Jack CardiffBlack Narcissus, The Red Shoes
"When I was about nine, one of the schools I attended while accompanying my parents on tour organized a trip to a provincial art gallery. I had never seen a painting before, and suddenly I was in this vast chamber filled with these wondrous color dreams. That really got to me, and thereafter, wherever I traveled with my parents, I went to as many museums as I could. Painters were my childhood heroes, and as I studied their work, I began to realize that it was all about light."

Kazuo MiyagawaRashomon, Ugetsu
"[In my house in Kyoto] there was a backyard right behind a completely dark kitchen. The sunlight came through a window on the ceiling, which made only the well bucket in the backyard shine. Such a view that I saw when I was a child left an unexpectedly strong impression on my mind… even though I was one of those children who were so shy that they would not go outside but stayed in a dark corner of the house."

Subrata MitraPather Panchali, Charulata
"Little did I know that my habitual cycling down with schoolmates to a nearby cinema for the Sunday morning shows, to watch British and Hollywood films from our lowest-priced seats, would secretly decide my fate. I was discovering the magic of film and was fascinated by the dramatic images with low-key lighting in Guy Green’s photography for Great Expectations and Oliver Twist, or Robert Krasker’s for The Third Man. I became aware of the medium of cinematography and the urge to become a cameraman was sown.”

Emmanuel LubezkiChildren of Men, The Tree of Life
"My parents took me to see movies when I was a boy. I remember watching Italian movies and films from America without reading the subtitles. I was always interested in watching the images, even if I didn’t understand the words… [In high school] all the people in one class spent a full year working together on the production of a documentary that dealt with everything from social classes to natural science. We went to Vera Cruz and made a documentary about workers in the sugar cane fields. Other people were interested in doing the research and journalism; for me, the magic moment happened when I was looking through the viewfinder on a Super 8 camera and shooting the film."

Mark Lee Ping-binIn the Mood for Love, Millennium Mambo
"When I was a kid, every day after school I’d catch my mom get busy, run off to the cinema near our home, hide behind an adult’s ass and sneak inside. Every time I got home, mom would get furious. ‘Where have you disappeared to?’ For punishment she made me kneel before father’s memorial tablet. Cinema is fantasy. As a child I had nothing, so I was always dreaming, and going to the movies for comfort."

Agnès GodardBeau Travail, Bastards
"[My family] wasn’t particularly connected to movies or photography but I’ve always been fascinated by images. My father, a taciturn man, expressed himself through the family pictures he took. To this day I find family pictures particularly troubling and moving, because they’re made out of love, not for commercial reasons… I had the feeling that you could tell a story through pictures. When I was at school I was very shy and knew that I could not write a script, but when we had to shoot short films I became very excited and decided to listen to my inner voice."

Dust in the Wind — dir. Hou Hsiao-hsien

You are often regarded as a director given to harsh themes. Do you agree?

I was never interested in cruelty for its own sake. But sometimes you have to resort to harsh narrative methods when the overall concept of the film demands it.

Are you referring to The Ascent?

Yes. This film is a study of man in an extreme, inhuman situation. He is in a position where he can only draw strength from within himself to stand up to the cruel circumstances. He is guided by such lofty motives as love for humanity and for his country. He remains human in inhuman circumstances. How can you show all this “gently”? I don’t think anyone can accuse me of using violence to tickle the audience’s sensibilities. That is taboo. I have never stooped to that.

I agree. In The Ascent no naturalistic details are in the frame in the scenes of torture, execution and physical suffering. Even so, the picture is very severe.

That might seem to be so by the comparison with “nice”, “undisturbing” films. I have nothing against pictures that make you laugh your head off. Laughter is good for your lungs. But there must also be pictures which disturb you, make you feel furious, compassionate and tearful. That’s good for your soul.

Larisa Shepitko on her film The Ascent.

"I think that in order to find reality, each must search for his own universe, look for the details that contribute to this reality that one feels under the surface of things. To be an artist means to search, to find and look at these realities. To be an artist means never to look away."

Akira Kurosawa
March 23, 1910 — September 6, 1998

03 / 23 / 2014 3159   originally from kurosawa-akira   via kurosawa-akira

Shara — dir. Naomi Kawase

Il Posto — dir. Ermanno Olmi


"Somebody said I’m ‘the king of venereal horror,’ to which I always say: Well, it’s a very small kingdom, but it’s mine.” — David Cronenberg

"Somebody said I’m ‘the king of venereal horror,’ to which I always say: Well, it’s a very small kingdom, but it’s mine.” — David Cronenberg


