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The studios didn't invent Rotten Tomatoes, and most of them don't like it. But the system is broken. Audiences are dumber. Normal people don't go through reviews like they used to. Rotten Tomatoes is something the studios can game. So they do.
... I read some reviews of my own films where the writer might say that he doesn't think that I pull something off, but, boy, is it interesting in the way that I don't pull it off. To me, that's a good review, but it would count as negative on Rotten Tomatoes.
Paul Schrader, The Decomposition of Rotten Tomatoes, 6 September 2023

Once upon a time, Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert turned the no-budget documentary Hoop Dreams into a phenomenon using only their thumbs. But critical power like that has been replaced by the collective voice of the masses.
... To filmmakers across the taste spectrum, Rotten Tomatoes is a scourge. Martin Scorsese says it reduces the director “to a content manufacturer and the viewer to an unadventurous consumer.” Brett Ratner has called it “the destruction of our business.” But insiders acknowledge that it has become a crucial arbiter. Publicists say their jobs revolve around the site. “In the last ten years,” says one, “it's become much more important as so many of the most trusted critics have retired without replacements.”
Lane Brown, The Decomposition of Rotten Tomatoes, 6 September 2023

With a changing culture and changing technology, it's hard to see cinema slipping back into the prominence it once held. I think we could feel it coming on when they started calling films “content” — but that's what happens when you let tech people take over your industry...
... In my heart of hearts, I know that the percentage is still the same and that there are a ton of great films being made every year worldwide, without pause. That alone should give us some hope. We can bemoan the state of the industry, but that's a cliché and people have been doing it forever. For so many people across the globe, this is still their art form. That's how they want to communicate and there's a lot of collective, creative energy still pouring into moviemaking.
Richard Linklater, Richard Linklater on His Comedy Thriller ‘Hit Man' and Why Indie Movies Might Be “Gone With the Algorithm”, 5 September 2023

For me, I was more confident before. When we were making ‘Bottle Rocket,' I felt like I really knew what I wanted it to be. And it helped that I had a partner, I had Owen Wilson, we'd written it together, the two of us were a team, so that goes a long way in that situation.
... But then when we screened the movie publicly, we didn't screen it in an encouraging environment. We blamed the audience. The confidence I had was too much, and it was quite shaken by this experience. It was a terrible way to first screen a movie. We had 86 people in the audience, I think, and by halfway through about 20 were left, and I watched them leave. You watch somebody get up and you say, ‘Maybe this one's just going to the bathroom. But they're taking all their bags with them…'
... Confidence is a crucial thing. I don't know how you build it up. I know how you can have it torn down! You protect yourself from it, and the best way to do that is to have people with you, that you can trust by your side. It's hard to maintain those relationships, especially in the beginning when it's so much about the things we want, what we want our lives to be and our work to be.
Wes Anderson, Wes Anderson Thinks He Was ‘More Confident' as a Filmmaker in the Days of ‘Bottle Rocket', 2 September 2023

I would like to say that I consider all of my films to be very politically engaged. I never narrowed it down to a totalitarian system, the way, for example, the artist dissident would. Because I realize that civilization does allow for the creation or existence of something as sick as Fascism or Stalinism, then the entire civilization itself is very ill, something is wrong. I always wanted to penetrate the core of this problem. Not to just concentrate on the very surface of political activity.
... My films are universal, they can communicate with audiences outside of the Czech Republic. So, just because the political situation changed in Czechoslovakia, doesn't mean that the universe or the civilization changed at the same time. As far as I was concerned, there was no reason to change my enemy. It will always be the same.
Jan Švankmajer, Dissecting the meaning behind the stop-motion oddities of Jan Švankmajer, 1 September 2023

I have a feeling that Truffaut and Godard, a lot of European filmmakers… whether it's the system they are working under or… their movies are texturally inferior somehow, there's something missing in them, just in terms of a visceral approach to a movie. And I can't figure out whether it's [that], or whether they haven't the technicians, or what. But there is a distance from the screen to the audience.
... My whole philosophy of movies is that movies are not intellectual, they are not ideas, that is done in literature and all sorts of other forms. Movies are emotional; an audience should cry or laugh or get scared. I think the audience should project into the film, into a character, into a situation, and react. I don't feel you can just sit and analyse the film intellectually because then it has failed. So in terms of extending the genres, philosophical ideas, I'm not as interested in that as I am in getting the audience to react, really to project into the film, and come away having had an experience.
John Carpenter, The directors John Carpenter called “textually inferior”, 1 September 2023

A lot of people are really wanting to call this ‘Martin Scorsese's Western'. With Natives and Westerns, we are so dehumanized that it just kind of feels like we're part of the landscape – instead of humans that are telling a story.
Lily Gladstone, Lily Gladstone Says ‘Killers of the Flower Moon' Is ‘Not a White-Savior Story', 30 August 2023

If you're going to start reading reviews then you've got to read the bad ones, you can't just go show me the good ones. It's absurd to do that. When I started looking at reviews for “Birth,” of course some were scathing, people loathed it. It was a nasty, nasty response. You can't pretend that that doesn't affect you, it does. It takes chunks out of you on some level. I realized soon after that it's important not to confuse something that is good with something that is well-received. They are not the same thing and equally something bad. When I kind of understood that, then the process for me became much easier and I could remove myself from caring about it. You're kind of sensitive to criticism, but you're also sensitive to praise so you have to kind of push that away and get on with what you're going to do next. So I think I was very committed to continue on the path I was going. I wanted to keep going on that road. I lost more and more people along the way, in other words I had a smaller audience along the way then so be it. As long as there was someone out there prepared to let me make films the way I felt like I wanted to make them, then I would carry on doing that, with an ever-dwindling audience perhaps.
Jonathan Glazer, Scarlett Johansson Almost Cried After ‘Worst' ‘Under the Skin' Venice Premiere, Says Festival Director, 29 August 2023

