10 Favourite Director’s Quotes Relay Race

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I’ve been involved in a couple of excellent Blogathons this year but this is the first relay race that I’ve been invited into. This one was created originally by David at Taste Of Cinema who provided the following as a description and the aim of the relay…

“People love wisdom words from great minds. As a cinephile, I prefer director quotes than words from any other group of people in the world.Their thoughts on cinema not only provide insights into deep understanding of cinema, but also open the window to their own films, their genres, their filmmaking methods, thus they need to receive more exposure as their films did.”

The rules of the relay are quite simple really. There will be a list of 10 directors and direct quotes from them that explain their motivations and reasons in how they see their craft. Every time the relay is received by a blogger they will have to choose which director to omit and replace him/her with a choice of their own and then choose another blogger to continue the race.

I was kindly invited into this by my good friend Keith who runs the fantastic site Keith & The Movies. It’s a site that always one of my regular stopping points as Keith delivers regular well written reviews of both classic and contemporary cinema, as well as, fun and and informative features like The Phenomenal 5 and The Throwdown series. If you are unfamiliar with Keith’s site you should definitely stop by.

Other bloggers involved in this so far have been… Movie and Song 365, And So It Begins…, The Cinematic Spectacle, On Page and Screen and FlixChatter. So without further ado, here is the list of director’s that have made the cut…

Quentin Tarantino
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“I steal from every single movie ever made. I love it – if my work has anything it’s that I’m taking this from this and that from that and mixing them together. If people don’t like that, then tough titty, don’t go and see it, all right? I steal from everything. Great artists steal; they don’t do homages.” – Quentin Tarantino

Andrei Tarkovsky

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“Unlike all the other art forms, film is able to seize and render the passage of time, to stop it, almost to possess it in infinity. I’d say that film is the sculpting of time.” – Andrei Tarkovsky

Seijun Suzuki

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“Why make a movie about something one understands completely? I make movies about things I do not understand, but wish to.” – Seijun Suzuki

Federico Fellini

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“I don’t like the idea of ‘understanding’ a film. I don’t believe that rational understanding is an essential element in the reception of any work of art. Either a film has something to say to you or it hasn’t. If you are moved by it, you don’t need it explained to you. If not, no explanation can make you moved by it.” – Federico Fellini

Pedro Almodovar

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“When I make a film, I never stop uncovering mysteries, making discoveries. When I’m writing, filming, editing, even doing promotional work, I discover new things about the film, about myself, and about others. That is what I’m subconsciously looking for when shooting a film: to glimpse the enigmas of life, even if I don’t resolve them, but at least to uncover them. Cinema is curiosity in the most intense meaning of the word.” – Pedro Almodovar

Krzysztof Kieslowski

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“You make films to give people something, to transport them somewhere else, and it doesn’t matter if you transport them to a world of intuition or a world of intellect…The realm of superstitions, fortune-telling, presentiments, intuition, dreams, all this is the inner life of a human being, and all this is the hardest thing to film… I’ve been trying to get there from the beginning. I’m somebody who doesn’t know, somebody who’s searching.” – Krzysztof Kieslowski

Andrea Arnold

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“I wonder whether my bleak-o-meter is set differently from other people’s. I have such passion for what I do that I can’t see it as bleak. When people use that word, or “grim” or “gritty,” I just think, “Oh, come on, look a bit deeper.” My films don’t give you an easy ride. I can see that. The sense I get is that people have quite a physical experience with them. They feel afterwards that they’ve really been through something.” — Andrea Arnold

Jean-Luc Goddard

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“A story should have a beginning, a middle and an end… but not necessarily in that order.”
—Jean-Luc Godard

Christopher Nolan

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“Every film should have its own world, a logic and feel to it that expands beyond the exact image that the audience is seeing.” – Christopher Nolan

Kathryn Bigelow

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“If there is resistance to women making movies, I choose to ignore it. That is because I cannot change my gender and I refuse to stop making movies.” – Katheryn Bigelow

These are all great quotes and it’s very difficult to take one out but my decision rests with…

Lee Daniels

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“Truth is hard to tell! And you have to be willing to be criticized for it.” – Lee Daniels

My reasons for this are solely based on his relative inexperience behind the camera and despite the quote being a great one, it doesn’t shed much light on his work. It was difficult but there has to be a casualty. My addition would be…

Paul Thomas Anderson

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“I really subscribe to that old adage that you should never let the audience get ahead of you for a second. So if the film’s abrasive and wrongfoots people then, y’know, that’s great. But I hope it involves an audience. If not, that’s my fuck-up.” – Paul Thomas Anderson

Next in line… I’d like to pass the baton to my good friend and colleague Tyson who runs the site Head In A Vice, where he not only works on his own reviews but has a couple of ambitious and highly interactive projects on the go in reviewing all of the Imdb’s 250 list and working his way through every film that Robert DeNiro has done. Added to which, he’s amassed a very impressive list of bloggers’ Desert Island Picks. Anyway, enough talk! Tyson it’s over to you…

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32 Responses to “10 Favourite Director’s Quotes Relay Race”

  1. Great post, I totally agree with what Nolan says.

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  2. Great read and insight.

