Rainer Werner Fassbinder on the set of his film Veronika Voss. The film premiered in February 1982 and four months later, during the final stages of post-production on Querelle, Fassbinder died of an accidental drug overdose, the notes for his next film at his side.

Kenji Mizoguchi with actress Ayako Wakao, cinematographer Kazuo Miyagawa, and screenwriter Yoshikata Yoda during the production of the 1953 film Gion Bayashi.

Behind the scenes of Powell & Pressburger’s The Red Shoes.

City of Pirates — dir. Raúl Ruiz

Filmmakers as children
1: Carl Theodor Dreyer, Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Spike Lee
2: David Cronenberg, Kinuyo Tanaka, Sergei Eisenstein
3: Glauber Rocha, Věra Chytilová, Krzysztof Kieślowski
4: Shuji Terayama, Guru Dutt, Buster Keaton
5: Mohsen Makhmalbaf, Orson Welles, Jia Zhangke
6: Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Agnès Varda
7: Sergei Parajanov, Larisa Shepitko, Ritwik Ghatak

Satyajit Ray designing, rehearsing, shooting, editing, and scoring his films from the late 1960s through the 1980s as captured by photographer Nemai Ghosh.

"I made the film to give all these actions that are typically devalued a life on film. I absolutely had Delphine in mind when I wrote it. I felt that the extraordinary thing was that she was not this character at all. She was quite ‘the lady.’ If we saw someone making beds and doing dishes whom we normally see do these things, we wouldn’t really see that person, just like men are blind to their wives doing dishes. So it had to be someone we didn’t usually see do the dishes. So Delphine was perfect, because it suddenly became visible."

"In movies, what’s supposed to be an effective image, an important image, are crimes, car chases, etc. Not a woman, shown from the back, doing dishes. But that that is on the same level as the murder, in fact, I think its much more dramatic. I think that when she does that (bangs a glass on the table) and you really feel that maybe the milk will spill, that’s as dramatic as the murder.”

"People were a little bit angry at me because of the murder at the end of Jeanne Dielman. She does it and then she sits for seven minutes. And then you don’t understand her. You will never. I hope you never will—that’s the strength of the film. You will never know what is happening in her mind and in her heart. I don’t know either. It’s the secret of Delphine Seyrig, not the character she’s playing. It’s not Jeanne Dielman’s secret, it’s Delphine’s secret.” — Chantal Akerman


"In a certain way I create images like a painter, thus projecting my vision on a canvas. I do not pretend to describe reality; I create my own vision that I project on reality. The result is something in-between. The question I am asking myself all the time is: How can I transform personal experience into poetry? […] I know that my work is difficult for the mainstream public, but I make these films anyway, because it’s the best that I can do. Every director in the world would like to have the largest possible audience. You get there or you don’t. You have to be content with your own audience, whatever it is."
Theo AngelopoulosApril 27, 1935 — January 24, 2012

"In a certain way I create images like a painter, thus projecting my vision on a canvas. I do not pretend to describe reality; I create my own vision that I project on reality. The result is something in-between. The question I am asking myself all the time is: How can I transform personal experience into poetry? […] I know that my work is difficult for the mainstream public, but I make these films anyway, because it’s the best that I can do. Every director in the world would like to have the largest possible audience. You get there or you don’t. You have to be content with your own audience, whatever it is."

Theo Angelopoulos
April 27, 1935 — January 24, 2012

"I can say the first thing that my father gave me was the love of cinema, because there are a lot of filmmakers in the world but I don’t think that all their children are making films, or that they love cinema this much, or that they ‘continue’ cinema (as a legacy). I love my father a lot, and I saw his passion for cinema, and I wanted to discover cinema. And I remember when I was five years old, when I saw his film screened on the big screen, for me it was like a miracle. It was the best thing I knew."

"The industry of cinema, the technique of cinema is not something so special that no one can learn it. At three years old, maybe before, I was always around a camera. If cinema is a way of looking at life, who says that only old people can make films? Or that only men can see life through the eyes of the cinema? Who says such a thing? They say, ‘You are young,’ so I would have to be old. ‘You are a woman,’ so I would have to be a man. ‘You’re from Iran,’ so I would have to be from somewhere else. And some people told me, ‘You’re very small.’ So I would have to be a fat old man to make a movie!"