For [Arab] conservatives, women's freedom is permissible so long as it does not diminish the stature of the man and challenge religious family values.
... For the alleged liberals, this brand of "angry feminism", as they dub it, stands in contrast to what they see as the liberal ideal of womanhood: the overtly sexualised, obliging woman who welcomes her objectification (which, in itself, is apparently a crucial tool for combatting religious extremism).
... The reaction towards Barbie says more about Arab men than the film itself.
Joseph Fahim, Barbie: Why the Greta Gerwig film has provoked anger in the Arab world, 25 August 2023

I will never see any Star Wars films, because I resent that I know so much about them and the characters. Why is all that in my head when I've never actually seen one, you know? Why do I know about R2-D2 and Darth Vader and all these things when I've never even seen any Star Wars film? I've never seen Gone with the Wind and I never will, just because I feel like it's forced on me and it's some kind of corny thing. 
... But these are very subjective, just kind of stubborn things on my part. I don't like mass things being shoved on me, but I will go see them. Like The Terminator is a masterpiece of cinema. It's a big action movie, essentially. So I don't really differentiate.
Jim Jarmusch, An Interview with Jim Jarmusch, 26 July 2023

Finally, it's happening. This has been coming my whole life… I felt like I was seeing myself. I felt seen. I think a lot of Kens will feel seen when they see this. Gotta do it for the Kens. Nobody plays with the Kens.
Ryan Gosling, The reason Ryan Gosling decided to join the ‘Barbie' cast, 26 July 2023

We don't have a lot of neon in Scandinavia, unfortunately. But I've always been attracted to, I guess, the bisexuality of neon and because it's like a collision between analog and digital, and yet it has this heightened sense of flair. So it looks artificial, but it's actually an almost analog sensibility and it just naturally, I guess, attracted my senses. There is something very interesting about using a lighting texture to define what you do, especially with moving images.
Nicolas Winding Refn, Nicolas Winding Refn Remembers ‘Only God Forgives' 10 Years Later: ‘Art Is an Act of Violence', 21 July 2023

The ideal audience for "Barbie" is not young women who happily grew up playing with Barbies but a later vengeful generation that resents the toy's suggestion of outdated femininity. Barbie opens with a riff on 2001: A Space Odyssey where sullen little girls smash old-fashioned baby dolls (i.e., the idea of motherhood). Non-maternal Barbie (Robbie) towers over these fitful tykes, shadowing them like Kubrick's black slab and inspiring violent resistance. Doll babies are tossed in the air, then fall into Barbieland, because the idea of women's liberation has been weaponized.
Armond White, Barbie Gets Weaponized, 19 July 2023

But the point is that if you create the ultimate destructive power it will also destroy those who are near and dear to you. So I suppose this was my way of expressing that in what, to me, were the strongest possible terms.
Christopher Nolan, Christopher Nolan Explains Why He Cast His Daughter as a Burn Victim in ‘Oppenheimer', 15 July 2023

Through the decades in Iran, the restrictions and censorship rules have been integrated by directors even unconciously. Our greatest directors have avoided subjects that have to do with contemporary society. Now we are gradually dealing with the heart of the crisis. The world can support us by paying more attention to this cinema, and not only mainstream Iranian cinema.
Ali Ahmadzadeh, ‘Barbie' Got Banned and Hollywood Is Still on Strike, but We Really Need to Talk About Iran, 19 August 2023

Jinnah was outraged that his nation's larger neighbour would be called India. He believed that Pakistan was a part of India, the great landmass recognised as a coherent civilisation for centuries. Jinnah saw India as a construct that was altogether greater than the two new nation-states.
... He suggested calling what is today India, Bharat, or Hindustan, signifying its membership of a larger and even more capacious entity called India. Instead, the Republic of India presented itself through its name as the natural successor to British India, with Pakistan as an aberration.
Imran Mulla, Peter Oborne, Bharat: How Modi's move to rename India could break the link with 1947, 7 September 2023




Note: Colonialism in Asia (1): Arabia to India Subcontinent

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The Conformist liberated me visually. The film really broke the mould of production design, primarily due to the work by Ferdinando Scarfiotti. As a filmmaker, Bertolucci combined the time manipulation of Antonioni with the vivid editorial juxtapositions of Godard, and he really used production design to combine all of those things together. The Conformist was the first film I know of that treated locations like they were sets.
Paul Schrader, Paul Schrader names the five iconic movies that "liberated" him, 3 July 2023

I think Truffaut's films are like a river, lovely to see, to bathe in, extraordinarily refreshing and pleasant. Then the water flows and is gone. Very little of the pleasant feeling remains because I soon feel dirty again and need another bath.
Michelangelo Antonioni, The iconic director François Truffaut called "solemn and humorless", 3 July 2023

