— Do figures from your own biography ever find their way into your storytelling? For example, is the father in The Royal Tenenbaums based on your father?
— In The Royal Tenenbaums I was trying to use some things that happened to me, but they are very changed when they become a movie. It's some things from my memory where I thought: "This is something of my own that I can use here". But the father-son thing may at least have much to do with people that I have met. For many years I have had a number of different friends who are in the same age range as my father and they have quite influenced me. Some of them are real characters. So that's maybe as much where that comes from as anywhere else.
— What kinds of films do you feel like you draw on the most?
— The kind of movies that I want to make draw probably equally on European and American movies and maybe some Japanese or Indian, too. But the biggest are European, American, and British traditions. I am more interested in a classical kind of moviemaking. I like to be dazzled in the movies, and I don't feel I am very reserved in the way I direct. But they come from a tradition of cinema. My favorite filmmakers are people like John Huston, Orson Welles, Jean Renoir, Roman Polanski, Stanley Kubrick, Fellini, and Bergman – and that's how I was formed as a filmmaker. Those are the biggest influences.
— You also have stuck to the tradition of shooting on film and have yet to shoot a film digitally.
— True, but I don't know. In a year, in two years, I don't know if it will be a reasonable option to shoot on film. Sometimes I see a movie now that is shot digitally and I don't even know.
I am interested in all different kinds of filmmaking. I don't know if I see something slipping away. There are lots of very strong- minded, personal filmmakers and they will always do what they believe in.