Quotes

ARP On Money

“My new film, Her Smell, cost less than First Reformed. The crew pulled off miracles and executed things that most people couldn’t dream of affording for twice our budget. We were ruthlessly efficient and I got everything I needed to make the script exactly as I wanted. The film did not sell for $13 million but I remain optimistic that its distribution and release in no way runs the risk of being relegated to esoterica. However, I am sorry to say, to the next 10 filmmakers who have a comparable film at a comparable budget level, I don’t think I made it any easier for you to get your script produced. We are seemingly stuck in a situation befitting classic American ideals where the rich (i.e. easygoing, mass-market crowdpleasers that sell to Schrader’s target companies) benefit or profit the most, the poor (relatively or extremely inexpensive movies) can no longer survive or justifiably exist, and the middle class (movies like Her Smell or First Reformed) are threatened with extinction due to being potentially unsustainable. And if we are not creating a sustainable means of production and also a marketplace for those coming up behind, then I must worry about the future as much as I fret about the present.”
~ Alex Ross Perry

“I just liked the way it looks. There’s a romance to it. I also like when you’re shooting in film, it’s like you’re just burning money. I just love to burn money. I like the sound of it too. Like, ’cause you know, every second you’re just burning that shit.”
~ Harmony Korine on shooting 35mm

~ Gabrielle Hamilton

“That’s the joke of Prune, that we just pretend to be a restaurant. But we’re actually an institute for living. We hide behind the fried eggs, and we hide behind the marrow bones, but really what we’re doing here is trying to change the whole goddamn world, one lamb chop at a time. It’s slow going, but I think we’re getting there.”
~ Gabrielle Hamilton

~ Lydia Lunch

“I’m into pleasure rebellion,” she says, lighting a cigarette. “I’ve shared all my misery and tragedy but in my personal life I’m a cheerleader, an optimist. That aspect of myself is not shared. Once you are free from trauma, you are going to luxuriate in pleasure and happiness – personal pleasure. A divine gluttony, I should say.”
Lydia Lunch

Krzysztof Kieślowski

Did you find the answers?
No, because they don’t exist. That’s why the questions are interesting.
~ Krzysztof Kieślowski

Lydia Lunch

“The celebrity of riches and being famous for doing nothing is a cycle and I hope one day there will be a cultural rebellion. People will be sick of vacant, culturally bankrupt bullshit based on how much you paid for your dress or surgery. Will there be a generational rebellion? Corporations have won – your worth is based on what you make, not what you do or what you say.”
Lydia Lunch

Garth Greenwell

Not writing is the only failure that matters.
For twenty years before I published my first book, I wrote in absolute obscurity, in something that could only look from the outside like failure. Certainly it looked like failure to my family, to many of my friends, often enough to myself. For some of that time I was a student, for much of it I taught high school English. But in all those years, without any visible success, there was only one year that I experienced real failure, the only kind of failure that counts: my first year teaching high school, when I was so overwhelmed that for the nine months of the academic year I didn’t write a word. There’s a grace in the kinds of deadlines MFA programs impose, and for two years you’ve worked hard to meet them. The biggest challenge facing you now is to keep writing without them. There’s no magic to this. Sit at your desk and write.

~ Garth Greenwell

Art is a prayer. ~ Tarkovsky

Art is a prayer.
~ Tarkovsky

David Lynch

“There must be a trillion stories from Musso & Frank. I had the great privilege of meeting John P. St. John, badge No. 1 in LAPD robbery and homicide. He was in charge of the Black Dahlia case. One day John St. John called me and said he’d like to take me to dinner, to show me something. I met with him at Musso & Frank about 8:30 at night, had dinner, and after, he opened his briefcase and took out an 8-by-10 black-and-white, glossy, super beautiful, crisp, clean, focused detail picture of the Black Dahlia laying in the grass. And he said, “David, what do you see?” I looked at it intensely for like 10 minutes. I finally said, “I don’t see it.” He smiled, put the photo away and never talked about it again. I thought about it day and night; it plagued me. It finally dawned on me much later, that the photos he showed me were taken at night. She wasn’t discovered until the next morning.”
~ David Lynch

