"People often criticize my films for being pessimistic. There are certainly plenty of reasons for being pessimistic, but I don’t see my films that way. They are founded in the belief that revolution doesn’t belong on the cinema screen, but outside, in the world. When I show people, on the screen, the ways that things can go wrong, my aim is to warn them that this is the way things will go if they don’t change their lives. Never mind if a film ends pessimistically, if it exposes certain mechanisms clearly enough to show people how exactly they work, then the ultimate effect is not pessimistic. I never try to reproduce reality in a film. My goal is to reveal such mechanisms in a way that makes people realize the necessity of changing their own reality." — Rainer Werner Fassbinder

"People often criticize my films for being pessimistic. There are certainly plenty of reasons for being pessimistic, but I don’t see my films that way. They are founded in the belief that revolution doesn’t belong on the cinema screen, but outside, in the world. When I show people, on the screen, the ways that things can go wrong, my aim is to warn them that this is the way things will go if they don’t change their lives. Never mind if a film ends pessimistically, if it exposes certain mechanisms clearly enough to show people how exactly they work, then the ultimate effect is not pessimistic. I never try to reproduce reality in a film. My goal is to reveal such mechanisms in a way that makes people realize the necessity of changing their own reality." — Rainer Werner Fassbinder

Each holiday season, friends of Akira Kurosawa would look forward to receiving his Christmas card, which would feature a festive painting by the man himself.

12 / 25 / 2013 543   originally from kurosawa-akira   via kurosawa-akira

One Jump! — Directors and Actors photographed by Alex Majoli.

I studied film at the University of Southern California for a very short time, but USC left me feeling like I didn’t have any talent. I really didn’t find their methods of teaching were that interesting or exciting. That lack of interest made me start to doubt myself and whether I had made the right choice. I simply said to myself, “Okay, I tried, but I didn’t make it.” I went back to my old job as an engineer… I found a job in Seattle designing computers [at the University of Washington], and started working from eight to five. By the time I was thirty, I felt so old…

One night, I was driving after work in downtown Seattle, and I saw a billboard outside a movie theater with the words, German New Wave, and the title, Aguirre: The Wrath of God. It made me curious, so I went in. I was fortunate. I came out a different person. That two hours just blew me away. It restored my sense of competence that I could be a filmmaker. This is what I thought a film should be. Film school would never teach you to make those kind of shots. That was one of the crucial moments of my life. I had turned thirty, I thought I was getting old, and three more years passed before I got the chance to work on a film project with a friend who asked me to write a script for him. I went back to Taipei, and also visited Hong Kong for the first time, and the film was shot in Japan. I got an offer to write and direct a made-for-TV movie in Taiwan, so I didn’t go back to Seattle. After ten years my mom was still calling and asking, “When are you coming back to your regular job?”

Edward Yang

Morvern Callar — dir. Lynne Ramsay

"When I first came [to Hollywood], with The Emigrants, everyone was shocked to see me a happy, smiling 31-year-old, because they all saw me as this heavy, ‘Bergman person.’ (laughs) So I had my pick of projects, and basically I just made a lot of bad choices that I had fun doing. Then I went back home and did Scenes from a Marriage. I also did a lot of traveling, a lot of theater, wrote two books and raised a daughter, so I never felt like I ‘bombed out.’ It was just another learning step. If I had been really famous in Hollywood, my life would have ended a long time ago… I would probably be very sad and face-lifted, and all that. I probably wouldn’t have been a director. Instead, I’ve had this very rich life.”

Liv Ullmann
Born December 16, 1938

Liv UllmannIcons

"I started out as a stage actor and came to movie work later. In those days, by contract, Toho actors could only work in Toho films, Shochiku actors in Shochiku films, Daiei actors in Daiei films, and so on. But since I was a stage actor, I could work in any studio’s films. If a director wanted me, I could work with him. So I was very lucky and worked with a variety of directors: Kurosawa, of course, Kobayashi, Keisuke Kinoshita, Kon Ichikawa and many others… For me, my 20s were like climbing Mount Fuji with a heavy load on my back, huffing and puffing. It felt like I was climbing, and the heavy load was everyone’s masterpieces… It was the Golden Age of Japanese cinema." — Tatsuya Nakadai

"I follow the general fashion in ordinary manners and moral laws in serious matters, but in art I follow myself. Therefore I won’t do anything I don’t want to do. Even if something is unnatural and I like it, I’ll do it. I don’t particularly approve of myself for this, and I know it isn’t reasonable; nonetheless, there it is. From this comes my individuality—and this is most important to me… Although I may seem the same to other people, to me each thing I produce is a new expression, and I always make each work from a new interest. It’s like a painter who always paints the same rose… Rather than tell a superficial story, I wanted to go deeper, to show the hidden undercurrents, the ever-changing uncertainties of life. So instead of constantly pushing dramatic action to the fore, I left empty spaces, so viewers could have a pleasant aftertaste to savor."

Yasujiro Ozu
December 12, 1903 — December 12, 1963

Mother and Son — dir. Alexander Sokurov


"I’m taking a gamble making the film. I don’t have any money. I just go to the bank and borrow it. And hope. But what isn’t risky about movies? It’s always risky when it’s original… It’s a very dangerous territory to be in where you can only make a film if your grosses reflect a large gross. I’ve been making films for twenty-five years and none of them has really made a lot of money. But there’s nobody in the world who can tell me we didn’t succeed. And that’s the greatest feeling that I’ve ever had in my life.”
John CassavetesDecember 9, 1929 — February 3, 1989

"I’m taking a gamble making the film. I don’t have any money. I just go to the bank and borrow it. And hope. But what isn’t risky about movies? It’s always risky when it’s original… It’s a very dangerous territory to be in where you can only make a film if your grosses reflect a large gross. I’ve been making films for twenty-five years and none of them has really made a lot of money. But there’s nobody in the world who can tell me we didn’t succeed. And that’s the greatest feeling that I’ve ever had in my life.”

John Cassavetes
December 9, 1929 — February 3, 1989