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Clearly, Jeanne Dielman and Bicycle Thieves are both ‘movement' films. The influence of the women's movement was crucial for Chantal Akerman; Vittorio De Sica's films of the late 1940s are exemplary of neorealism, pioneering the use of non-professional actors and location shooting, and committed to depicting the social problems of post-World War II Italy.
... Citizen Kane and Vertigo are, on the other hand, untethered oddities: both are Hollywood films, benefiting enormously from its technological supremacy, but both are films of fixation, out of kilter with the studio system. This sense of fixation runs from one side of the camera to the other. Kane and James Stewart's Scottie are irrationally driven; Welles and Hitchcock (one at the beginning, one towards the end of his career) conjure up their protagonists' fragile, obsessive structures of self-delusion with a special, perhaps appropriately obsessive mastery of cinematic style.
Laura Mulvey, The greatest film of all time: Jeanne Dielman, 23 quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles, 2 December 2022

The Greatest Films of All Time critics' poll
The Greatest Films of All Time directors' poll

No, I never consciously place symbolism in my writing. That would be a self-conscious exercise and self-consciousness is defeating to any creative act. Better to let the subconscious do the work for you, and get out of the way. The best symbolism is always unsuspected and natural.
Ray Bradbury, Famous Novelists on Symbolism in Their Work—and Whether It Was Intentional, 15 June 2012

I'm not sure it's a good idea for a working novelist to concern himself too much with the technical aspects of the matter [symbolism]. Generally, the best symbols in a novel are those you become aware of only after you finish the work.
Norman Mailer, Famous Novelists on Symbolism in Their Work—and Whether It Was Intentional, 15 June 2012

Some of the great writers of classics consciously, intentionally planned and placed symbols in their writing (Joyce, Dante) more than others (Homer) but it is impossible to think of any significant work of narrative art without a symbolic dimension of some sort.
John Updike, Famous Novelists on Symbolism in Their Work—and Whether It Was Intentional, 15 June 2012

Man is a symbol-making and -using animal. Language itself is a symbolic form of communication. The great writers all used symbols as a means of controlling the form of their fiction. Some place it there subconsciously, discovered it and then developed it. Others started out consciously aware and in some instances shaped the fiction to the symbols.
Ralph Ellison, Famous Novelists on Symbolism in Their Work—and Whether It Was Intentional, 15 June 2012

 

 
 

 

Note: In my honest opinion, I like metaphor, not just for the sake of it but rather the experience of discovering it. As audience, realization of metaphor usually makes films better (though not always).

In a dark alley on the way out of Goethe Institute, the young me realized that the ending of Germany, Pale Mother (1980) could turn the whole film to be metaphoric letter to the whole generation of German youth. (Though it's quite obvious now for the old me.) At a crowded bus stop after FilmVirus screening, the young me discovered that three strangers in Vive L'Amour (1994) could be interpreted as a dysfunctional family of two parents and their estranged son living in Taipei without souls. Those experiences made those films great for me, and maybe only me, not anyone else.

On the contrary, this experience is the reason I didn't much appreciate Hiroshi Teshigahara's Woman in the Dunes (1964) film, since I already had this realization of its metaphors in Kôbô Abe's book and those metaphors were not translated well enough for me as movie.

In another example, I was once invited to be a commentator for student-films screening. There were some films that when I told the filmmakers what their films would mean if they were intended to be metaphors, and they were amazed how different those films were, compared to their actual attitudes. This is problem when you create narratives but not realize that they could be interpreted as somethings against your opinions.

And as filmmaker, films should stand firmly on their feet, with or without metaphor. There were some times when I finished my films and found some new metaphors that I might unconsciously put in the films. Then they made me surprised and grateful that I might learn something more about my own self.

Be it narcissistic, art appreciation could be very individualistic and personal. So feel free to dig into the ground (I'm looking at you, Woman in the Dunes). What you might find maybe just a drop of water to other people, but it could be a big fountain for yourselves.

