In 335 B.C., Aristotle wrote Poetics, a landmark work of literary theory. In it, the great philosopher asserted that “spectacle” was the least-important component of a play, ranking far below the work's “morality” and “logic.” Aristotle's treatise became so critically acclaimed, it soon drew the attention of Hollywood. In 334 B.C., he moved to Los Angeles, where he took a job as a film producer. Since then, Aristotle’s movies have grossed over 1 billion dollars. I interviewed him recently at his house in Malibu.
Me: Thanks for taking the time to speak to me. I know how busy you are.
Me: Thanks, I already had lunch.
Aristotle: Tristan, get this guy some sushi!
Me: Okay. Thanks. So, I guess my first question is: Do you still believe what you wrote in Poetics?
Aristotle: I was a kid when I wrote that, trying to get laid. It's all bullshit.
Me: So what would you now say are the most important components of a dramatic work?
Aristotle: You really want to know? I'll rank them for you. (shouting into my tape recorder) One: tits. Without tits, you're sunk. Two: tits. A second pair. Guys get sick of looking at the same pair of tits all movie. So an hour in, whammo – you gotta give them another pair of tits.
Me: What about morality and logic?
Aristotle: Not even on the list. Tristan, damn it, where's the sushi? He asked for some goddamn sushi.
Me: I really don't need any.
Aristotle: Yes you do. I've got two guys back there, working full-time. They sleep in the kitchen, spend all night making their little rice balls or whatever. If you don't try their sushi, you're fucking insane. It's the best you'll ever have.
Me: We were talking before about the elements of drama. Are any other components important? Besides tits?
Aristotle: No. Movies are a tits-delivery system. That's all it is. When Johnny Popcorn goes to the mall in Bumfuck, Nebraska, he's paying to see tits. He's had a horrible day at the metal factory, his wife is fat, and his kids are morons. He just wants to escape with a nice pair of tits. Can you blame him? His life is a living hell.
Me: And how do you feel about plays?
Aristotle: [mimes vulgar gesture] Last play I saw I couldn't make heads or tails out of. I kept thinking, “This could really use some tits.” Tristan, you fucking moron, this man is starving. Where's his sushi? Oh, it's right here. I didn't see you put it here. [He eats it all.] Okay, I'm tired. Fuck off.