basically organize -- one thing that helps iso longer the art at the office, we have a second part of our office which is really a tnk tank, and basically this is a think tank, we now have become an expertise in differenter the rains -- to really think in more fundamental way about all of those issues, what architecture can do and also enables us, because there is something fundamentally passive about architecture. you can do something, but you are dependent on external force to provoke your activity, and with this additional layer, we can establish our own agenda, d that iseginning to kind of really work in a very forceful
12:28 pm
way, we can now initiate things and simply express our interest in partilar things and then it becomes, it becomes a project. >> rose: great see you. thank you very much. >> rose: on october 10th, 1961 joseph heller published his first novel, catch2 tells a story of john, a world wa ii bombardierrying to be dlared insane so he won't have to fly more missions. >> it gave a new depiction of war and spawning the new ubiquitous praise catch 22. >> the book stands as a modern classic and coer stone of american literature, this month a new edition of catch 22 has been published to mark its 5h anniversary and here it is, joining us now to talk about the legacy, robert gottlieb, 26-year-old editor at the time and champion of the book, christopher buckley and mike nichols to who directed the 1970 film adaptation of the book, i
12:29 pm
am pleased to have all of them here at this round table, welcome. >> so why this novel? why was it that this somehow even though early there was no dictation out of the box that it was going to be as great as it is. >> he thought it was. >> rose: oh, he did. always. >> she knew how great it was. >> rose: did you know how great it was? >> well, i loved it. but the word great -- >> rose: okay. so how -- why has it sort of -- >> had this career? >> re: yes. >> you know. >> i used to ask myself, and. >> rose: thank god it was a bad question. >> no all questions are food because you can respond anyway you want. >> rose: go ahead. >> you know, i hadn't read it since i sent it to press, and in the spring of mean 61, 1961 and i was sced to read it because i was afraid i wouldn't like it as much and i have been in self-delion all of these years but because of these
12:30 pm
celebrations now i thought i should reread it and i just punished it two days ago and it is wonderful and that's basically why it survived, of courset went a long way because it anticipated the vietnam war and its eatest success in sales in paperback was through and during the vietnam war. it spoke for that generation. >> rose: the madness of war. the madness of war. but, you know, we have always had the madness of war. and the real reason it survived so good, is because it is so good, that is usually true. i was struck by the fact that it, you know, it was generally well reviewed when i came, when it came out but there were very nasty reviews, the new yorker in particular and it never made "the new york times" best seller list. it never won a literary award, it won no prizes, it actually -- when it was published a few months later in england, it went right to the top of the english
12:31 pm
best seller list and it took mike nichols to make it a u.s. best seller, when mike's 1970 movie. >> rose: you didn't know that? >> it sold 1 million copies in six weeks. >> rose: soow did you -- >> would you please make a movie out of m book. >> rose: 1 million copies in six weeks? >> six weeks. but that is the first time it appeared on a u.s. best seller list. >> wher where were you in your r when this came along? >> i amrying to remember. i think it was after my first few movies, who is afraid of virginia wolf and the graduate, and then the question is, did i slip in casual knowledge before. carnal knowledge before? >> i didn't think so. >> i believe catch 22 .. was 3. my friend john kelley, who just died, was producer of catch 22
12:32 pm
because he bought it for me without having checked. he knew i loved it, and he was working with a man called marty who we don't have to discuss, and it was his beginning in the movies, because he had come from like advertising in new york, and the first thing he did that i know of, i know what happened. he was working for marty and he kind of edged out of ads into marty ran sell hoff it was closer to an ad than movies, and the first real book tha he did was catch 22, and he said i bought it for you. >> and he said, oh, no, then i have to do it, because i was really, truly daunted. >> rose: daunted because? >> well, because it is great, which is in itself scary,
12:33 pm
because it is a particular kind of sial delonte westism. >> it doesn't have to do with self-conscious sell y'allism, and serialism, and it was such a jove kind of serialism, i don't think you can make a movie with nostrils and ears i don't know you can do it because which is what i thought all through the movie, i won't bore you now but we had catastrophes, the first week i said we can't use any of this. these guys running around the base, there are hundreds of them, it is just a base. so i said, all right. i had a wonderful, of coue, seven-ot tall, first assistant, they all, are and he was brith and they are al all called clive in the movie business and clive said what if you didn't have any extras.