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  3. Glad you added PTA. He’s one of my favorite directors and that’s a pretty good quote.

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    • Yeah, I had a few in mind but I couldn’t rule out PTA. Who knows if he lasts the pace though. Someone might eventually oust him but he deserves involvement at some point.

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  4. Thanks for the kind words my friend. Nice addition and subtraction. The Lee Daniels quote was almost cut when I did it for the exact reason you state. Now lets see what Tyson has in store for us!

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  5. Excellent director and great quote! 🙂

    Steph

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  6. Nice job Mark.

    Thanks for the handover and kind words 🙂

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  7. Great decision to add PT Anderson and removing Lee Daniels, Mark. I actually was considering cutting him out on my round. I agree with your reasoning that his quote doesn’t really shed any light to his work as much as others’ do.

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    • Thanks Ruth. Yeah, Daniels’ exclusion was no reflection on his abilities. He’s a very promising director. I wanted to include the Coens but decided on Anderson instead. I love his work and I really liked the (honest) quote.

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      • Yes indeed Mark! Hey, you probably already knew this but it’s Tilda Swinton’s birthday, one of my fave female Scottish actors! It’s one of the questions in today’s five for the fifth.

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      • I’m just completing my five for the fifth answers as you commented Ruth. I didn’t know it was Swinton’s birthday but you’ve given me a nice little reminder for a piece of trivia tomorrow also. 🙂

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  8. Good choice Mark. When the blogathon came around to Ruth I thought Daniels was the low man on the totem pole also. PT Anderson is wise beyond his years. So much so he was slated to take over Robert Altman’s last film, Gosford Park, in case he passed away before he could finish it. It’s the equivalent of Hitch asking De Palma to finish one of his films. High praise indeed.

    I still like my choice of Michael Curtiz for just pure entertainment value. Lifted from Ruth’s blog:

    “Handsdown my favorite director’s quotes are by Michael Curtiz. Who? Casablanca?

    His grasp of the English language (he was Hungarian) made him the subject of many long standing Hollywood anecdotes. He once berated David Niven on set declaring: “You think you know fuck everything and I know fuck nothing. Well let me tell you, I know fuck all!!”

    Another time he was chewing out a prop man for neglecting to do a job assigned to him, and yelled, “Next time I send a damn fool, I go myself!”

    To a group of extras he gave this confusing command:
    “Separate together in a bunch.”

    He dismissed one extra by saying: “More to your right. More. More. Now you are out of the scene. Go home”.

    He expressed dissatisfaction with a child actor by remarking scathingly: “By the time I was your age, I was fifteen.”

    “Who cares about character? I make it go so fast nobody notices”.

    “Don’t talk to me when I’m interrupting.”

    “I put all the art into my pictures I think the audience can stand.”

    They’re called Curtizisms. The stuff of Hollywood legend. But seriously my favorite quote is by Akira Kurosawa. He recieved an honorary Oscar presented by Spielberg and Lucas back in ’89. The masterful director uttered these humble words in his native language:

    “I am very deeply honored to receive such a wonderful prize, but I have to ask whether I really deserve it. I’m a little worried, because I don’t feel that I understand cinema yet. I really don’t feel that I have yet grasped the essence of cinema. Cinema is a marvelous thing, but to grasp its true essence is very, very difficult. But what I promise you is that from now on I will work as hard as I can at making movies and maybe by following this path I will achieve an understanding of the true essence of cinema and earn this award. Thank you.” ” Not exactly the “King of the World” speech is it?

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    • I didn’t know that about Gosford Park Dave. Nice info and high praise indeed, like you say. He does operate very much like Altman though doesn’t he? Recently he’s been deviating from that but still deliver wonderful pieces of work.

      Hahaha! Love those “Curtizisms”. They are hilarious and it sounds like he had a good way with cutting humour.

      Kurosawa’s quote is a good one. It’s sounds like he had a humbleness about him. He’s well within his rights to regard himself a master of his craft but chooses to play it down. Nice!

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  9. Now this is a cool idea! Love it! And love what you picked. 🙂

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  10. “Never let the audience get ahead of you” Nice quote from PTA,good choice,Mark!

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  11. Great quote!

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  12. Nice post. Good choice there with the PTA quote 😉

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  13. Alex Withrow Says:

    Fair switch, for sure. I love to see PTA representing here. Fine work!

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