Dicks: The Musical director Larry Charles is opening up about why he steers away from being involved with big-budget blockbuster projects.
On Thursday’s episode of the WTF with Marc Maron podcast, the Borat director, who prefers to put his energy into indie movies and TV shows, slammed the current Hollywood system.
“I try to make things like Dangerous Comedy or this movie [Dicks: The Musical] — this movie’s a very low-budget movie,” Charles said. “Politically for me, ethically for me, I find it offensive when movies cost $250 million and the world is in the state that it’s in. So I’m also looking to make a statement in the way these things are made.”
Charles has seen the way comedy and media are disbursed around the world during his travels for his four-part Netflix docuseries, Larry Charles’ Dangerous World of Comedy, which is why he is especially critical of what he called a “media monopoly system” in the United States.
“Kind of an authoritarian big brother sort of thing that we — they’ve figured out over the years, they don’t have to make you, they don’t have to scare you, they have to seduce you,” the Seinfeld producer said. “So we’re all seduced by great TV shows and great movies and we’re distracted by those things, and we’re then indulging in that same capitalist system and there’s no way it’s going to change as long as we do that. … I struggle with that.”
But the Curb Your Enthusiasm director-producer is appreciative that he has found a way to make his “radical work,” even though the current industry climate and constantly changing media landscape continues to make it more difficult.
“The way I can make a radical work is by saying that I could do it for a little money, and the way [producers and directors] say yes to it is they think, ‘Oh, that radical little work that’s not going to cost any money is going to make money.’ Absolutely. That is the system,” Charles explained.
He continued, “I haven’t been able, I’ve been doing stuff on YouTube, I’ve been trying to figure out a way to get out of that, to move out of that. It’s very, very difficult to do. Because YouTube is owned by somebody, Instagram is owned by somebody. Everything, you know, it’s very hard to get your word out, your thoughts out.”
Charles’ latest project, A24’s Dicks: The Musical, which stars Josh Sharp, Aaron Jackson, Nathan Lane, Megan Mullally, Megan Thee Stallion and Bowen Yang, is currently playing in theaters.
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