There are a lot of artists' work that I do not want people to cut themselves off from. I love reading Dostoyevsky, who was anti-Semitic and had crazy political ideas. I was very influenced as a young person by Polanski, who did terrible things and really should've been in prison for them. But that doesn't mean his films didn't continue to inspire.
... So many of the artists and writers that I love, if you look at their personal lives, it's very problematic. But I get so much from them. I'm most interested in where I can find something inspiring and finding the good I can take from somebody's work.
Mary Harron, ‘American Psycho' Director Mary Harron Wants People to Embrace ‘Problematic' Artists, 16 June 2023

There was a slight danger that people were bracketing [“Black Mirror” ] as the ‘tech is bad' show – and I found that a bit frustrating partly because I always felt like, ‘Well the show isn't saying tech is bad, the show is saying people are fucked up'. So, you know, ‘Get it right!'
Charlie Brooker, ‘Black Mirror' Creator Charlie Brooker Wants Fans to Remember It's Never Just Been the ‘Tech Is Bad' Show, 21 June 2023

I find digging into terrible actions and dark human impulses helps me feel more empowered and less victimized. [The nature of making a documentary] is not about you, but because you are the filter, it absolutely has to go through you.
Nancy Schwartzman, ‘The Documentary Film Industry Is in Crisis', 12 June 2023

What's missing in all this talk of digital technologies is the understanding that they're only tools to shoot and edit with, they're not ends in themselves. To see stuff that's technically sophisticated but that says nothing doesn't interest me. For me, the DV camera and Avid are tools I use to get closer to people more easily and to shoot on my own – and to collapse the time lapse between wanting to film something and actually being able to do it.
Agnès Varda, Attack of the zeros and ones: the early years of digital cinema, 26 November 2022

I didn't know or care about the industry – it seemed old school. I thought moviemaking would only really become an artform if anyone could access it, the way anyone can paint or sing or write. Mediums don't suffer from being available, they evolve. If movies always need a company behind them, they will never really be an art.
Miranda July, Attack of the zeros and ones: the early years of digital cinema, 26 November 2022

I remember at that time, all of us thought, here comes a sort of democracy, here comes small, cheap equipment and young guys can buy it and can do cheaper films alone with friends, et cetera. It's completely dead, it doesn't exist any more. Digital shooting today, you need maybe more people than you used to need in 35. It's ridiculous. It's how the capitalistic system grabs you again by the back.
Pedro Costa, Attack of the zeros and ones: the early years of digital cinema, 26 November 2022

One of the things that cinema has struggled with historically is the representation of intelligence or genius. It very often fails to engage people. [In “Oppenheimer” ] we have to find a way into this guy's head. We've gotta see the world the way he sees it, we've gotta see the atoms moving, we've gotta see the way he's imagining waves of energy, the quantum world. And then we have to see how that translates into the Trinity test. And we have to feel the danger, feel the threat of all this somehow... I wanted to really go through this story with Oppenheimer; I didn't want to sit by him and judge him. That seemed a pointless exercise. That's more the stuff of documentary, or political theory, or history of science. This is a story that you experience with him — you don't judge him. You are faced with these irreconcilable ethical dilemmas with him.
Christopher Nolan, Christopher Nolan Wrote ‘Oppenheimer' Script in First Person as Oppenheimer: ‘I Don't Know If Anyone's Ever Done It Before', 6 June 2023

I think the word "diversity" is wrong. I think that the idea of diversification on screen is not quite right because it's actually confusing everyone and what's happening is we're mistaking that for. We have to include a person from every single race and every single background and every single part of the human experience in every show or everything that we make. That's not reality and it's not authentic. I never grew up with a group of friends where there was someone who represented every ethnic group in my group of friends... I don't want to see one token Polynesian character in your show, okay? That's just weird. And, you know, unless it makes sense. What I want to see is a fully Polynesian controlled Polynesian story that's written by and show run by, okay?
Taika Waititi, Taika Waititi criticises tokenism in Hollywood, 6 June 2023

Sometimes I'll have conversations with friends who are like, ‘Do you know what you're doing?' And I'm like, ‘Yeah, we're making a movie.' And they're like, ‘Do you know what you're doing?' I try not to take that in because I think that's the trap. The trap is to look at that thing in the context of how society might view that thing. In the immediate, I'm just making a movie. Putting it out is a whole other thing that I'm going to have to prepare for afterwards.
Steven Yeun, Steven Yeun on the ‘Trap' of Joining the MCU: ‘I'm Just Making a Movie', 1 June 2023

Comedy is a great way of pulling people in and going, ‘Hey, we're all friends. Get comfortable. You're racist,' People check themselves and they go, ‘Am I allowed to laugh at this?' They have to google if they're allowed to. And sometimes you shouldn't laugh at some stuff. You've got to navigate it.
... People were really unsure if they should laugh until about 20 minutes into the film [Jojo Rabbit ]. One issue they had was like, ‘Well, I wish I'd known that I was allowed to laugh.' Another issue was, ‘I wish I'd known that he was Jewish before I went in.'
Taika Waititi, “Am I Allowed to Laugh at This?”, 31 May 2023

This may have been 2002 or 2003. I'm undercover, I'm seducing the guy – obviously that's what girls do when they're undercover. But I'm seducing the guy and you have to take off one piece of clothing [at a time]… I wanted to layer up [but] the filmmaker was like, ‘No, I need to see her underwear. Otherwise why is anybody coming to watch this movie?' He didn't say it to me. He said it to the stylist in front of me. It was such a dehumanising moment. It was a feeling of, ‘I'm nothing else outside of how I can be used, my art is not important, what I contribute is not important.'
Priyanka Chopra, Priyanka Chopra Quit Bollywood Movie After Two Days Due to ‘Dehumanizing' Treatment from Director, 28 May 2023

