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Added by Mr. Saturn on 26 May 2012 09:38
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Favorite Filmmakers

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Average listal rating (386 ratings) 8.7 IMDB Rating 0

I want to give the audience a hint of a scene. No more than that. Give them too much and they won't contribute anything themselves. Give them just a suggestion and you get them working with you. That's what gives the theater meaning: when it becomes a social act.

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Movie directors, or should I say people who create things, are very greedy and they can never be satisfied... That's why they can keep on working. I've been able to work for so long because I think next time, I'll make something good.

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100 Favorite Films
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The screen is a magic medium. It has such power that it can retain interest as it conveys emotions and moods that no other art form can hope to tackle.
A film is - or should be - more like music than like fiction. It should be a progression of moods and feelings. The theme, what's behind the emotion, the meaning, all that comes later.

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Film Site and another site
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It's absolutely impossible to improvise. Making a movie is a mathematical operation. It is like sending a missile to the moon. It isn't improvised. It is too defined to be called improvisational, too mechanical. Art is a scientific operation, so I can say that what we usually call improvisation is in my case just having an ear and eye for things that sometimes occur during the time we are making the picture. - Federico Fellini (Directing the Film, 1976)

Fellini is essentially a small-town boy who’s never really come to Rome. He’s still dreaming about it. And we should all be very grateful for those dreams. In a way, he’s still standing outside looking in through the gates. The force of La Dolce Vita comes from its provincial innocence. It’s so totally invented. - Orson Welles

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Interviewer:... do you, as Renoir said, let the unforeseen come into a shot?
Bresson: Renoir said a lot of things that weren't true, but some of it is what I said. But he used actors. He tried to give the impression that he was using them, not as actors who were acting, but as actors who weren't acting.
I'm really not sure what that is all about because an actor can't go back, can't be natural. He just can't. (interview)

Bresson is perhaps the only man in the cinema to have achieved the perfect fusion of the finished work with a concept theoretically formulated beforehand. I know of no other artist as consistent as he is in this respect. His guiding principle was the elimination of what is known as expressiveness, in the sense that he wanted to do away with the frontier between the image and actual life; that is, to render life itself graphic and expressive. No special feeding in of material, nothing laboured, nothing that smacks of deliberate generalisation. - Andrei Tarkovsky, Sculpting in Time (taken from TSPDT)

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7 Favorite Films

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Humor heightens our sense of survival and preserves our sanity.
We think too much and feel too little. More than machinery we need humanity more than cleverness, we need kindness and gentleness without those qualities, life would be violent and all will be lost. (from The Great Dictator)
All my pictures are built around the idea of getting in trouble and so giving me the chance to be desperately serious in my attempt to appear as a normal little gentleman.
I do not have much patience with a thing of beauty that must be explained to be understood. If it does need additional interpretation by someone other than the creator, then I question whether it has fulfilled its purpose.

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Average listal rating (76 ratings) 8.9 IMDB Rating 0

I have formulated my own directing style in my head, proceeding without any unnecessary imitation of others.

Ozu is not only a great director but a great teacher, and after you know his films, a friend. With no other director do I feel affection for every single shot... Ozu uses "pillow shots" like the pillow words in Japanese poetry, separating his scenes with brief, evocative images from everyday life. He likes trains, clouds, smoke, clothes hanging on a line, empty streets, small architectural details, banners blowing in the wind...

His visual strategy is as simple (therefore as profound) as possible. His camera is not always precisely three feet above the floor (the eye level of a Japanese person seated on a tatami mat), but it usually is. "The reason for the low camera position," the writer Donald Richie explains, "is that it eliminates depth and makes a two-dimensional space." So we are better able to appreciate a composition because Ozu lets us notice its lines and weights and tones -- which always reflect his exact feeling about the scene. - Roger Ebert reviewing Tokyo Story

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I've lost all my money on these films. They are not commercial. But I'm glad to lose it this way. To have for a souvenir of my life pictures like Umberto D. and The Bicycle Thief.

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Nothing in the world can be compared to the human face. It is a land one can never tire of exploring. There is no greater experience in a studio than to witness the expression of a sensitive face under the mysterious power of inspiration. To see it animated from inside, and turning into poetry. - Carl Dreyer, Thoughts on My Craft, Sight & Sound

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Cinema is a matter of what's in the frame and what's out.
Now more than ever we need to talk to each other, to listen to each other and understand how we see the world, and cinema is the best medium for doing this.

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85 Films you Need to See
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Juxtaposing a person with an environment that is boundless, collating him with a countless number of people passing by close to him and far away, relating a person to the whole world, that is the meaning of cinema.
Never try to convey your idea to the audience - it is a thankless and senseless task. Show them life, and they'll find within themselves the means to assess and appreciate it. – Andrei Tarkovsky, Sculpting in Time

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Film as dream, film as music. No art passes our conscience in the way film does, and goes directly to our feelings, deep down into the dark rooms of our souls.
I write scripts to serve as skeletons awaiting the flesh and sinew of images.