 

 
 

 

Marlon Brando had such an enormous influence on the psychology of men in America. If you look at the “great” generation of American actors like Dustin Hoffman, Robert DeNiro, Robert Duvall, Gene Hackman, Al Pacino, Morgan Freeman, Meryl Streep, that's all the post-Brando generation. All of them wanted to become actors because of Marlon Brando. He so rewrote the idea of what it was, what it could be. It was like what Bob Dylan did in the culture. It just rewrote the game.
... There are these people who come, and they have a kind of permanent before and after in a certain kind of field. He [Brando] changed the idea of the type of person male actors wanted to be. They [] to be visceral, not polished; they wanted to be masculine; they wanted to be intense. When you look back on Jimmy Stweart, Cary Grant, like that is not what movie stars were aspiring to.
Edward Norton, How Marlon Brando changed Hollywood acting forever, 18 November 2022

It's the worst thing ever when you open a script and read the words ‘strong female lead'. That makes me roll my eyes. I'm already out. I'm bored. Those roles are written as incredibly stoic, you spend the whole time acting tough and saying tough things... Write me like a guy and I'll do the ‘girl' stuff. Just write me as you would a man: fallible and complex and difficult and shady. And we are still having to remind people to not hold women to a certain ideal.
Emily Blunt, Emily Blunt Once Told a Screenwriter to ‘Write Me Like a Guy' to Make Her ‘Difficult and Shady', 17 November 2022

In the diaspora, the Africa we tend to hear about is this fantasy place. Because it's hard to tell a child about slavery – it's so dire and so awful that you kind of have to balance it with something. So we get this fairy-tale version of Africa. ‘We were kings and queens, and we walked around and ate perfect food, and everyone was free.' It becomes kind of like Wakanda.
Ryan Coogler, Wakanda Forever Confronts the Legacies of Colonialism, Not Its Causes, 14 November 2022

We never worried about any of this stuff with the ‘Naked Gun' or ‘Scary Movie' films. We could be as offensive as we like. We went where the laughs were. We never thought that we were offending anyone, but if we were offending people we knew we were on the right track. As time went on, it got to be the '90s and the 2000s and it did change… When we do screenings of ‘Airplane!' we get the question if we could do ‘Airplane!' today. The first thing I could think of is sure, just without the jokes.
David Zucker, ‘Airplane!' Director Says Hollywood Is ‘Destroying Comedy': My James Bond Parody Got Dinged for ‘Mild' Breast Reduction Joke, 10 November 2022

I think Stanley Kubrick said that the only original contribution to film, different from all the other arts, because it comprises only… it combines all the other arts, really, but the only thing that's originally film is editing. It's the editing process.
... (You can) stretch it. They call it plasticity. Films like plastic. You can stretch it. You can stretch out time. I always get amazed when I'm in the cutting room. I work very closely with Thelma, and you know, when you still… I still get a thrill when you cut one shot next to the other and there's a movement, but not a movement of, I must say, it's not a movement necessarily the movement that's on shot A going to shot B, and the moment of shot B coming from shot A.
... It's what the movement that is conjured up in your head by the cut. It's like a spiritual move, in a way. I've studied older films and try to figure out how I got that impression when I saw that particular film, The Third Man, or something like that, and let me see. It was on that cut, wasn't it? And I look, and I see that there isn't any movement between the two shots. I imagine movement.
Martin Scorsese, Martin Scorsese explains why editing film is a “spiritual” experience, 8 November 2022

I said, ‘Mr. Farhadi, I want to tell you that the idea and the plot of my documentary are mine,' He answered, ‘O.K.' And I asked him, ‘So you agree?' He said, ‘O.K.' 
... If in the middle somewhere [in the credits of “A Hero" ], in very small letters, he had thanked ‘a student from my workshop in 2014,' I would be quiet forever. But there was nothing.
... Mr. Farhadi, look at your film. If you watch carefully, you will understand that this is very easy to solve. You can say, ‘O.K., I made a mistake.' But he never does that. I am so sorry Mr. Farhadi is like that. I'm so sorry that Mr. Farhadi doesn't watch his movies carefully. I think he is making films for other people. He doesn't make films for himself.
Azadeh Masihzadeh, Did the Oscar-Winning Director Asghar Farhadi Steal Ideas?, 7 November 2022

I don't want a contract. I don't want money. I just want you to acknowledge that this day occurred. So we will take a picture of us in front of the whiteboard as we start writing the script together. Then, when the film comes out, and you don't acknowledge me, and you just forget who I was, I will show you this picture. At least you will know that there was a moment when this happened.
Mani Haghighi, Did the Oscar-Winning Director Asghar Farhadi Steal Ideas?, 7 November 2022

When I did things like [Miracleman] and Watchmen, they were critiques of the superhero genre. They were trying to show that any attempt to realize these figures in any kind of realistic context will always be grotesque and nightmarish. But that doesn't seem to be the message that people took from this. They seemed to think, uh, yeah, dark, depressing superheroes are, like, cool. The creation of Rorschach [a masked vigilante who is one of Watchmen's main characters]—I was thinking, well, everybody will understand that this is satirical. I'm making this guy a mumbling psychopath who clearly smells, who lives on cold baked beans, who has no friends because of his abhorrent personality. I hadn't realized that so many people in the audience would find such a figure admirable.
... It seemed to me that what people were taking away from works like Watchmen or V For Vendetta wasn't the storytelling techniques, which to me seemed to be the most important part of it. It was instead this greater leeway with violence and with sexual references. Tits and innards.
Alan Moore, Alan Moore Hated HBO's 'Watchmen'—But Not for the Reasons You Think, 7 November 2022

