Quotes

William Eggleston

“It makes you much freer, so you can hold the camera up in the air as if you were ten feet tall. You end up looking more intensely as you walk around. When it is time for you to make the photograph, it’s all ready for you. Unlike a rifle, where you carefully aim following a dot or a scope, with a shotgun it’s done with feel. You don’t look down the barrel and line things up. With a fluid movement your body follows a moving target and the gun keeps moving after the shot with what is known as “follow through.” That becomes subconscious. Good shooting instructors will encourage you to follow through. It’s the opposite of the rational method. When I got the prints from this method, they looked like shotgun pictures.”
~ William Eggleston

“In the book, it says ‘a party in a Greenwich village loft.’ That’s all it said. And I said, ‘John, come have dinner with Andy Warhol and all his superstars – let’s turn that scene into a real New York art world party, like the Warhol-style happenings than Andy used to have at his aluminum foil factory. Let’s turn it into a happening.’ And that’s what he did. I got to know Paul Morrissey who directed films for Andy Warhol – we became friends and I met all the Andy Warhol superstars. We cast Viva, Ultraviolet, Taylor Mead, Joe Dallesandro. Andy was hoping to be in the party sequence as well, but while we were in pre-production, doing hair and make-up at the studio, Viva took a phone call with Andy and I heard ‘pop pop pop’! It was a gun going off – Andy had been shot. So that’s why Andy wasn’t in Midnight Cowboy, but he was very glad John used all his superstars, since he was in the hospital for a year and they had no work.”
~ Michael Childers

Isabelle Huppert at 65

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
To have to die.

What do you most dislike about your appearance?
Nothing.

What is your favourite smell?
Fracas perfume by Robert Piguet.

If you could bring something extinct back to life, what would you choose?
The lost plays by Aeschylus and Sophocles.
~ Isabelle Huppert at 65

Anthony Hopkins

“I come from a generation where men were men. There’s nothing soft or touchy-feely about any of us, where we were from in Wales. There’s a negative side to that, because we’re not very good at receiving love or giving it. We don’t understand it. After Richard Burton died, his brother Graham invited me to the Dorchester where they were all having a get-together, the wives and the men, all the sisters and brothers. All pissed. And I noticed the women were sipping their ports and brandy, but all the men were, ‘Come on, drink! Drink!’ I thought, ‘There’s something very Greek about this.’ Men together. You know, like the bouzouki dancers. It’s not homosexuality, but it is a sexuality, a kind of bonding. That’s what I was thinking of.”
~ Anthony Hopkins

Julian Tepper and Philip Roth

“With every table in the dining room occupied and me, the only waiter, neglecting the needs of a good fifty patrons, I approached Roth. Holding out Balls as a numbness set into the muscles of my face, I spoke. “Sir, I’ve heard you say that you don’t read fiction anymore, but I’ve just had my first novel published and I’d like to give you a copy.”

“His eyes lifting from his iPhone, he took the book from my hands. He congratulated me. Then, staring at the cover, he said, “Great title. I’m surprised I didn’t think of it myself.”

“These words worked on me like a hit of morphine. Like two hits. It felt as if I was no longer the occupant of my own body. The legs had gone weak, the ears warmed, the eyes watered, the heart rate increased rapidly. Barely able to keep myself upright, I told him, “Thank you.”

“Then Roth, who, the world would learn sixteen days later, was retiring from writing, said, in an even tone, with seeming sincerity, “Yeah, this is great. But I would quit while you’re ahead. Really, it’s an awful field. Just torture. Awful. You write and write, and you have to throw almost all of it away because it’s not any good. I would say just stop now. You don’t want to do this to yourself. That’s my advice to you.”

“I managed, “It’s too late, sir. There’s no turning back. I’m in.”

“Nodding slowly, he said to me, “Well then, good luck.”

“After which I went back to work.”
~ Julian Tepper

Steven Soderbergh

“Any form of physical or sexual assault is a very serious matter, potentially a legal matter. But I’m also wondering, what about having some kind of “extreme asshole” clause? I know lots of people who have been abused verbally and psychologically. That’s traumatizing, too. What do we do with that?  It takes a lot of energy to be an asshole. The people I admire most just aren’t interested in things that take away from their ability to make stuff. The people I really respect, and that I’ve met who fit this definition, have a sense of grace about them, because they know that there is no evolving and there is no wisdom without humility. You can’t get better if you behave in a way that shuts people off. You can’t! You don’t have all the ideas necessary to solve something. You don’t! I’m sure if you spoke to Harvey in his heyday and said to him what I just said to you, he would believe that he accomplished all that he had because of the way he behaved.”
~ Steven Soderbergh