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11 Favorite Films
Opinions on Filmmakers

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A lot of movies are about life, mine are like a slice of cake.

Hitchcock loves to be misunderstood, because he has based his whole life around misunderstandings. - François Truffaut

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Average listal rating (286 ratings) 8.9 IMDB Rating 0

An audience is never wrong. An individual member of it may be an imbecile, but a thousand imbeciles together in the dark - that is critical genius. - Billy Wilder

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Average listal rating (111 ratings) 8.8 IMDB Rating 0

The camera is the director's pencil. It should have the greatest possible mobility in order to record the most fleeting harmony of atmosphere. It is important that the mechanical factor should not stand between the spectator and the film.

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Average listal rating (38 ratings) 8.3 IMDB Rating 0

What was Vigo’s secret? Probably he lived more intensely than most of us. Filmmaking is awkward because of the disjointed nature of the work. You shoot five to fifteen seconds and then stop for an hour. On the film set there is seldom the opportunity for the concentrated intensity a writer like Henry Miller might have enjoyed at his desk. By the time he had written twenty pages, a kind of fever possessed him, carried him away; it could be tremendous, even sublime. Vigo seems to have worked continuously in this state of trance, without ever losing his clearheadedness. — Truffaut (1970)

I remember Vigo with tenderness and thankfulness, who, in my opinion, is the father of modern French cinema.
An excessively frank and image-laden mis-en-scène with its subtext open for all to see is part of a broader phenomenon when a shot is subordinated to the requirements of literary discourse or obvious imagery. In one of the most ageless films L'Atalante by Jean Vigo there is an episode where the newlyweds, a girl and a young sailor, walk from the church to a barge . To the sound of a trivial accordion they walk around three large hayricks, now disappearing (and we see a deserted landscape), now appearing anew. What is this? A ritual, a dance of fertility? No, the episode is significant not for a literary retelling, not in its symbolism, not in its visual metaphoricity, but in its concrete saturated existence. We see a form filled with feeling.

I think that such concepts as intellectual cinema and intellectual montage have no future... Cinema will remain an emotional area and one must film what one has experienced, felt, suffered, and not what one constructs. - Tarkovsky (source)

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Average listal rating (203 ratings) 8.8 IMDB Rating 0

There's something which you should get out from an actor, something which is under his skin, something which he himself maybe doesn't know exactly. I hate - and I never did - to show an actor how to play a role. I don't want to have twenty-five little Fritz Lang's running around. I have too much respect for an actor. - Fritz Lang (Directing the Film, 1976)

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The essence of cinema is editing. It's the combination of what can be extraordinary images of people during emotional moments, or images in a general sense, put together in a kind of alchemy.
You have to really be courageous about your instincts and your ideas. Otherwise you'll just knuckle under, and things that might have been memorable will be lost.

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The cinema is not an art which films life: the cinema is something between art and life. Unlike painting and literature, the cinema both gives to life and takes from it, and I try to render this concept in my films. Literature and painting both exist as art from the very start; the cinema doesn't.
To me style is just the outside of content, and content the inside of style, like the outside and the inside of the human body. Both go together, they can't be separated.

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Is the cinema more important than life?
I demand that a film express either the joy of making cinema or the agony of making cinema.I am not at all interested in anything in between.

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He once said Night and Fog is the greatest film.
The effective war film is often the one in which the action begins after the war, when there is nothing but ruins and desolation everywhere: Rossellini’s Germany Year Zero (1947) and, above all, Alain Resnais’ Nuit et brouillard, the greatest film ever made.
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Average listal rating (83 ratings) 8.7 IMDB Rating 0

A director makes only one movie in his life. Then he breaks it into pieces and makes it again.
In my opinion, the first problem–the most important problem in our world—is the problem of dissemination, and it’s the conception of this dissemination that may lead to catastrophe. . . . The way it’s used now, the influence of the masses leads to nothing but the scattering of material. For example, think of a liter of wine: it’s certainly sufficient when shared by three or four people. But if we want this same liter of wine to be shared by one thousand people, we have to put water in it, and then it’s useless. We have to wonder whether something like this doesn’t happen in the process of dissemination. —Jean Renoir, 1957

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We all steal, but if we're smart, we steal from great directors. Then we can call it influence. - Krzysztof Kieslowski

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Dekalog (his greatest masterpiece)
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I don't act, anyway. The stuff is all injected as we go along. My pictures are made without script or written directions of any kind.

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Talkies, squeakies, moanies, songies, squawkies... Just give them ten years to develop and you're going to see the greatest artistic medium the world has known.
Actors should never be important. Only directors should have power and place.

