The best time in the writing, I think, is when I have no idea how to do it. I just play the game. I can lie down on the sofa and can look into the fire. I can go to the seaside and just sit down and do nothing, I just play the game and it’s wonderful. I make some notes, and I can go on for a year. Then, when I have made a plan, the difficult job starts. I have to sit down on my ass every morning at ten o’clock and write the screenplay. Then something very strange happens. Very often the personalities in my scripts don’t want the same thing I want. If I try to force them to do what I want them to do, it will always be an artistic catastrophe. But if I let them free to do what they want and what they tell me, it’s okay. So I think this is the only way to handle it. All intellectual decisions must come afterward.
You have seen Cries and Whispers? For half a year, I went around and just had a picture inside my head of three women walking around in a red room with white clothes. I couldn’t understand why these damned women were there. I tried to throw it away. I tried to write it down. I tried to find out what they said to each other, because they whispered. And suddenly it came out that they were watching another woman who was dying in the next room. Then the screenplay started—but it took about a year. It’s very strange. The script always starts with a picture with some kind of tension in it, and then slowly it comes out.