"I’ll tell you why I’m so thrilled about colors. Ten years ago I was allowed to shoot in the staff restrooms of a grocery store. I had to squeeze two actors, the entire crew, equipment and lights—all into a room measuring 2x2.5 meters. It was not possible to paint the white wall. When I was making I Hired a Contract Killer in London, I went totally berserk. I realized that I could influence these things. Before that I had always been forced to shoot at supermarkets, between packs of sausages and cold storage equipment. With Killer I realized that I could put color on the walls, how wild this can be. All you need is a color chart in your pocket… [Edward] Hopper’s influence is quite strong. I like his austerity. The clear colors. I like playing with colors, extending them beyond reality.” [1996]

"The head is a big cooking pot in which all ingredients are haphazardly mixed: everything you have experienced, read, seen in films. Then you ladle it out with what I hope is some kind of logic. For instance, blue-gray is my basic set design color, and that is from Melville, and then I may add some red because a red teapot looks good in Ozu’s films. I just use a fire extinguisher because our tea ceremony is so underdeveloped." [2011]

Aki Kaurismäki

The Color of Paradise — dir. Majid Majidi

All the President’s Men — dir. Alan J. Pakula


Robert Bresson and Sergio Leone in Venice, 1972.

Robert Bresson and Sergio Leone in Venice, 1972.

"I know what would happen [in Hollywood]. I look at Hollywood movie posters and I know what to expect. I do not want more fame or more money. I am happy with what I have. I do not want to make a film to make a film. I just want to have a nice life—not a career. […] I don’t actually enjoy making films, to be honest. Well, I enjoy acting, but only after they say ‘action’, when the camera is rolling. Hair and make-up, promotion, waiting around, I’m fed up with all of that. It’s taken up too many years of my life… Pride is more important to me now, because your films live with you forever. I’m never going to make another one that I don’t care for."

Maggie Cheung
Born September 20, 1964

Sansho the Bailiff — dir. Kenji Mizoguchi

"To me, I have to say this from the beginning, the close-up, the correctly illuminated, directed and acted close-up of an actor is and remains the height of cinematography. There is nothing better. That incredibly strange and mysterious contact you can suddenly experience with another soul through an actor’s gaze. A sudden thought, blood that drains away or blood that pumps into the face, the trembling nostrils, the suddenly shiny complexion or mute silence, that is to me some of the most incredible and fascinating moments you will ever experience." (1964)

"I would like once in my life to make a 120-minute picture with just one close-up. I think it’s impossible, but I would love to do it once. To have the right actor and to have the talent to accomplish this. It would be the most fascinating experience of all, just to look with the camera. I am a voyeur. To look at somebody, to find out how the skin changes, the eyes, how all those muscles change the whole time—the lips—to me it’s always a drama." (1980)

Ingmar Bergman


"The real source of happiness, not just in the cinema but in any kind of human endeavor, is the fact of creating. Once a thing is done, well, it’s done. Of course it’s very nice to be applauded by audiences and very unpleasant to be booed: I’ll admit that’s important, but not that important. The real thing, the real intoxication if I may call it that, is in the act of creation: that’s what matters, whether one is creating an apple pie, a film, a child or a painting.”
Jean RenoirSeptember 15, 1894 — February 12, 1979

"The real source of happiness, not just in the cinema but in any kind of human endeavor, is the fact of creating. Once a thing is done, well, it’s done. Of course it’s very nice to be applauded by audiences and very unpleasant to be booed: I’ll admit that’s important, but not that important. The real thing, the real intoxication if I may call it that, is in the act of creation: that’s what matters, whether one is creating an apple pie, a film, a child or a painting.”

Jean Renoir
September 15, 1894 — February 12, 1979

Jean RenoirIcons

The Decalogue — dir. Krzysztof Kieślowski

Stardust Memories — dir. Woody Allen