The Hollywood Reporter’s Writers Roundtable — full-length, uncensored video below — includes writers and filmmakers Judd Apatow (“This Is 40”), Mark Boal (“Zero Dark Thirty”), David Magee (“Life of Pi”), Chris Terrio (“Argo”), Michael Haneke (“Amour”) and John Krasinski (“Promised Land”).
They discuss everything from “Innocents of Muslims,” the politics of responsibility with representing historical events – as in “Zero Dark Thirty” and “Argo” – to using autobiography as entertainment and whether or not it’s okay for entertainment to make people feel miserable. The writers also discuss subjects they would not want to tackle on the page, their writing routines, and election politics.
Terrio addresses some of the issues around taking creative license with “Argo,” while Boal believes the entertainment factor is inherent to the factuality of his “Zero Dark Thirty” story. The conversation about history as entertainment leads Haneke to express his issues with Steven Spielberg’s representation of the Holocaust on film. He says he would never make a film about Hitler or the Holocaust because he dislikes the idea of turning it into entertainment — the only responsible film about the Holocaust, in his opinion, is Alain Resnais’ “Night and Fog.”
Judd Apatow talks about using his own life and family as inspiration (and actors) in his “Life is 40” (it stars his wife, children and Paul Rudd).
Krasinski mentions the fear of writing (this was his first screenplay), and how his father was an inspiration for “Promised Land,” which he wrote with co-star Matt Damon.
While discussing Haneke’s heartbreaking “Amour,” the moderator asks, “Is it okay for entertainment to make people feel horrible?” Haneke’s response: “I think truth is always okay.” Yes, the film can be very painful to watch. “But what’s the alternative?” asks Haneke, “Not to speak about it? I don’t think so.”