12:34 pm
i said, yes. you have got it. >> so we didn't have any extras and it was weird enough, at least for that week, and we had to check and kept trying to find a way to do joe's weirdness, a in my view, i went through many things about it which doesn't matter what you think of your own work, but now i think that the upon funny parts are the better parts, the part where we goto do -- >> very serious and upsetting book with hilarious stuff in it. >> i thought we managed very well with the upsetting stuff, and not so well with the comedy, because you just couldn't get rid of the flash. >> rose: and also because mash failed us, it was improvised and contemporary and hirious a week before us, and then we weren't funny at all. >> rose: and when you saw mash
12:35 pm
did you worry that, my god, i am -- >> well, here is what happened to he with mash. i got the script, i said this is a terrible script. who could ever do this script? and then i almost passed out when i saw the mie, because it was the first time altman went nuts and improvised the hell out of the whole thing, it was brilliant and alive and put us to shame, certainly everybody else thoug so, and i secretly did too in terms of improvised comedy. >> we were sort a great ocean liner, hwere the little zipping among everybody, the pt boat, exactly. >> rose: he wrote is from his own experience,oe did. >> yes. >> he flew 60 missions out of corsica bombing various places in italy. >> rose: did he think it was his best book? >> well, that is a whole -- that is a whole other charlie rose show, but in the opinion of the
12:36 pm
man who edited it and shaped it and really kind of cocreated it, i believe his 1974 novel something happened is -- would be -- bob's no, ma'am plea for his best book. >> rose: something happened -- >> i don't know if it is better but it is at least as good. for years, i would say to joe, can't you do -- you know, i can only write it once i wanted to wte something happened again. but he couldn't write it twice. but, you know, my view has always been that her the same book. i know that sounds weird. >> rose: catch 22 and something happens? >> because they have the same subjt, which is anxiety. it is a different setting. but that ishat catch 22 is. >> rose: but is joe, by definition, an anxious person? was he? >> he was. and my other feeling was that as
12:37 pm
his success grew and he became more comfortable with himself his anxiety receded. he sort of began to lose his subject, it was very interesting to follow. >> the reviewer for the new york times reviewer who reviewed something happened noted that to film catch 22 mike nichols had to assemble what ended up being, in effect, the world's 12th largest air force. >> right after france. >> but to film something happened would have cost practically nothing at all. >> there is a story about our air force which is the deal we made with the mexican government understandably was that we would take as many planes as we brought in, not unfair, we made that deal. wwe got them from everywhere, i think doris duke had one at her
12:38 pm
private plane and we had to repaint it with the right stuff. and when we were shooting a certain scene where -- i can't remember. two guys who were walking along the landing strip, and the colonel an what was meant to happen was that a plane lands pasthem and as we pan with them we hear a tremendous crash and explosion and then it went behind the already burning plane that we had already and all in one shot and it was nice, and the special effects people wanted to surprise me. so they blew up the other plane. unfortunately, they didn't check on where the camera was when, so it wasn't on film, but we were short one plane. and we were lucky, because it was that part of mexico and when we were ready to go and they counted planes, they were short
12:39 pm
one, so they did the logical thing and they arrested the caterer. very catch 22. and -- because we would have to eat swill for months. and it worked out perfectly. >> rose: not so good for him. all right. this is an interview i did with joe about -- this was in 1998. here it is, febary th, 1998. catch 22 was not an immiate critical and commercial success, was it? >> no, no. yet have oftenondered about you if you have been running against yourself throughout your life ie, everyime you go out of the block, you are running against joe hell. you competing with joe heller. >> rose: with catch 22. >> if i was a competitive person that might be true. i am not a competitive person. if i am, i repress it. i don't feel competitive with
12:40 pm
other novelists or anything. catch 22, by the time i was doing my second novel, catch 22 had become a recognized success, and my secd novel was deliberately very much different from catch 22, and in the mind of many people, something happened in catch 22 different as they are, equal an accomplishment, in other words, aas i go through and slip into y golden years -- >> rose: amount to enter your golden years. >> i am very complacent and content with the knowledge i did my catch 22 and something happened, and i didn't have to beat myself and i didn't want to beat other novelists as well. i mean, i start writing novels as opposed to other writing i did in television, right, because it is very intense and very personal. he didn't ruminate on himself as a serious -- in a serious way, he was just thrilled he had written this wonderful book and
