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Robert Redford: Hollywood is just a business – TV interview

Sam Asi with Robert Redford


In an interview I’ve conducted with Robert Redford for my BBC show, Alternative Cinema, the Hollywood superstar explains why he founded the Sundance institute in 1980. “I sensed that the movie market was becoming centralized on the youth market, where they felt the money was, because Hollywood is just a business, nothing more.” Feeling that the stories about human interest and the soul of a struggling person were not being told anymore, he embarked on starting Sundance, that would enable independent filmmakers to develop their projects in order to keep independent cinema alive. He followed that with creating the Sundance Film Festival in 1985, a platform for those filmmakers to show their work.

In spite of his disenchantment with Hollywood, the godfather of independent Cinema still believes that the primary goal of making movies is to entertain. But “I just believe that you could entertain and also inform,” he says. He continues to explain that a movie has to have 3 steps: a story, character and emotion. The problem with many movies, he says, that they have dazzling effects, but no story.

 The Oscar-winning actor/director can currently be seen battling the elements in the independent movie All Is Lost, in which he utters no more than a couple for words for the entire movie, yet delivers one of his best performance of his career.

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