Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...

The 10 Best Things Harvey Weinstein Said at His Zurich Film Festival Masterclass

Photo of Nigel M Smith By Nigel M Smith | Indiewire September 30, 2013 at 9:44AM

Harvey Weinstein took a break from campaigning for this year's slate of Weinstein Company award hopefuls to take part in a Masterclass at the still underway Zurich Film Festival in Switzerland, where his company is screening Ryan Coogler's Sundance sensation "Fruitvale Station," Weinstein's 10th film with Colin Firth "The Railway Man," and the upcoming inspirational drama "One Chance."
0
"I like stories about outsiders."

What a film needs to have in order to get him interested.

"I like stories about outsiders," he said. "I felt like one when I was a kid." He also added that he likes films that are "educational without being medicine."

He's urging his brother to make "Scream 5" happen.

Weinstein said that he's urging his brother Bob, who heads Dimension Films, to make "Scream 5" happen. "Everyone lived in ‘Scream 4," he said. "I'm begging him to do the movie and just end it. We've milked that cow."

He really likes "Prisoners."

"I will tell you that outside of the movies that we made this year and we acquired, I saw the movie that's the best film I've seen this year which is 'Prisoners,'" Weinstein said. "It is is such an extraordinary work of art. Why I should be promoting a Warner Bros. movie when they tortured me on 'The Butler'... Even I have to say it was painful, torture. Nonetheless they made a great movie and they're good guys. Hugh Jackman and Jake [Gyllenhaal] are amazing in it. It's incredible."

Viola Davis, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Terrence Howard in 'Prisoners'
Warner Bros. Viola Davis, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Terrence Howard in 'Prisoners'

Not acquiring "La Femme Nikita" was the biggest mistake he's made.

When asked to list his biggest regret, Weinstein was quick to say it was not grabbing rights to Luc Besson's "La Femme Nikita." He said that he'd shown up to the screening ten minutes into the film and didn't see what the big deal was as a result. "If you see me ten minutes early at screenings, you now know why," he said.

He urges aspiring writers/filmmakers to use material available to them.

Weinstein ended the talk by offering his advice to aspiring filmmakers. "If you think you have to buy the number one bestseller, don't. Go back in time, find a book that was written in 1940 that is great. Bernhard Schlink's detective novels are damn good and most of them haven't been made, somebody with a vision could do those. Easier than that is that Jane Austen is in the public domain, anybody can make 'Emma.' We made it but maybe you can make it again, make it better. Chekhov short stories, Tolstoy novels, they are there waiting for you. Get great material, the writing is so important."

This article is related to: Harvey Weinstein, Harvey Weinstein, The Weinstein Company, Awards, Academy Awards, Grace of Monaco, Prisoners, Zurich Film Festival, Interviews