12:41 pm
everybody loved him and made a lot of money. >> rose: did he understand what it was that he had done? >> i think so. he certainly understood its value. >> you know the two often told apparently true story of the guy at the party, yeah, have you written anything as good as catch 22 and joe says, who has? that is typical of his view, and he meant it. >> rose: and was he wright? >> we were talking one night and about something happened, and i said, well, do you think it is a better novel than catch 22? and he looked at me and said, who can choose? >> rose: because they are both so good, yes. so how did the friendship evolve? for you? >> i reviewed the sequel to catch 22 for the new yorker in 1995, i titled it gottdamaron
12:42 pm
22, and it was a respectful review, but not entirely favorable, in fact, i really -- anyway, it came out and about a week later, i received a handwritten note. >> rose: really? >> yeah. and i saw joseph heller in the upper left hand corner and i thought, oh, god. and i opened it and it was brimming with affection and, in fact, i won't quote it because it will sound self-serving but it said, my wife valerie was moved nearly to tears by your last paragraph, which was a pan to joseph heller. and so how could i not respond? and w then, within weeks we had each other's fax machines on our speed dial. that was 1995, when he died par
12:43 pm
too early f my -- for me, in 1999, i looked at the file and there were 300, 400 letters there whh are in the archive of the university of south carolina, but we became -- we became rather close. >> rose: didn't he write you a letter in which before his death in which he said in part the life of a novelist is destined for anguish, humiliation and disappointment? >> yes, and it went on to say when you read the first two chapters of my new novelyou ll recognize why. his last novel, which is i believe posthumous portrait of an artist, a young man, he was a great buddy, i got -- e of my forms was -- got very mixed reviewrom publishers weekly, and i faxed it to m, and he faxed it back and he crossed out all of the mixed parts and wrote
12:44 pm
at the bottom, now it is a rave. >> rose: was he involved in the filming? did he come and hang out? >> no, no. he did none of those things, but he was very encouraging and sweet in thebeginning, i remember a long walk we took, which was mostly about the strange cars we found in the street on our walk, and we would walk around them and try to identify -- it was jusnew york, and that i was struck over every time, over and over by obviously his commission which you, complication which you expect but his simplicity a lot of time i was around he was just a really nice, funny guy. >> no, he wasn't just a nice funny guy. >>ose: he was what? >> well, don't ask me. i don't know what he was. i know what he was with me. and that was professional mostly. >> rose: mostly. >> but also --
12:45 pm
>> rose: did he edit? >> unbelievably wonderful. in my whole life i think edited 4 million people and i never worked with anyone that was like this, because he approacd his n work from a totally objective point of view, like he was reading somebody else. it was like being two surgeons working on the same corpse and you would say, you know, this is not really this good. right, what if we do this? and i said, yeah that might work but what if we do it this way great but let's put a "the" in there and we would be satisfied and move on and no matter whether it was changing a comma or removing a chapter, it didn't me any difference. he either had none of tha quality of resistance and stress and persecution i have known other brirz to have. >> what is the worst example of a writer miss behaving when you
12:46 pm
are trying to edit? >> well, i don't blame them. that's a normal way to react but i don't know whether it was real or his usual brilliant contl but as you know he was once my office and another one of my writers, robert caro was working down the hall so i introduced them and joe said to bob caro which was at the beginning of bob's career, he said, let me give you a piece of advice, always keep your publisher happy. they work better for you when they are happy. >> well that is -- >> rose: the same way you feel about studios, mike? >> well, of course. i would be nothing without them. >> he may have been royaling with rage and chain when i would suggest removing, you kn, setting it all in brazil at the turn of the century, but he never expressed it. >> rose: let me look at two scenes from the film, this is 1970, catch 22, he is played by
12:47 pm
alan arkin as we all know. this is our first excerpt. >> crazy. >> of course i have to. there is a rule that says i hav to ground anyone who is crazy. >> i am crazy. >> who says so. >> ask anybody,sk -- tell him. >> tell him what? >> am i crazy? >> he is crazy, doc. >> he won't fly with me. i take good care of him. >> but he is crazy all right. you are crazy. because they are crazy, that's why. of course they are crazy. i could tell you that. he is crazy. >> ocourse he s he has to be crazy if he keeps flying after all of the close calls he had. then why can't you ground him. >> i will but first he has to ask me. >> that's all he has to do to frowned him. >> no. i cannot ground him. >> what?