Tig Notaro in the New York Times

“There are different signs that this is not stopping. I don’t think that anger and frustration and those feelings can go away. I hope they don’t. The attention and support for the victims needs to be continued, more than people worried about these abusers and what’s next for them, how are they going to move on — shut up. You know what? If any of these people come back, I would say, “I can’t wait to see who is actually going to support them.” That is going to be the glaring horror. Who is going to be, like, “This is a pressing issue, and we need to get them back?” If a janitor was so great at cleaning the building but also tended to masturbate in front of people, would the people at that building be like, “Yes, he masturbated, but I’ve never seen anyone clean so thoroughly, and I was just wondering when he’s going to get his job back, he’s so good at it.” No, it would be, “That’s not acceptable.” It’s fame and power that people are blinded by.”
~ Tig Notaro in the New York Times

Paul Schrader

“It’s never been easy. I’ve always been one of the scavenger dogs of film financing, picking up money here and there. I’ve been doing that all my life. This was one was relatively easy because certain costs have gone down so much. I made this film in 20 days whereas 30 years ago, it would have been made in 42.”
~ Paul Schrader

Kasdans Explain Ron Howard

“We’ve got Ron’s soulfulness, his sort of laser focus on what the narrative is which, I think, is what he brings to the table. He’s ruthless in the [edit] and he’s ruthless about ‘How do we tell the story? What is the story here?’” Jon Kasdan said.

“And he’s gifted at mise en scene,” Lawrence Kasdan added. “When two characters are alone in a room, the way you shoot them makes a big impact on what the themes of the movie are.”

~ A Bi-Kasdan Explainer

Owen Gleiberman Offers The Goods On Godard

“Early on, there’s a chapter title that says “1. Remakes,” as if Godard were about to launch a riff on the corruption of Hollywood (if only!). The shot that follows is a retouched image of a nuclear bomb exploding. That’s a very Godardian black joke: the prospect of an atomic blast as a reboot of history. (It’s also a warning.) Speaking to us on the soundtrack, in a voice that’s now so low and sonorous and croaky with import that he sounds like Charles Aznavour crossed with Gollum, the 87-year-old Godard says, “War is here.” He means that it’s here, and also that it’s coming… The actions of citizens can’t be separated from the actions of their government; they’re all one. That’s a truth that too many — especially on the left [sic] — now try to hide from, but Godard doesn’t like to point fingers unless he’s pointing the finger at everyone…  He retains his squirmy fixation on the Middle East, in which the media’s dehumanization of the Arab world — a legitimate complaint — is balanced by Godard’s sanctification of the Arab world. (It’s a little like what he did in his late-’60s Marxist days, when Mao became hipper to him than the Euro-American bourgeoisie.)”
~ Owen Gleiberman Offers The Goods On Godard

Rahmin Bahrani

Burning books in “Fahrenheit 451″ posed a legal challenge. The cover art of most books is protected by copyright, and in most cases we were unable to obtain permission to display it — let alone burn it on camera. So the art directors for my film designed countless original book covers that we could burn. The question was: Which books? There were always more I wanted to burn than we had time to film. I knew I wanted to include some of my favorites, like “Crime and Punishment,” “Song of Solomon” and the works of Franz Kafka. But we had to burn more than just fiction. Herodotus’ “Histories” — history itself — was incinerated. Pages of Emily Dickinson, Tagore and Ferdowsi’s poetry crumbled into black ash. Hegel, Plato and Grace Lee Boggs’ philosophy were set on fire. The firemen discriminate against no one: Texts in Chinese, Hindi, Persian and Spanish all burned. A Mozart score, an Edvard Munch painting, magazines, newspapers, photographs of Sitting Bull, Frederick Douglass and the 1969 moon landing went up in smoke. Famously banned books had to go: “The Autobiography of Malcolm X,” “Lolita,” “Leaves of Grass” and “The Communist Manifesto.” While we were shooting the film, “To Kill a Mockingbird,” a frequent target of censorship, was once again banned in some schools, so into the flames it went. For some authors, having a book burned in the film was a badge of honor. Werner Herzog and Hamid Dabashi generously donated their work to be burned alongside the best and the worst of literature. If we save “Wise Blood” then we must preserve “Mein Kampf” as well. Watching the books burn was an otherworldly experience. The hiss of incinerating pages sounded like the final gasps of hundreds of dying souls. The more we burned, the more hypnotic it became — a mesmerizing spectacle of pages curling and embers dancing into the void.”
~ Rahmin Bahrani

