There is no communication in this world except between equals.
I have made a film about jazz that tries to look through jazz to see what it tells us about who we are as a people. I think that jazz is a spectacularly accurate model of democracy and a kind of look into our redemptive future possibilities.
I treat the photograph as a work of great complexity in which you can find drama. Add to that a careful composition of landscapes, live photography, the right music and interviews with people, and it becomes a style.
When you are editing, the final master is Aristotle and his poetics. You might have a terrific episode, but if people are falling out because there are just too many elements in it, you have to begin to get rid of things.
You know, you meet some people, and do a lot of interviews, and you come across a Buck O'Neill and you know you are going to know him for the rest of your life. The same thing happened with Curt Flood.
I think we too often make choices based on the safety of cynicism, and what we're lead to is a life not fully lived. Cynicism is fear, and it's worse than fear - it's active disengagement.
Wynton told us that Miles sold out, just wanted to make more money, just wanted to sell more records. I don't believe that Miles sold out but I'm not in a position to say.
I am passionately interested in understanding how my country works. And if you want to know about this thing called the United States of America you have to know about the Civil War.
I began to feel that the drama of the truth that is in the moment and in the past is richer and more interesting than the drama of Hollywood movies. So I began looking at documentary films.
The genius of our country is improvisation, and jazz reflects that. It's our great contribution to the arts.
By its very nature, no one person can ever be the center of jazz.
In most films music is brought in at the end, after the picture is more or less locked, to amplify the emotions the filmmaker wants you to feel.
Like a layer on a pearl, you can't specifically identify the irritant, the moment of the irritant, but at the end of the day, you know you have a pearl.
We're having a hard time understanding where jazz is going. What happened to jazz?
You need, as a historian, essential triangulation from your subject and the only way you get that triangulation is through time.