Like the whole house in Home Alone is completely wrong. I mean the decoration, the look of it. We never found anybody that lived anything like that. I mean the people that lived in the real house, you know we used a real exterior which we altered quite a bit, but they were well-to-do Germans, very nice. Their house had no window treatments. A lot of beautiful floors and area rugs, almost a Japanese kind of feeling. I kept them out of the set until it was finished and dressed. Partly because I thought that it would be amusing. Then I brought them into the set. It freaked them out because they thought people would think they lived in such an ugly place. Do you think people really think we live in a house like this? It’s too garish, isn’t it? I mean a year later they were taking bows in House and Garden like it was their house. They’re human. No, I knew that their eyes would just fall. They just thought it was so terrible.
You do the research and then you throw it away. It gives you an impression. Usually wrong. It’s like the idea of justifying things by research. You don’t justify by research because you can justify anything with research. You can justify that Romans had dreadlocks or something. What you have to do instead is justify it on artistic grounds, Is this going to help the story or not?
AS: So it becomes the difference between the reality and what would look good on film.
JM: All that’s important is the movie. You can’t possibly be right. As soon as you roll the camera it’s lying. Someone said that film is truth 24 frames a second, totally wrong. It’s lies 24 times a second. Hopefully good lies. Beautiful lies.