 

Rami Malek

“I love stories, I am drawn to stories. As any human being, we are constantly on the search for information. We’re constantly trying to figure out the meaning of life. That is man’s great struggle. And I’m sure that’s what every human being is trying to find. Personally, I never cease to be astonished by the human capability for survival, perseverance, compassion, and love. And stories that offer the opportunity to investigate all of those in a visceral way, those are the ones that are almost impossible to pass up on. There is such an adventure aspect to those kinds of stories… I would say nothing in my world is as exciting as creating. But I do need a break every once in a while: spending time with family and friends…”
~ Rami Malek

Michael Mann To Bilge Ebiri On Process

Michael, that ties in to the idea of what you do as a filmmaker. You have to understand people, and then figure out the next step that character needs to take. 

MANN: There’s a similarity of process. What these [DEA] guys are doing is trying to discover what he wants. When you know what he wants, and then if you’re very, very crafty and very, very good — and these guys are — then you can put things out there that can track him. Now he’s on your terms, and he’s moving in a process, and you trap him. Set him up through stings.

In drama, an actor says, “What’s my character’s action in a certain scene? What does he want?” When I’m writing and directing a scene, and in fact a whole movie, I have to know what every single character wants. I have to choreograph what they want to collide with each other. And sometimes what they say they want isn’t really what they want. What they really want is the subtext. And you do that for lots of scenes and lots of acts in the whole movie.

There’s also probably a mutual understanding of process because I kind of use the inverse of police action. They have a perpetrator who’s motivated, that motivation compels him to do something. He commits a crime, he leaves evidence, and he goes on his way. That’s what I’ll invent. What they do is they’re starting with the remains of an event, and trying to work backwards to what motivated this event, and then maybe if you can figure out what motivated this event, you can start to predict his behavior.

~ Michael Mann To Bilge Ebiri On Process

Anthony Bourdain

“Don’t work with assholes. Ever. No matter what they’re offering, no matter what they bring to the table. If they’re the sort of person where the phone rings at 10 o’clock at night and you wince because you see that it’s them, then don’t do business with them. One asshole will ruin your life. I’ve managed my entire TV and filmmaking career to work with people I like and respect. If the point comes where I don’t like or respect someone, I don’t work with them anymore.”

– Anthony Bourdain

Soderbergh

The Atlantic: You saw that the Academy Awards recently held up your 2001 acceptance speech as the Platonic ideal of an Oscar speech. Did you have a reaction?

Soderbergh: Shock and dismay. When that popped up and people started texting me about it, I said, “Oh, it’s too bad I’m not there to tell the story of how that took place.” Well. I was not sober at the time. And I had nothing prepared because I knew I wasn’t going to win [Best Director for Traffic]. I figured Ridley, Ang or Daldry would win. So I was hitting the bar pretty hard, having a great night, feeling super-relaxed because I don’t have to get up there. So the combination of a 0.4 blood alcohol level and lack of preparation resulted in me, in my state of drunkenness crossed with adrenaline surge. I was coherent enough to know that [if I tried to thank everyone], that way lies destruction. So I went the other way. There were some people who appreciated that, and there were some people who really wanted to hear their names said, and I had to apologize to them.
~ Steven Soderbergh

 