"Cinema’s just like a window, a point of view. Nowadays, it’s digital, it’s going to be like a pen: anybody can write and have their own point of view. I think you can be ten years old and have your own point of view; you just have to believe what you’re saying." — Samira Makhmalbaf


Grégoire Colin"What I love about working with Claire is that she lets the actor imbue the character with everything he is at a given moment. She never gives orders; she offers a critique of what she’s seen."
Jim Jarmusch"Her films can be very poetic, but they’re never precious. They can be very funny but never silly or dumb. Somehow they remain observational, always. And the camera, it’s like music that never has extra notes in it that aren’t needed."
Isaach De Bankolé"I met Claire a long time ago, back in 1987 when she was about to do her first feature Chocolat. When I read Chocolat, I was surprised that it was written by a white girl from France. When I read it, it sounded like someone who really knows how the blood circulates in the African body. She leaves a lot of room for input and improvisation but at the same time, she really knows what she wants… I’ve been very blessed to meet these people and to work with them because they have a special vision, whether it’s Claire Denis or Jim Jarmusch. When they write for the black they don’t write because they’re black they write for the character and that’s the difference between them and many other directors. It’s a pleasure to work for a director who has that vision and who can at the same time have trust in me.”
Alex Descas"I think that she has a great attention to detail and a very particular way of filming and shooting. She tries to capture everything from the décor to the character’s precise body movement… but also gives actors the freedom to interpret their characters. One might even say that in her own way, Claire is a choreographer."
Chiara Mastroianni"Despite the violence or the despair of what she’s shooting, the way she shoots it is always with love. Even when Claire gets really dark, there’s so much light in her."
Agnès Godard"Claire has a very honed relationship with the images that has evolved over time. She has the faith and the belief that an association of ideas that’s concise and that is based on pure cinematography—the choice of a frame, a focal point, the climate of the light—says something, and the idea that gluing those images together is going to create a sense."
Isabelle Huppert"The way she works is the way she lives. Working with Claire, you have to be really available—you have to let yourself go into her rhythm. She’s very creative. She’s like a painter. She gives me the feeling that she has a vision and you have to be the witness to that vision. You don’t want to ask her too direct questions—’Why do you do this?’ ‘What do you have in mind?’—these things I would never ask her. You just have to trust her and follow her."
Stuart Staples"When we made the music for Nénette et Boni, we made it like a band watching a film and then decorating it, giving it texture. A few years later, on the next film we worked on, I said to Claire, ‘I’ve realized I don’t really know how to make music for films,’ and she said, ‘That’s all right, I don’t know how to make films.’ I think that has been the basis of our work together—fundamentally we don’t know what we are doing, but we do know what we hear, what we see and what we feel, and we take it from there. Claire is always looking for a reaction to what she is making—she gives people she works with the freedom to appraise what she is doing.”

Grégoire Colin
"What I love about working with Claire is that she lets the actor imbue the character with everything he is at a given moment. She never gives orders; she offers a critique of what she’s seen."

Jim Jarmusch
"Her films can be very poetic, but they’re never precious. They can be very funny but never silly or dumb. Somehow they remain observational, always. And the camera, it’s like music that never has extra notes in it that aren’t needed."

Isaach De Bankolé
"I met Claire a long time ago, back in 1987 when she was about to do her first feature Chocolat. When I read Chocolat, I was surprised that it was written by a white girl from France. When I read it, it sounded like someone who really knows how the blood circulates in the African body. She leaves a lot of room for input and improvisation but at the same time, she really knows what she wants… I’ve been very blessed to meet these people and to work with them because they have a special vision, whether it’s Claire Denis or Jim Jarmusch. When they write for the black they don’t write because they’re black they write for the character and that’s the difference between them and many other directors. It’s a pleasure to work for a director who has that vision and who can at the same time have trust in me.”

Alex Descas
"I think that she has a great attention to detail and a very particular way of filming and shooting. She tries to capture everything from the décor to the character’s precise body movement… but also gives actors the freedom to interpret their characters. One might even say that in her own way, Claire is a choreographer."

Chiara Mastroianni
"Despite the violence or the despair of what she’s shooting, the way she shoots it is always with love. Even when Claire gets really dark, there’s so much light in her."

Agnès Godard
"Claire has a very honed relationship with the images that has evolved over time. She has the faith and the belief that an association of ideas that’s concise and that is based on pure cinematography—the choice of a frame, a focal point, the climate of the light—says something, and the idea that gluing those images together is going to create a sense."

Isabelle Huppert
"The way she works is the way she lives. Working with Claire, you have to be really available—you have to let yourself go into her rhythm. She’s very creative. She’s like a painter. She gives me the feeling that she has a vision and you have to be the witness to that vision. You don’t want to ask her too direct questions—’Why do you do this?’ ‘What do you have in mind?’—these things I would never ask her. You just have to trust her and follow her."

Stuart Staples
"When we made the music for Nénette et Boni, we made it like a band watching a film and then decorating it, giving it texture. A few years later, on the next film we worked on, I said to Claire, ‘I’ve realized I don’t really know how to make music for films,’ and she said, ‘That’s all right, I don’t know how to make films.’ I think that has been the basis of our work together—fundamentally we don’t know what we are doing, but we do know what we hear, what we see and what we feel, and we take it from there. Claire is always looking for a reaction to what she is making—she gives people she works with the freedom to appraise what she is doing.”