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in Filmmaking
on Jun 18, 2007

I didn’t know Daniel Robert Epstein personally, but I read and admired the smart, cinephilic and always entertaining interviews he’d do with film directors over at the Suicide Girls site and would often link to them here. Now, Epstein is reportedly dead at 31. There are few details, but click on the link for some remembrances from Missy Suicide and, at current count, over 300 other posters.

And here is another appreciation from Edward Douglas at Coming Soon.

Here’s an excerpt from one of Epstein’s favorite interviews — Alejandro Jodorowsky:

Epstein: El Topo became a seminal movie after its release in the United States. What were your expectations when you finished the film?

Jodorowsky: I never in my life have expectations. I only live. I was very surprised one day, when I was invited to New York for a Bangladesh concert. Ok, I came and a limousine was waiting for me. It was the first time in my life I was in a limousine and I was with a very beautiful Hindu secretary. I came to the first row for the Bangladesh concert and then they took me to a restaurant with all the musicians there. I was astonished. It was almost like a dream. I never expected nothing.

DRE: A big part of the experience of seeing your movies was being on psychedelics and other drugs, were you ever into drugs?

AJ: No, no, for me it wasn’t my reality. At that time, in New York if you don’t take drugs or smoke marijuana or cocaine, you were an idiot person. The first time I smoked a marijuana cigarette I was 40 years old in order to sell the picture. I did it because nobody would take me seriously if I had never smoked. When I went to a party here in New York I had to go to a window with a little hole to breathe because all the smoke from the marijuana was killing me.

DRE: What was your mindset when you were making the films?

AJ: I have a monstrous imagination. I am like a monster, more than Dali, more than Salvador Dali. I have an enormous imagination and all my life I was like that. It is something I do naturally.

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