[At Cannes] they invented something for our screening [of “Reservoir Dogs” ] that they'd never done before, they put an orange sticker in the ticket that said: This movie may be too violent for you to watch. And they'd never done that before and they ended up putting the same sticker on ‘Pulp Fiction' when it played here in 1994. And then at some point with Lars von Trier they stopped putting the sticker on.
Quentin Tarantino, Quentin Tarantino Says Cannes Added Violent Content Warnings Because of Him — and Removed Them for Lars von Trier, 28 May 2023

Nothing is so terrible as a pretentious movie. I mean a movie that aspires for something really terrific and doesn't pull it off. It's shit. It's scum. And everyone will walk on it as such. And that's why poor filmmakers, in a way… That's their greatest horror, is to be pretentious.
... So here you are. On one hand, you're trying to aspire to really do something, and on the other hand, you're not allowed to be pretentious. And finally, you say, ‘Fuck it! I don't care if I'm pretentious or not pretentious, or if I've done it or I haven't done it. All I know is that I am going to see this movie and that, for me, it has to have some answers. And by answers, I don't mean just a punchline, answers on about 47 different levels.'
Francis Ford Coppola, Francis Ford Coppola on "pretentious" filmmaking: “It's shit! It's scum!”, 20 May 2023

Cameron Bailey, who runs the Toronto Film Festival, had issues with [‘Master Gardener' ]. They wouldn't accept it. He said he couldn't put a film in the festival that treats racism so lightly. The film deals with racism, but it doesn't really deal with racism. It doesn't really deal with white supremacism. Certainly, it doesn't really deal with gardening. It deals with the journey of a soul. And then of course, you know, you put those hot-button issues in there, and you do a reverse Mandingo. You know, in the old plantation, the field hand or the kitchen girl were always prey for the white owner. Here we just reversed that, and the Proud Boy becomes Mandingo.
... Movies don't always have to say, ‘this is the way it is.' They can sometimes ask, ‘could there be another way?' That is a way film can exercise the mind and the imagination. And the garden, of course, is the oldest fable we have. We were born there, and we would still be there if it wasn't for that snake.
Paul Schrader, Paul Schrader Says Toronto International Film Festival Rejected ‘Master Gardener' Over Racism Concerns, 20 May 2023

[Cinema today] makes me nauseous. I feel all the imagination has now gone only into ‘How do I vary it?', and not ‘How do I come up with something new?' For me, this is not storytelling. Doing a remake is not storytelling. It is like repeating a story that has been told and my only desire is to find out how to tell a story. And then forget about it.
... Everyone here [in Cannes] is not so cinema-oriented any more. Now there's a lot of people who love the business of movies. And the business must not be the primary focus, although they do go along with each other. Business is driving it all today. Series, franchises, remakes - or ‘recipes' for films. It disappoints me, the success of recipe-made movies.
Wim Wenders, Wim Wenders: cinema today ‘makes me nauseous', 18 May 2023

We have 45 million cameras in the world, but we don't really discuss in which ways images are influencing us and how we look at the world. In these times when we are communicating so much with moving images, this has to go into the subject of primary schools.
Ruben Östlund, Ruben Östlund Would Rather Win Another Palme d'Or Than an Oscar, 16 May 2023

While we were making The Double Life of Véronique, Krzysztof Kieslowski had asked me questions to get to know me. One was: “What makes you angry?” Three Colours: Red was really about this: you meet someone, such as the judge, who revolts you – in this case, because he was wiretapping his neighbours – but you confront it. The film is a clash between hope and experience, about how two apparently different people can connect on a deep level.
Irène Jacob, ‘What makes you angry?' How we made Three Colours: Red, 1 May 2023

Cinema is really reinvented by people who are radical and not by people who are mainstream. I pass as being very radical in the States, but here [in Romania], I pass as being very mainstream.
Cristian Mungiu, Cristian Mungiu: ‘I Pass as Being Radical in the States, but Here I'm Very Mainstream', 28 April 2023

That was a mistake. I never should have done that [edited the guns out for the 20th anniversary release of ‘E.T.' and replaced the firearms with walkie talkies]. ‘E.T.' is a product of its era. No film should be revised based on the lenses we now are, either voluntarily, or being forced to peer through... I should have never messed with the archives of my own work, and I don't recommend anyone do that. All our movies are a kind of a signpost of where we were when we made them, what the world was like and what the world was receiving when we got those stories out there. So I really regret having that out there.
Steven Spielberg, Steven Spielberg Regrets Editing Guns Out of ‘E.T.,' Says ‘No Film Should Be Revised' for Today's Standards: ‘That Was a Mistake', 25 April 2023

I consider myself an amateur. Because the root of the word amateur contains the word love. So, it's like for the love of doing something, not a lack of skill necessarily, whereas professionalism is: I do this to make money. I'm interested in imperfection because I've learned that mistakes are sometimes very valuable, even very beautiful. I think perfection is imperfect but imperfection is perfect.
... When [weavers of the Navajo and Zuni Native American tribes] make a blanket and it has a repeated pattern that is totally symmetrical, they reject it and say it has no magic. If there's something that somehow fucks up the symmetry in some small way, then it has a little opening for something magical.
Jim Jarmusch, ‘The film industry is gone. It sucks': Jim Jarmusch on swapping directing for drone rock, 22 April 2023