Erich von Stroheim, one of Griffith's assistants, said that he was the pioneer of filmdom. The first to put beauty and poetry into a cheap and tawdry sort of amusement. - Martin Scorsese, from A Personal Journey with Martin Scorsese Through American Movies
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Average listal rating (26 ratings) 8.9 IMDB Rating 0

Contrary to what people say, using the first person in films tends to be a sign of humility: `All I have to offer is myself.’

Favorite film: Vertigo
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Average listal rating (551 ratings) 8.4 IMDB Rating 0
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Average listal rating (682 ratings) 8.6 IMDB Rating 0

My movies are film-paintings - moving portraits captured on celluloid. I'll layer that with sound to create a unique mood -- like if the Mona Lisa opened her mouth, and there would be a wind, and she'd turn back and smile. It would be strange and beautiful.

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Average listal rating (1586 ratings) 8.2 IMDB Rating 0

I`ve always loved the idea of fairy tales, but somehow I never managed to completely connect with them. What interests me is taking those classic images and themes and trying to contemporize them a bit. I believe folk tales and fairy tales have some sort of psychological foundation that makes that possible.

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Average listal rating (414 ratings) 8.9 IMDB Rating 0

I can't see America any other way than with a European's eyes. It fascinates me and terrifies me at the same time.

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I haven't seen Once Upon a Time in America.
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You should look straight at a film; that's the only way to see one. Film is not the art of scholars but of illiterates.

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Now why should the cinema follow the forms of theater and painting rather than the methodology of language, which allows wholly new concepts of ideas to arise from the combination of two concrete denotations of two concrete objects?

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Average listal rating (236 ratings) 8.3 IMDB Rating 0
For any director with a little lucidity, masterpieces are films that come to you by accident. - Sidney Lumet

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A pretty girl is better than a plain one. A leg is better than an arm. A bedroom is better than a living room. An arrival is better that a departure. A birth is better than a death. A chase is better than a chat. A dog is better than a landscape. A kitten is better than a dog. A baby is better than a kitten. A kiss is better than a baby. A pratfall is better than anything. - Preston Sturges
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Average listal rating (121 ratings) 8.5 IMDB Rating 0

When you know what an actor has, you can reach in and arouse it. If you don't know what he has, you don't know what the hell is going on.
I did whatever was necessary to get a good performance including so-called Method acting. I made them run around the set, I scolded them, I inspired jealousy in their girlfriends... The director is a desperate beast! ... You don't deal with actors as dolls. You deal with them as people who are poets to a certain degree. (source)
... [a] master of a new kind of psychological and behavioral faith in acting. - Robert De Niro (New York Times)

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Jan Švankmajer - Unlike many artists, I never thought the change of regime in Czechoslovakia would effect a big change in the arts. Both the totalitarian and commercial systems stem from the same civilisation. Arts must be targeted at the roots of that civilisation rather than at the systems it supports.
Terry Gilliam - I don't think people understand symbolism in the West.
JS - They're not forced to live in primitive repression. In a totalitarian system people are hungry for the slightest hint of truth, attuned to viewing imaginatively. (source)

Jan Svankmajer's stop-motion work uses familiar, unremarkable objects in a way which is deeply disturbing. The first film of his that I saw was Alice, and I was extremely unsettled by the image of an animated rabbit which had real fur and real eyes. His films always leave me with mixed feelings, but they all have moments that really get to me; moments that evoke the nightmarish spectre of seeing commonplace things coming unexpectedly to life. - Terry Gilliam (source)

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Most of his films are claymation or stop-motion .
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Average listal rating (35 ratings) 8.4 IMDB Rating 0
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Average listal rating (223 ratings) 8.1 IMDB Rating 0

I always start with characters rather than with a plot, which many critics would say is very obvious from the lack of plot in my films - although I think they do have plots - but the plot is not of primary importance to me, the characters are.

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Average listal rating (14 ratings) 8.3 IMDB Rating 0

Style is everything. Genet's ideas, for instance, are very Camp. Genet's statement that "the only criterion of an act is its elegance" is virtually interchangeable, as a statement, with Wilde's "in matters of great importance, the vital element is not sincerity, but style." But what counts, finally, is the style in which ideas are held. The ideas about morality and politics in, say, Lady Windemere's Fan and in Major Barbara are Camp, but not just because of the nature of the ideas themselves. It is those ideas, held in a special playful way. The Camp ideas in Our Lady of the Flowers are maintained too grimly, and the writing itself is too successfully elevated and serious, for Genet's books to be Camp. - Susan Sontag, Notes on Camp
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Directors I gave a ★★★★☆+ rating. The pictures are from my favorite film from each director.

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Most of the quotes are from They Shoot Pictures Don't They?

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