JR: Would you put MMSS in the category of preserving culture in the "twilight of American culture"?
EM: (Laughs) If it has any subversive quality to it at all, it's combating ageism in this society. I find older people infinitely more interesting than young people. On a viewer's level, I find it interesting to see all this flesh contrasted with these two old guys struggling with the trials of the flesh themselves. I find it pretty poignant. You see the home movies of the guys in their prime. The message of the movie is very subtle. We didn't want to bring in a sledgehammer. The point is to have 80 fun minutes. The thought- provoking part - well I'm not going to say it's secondary, but clearly this is not a work of academia.
My way of thinking is I like to leave a little bit of something in people's heads. You can't really ask for a whole lot more than that. Generally, you accomplish that by being accessible, intelligent, and funny. It may not set their brains on fire, but it will stick with them. My credo that I work by is "Barroom not classroom." People will listen if they feel that you're telling a story in a barroom. The minute your story starts to sound like something in a classroom, they shut down. They really don't want to hear it. My entire approach to everything is "We're hanging out in a bar and I'm telling you story. Listen to this, I'm going to entertain you." I believe they will remember that story where they will forget the one they heard in the classroom.
--------------END OF EDDIE INTERVIEW-----------------------------------------------
JR: Saying "I like elders," as you have, is almost a culturally subversive thing to say.
Ted Bonnitt: Well in a culture that worships youth like ours, it is a little unusual. But most cultures do at least honor the elderly. One of Dan's great gifts is he had this great life and got to a point where he could look back on it. The charm of this was it was two old guys recalling their careers and we could illustrate it with footage to back it up. One of the reasons this country is as twisted as it is right now, is that it's upside down. it's letting inexperienced children rule the media. Where's the balance and grounding right now?
JR: According to "The New York Times," Dave Friedman said, with a "hint of disappointment," that the film is more of a character study and less about the business. What do you think of Friedman being disappointed that it was a character study?