Weren't you sick of hearing people that were college-age or whatever in the late sixties talking about how great it was? It was, like, ‘O.K., you guys, no matter what you do, you'll never top what we did'—you know, Woodstock and all that shit. So I was, like, ‘Yeah, guess what? We don't need to self-mythologize. We don't even want to.' 
... But my whole point was, like, nothing happens in my movie [“Dazed and Confused” ]. That's the difference between the generations. The other generation felt very comfortable making these big statements. They had bigger stakes, bigger things going on—I would say a war in Vietnam's a pretty good one—where we didn't have that. Going to get Aerosmith tickets—that felt pitched about right for people of our generation.
Richard Linklater, The “Dazed and Confused” Generation, 2 March 2023

[Richard Linklater told Ethan Hawke during "Before Sunrise": ] ‘I don't want you to worry too much about the script. I'm inviting you to be a filmmaker with me. My whole life I've gone to the movies and there's espionage and shootouts and helicopters, all this action. Everything that I see is all this drama, [so much so] that you would think my life, our lives, have no drama. That's not the way I feel. My life feels very exciting to me and I've never been involved in a chase or a gun shootout. My life is exciting to me. And what's the most exciting thing that's ever happened to me? Connecting with another human being…If we can put that on screen I think people will care.'
... There was a moment in rehearsal when Julie said, ‘This movie is going to be so boring. It's these two people talking. We need to get some jokes! We should call a professional joke writer and get them to contribute jokes. It's not funny. It's so boring.' And Rick replied, ‘Julie, I've been in this hotel room writing this movie with you for four weeks and I have never been bored…If we could put all that is you on screen, then nobody will be bored. And if they are, they can go to hell.'
.. Really what he is saying is that we are enough. It's a hard thing for us, as people, to comprehend that. We are interesting. We are valuable. You are special from the moment you are born. At its essence, the movie is saying people witnessing each other has a huge power. Some times I leave ‘Harry Potter' or ‘Avatar' and I feel blue because I don't have superpowers or magic. But I think Rick's movies make you realize your life is magic.
Ethan Hawke, Linklater Rejected Hiring Joke Writers for ‘Before Sunrise': If People Are Bored, ‘Go to Hell', 20 May 2020

I don't think Muslims are used to films where religious arguments are taken seriously. So one of the most rewarding things is to have so many religious people – they always come up afterwards, they don't ask questions in public – who want to discuss the film ["Cairo Conspiracy" ].
Tarik Saleh, Director Tarik Saleh: ‘I don't think Muslims are used to films where religious arguments are taken seriously', 12 April 2023




Note: Colonialism in Africa and Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade

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Two things I can say publicly that I do not like. Black History Month is an insult. You're going to relegate my history to a month?
... Also ‘African-American' is an insult. I don't subscribe to that title. Black people have had different titles all the way back to the n-word and I do not know how these things get such a grip, but everyone uses ‘African-American'. What does it really mean? Most Black people in this part of the world are mongrels. And you say Africa as if it's a country when it's a continent, like Europe. [As people talk about Italian-Americans or Irish-Americans rather than describing themselves as Euro-Americans.]
Morgan Freeman, ‘African-American' is an insult", 16 April 2023

When my career started in film I wanted to be a chameleon. I remember De Niro early on doing very different parts. Almost unrecognisable as the same actor. I had opportunities like that.
... But as you mature in this business, eventually you become a star. Then you're pretty screwed in terms of referring to yourself as a character actor. You play a lot of the same type of role – people hire you and say, ‘It's you that I want.' And you live with it, I don't think I've done much in the last 10 years that was much different. Driving Miss Daisy and Glory were different.
... Now? It's just … me. The character will adapt itself to you rather than the other way round, so I do what piques my interest. Sometimes it's just the money alone.
Morgan Freeman, Morgan Freeman says the terms ‘Black History Month' and ‘African American' are insults, 18 April 2023

It's true, sex is not part of my vision of cinema. And the truth is that, in real life, it's a pain to shoot sex scenes. Everyone is very tense. And if it was already a bit problematic to do it before, now it is even more so. If there had ever been a sex scene that was essential to the story, I would have, but so far it hasn't been necessary.
Quentin Tarantino, Quentin Tarantino Calls ‘Death Proof' Bombing a ‘Shock to My Confidence,' Says His Films Lack Sex Because It ‘Hasn't Been Necessary', 13 April 2023

For me, what I'm trying to do [in "Personality Crisis: One Night Only" ] is find a way just to make films so that they're not put into niches of fiction or nonfiction. The word documentary is outmoded now. That has to do with the old black-and-white postwar neorealist cinema, the newsreels, we're all used to thinking, my generation, that if it wasn't black-and-white and grainy, it wasn't truthful. It was, except that now that's been supplanted by high-def TV. The image on an iPhone. That's the new cinema vérité.
Martin Scorsese, ‘The Image on an iPhone Is the New Cinema Vérité', 12 April 2023

Europe was where you had character-based films or mood-based films, but in America, we told a story. We're the worst at it now as far as I'm concerned. We don't tell a story. We tell a situation. Most of the movies that you see nowadays – and I'm not a Hollywood basher because enough good movies come out of the Hollywood system every year to justify its existence, you know, but- without any apologies. However, a good majority of the movies that come out, all right, you pretty much know everything you're going to see in the movie by the first 10 or 20 minutes. Now, that's not a story. A story is something that constantly unfolds. And I'm not talking about like this quick left turn or a quick right turn or a big surprise. I'm talking about it unfolding, all right.
Quentin Tarantino, According to Tarantino, This is How "A Great Plot Unfolds", 7 April 2023