12:48 pm
>> there is a catch. >> a catch? >> a catch 22. >> anyone who wants to get on get out of combat isn't really crazy so i can't ground them. okay. let me see if i get this straight. in order to be grounded i have got to be crazy and i must be crazy to keep flying. but if i ask to be grounded that means i am not crazy anymore and i have to keep flying. >> you have got it. that's catch 22. >> whoa! >> that is some catch, that catch 22. >> it is the best there is. >> rose: so two quick questions. one, jack lemmon, did you consider jack lemmon or he just wanted to do it. >> i don't think i ever considered anybody but. >> rose: alan. >> alan and briefly dustin, but alan and i had worked together on this play called love, luv,
12:49 pm
and we worked together before that in chicago, when we were improvisers or known each other. we didn't perform at the same time. and i knew that he would bring to it a kind of -- the thing you see in every scene is a kind of preasperger's aspect. >> rose: preasperger's. >> they didn't have asperger's yet but there were asperger's people and his vision was, without ever saying it that josa ian was msing something, so he could see all of this more clearly than the other victims. and i love then and now the coldness and yet it is opposite in the character that he is. >> rose: and it originally was entitled to be catch 22? >> no, no. it was painlessly, previously catch 18. >> so wrong. >> how could they have done it? what were they thinking of? >> rose: and they didn't go
12:50 pm
with 18 because there was another book? >> well, what happened was, as we were preparing to publish it in the fall of 61, we saw in publishers weekly an ad for leon yuris's novel, 18, his previous book had been exodus, so w couldn't have two war forms coming out in th same month with the same number. so this was death, because for five years whatever it had been it was catch 18, so what could you do? so we brilliantly pulled ourselves together and came to the decision we had to find a dierent number. then the question was what number? >> oh, my god. >> and that was -- >> there wer so many oices. >> where do you beg? >> didn't joe want 14? >> joe would never do anything in publishing as aggresve as saying i want it. he threw it up in the air to see -- >> actually, i could point you in this book to a sentence, a letter from joe to you that
12:51 pm
starts off with the title of the book is now catch 14. that is pretty declaratory. >> no, no, no. that's not declarative for joe. that is a tactic. he was putting it to me, to which the answer was no way. is 14 funny? what is funny about 14? so eventually i came up with 22. and i remember calling him in the morning, and saying i have got it. i have got it. 22. it is funnier than 18. >> rose: 22 was the new 18. >> what was i dreaming of? no number is funny. >> like comedy writers, k words, words that end with k are decided. >> yesack in the old -- >> kukamong. >> kalamazoo. >> brooklyn on the radio -- >> rose: exactly. so when you were making this, i mean, what was your idea? what am i doing here?
12:52 pm
>> i was in despair. i ve to say, the thing about making a movie that is going well is that you are not sure, but you are not terribly unhappy, but some of these you have a terrible suspicion that this is the end of all of you, and you can't say anything to anybody. that is how i felt all through catch 22. there was no moment that i didn't feel that this was going to be a humiliation for everyone concerned. and i remember arkin had a sort of quiet tantrum is the wrong word because it wasn't visibly -- he wasn't yelling or anything. he said i don't like anything about it. i don't like any of the performances. the only one i like is marty sheen and he said everything that was wrong with it and i didn't terribly disagr. one time i actually had a kind of breakdown, i had to stop, because i couldn't think of how to go on, and it was -- i tried
12:53 pm
to do it very fast, it was the end when the infirmary end and josarian finds out from the chaplain that orr that we just saw on the screen pumping along saying he is crazy. that ty thought orr drowned but he got to sweden on his raft, an josarian goes nuts and it goes on, and i said it can't go on here in this loft infirmary what am i going to do and they went away for two days and i thought about it, he will jump and then they gon with their conversation. and that was just right for thi movie, at any rate. and i have to get out. during those two days they thought i wainsane and hopeless and so did i. it was the closest have ever come t despair during making a movie. >> rose: here is a scene with orson welles. roll the tape. >> josarian.
12:54 pm
unless i missed my desk, captain, you are out of uniform. what are you looking at? get back in the car, you smirking slut. why aren't queue wearing clothes, captain? >> why aren't you wearing clothes, campaign? >> i don't want to. >> why in the hell don't you? >> i he just don't want to. >> why isn't he wearing clothes? >> he is talking to you. >> why is whysn't he wearing clothes, major? >> why isn't. >> a plane was killed and his clothes haven't come back from
12:55 pm
the laundry yet. >> where is his other uniforms. >> they are in the laundry too, sir. >> where are his underwear? >> in the laundry, sir. >> that sounds like a lot of crap to me. >> it is a lot of crap, sir. >> sir, you have my word for it this man will be punished severely. >> wha what the hell do i care?f he wants to receive a medal of honor without any clothes on, what hell what the business is it of yours? >> >> my sentiments exactly, sir. >> rose: was or son easy to work with? >> no. >> thank you very much. great to see you. congratulations. fiftieth anniversary, camp 22, the 50th anniversary editio with a new intruction by mr. buckley. thank yo captioning sponsored by rose communications captioned by
12:56 pm
media access group at wgbh io
12:57 pm
12:58 pm
12:59 pm


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on