Varda

“I have made few films in a way. I never made action films. I never made science fiction films. I never made, really, very complicated settings, because I had modest ambitions. I knew they would never trust me to have the budget to do something different, so my mind is more focused on things I know. So they were always mental adventures I wanted to approach and share. Working for cinema with no – not only no money, but also no ambition for money. I was happy and proud [to receive the honorary Oscar] because of that, that [the Academy] could understand what kind of work I have done over 60 years. I stayed faithful to the ideal of sharing emotion, impressions, and mostly because I have so much empathy for other people that I approach people who are not really spoken about. I have 65 years of work in my bag, and when I put the bag down, what comes out? It’s really the desire of finding links and relationships with different kinds of people. I never made a film about the bourgeoisie, about rich people. about nobility. My choices have been to show people that are, in a way, more common and see that each of them has something special and interesting, rare and beautiful. It’s my natural way of looking at people. I didn’t fight my instincts. And maybe that has been appreciated in the famous circle of Hollywood.“

Agnes Varda

David Attenborough

“I’m convinced that there is a real chance that we may be able to do something to heal the world. If there was one chance in a hundred, you would take it, would you not?”
David Attenborough

Jules Feiffer on Resnais

“One of the charming parts of earlier on in the film was Resnais asked me to deal with Adolph, who was a friend of mine, and tell him that Resnais was shy of approaching him. So that was my job. That’s what I did at a dinner at the Russian Tea Room. I had sent Adolph the script asking him what he thought of it without telling him anything about the part, and he and his wife, Phyllis, we all had dinner at the Russian Tea Room. We talked for a while and then I said, “Look, everything I’ve told you, it was bullshit. I brought you here under false circumstances. Resnais wants you to star in the film as Joey Wheelman.” Phyllis Newman screamed. She put her hands up to her face, she went, “AHHH!” Adolph just blinked and looked stunned. And then we celebrated for the rest of the evening because there was no question he was going to do it. He couldn’t believe that they wanted him. It was one of my fondest memories connected to that production.”
~ Jules Feiffer

Alfonso Cuarón

“The theatrical experience has become so gentrified. There’s this whole opening weekend madness, and I think that it’s a problem that, while the business model has been sound, it hasn’t necessarily been something that’s healthy for cinema. Because then they make the argument, “Oh yes, but the more audiences that come to the cinema, the more healthy your industry.” That’s true, but what, then, is the cinema you’re offering?

“When all of this started happening with the paradigms shifting, each side had to cement their narrative, and they propagated that narrative. There’s going to be a dominant narrative, and that’s the one that everybody was following. Then, when another narrative starts to come up, there’s a conflict there. Many times I’ve said, “Well, that should be in the Wall Street Journal in the business section, not in the film section.” The business has completely overshadowed the whole thing.

“It’s a cause and effect, because then you have studios wanting to conform to that, rather than do something more diverse. What I find interesting now, and I think it has to do with uncertainty about paradigms—the whole thing about platforms versus theatrical and all that stuff—is that you have people in both camps trying to fly the flag of defending cinema. The discussion has nothing to do with cinema; those are economic models. They shouldn’t even touch cinema with their discussions.”
~ Alfonso Cuarón

Quote Unquotesee all »

“Dude, I don’t like the way you talk, bro. How can you tell me that it’s going to be hard? Do you see a lot of people like you writing stories? Give me a break, bro. That’s your strength, that you’re not like us. Go out there and tell your stories. Don’t go out there and try to be like Quentin or me or anybody else. We need you. Tell me what makes you angry, why you’re arrogant, or fearful, whatever it is. Don’t hide anything. Be honest. What is that thing that bothers you and makes you distinct? Everyone’s looking for you. A Mexican point-of-view to tell a story right now? I’m telling you, everybody wants that right now. I desperately need you to tell your story in your way. You are essential.”
~ M. Night Shyamalan

“My films are always brought to life from an idea, a coincidence, or a dreamlike magic. An ephemeral moment that settles in my mind and starts to bloom. The plot slowly appears before my eyes, and there’s nothing left but to write it. I actually do use a mood board. And location scouting is essential to the realization of the film. I’m inspired by architecture — the beauty of certain neighborhoods, the mystery in odd buildings, or streets that suggest psychoanalytic theories. I only choose my actors after I write the script.”
~ Dario Argento