For me, (Orson Welles) is just a hoax. It's empty. It's not interesting. It's dead. Citizen Kane, which I have a copy of, is the critics' darling, always at the top of every poll taken, but I think it's a total bore. Above all, the performances are worthless. The amount of respect that movie has is absolutely unbelievable!
Ingmar Bergman, Ingmar Bergman once called 'Citizen Kane' a "total bore", 3 April 2023

You could write all the ideas of all the movies, mine included, on the head of a pin. It's not a form in which ideas are very fecund. It's a form that may grip you or take you into a world or involve you emotionally—but ideas are not the subject of films. I have this terrible sense that film is dead, that it's a piece of film in a machine that will be run off and shown to people. That is why, I think, my films are theatrical, and strongly stated, because I can't believe that anybody won't fall asleep unless they are. There's an awful lot of Bergman and Antonioni that I'd rather be dead than sit through.
Orson Welles, Ingmar Bergman once called 'Citizen Kane' a "total bore", 3 April 2023

I'm not really a big fan of Jean-Luc Godard anymore. I think Godard is kind of like Frank Frazetta. You get into him for a while and he's like your hero for a little bit. You start drawing shit like him and then you outgrow. I think that's what Godard is, at least for me anyway, as a filmmaker. 
Quentin Tarantino, Jean-Luc Godard's peculiar hatred of Quentin Tarantino: "His work is null", 31 March 2023

The book ["American Psycho" ] itself doesn't really answer a lot of the questions it poses, but by the very nature of the medium of a movie, you kind of have to answer those questions. And a movie automatically says, ‘It's real.' Then, at the end, it tries to have it both ways by suggesting that it wasn't. Which you could argue is interesting, but I think it basically confused a lot of people, and I think even Mary [Harron-director] would admit that.
Bret Easton Ellis, Bret Easton Ellis explains the problems with the 'American Psycho' movie adaptation, 30 March 2023

[In the past] you could joke about a bigot and have a laugh—that was hysterical. And it was about educating people on how ridiculous people were. And now we're not allowed to do that…There's a whole generation of people, kids, who are now going back to episodes of Friends and find them offensive…There were things that were never intentional and others…well, we should have thought it through—but I don't think there was a sensitivity like there is now... everybody needs funny…The world needs humour! We can't take ourselves too seriously—especially in the United States. Everyone is far too divided. 
Jennifer Aniston, "Comedians can't say anything nowadays", 30 March 2023

I felt like a fish out of water making Hook. I didn't have confidence in the script. I had confidence in the first act, and I had confidence in the epilogue. I didn't have confidence in the body of it. I didn't quite know what I was doing, and I tried to paint over my insecurity with production value, the more insecure I felt about it, the bigger and more colourful the sets became.
Steven Spielberg, The one movie Steven Spielberg doesn't like to watch, 21 March 2023

You know, in the old days, by the end of the second week [movie sets], you were all getting drunk in the evening and having dinner and falling in love with each other and all that. And all that stopped because of telephones. Really everyone goes home and looks at Twitter. It's so sad. You know, [Quentin] Tarantino bans telephones from sets and quite right too, and the people there, they do all shag each other – or so I'm told.
Hugh Grant, Hugh Grant Reveals The One ‘Sad' Thing That Has Changed Movie Sets Forever, 19 March 2023

I think if most critics knew how much it hurts the people that made the things that they are writing about, they would second guess the way they write these things. It's devastating. I know people who have never recovered from it honestly – a year, decades of being hurt by [film reviews]. It's very personal… It is devastating when you are being institutionally told that your personal expression was bad, and that's something that people carry with them, literally, their entire lives and I get why. It fucking sucks.
Seth Rogen, Seth Rogen Describes What It's Like To Hear a Negative Review, 8 March 2023

Our last one was ‘For Your Consideration' back in 2006. Our fake documentaries — Chris [Christopher Guest] always hated the term ‘mockumentary' because we're not mocking, it's more affectionate than that — but they were getting a little cookie-cutter in terms of story. Everything was kind of the same, except we just changed the subject. At a certain point, that becomes predictable. In the interim, so many television shows have picked up that form and just destroyed it.
Eugene Levy, TV Shows ‘Destroyed' the Mockumentary Genre, So a New Christopher Guest Fake Doc Is Unlikely, 6 March 2023

At that point [after Tomorrow Never Dies], people in the industry couldn't really tell the difference between whether I was Chinese or Japanese or Korean or if I even spoke English. They would talk very loudly and very slow. I didn't work for almost two years, until Crouching Tiger, simply because I could not agree with the stereotypical roles that were put forward to me.
Michelle Yeoh, Michelle Yeoh on Her Journey from Action Hero to Oscar Nominee: 'Is It Really Happening to Me?', 1 March 2023

Why do so many Iranian films feature children? It's partly because all Iranian children seem born actors, but also because portrayals of relationships between the sexes are only permissible before puberty.
Hassan Nazer, Film-maker Hassan Nazer on his love letter to Iranian cinema, 26 February 2023

