Ross Gay in Praise of Kurosawa’s Dreams and Making Beautiful (and Un-Beautiful) Things
In Conversation with Mychal Denzel Smith on the Open Form Podcast
Welcome to Open Form, a weekly film podcast hosted by award-winning writer Mychal Denzel Smith. Each week, a different author chooses a movie: a movie they love, a movie they hate, a movie they hate to love. Something nostalgic from their childhood. A brand-new obsession. Something they’ve been dying to talk about for ages and their friends are constantly annoyed by them bringing it up.
In this episode of Open Form, Mychal talks to Ross Gay (Inciting Joy) about the 1990 film Dreams, directed by Akira Kurosawa.
Subscribe and download the episode, wherever you get your podcasts!
From the episode:
Ross Gay: I so admire that one of the best filmmakers of all time is experimenting late in his practice, which I aspire to do and I admire when I see folks who are like, yeah, I’m trying to do something I don’t know how to do. Which is also why some of the dreams I remember more powerfully.
This is what I’ve been thinking lately—people who are really good at stuff, who make beautiful things, also make un-beautiful things. To me, that’s a quality. You make stuff, and you’re trying hard. Some of the shit you make should not be beautiful.
Ross Gay is the New York Times bestselling author of The Book of Delights: Essays and four books of poetry. His Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude won the 2015 National Book Critics Circle Award and the 2016 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award, and was a finalist for the National Book Award; and Be Holding won the 2021 PEN America Jean Stein Book Award. He is a founding board member of the Bloomington Community Orchard, a non-profit, free-fruit-for-all food justice and joy project. Gay has received fellowships from Cave Canem, the Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference, and the Guggenheim Foundation. He teaches at Indiana University.