"I think about the love affair I've had with Cinema. Images or fragments pop into my consciousness like fireflies. When I'm able to capture their brief flash, they illuminate a dark corner of memory. In forty-five years I've directed only nineteen films, though I've developed or tried to make far more; I've also directed hundreds of television shows live and on film. I've directed a handful of plays and a dozen operas so far. Some of my films are well known; others are forgotten, lost on the roller coaster that is Hollywood, where dizzying heights are followed by gut-wrenching depths. After I finish a film, deliver the prints to the distributor, and do interviews in several countries, the parade's gone by, and it's back to real life. The spotlights go off, there are no more autograph seekers, and all that's left is exhaustion and the thought of what's next. Or could this be it? The idea of quitting never occurred to me, but there were times when I sensed the man was at the door ready to collect the furniture and the keys to the house. Let me share the ride with you, and illuminate, with the help of the fireflies, how my films were conceptualized, shot, edited, and marketed, and how I came to direct operas without ever having seen one. Life is lived forward, but can only be understood backward." Book jacket.