A List of Things Barbra Streisand Said at the Tribeca Film Festival That Prompted Audience Applause

Images via Getty.
Images via Getty.

On Saturday, Barbra Streisand sat down with Robert Rodriguez in front of a rapturous audience at the BMCC Tribeca Performing Arts Center for a discussion about her career. Their talk focused mainly on her film work (the hourlong event was part the Tribeca Film Festival’s Tribeca Talk series) and was moderated by Rodriguez because they’re apparently friends? You learn something new everyday, though I didn’t learn anything new about Rodriguez’s films as none of them were discussed. The roles here were clearly defined: Rodriguez fawned and gently curated glimpses back at highlights of Streisand’s film career (no mention of Nutshave you watched its trailer recently???—or The Mirror Has Two Faces), while Streisand luxuriated in the love and doled out what seemed like frank anecdotes about her life of overachieving and straight-shooting.


Per a gay couple in what looked to be their 50's complaining outside the venue at the show’s end that I eavesdropped on, Streisand told a lot of the same stories she always tells. I don’t know all her stories so many of them were new to me. While Rodriguez never threw anything truly challenging at Streisand, he did facilitate an extended discussion on Streisand’s reputation for directing her directors. Instead of demurring for fear of proving those right who claimed her “difficult,” Streisand leaned into her opinionated nature without apology, sharing stories about how she thought movies she starred in could have been improved (she spoke of the removal of key scenes in Love Story and blocking A Star Is Born’s “Evergreen” scene).

“I always had opinions and opinions in the ’60s were not popular from women,” she said prior to sharing several of them.

So that was pretty cool. Another thing that was pretty cool was Streisand’s one-liners that the audience ate up: served and consumed like buttah. Here’s a partial list of those things, mostly divorced from context, with the response level noted (1 means literally one person clapped; 10 would mean everyone in the entire placed clapped, which I didn’t see happening except for when Streisand and Rodriguez entered and exited the stage):

“…Marlon Brando.” Applause level: 1

“…Brooklyn” Applause level: 5

“I’ve been working for two years on my autobiography.” Applause level: 6

“It’s very hard for me to write about myself, it’s like, you know, been there, done that.” Applause level: 1

“Actually, interesting things come out of it, but mostly it’s…I’d rather be directing a film, put it that way?” Applause level: 2

“What was the question again?” Applause level: 1

“Even later on, when I had a career as a singer, people would say, ‘How do you hold the note so long?’ And I said, ‘Because I want to.’” Applause level: 4

“I had no discipline. I remember teaching my mother how to smoke a cigarette at 10 years old.” Applause level: 1


“That’s when I decided to be a director!” Applause level: 9

“I’m a terrible lip-syncer, because I can’t be in the moment if I’m trying to do something that was done three months before, do you know what I mean? I don’t work that way.” Applause level: 8


“I said, if you have a good operator, he’ll follow my head. Two: My head’ll come back!” Applause level: 6

“He yelled action, but I yelled cut.” Applause level: 4

“Five, but who’s counting.” (In reference to Yentl’s Oscar nominations) Applause level: 5


“[Yentl] wasn’t nominated for Best Picture. That was Prince of Tides.” Applause level: 3

“I thought, why is this psychiatrist singing?” Applause level: 3

“I’ll never forget the sound of her voice. She said, ‘Well? You wanna know what I think about Yentl? I liked it, but I didn’t LOVE IT!’” Applause level: 2


“...Pauline Kael.” Applause level: 1

“Not enough women are directing now!” Applause level: 5

“Don’t mention a wall to me. I don’t want any wall!” Applause level: 7

“The score of Yentl is pretty fantastic, I must say.” Applause level: 3

“...Johnny Mathis.” Applause level: 3

“I’m always drawn to pain for some reason.” Applause level: 2

“It’s good to have a man speak.” (This happened during the Q&A as the lone guy started his question. “I’m glad I sound like one!” he chirped back.) Applause: 2


“I can’t believe somebody has 10 children!” Applause level: 7

Some Pig. Terrific. Radiant. Humble.



I’ve always loved her in Mrs. Doubtfire.