Sam Adams has a wonderful interview with Bob Balaban over at the A.V. Club.
I like this part:
AVC: Speaking of great directors, your role in Close Encounters was as translator to the scientist played by François Truffaut, and the sense from your diaries is that you played a similar role offscreen.
BB: It was so much fun. You can only imagine [having] one of your favorite directors be absolutely dependent on you for eight months of shooting. I could speak fairly good French, and he really didn’t like to speak English. He would bring me scripts, I would translate them, and we would have discussions afterward. He didn’t like reading the scripts in English, so I would read them and describe to him what it was, and what was going on. It was great. Truffaut was great with kids, also. At one point—I’m sure I’ve said this in my book, and three or four thousand times already—Truffaut said for him there were literally two things that interested him in all of his movies. That was it. He said life was short—how prescient he was, because he died eight years later. But he said, “I’m never going to have enough time to make all of the movies I want. So I can only make movies about men and women and their relationships, and children and their relationships. That’s it, that’s all that interests me.” That’s everything in the world, but it also rules out a huge amount of things. It mostly rules out anything mechanical. At one point, he was asked to direct Bobby Deerfield, I think. He said, “Too much ‘vroom vroom.’” What he really meant was it wasn’t about men and women falling in love, or children.
Fascinating. To have such a firm grasp on what you want to make movies about and then to do just that.