I watched a film this week from 1962. A friend suggested it and was surprised, with my history and catalog of cinema, that I had never seen or heard of it. I was surprised, too. It is a French film called, "La Jetée", from director Chris Marker. I found it is interesting, fascinating, powerful. Film as a set of stills. Obviously a precursor decades later to Terry Gilliam's, "12 Monkeys". A very good film, different, but powerful. That got me to thinking about film directors I have admired for their art over the years. So, I thought some quotes from some of those directors, in no specific order, who thrilled and amazed me through my life, would be in order for this Weekend's Wise Words. Cheers!
An art form requires genius. People of genius are always troublemakers, meaning they start from scracth, demolish accepted norms, and rebuild a new world.
[Although not himself a director, Langlois was a French film archivist and cinephile. He was a pioneer of film preservation when no one really considered it, and an influential figure in the history of cinema. The development of the auteur theory could comfortably be laid at his doorstep as a natural outgrowth from his film screenings in Paris in the1950s.]
I was the perfect guy to do Harry Potter. I remember leaving the meeting, getting in my car, and driving for about two hours along Mulholland Drive just so angry. I mean, Chris Columbus' versions are terrible. Just dull. Pedestrian.
Blondes make the best victims. They're like virgin snow that shows up the bloody footprints.
To me there's no real difference between a fortune teller or a fortune cookie and any of the organized religions. They're all equally valid or invalid, really. And equally helpful.
Imagination is a force that can actually manifest a reality. ... Don’t put limitations on yourself. Other people will do that for you. Don’t do that to yourself. Don’t bet against yourself. And take risk. NASA has this phrase that they like, "Failure is not an option." But failure has to be an option. In art and exploration, failure has to be an option. Because it is a leap of faith. And no important endeavour that required innovation was done without risk. You have to be willing to take those risks. … In whatever you are doing, failure is an option. But fear is not.
You sit at the board and suddenly your heart leaps. Your hand trembles to pick up the piece and move it. But what chess teaches you is that you must sit there calmly and think about whether it’s really a good idea and whether there are other, better ideas.
Un fatto di sangue nel comune di Siculiana fra due uomini per causa di una vedova. Si sospettano moventi politici. Amore-Morte-Shimmy. Lugano belle. Tarantelle. Tarallucci e vino
I write scripts to serve as skeletons awaiting the flesh and sinew of images.
To me style is just the outside of content, and content the inside of style, like the outside and the inside of the human body. Both go together, they can't be separated.
Jean Luc Goddard
What scares me is what scares you. We're all afraid of the same things. That's why horror is such a powerful genre. All you have to do is ask yourself what frightens you and you'll know what frightens me. [For myself, I find it is hard to frighten me; so when I write something that frightens me....]
I think that the appeal of real art is to the unconscious and the subversive. Art is always subversive of society. I think that's one of its functions. The relationship between art and society is always uneasy. If civilization and authority are repressive, then art, by appealing to the unconscious, is subversive of civilization. And yet art needs society. You don't create art in a vacuum. And civilization seems to need art somehow as well. They need to go together. It's a strange duality. I think I do my best subversiveness by not worrying about whether I'm subversive or not.
All the movies are about strange worlds that you can't go into unless you build them and film them. That's what's so important about film to me. I just like going into strange worlds.
I don't want to imitate life in movies; I want to represent it. And in that representation, you use the colors you feel, and sometimes they are fake colors. But always it's to show one emotion.
The present and the past coexist, but the past shouldn't be in flashback.
I rather like mysteries. But I do dislike muddles.
Sir David Lean
The cinema is an invention without a future.
We're suffering from saturation, overkill. The market place is flooded by demand, and there are too many films, so everything gets watered down. Demand is the boss and everything bends to that will. Bigger and not necessarily better shows seem to be the order of the day. I can't watch most of them.
When humor can be made to alternate with melancholy, one has a success, but when the same things are funny and melancholic at the same time, it's just wonderful.
Very often, footage that you have shot develops its own dynamic, it's own life, that is totally unexpected, and moves away from you're original intentions. And you have to acknowledge, yes, there is a child growing and developing and moving in a direction that isn't expected-accept it as it is and let it develop its own life.
With a good script, a good director can produce a masterpiece. With the same script, a mediocre director can produce a passable film. But with a bad script even a good director can't possibly make a good film. For truly cinematic expression, the camera and the microphone must be able to cross both fire and water. The script must be something that has the power to do this
Juxtaposing a person with an environment that is boundless, collating him with a countless number of people passing by close to him and far away, relating a person to the whole world, that is the meaning of cinema.
Now why should the cinema follow the forms of theater and painting rather than the methodology of language, which allows wholly new concepts of ideas to arise from the combination of two concrete denotations of two concrete objects?
Sergei M. Eisenstein
There is no end. There is no beginning. There is only the passion of life.
All my life I've been harassed by questions: Why is something this way and not another? How do you account for that? This rage to understand, to fill in the blanks, only makes life more banal. If we could only find the courage to leave our destiny to chance, to accept the fundamental mystery of our lives, then we might be closer to the sort of happiness that comes with innocence.