Why does a white straight man in Texas care so much about trans rights? Why he is obsessed with that when it's not going to affect his life at all? It's the same thing with why a 50-year-old lady in Punjab thinks my film is going to somehow hamper her life when she's never going to have to encounter a trans person in her whole life... It's just a fear of the unknown, and the fact that trans people just by their very existence are a threat to the patriarchal system, which works in binaries.
... The minute the film was linked to religion – as in this film is going to destroy Islam – nobody is going to fact-check that. Religion is the one topic you don't discuss: you defend your religion, you don't discuss it... Everybody's the religious police. That's why there isn't a religious police. Anybody can stand up and become a religious police. You don't need to appoint anybody and pay them when everybody's willing to do it for free.
Saim Sadiq, Saim Sadiq on his banned trans love story, Joyland: ‘We spend our lives trying to hide our desires', 24 February 2023

‘Possession' is only the type of film you can do when you are young. [Zulawski ] is a director that makes you sink into his world of darkness and his demons. It is okay when you are young, because you are excited to go there. His movies are very special, but they totally focus on women, as if they are lilies. It was quite an amazing film to do, but I got bruised, inside out. It was exciting to do. It was no bones broken, but it was like, ‘How or why did I do that?' I don't think any other actress ever did two films with him.
Isabelle Adjani, Sam Neill Recalls Slapping Isabelle Adjani for ‘Possession' Scene: ‘The Most Distressing Thing' I've Ever Done', 16 February 2023

The works of Shakespeare live in a world of wonderment, poetry, fairy tale, the language of beauty and eloquence. The performer uses a skillset that amplifies that. There is an air and a grace to it that a good English actor has to understand. In America, in an Arthur Miller play, you might get a guy who's just a guy: guy from Pennsylvania, guy from New York — just a guy, a human. American actors had this connection with real life. The accent and the cadence of the words in America allows for a really interesting flow of thoughts.
... In England, I did a TV thing for kids, and then a soap opera. But unless I was doing Shakespeare, or one of these highbrow things that are outside of my actual culture, I wasn't going to elevate in this country as an actor. In America, it felt like the sky was the limit. You didn't have to do Shakespeare to be a good actor. I found it really freeing.
Idris Elba, Idris Elba Laments That British Actors Have to Do Shakespeare to Be Taken Seriously, 11 February 2023

I remember when I saw “Straw Dogs” by Sam Peckinpah, I walked out in the middle of the movie during the rape scene… It took me 10 years to rewatch the movie on VHS. Adrenaline fixes your memory. If you go to a party, you will not remember how pleasant it was the night after. You were drunk, you were wasted. You don't remember that. You remember the physical fight you had with someone who slapped you in the face. You remember that vividly. Violence generates adrenaline, and adrenaline fixes the memory. When people see a movie that contains moments of simulated violence, you'll have an adrenaline rush, and those memories are much more printed in your memory. Women sometimes have more problems with the murder scene than the rape scene. Most men are not shocked by the murder scene.
Gaspar Noé, Gaspar Noé Understands Why Everyone Fixated on That ‘Irréversible' Rape Scene, 9 February 2023

I don't like everything. I like historical movies, but I am not a costume drama fan. Another genre I have no respect for is the biopic. They are just big excuses for actors to win Oscars. It's a corrupted cinema. Even the most interesting person – if you are telling their life from beginning to end, it's going to be a fucking boring movie. If you do this, you have to do a comic book version of their whole life.
... For instance, when you make a movie about Elvis Presley, you don't make a movie about his whole life. Make a movie about one day. Make a movie about the day Elvis Presley walked into Sun Records. Make a movie about the whole day before he walked into Sun Records, and the movie ends when he walks through that door. That's a movie.
Quentin Tarantino, Quentin Tarantino explains why he hates the "corrupted cinema" of biopics, 2 February 2023

A reporter last night said: “I just want to ask about the ending of Knock at the Cabin ; I'm going to do this bit later.” And I go: “By later, do you mean not this lifetime, because even that's not long enough for me.” And they were like: “Hahaha.” And I go: “Were you there last night at the screening? Did you see how young everyone was in the audience? A bunch of them came up to me before and said: ‘I just watched Signs last night. I just watched The Sixth Sense a month ago.' I have a new generation that's discovering my movies. Don't talk about the endings.”
M Night Shyamalan, M Night Shyamalan: ‘A new generation is discovering my movies. Don't talk about the endings!', 2 February 2023

I don't think they should carry on, actually. I'm in it and I loved my episodes, but it's very different now. When ‘The Crown' started it was a historic drama, and now it's crashed into the present. But that's up to them.
Helena Bonham Carter, Helena Bonham Carter: ‘?I've got so many issues, but as you get older you go: whatever', 29 January 2023

I'm not making a movie to assault anybody. I'm going on this little thought-voyage, and some things are disturbing me, some things are confusing me, some things are delighting me unexpectedly, and here it is. Maybe you will come on this trip with me. Maybe you will feel the same, and maybe you won't... It's kind of like the human body. When you open them up, they're just crammed with stuff. It's beautiful and laughable and ridiculous. And that's us, you know?
David Cronenberg, David Cronenberg's Dreams and Nightmares, 3 June 2022




Note: Colonialism in the Americas

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I thought [‘The Fabelmans' ] was awful. The writing so heavy-handed and the whole thing so artificial. Bleh... By making a blonde-Aryan-antisemite the pseudo hero of his high school movie the young Fabelman disarms enemies & wins a pseudo friend. Is this an acknowledgment of the superficial triteness of the director's career as an entertainer?
Joyce Carol Oates, ‘The Fabelmans' Is ‘Remarkably Mediocre' and ‘Discouraging' to Young Filmmakers, 13 January 2023

