I am always reluctant to single out some particular feature of the work of a major filmmaker because it tends inevitably to simplify and reduce the work. But in this book of screenplays by Krzysztof Kieslowski and his co-author, Krzysztof Piesiewicz, it should not be out of place to observe that they have the very rare ability to dramatize their ideas rather than just talking about them. By making their points through the dramatic action of the story they gain the added power of allowing the audience to discover what's really going on rather than being told. They do this with such dazzling skill, you never see the ideas coming and don't realize until much later how profoundly they have reached your heart. - Stanley Kubrick
To enjoy this film all you need is an open mind, and it can be approached awarely without being on drugs; to be honest, I never tried psychedelics so I don't know if it would enhance the experience (Andrew Sarris opened up to it after getting high), and I'm not anti-drugs at all.
I believe that drugs are basically of more use to the audience than to the artist. I think that the illusion of oneness with the universe, and absorption with the significance of every object in your environment, and the pervasive aura of peace and contentment is not the ideal state for an artist. It tranquilizes the creative personality, which thrives on conflict and on the clash and ferment of ideas. The artist's transcendence must be within his own work; he should not impose any artificial barriers between himself and the mainspring of his subconscious. One of the things that's turned me against LSD is that all the people I know who use it have a peculiar inability to distinguish between things that are really interesting and stimulating and things that appear to be so in the state of universal bliss that the drug induces on a "good" trip. They seem to completely lose their critical faculties and disengage themselves from some of the most stimulating areas of life. Perhaps when everything is beautiful, nothing is beautiful.
Now here is the essential part. Bresson suggests that we are all Balthazars. Despite our dreams, hopes and best plans, the world will eventually do with us whatever it does. Because we can think and reason, we believe we can figure a way out, find a solution, get the answer. But intelligence gives us the ability to comprehend our fate without the power to control it. Still, Bresson does not leave us empty-handed. He offers us the suggestion of empathy. If we will extend ourselves to sympathize with how others feel, we can find the consolation of sharing human experience, instead of the loneliness of enduring it alone. - Roger Ebert
This film grew out of my desire to make a film about children. A story about children to begin with, but veers towards adults by the end. The tone is initially lighthearted, but halfway through a shift occurs and it ends on a bleak note. - Ozu (source)
The Apartment is a better holiday movie than It's a Wonderful life; it's not about a loved family man who did everything right, but two miserable lonely people who fall in love. I didn't find the film sappy at all.
The Apartment was influenced by The Crowd, another film on my list.
The movie Solaris has a space station, it takes place near another planet, but actually it's a mediation on the human individual and not really a space opera at all. Do we see other people as they are, or do they exist for us only in our ideas about them. The planet can read the man's mind and reproduce his dead wife, but as he looks at the reproduction he grows depressed because he questions how well he really knew her in the first place. The planet cannot supply what's not there in his mind. The movie is quiet and creepy, thoughtful and very moving about the subject how well we can ever really know one another. - Roger Ebert's review of the Solaris remake (applicable to the original film)
Toshirô Mifune really nailed his role as a curmudgeonly humanist doctor. Unfortunately, Mifune was angry at Kurosawa because he wasn't able to work in other films because of his natural beard, and they parted ways.
Caden Cotard: I know how to do it now. There are nearly thirteen million people in the world. None of those people is an extra. They're all the leads of their own stories. They have to be given their due.
Many of Charlie Chaplin's films are life-affirming. I recommend all of my favorites, but the most life-affirming are The Kid and City Lights. I don't recommend his first film Making a Living because the Tramp is a cad in the film. I don't know when Chaplin decided to make the Tramp a humanistic character.
Charlie Kaufman Spielberg's films are criticized for their sentimentality and probably for almost always being life-affirming. His approach to film-making might deter realists from seeing his films.
I dream for a living.
The public has an appetite for anything about imagination - anything that is as far away from reality as is creatively possible. - Steven Spielberg