"Glauber Rocha I met over the years, then I started making films—there’s no doubt Antonio das Mortes had a major impact on Mean Streets and on Raging Bull. On Raging Bull we put in some Brazilian music in homage to Glauber, there’s a couple of pieces of music in there. In any event, I think the last time I saw him was in Venice, 1980. But before that, Tom Luddy brought him over—I had a small house in Los Angeles—and we had a dinner. It was Tom Luddy, myself, and Glauber, and I showed him The Big Shave, a short I had made. And we looked at a John Ford film, The Horse Soldiers; not a great John Ford film, but he liked Ford and he liked westerns he told me.”
"[On his favorite of Rocha’s films…] I think it’s Antonio, but I go back and forth. There’s Land in Anguish and Barravento, but Antonio is very much the one I keep checking back with, I keep showing to people—if I think they deserve it. Because sometimes some people are gone, some people are like zombies. They have no more feeling or something, I don’t know, and I think it’s good to show it to people who will… you know it might help them in their work. Even if they reject it, it’s something for them to have a reaction to, rather than what’s being presented today. But, no, I think it’s Antonio, I go back and forth, but the music is always in my head and I know it very well. It’s fresh, it’s new. It doesn’t cater to tastes of the box office, I mean the box office in a bad way, you know, of a traditional, ‘OK, now we’re going to sit you down and tell you a nice story.’ This punches you in the face and wakes you up, it opens your eyes. And that’s what you need today, more than ever.” — Martin Scorsese on Glauber Rocha

"Glauber Rocha I met over the years, then I started making films—there’s no doubt Antonio das Mortes had a major impact on Mean Streets and on Raging Bull. On Raging Bull we put in some Brazilian music in homage to Glauber, there’s a couple of pieces of music in there. In any event, I think the last time I saw him was in Venice, 1980. But before that, Tom Luddy brought him over—I had a small house in Los Angeles—and we had a dinner. It was Tom Luddy, myself, and Glauber, and I showed him The Big Shave, a short I had made. And we looked at a John Ford film, The Horse Soldiers; not a great John Ford film, but he liked Ford and he liked westerns he told me.”

"[On his favorite of Rocha’s films…] I think it’s Antonio, but I go back and forth. There’s Land in Anguish and Barravento, but Antonio is very much the one I keep checking back with, I keep showing to people—if I think they deserve it. Because sometimes some people are gone, some people are like zombies. They have no more feeling or something, I don’t know, and I think it’s good to show it to people who will… you know it might help them in their work. Even if they reject it, it’s something for them to have a reaction to, rather than what’s being presented today. But, no, I think it’s Antonio, I go back and forth, but the music is always in my head and I know it very well. It’s fresh, it’s new. It doesn’t cater to tastes of the box office, I mean the box office in a bad way, you know, of a traditional, ‘OK, now we’re going to sit you down and tell you a nice story.’ This punches you in the face and wakes you up, it opens your eyes. And that’s what you need today, more than ever.” — Martin Scorsese on Glauber Rocha

Douglas Sirk: The most important thing for a filmmaker should be an image of his reality. When I see a Max Beckmann, for instance, I know it can only be Beckmann; an Emil Nolde is Nolde, and with Rainer I know it’s Rainer. He has an unforgettable signature, an unmistakable signature.

Rainer Werner Fassbinder: Mine is hard to mistake. There actually are people who imitate things, simply try to copy something just because they like it, rather than adapt it. After I’d seen Sirk’s films, when I made my next film—that was The Merchant of Four Seasons—I was in danger of copying All That Heaven Allows, too. Later I tried to do a remake of what I’d seen in it. That was Fear Eats the Soul. But you mustn’t simply do something over again, just because you like it; you should try to tell your own story, using your film experience. That’s why the scene in Fear Eats the Soul where the television’s kicked in is different from the one in All That Heaven Allows where the children decide to give a television set for Christmas in place of the guy. My story is set in a coarser, more brutal world; the same story in Sirk’s film unfolds in small-town America, where it works better. Yet the process of giving a television set instead of a man appears much more brutal against this background than the brutal act in my film. These are the sorts of little details where you can’t just imitate; you have to do an adaptation to fit the setting.

Sirk: Rainer, you’re absolutely right. My wife and I saw Fear Eats the Soul together and think it’s one of your best and most beautiful films, which unmistakably carries your signature. My wife, who certainly knows my films, too, never thought at the time that there was any affinity with All That Heaven Allows as far as the material was concerned.

Fassbinder: My way of making films is different. He was surrounded by the system, and had a specific amount of time for making a film. With my films I react to what I’m experiencing, how I feel. That doesn’t mean, though, that there has to be a difference in that respect. Perhaps the difference is that I’ll make a hundred films, and he’s made thirty-nine. That doesn’t mean anything; it just means that in a different situation I’ve been able to make films that were more direct and radical, that I’ve reacted differently and more spontaneously to reality than he did. He had the entire system looking over his shoulder. In view of that, it’s all the more admirable that a person could manage to create a whole personal world, in spite of that stick-in-the-mud American studio system. Not many people have pulled that off—many of them have gone under, have made generic films, have latched onto success, have sold themselves to their very depths. To sell yourself isn’t so bad; it happens all the time. But to sell yourself to the depths, down to your emotional cells—so many people have done that that I’m terribly grateful for these few people, these few bodies of work from America where I learn something about a life and time, about thoughts, about ways of thinking, about ways of feeling, about ways of telling stories. And Douglas Sirk belongs to that handful of directors, and because he’s a German he’s also very close to me personally…

Sirk: Before I met Rainer I sensed something, and then when I saw him I recognized, with that eye every filmmaker has to have, a personality of great originality. [Interview with Ernst Burkel | March, 1979]

Child of Resistance — dir. Haile Gerima