America has always been a great melting pot but there are few things that have been created here and then given back to the world. [and cinema is one of those few things.] 
... People keep talking about making America great again. Maybe they should start with the movies.
Bob Dylan, Bob Dylan Says to Make America Great... You Need to Start with the Movies, 3 November 2022

This is a shoot-the-messenger situation. I'm just telling you what I see, as a guy who has been in this business for 25 years. I don't know that the market is going to be able to support art-house films the way that it did in the past... I've got four kids, so I can identify Gen Z's habits pretty accurately. They don't have the same emotional connection to watching things in a theater.
... Filmmaking is going to transform into some other medium. I don't know what that media is going to be. My guess is that when you can sit in your house, turn to one of the actors that is standing in front of you and say, ‘Hey, Tom Cruise, hold on a second. Tell me about how you filmed this scene,' and the AI-fueled Tom Cruise can turn to you and start explaining, it's over at that point, right? That's when technology will dominate whatever new form of storytelling is coming.
Joe Russo, The Russo Brothers Assemble: Inside AGBO, Their $1 Billion Studio, and When They Might Return to Marvel, 3 November 2022

It's simply because we have such a great collection and variety of supernatural folklore that the rest of the world has never seen before. Last time I checked – I was making a list of ghosts and mythological creatures coming from Indonesia – we have 44 distinct ones. In Southeast Asia, we have such a rich tradition of ghost stories. We love telling our kids these stories! When I was a kid, if my mother did not tell me a scary story, I wouldn't be able to fall asleep. [ laughs ] So that's our culture. Because we have such a wide and unique library of horror, our movies feel fresh, especially from the perspective of a Western audience.
Joko Anwar, Horror maestro Joko Anwar: “In Southeast Asia, we have a rich tradition of ghost stories”, 3 November 2022

I love evil Godzilla, but he's everything. He's an all-purpose monster. He takes care of business, always takes care of business, but he's fought everybody, and he's respected the world around. This character has fought so many different kinds of monsters, it's unreal. I like him as evil, up to no good, but that's changing. He has a son -- it's unbelievable, he got really silly in the '70s, but that's cool.
... The secret sauce is Asian cinema, in general. It has this delightful innocence that sometimes just transforms you. They're not afraid. Here's another monster movie, with the island where the big moth monster lives. [laughs] It's some silly stuff, but it's great stuff. It's just delightful to watch and fun.
John Carpenter, Godzilla: John Carpenter Unveils His Love for the King of Monsters, 1 November 2022

That was a little unfair because it wasn't called ‘Tim Burton's Nightmare Before Christmas' until three weeks before the film came out. And I would have been fine with that, if that's what I signed up for. I mean, Tim is a genius—or he certainly was in his most creative years. I always thought his story was perfect, and he designed the main characters. But it was really me and my team of people who brought that to life.
Henry Selick, Why Does Tim Burton Get Credit for Someone Else's Work?, 1 November 2022

When I look at these big, spectacular films — I'm looking at you, Marvel and DC — it doesn't matter how old the characters are, they all act like they're in college. They have relationships, but they really don't. They never hang up their spurs because of their kids. The things that really ground us and give us power, love, and a purpose? Those characters don't experience it, and I think that's not the way to make movies.
James Cameron, James Cameron Says Marvel, DC Characters Lack Depth: ‘They All Act Like They're in College', 25 October 2022

Jean Vigo's L'Atalante (1934) was a bridge between the surrealism of 1920s French cinema and the poetic realism of the 1930s... Vigo was kinder and more forgiving than the Surrealists, however, and less morbid than the poetic realists.
... Dudley Andrew contends in Mists of Regret (1995) that “the poetic realists for the most part were disappointed children of the bourgeoisie; their weak pessimism shows itself in the terminal fatigue that overcomes the hero of Le Jour se lève (1939), a fatigue that shows up in the very title of Duvivier's La Fin du jour (1939). Vigo's people are never tired. Juliette, the purest of these, explores Paris with reckless curiosity… Vigo's tactile sensibility comes through in characters who subordinate order to adventure. The poetic realists scarcely relished adventure at all.”
Graham Fuller, Artist of the floating world: what makes Jean Vigo's L'Atalante great, 13 November 2019

 

 
 


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