Rian Johnson On The Other Side Of The Wind

“As a Welles fan, this movie lands so hard. On a style level, it’s cut in a way that feels slightly beyond where we are now. It’s got a very fast, collage-like feel. This movie keys directly into what’s grand and tragic about his later years. It taps directly into the fuse box of that tragedy. I’ve seen it twice, and I need to see it a dozen more times.”
~ Rian Johnson On The Other Side Of The Wind

Peter Bart

“In the 1970s and 1980s it became common practice at elite Hollywood dinner parties for guests casually to disrobe after dinner and plunge into the hot tub, lighting up a joint in the process. It never occurred to me, when I found myself next to a famous actress or filmmaker, that recriminations would potentially surface, and I was running a company at the time. Nor did hot tub culture seem to foster sexual activity… It was also common practice in that era to have a one-on-one business meeting with a woman in one’s office, or at a restaurant, without fear of gossip… Standards and mores have changed. I applaud those changes, but am concerned about longterm impact.”
~ Peter Bart 

Claire Denis

“The third question, more or less, is about what it is to be a woman in middle age — is she heroic, is she strong, is she too fragile, is she stupid? Psychological questions which, honestly, I try to avoid because I have the feeling that, sometimes, me — myself — I don’t ask. I’m not even asking myself when I am in trouble, when my life is not so fun. I think I don’t interrogate myself on a psychological level; I think I’m doomed or I’m lucky. You know? I always consider my situation under a very primary statute: am I a victim or am I a brute? So when it comes to a very specific psychological question, I feel that’s better to… it doesn’t go with filmmaking, I think. Filmmaking is a more abstr— it’s not abstract, but, in film, it’s better not to pay too much attention to those things.”
~ Claire Denis

Claire Denis

“If there are theories about me, I’d rather not know. Astrophysics – now that’s fascinating. String theory, worm holes, the expanding universe, the Big Bang versus the Big Bounce – those are the kind of theories that make you feel like living and understanding the mystery of the world. Film theory is just a pain in the ass.”
~ Claire Denis

Tiffany Haddish

“I had a knockoff Michael Kors bag that said MLK instead of MK. Jada told me that I shouldn’t have knockoff stuff. I told her that my philosophy is, Whatever the bag costs, I should be able to keep that amount of cash in the bag. If it’s a $300 purse, I have to put $300 in cash in that purse. I do not want a bag that is more expensive than the cash I have to put in it. Things are going good for me now, so I am graduating to your Fendis and your Guccis. But I better have the cash equivalent, or I’m not buying the purse. And if things start to go wrong, I’m going right back to my knockoffs. When you’re somebody like me, who’s been homeless, clothes are not that important. Clothes are not a roof over my head, food in my ­stomach, my family’s health—that’s what money is for. But fashion helps get more money. So, we ride.”
~ Tiffany Haddish

Tom Stoppard

“It’s the job of the artist, to exploit connections. You see, I speak on behalf of the world of the artist without hesitation! People don’t realize that the part of the playwright is finding something for people to talk about. If you are writing about a historical episode, or two characters in ‘Hamlet,’ you have a structure for free.”
~ Tom Stoppard

Quote Unquotesee all »

“Because of my relative candor on Twitter regarding why I quit my day job, my DMs have overflowed with similar stories from colleagues around the globe. These peeks behind the curtains of film festivals, venues, distributors and funding bodies weren’t pretty. Certain dismal patterns recurred (and resonated): Boards who don’t engage with or even understand their organization’s artistic mission and are insensitive to the diverse neighborhood in which their organization’s venue is located; incompetent founders and/or presidents who create only obstacles, never solutions; unduly empowered, Trumpian bean counters who chip away at the taste and experiences that make organizations’ cultural offerings special; expensive PR teams that don’t bring to the table a bare-minimum familiarity with the rich subcultural art form they’re half-heartedly peddling as “product”; nonprofit arts organizations for whom art now ranks as a distant-second goal behind profit.”
~ Eric Allen Hatch

To me, Hunter S. Thompson was a hero. His early books were great, but in many ways, his life and career post–Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail is a cautionary tale for authors. People expected him to be high and drunk all the time and play that persona, and he stuck with that to the end, and I don’t think it was good for him. I always sort of feel mixed emotions when I hear that people went and hung out with Hunter and how great it was to get high with Hunter. The fact is the guy was having difficulty doing any sustained writing at all for years probably because so many quote, unquote, “friends” wanted to get high with him … There was a badly disappointed romantic there. I mean, that great line, “This is where the wave broke, the tide rolled back … ” This was a guy that was hurt and disappointed and very bitter about things, and it made his writing beautiful, and also with that came a lot of pain.
~ Anthony Bourdain