I first read about it in late August and I was shocked that that was the first I was hearing of it. So many superficial aspects of ‘Tár' seemed to align with my own personal life. But once I saw it I was no longer concerned, I was offended: I was offended as a woman, I was offended as a conductor, I was offended as a lesbian.
... To have an opportunity to portray a woman in that role and to make her an abuser — for me that was heartbreaking... There are so many men — actual, documented men — this film could have been based on but, instead, it puts a woman in the role but gives her all the attributes of those men. That feels anti-woman. To assume that women will either behave identically to men or become hysterical, crazy, insane is to perpetuate something we've already seen on film so many times before.
Marin Alsop, Female Conductor Mentioned in ‘TÁR' Slams Film as ‘Anti-Woman', 9 January 2023




Note: My favourite series of 2022

Slow Horses, We Own This City, The Resort, Pachinko, Black Bird, Night Sky, Sprung, A Friend of the Family, Station Eleven.

And I just discovered Adventure Time (2010-2018).




The Office is so inappropriate now. The writers who I'm still in touch with now, we always talk about how so much of that show we probably couldn't make now. Tastes have changed, and honestly, what offends people has changed so much now. I think that actually is one of the reasons the show is popular, because people feel like there's something kind of fearless about it or taboo that it talks about on the show... Actually, most of the characters on that show would be cancelled by now.
Mindy Kaling, Mindy Kaling says that ‘The Office' is “inappropriate now”, 7 December 2022

In 1962, while in New York to present Jules and Jim, I noticed that every journalist asked me the same question: ‘Why do the critics of Cahiers du Cinéma take Hitchcock so seriously? He's rich and successful, but his movies have no substance'.
... From my past career as a critic, in common with all of the young writers from Cahiers du Cinéma, I still felt the imperative need to convince. It was obvious that Hitchcock, whose genius for publicity was equalled only by that of Salvador Dalí, had, in the long run, been victimised in American intellectual circles because of his facetious response to interviewers and his deliberate practice of deriding their questions.
François Truffaut, The movie scene François Truffaut called "an abuse of cinematic power", 7 December 2022

I wanted to see myself as a scientist who was put on a deserted island and asked to go west. That meant that I should only go with my own compass and then go the route I was shown, because otherwise it would have no significance... I like rules and borders. I also like when I have my back to a wall. I have to find something completely new to say.
... I'm very aware of the risk of doing what I call old-man films. These are the films that happen because you have a house that is too big, and you're striving to repeat your success. I don't have this idea that there's a film I haven't made yet that has to be made, right now. Also, because of this Parkinson's I've picked up, I could live with not doing more films.
Lars von Trier, Lars von Trier Behind the Curtain, 1 December 2022

There's a moment in your career as an actor that you really can't choose your roles. You are just grateful that you're having a job, and ‘Narcos: Mexico' is a great show. But in my case, it's a little hard because the way they put the story of my country, I don't agree at all. There's a lot of truth and that's amazing, but there's a lot of lies, too. I think my country doesn't need more narco culture and making these guys heroes.
Diego Calva, ‘Narcos: Mexico' Star Diego Calva Criticizes Netflix Series: ‘I Don't Agree at All‘ With the Story, 'There's a Lot of Lies', 29 November 2022

For 70 years, the Sight & Sound poll has been a reliable if somewhat incremental measure of critical consensus and priorities. Films moved up the list, others moved down; but it took time. The sudden appearance of ‘Jeanne Dielman' in the number one slot undermines the S&S poll's credibility. It feels off, as if someone had put their thumb on the scale. Which I suspect they did.
... As Tom Stoppard pointed out in Jumpers, in democracy it doesn't matter who gets the votes, it matters who counts the votes. By expanding the voting community and the point system, this year's S&S poll reflects not a historical continuum but a politically correct rejiggering. Akerman's film is a favorite of mine, a great film, a landmark film but it's unexpected number one rating does it no favors. ‘Jeanne Dielman' will from this time forward be remembered not only as an important film in cinema history but also as a landmark of distorted woke reappraisal.
Paul Schrader, Paul Schrader Slams ‘Jeanne Dielman' Topping Sight & Sound Poll as ‘Distorted Woke Reappraisal', 3 December 2012

Chantal Akerman's Jeanne Dielman is an inarguably political choice, made by radical Marxist feminists, not humanist critics in a thriving popular culture. Citizen Kane, former S&S poll champ for the previous four decades, conveyed the excitement of watching movies. The phenomenon of Kane is incomparable. It rallies enthusiasm across nations and generations.
... In 2012, former S&S editor Nick James rationalized Vertigo's crushing of Kane as evidence of film-culture solipsism (which he commended). But this year, S&S presented Jeanne Dielman's coup without explanation, just a casual admission that the poll had expanded to 1,639 participants — like packing the Supreme Court. So it's not a critics' poll as it initially was in 1952, but an agglomeration of “academics, distributors, writers, curators, archivists, and programmers.” Critics have lost authority (especially in the internet age), so S&S added ivory-tower attitudinal ballast — gatekeepers who are also social activists.
Armond White, Sight & Sound Poll Results: The End of Popular Cinema, 7 December 2022

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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