"I do not relate to things such as popularity. It is completely vague and unknown to me what it means. I still live basically the same life. I do not have and I do not need material things. My material world is extremely small and limited. …
I own one single suit that I’m wearing right now and in the last 25 years I’ve never had another suit. And the shoes that I’m wearing I’ve been wearing for 3 years and they are my only pair of shoes. I need to replace them because they are starting to come apart. …
I have a car that I’ve had for 12 years. It’s fine, I enjoy life and things are very basic. I don’t have social networks in the Internet for example. I don’t even have a cell phone.”
Gary and Maria Cooper with Audrey Hepburn, mid-1950s.
Krzysztof Kieślowski, 1990s
"And is Chaplin—comedy? No: he is Chaplin, pure and simple; a unique phenomenon, never to be repeated. He is unadulterated hyperbole; but above all he stuns us at every moment of his screen existence with the truth of his hero’s behavior. In the most absurd situation Chaplin is completely natural; and that is why he is funny."
"At his best, and Chaplin remained at his best for a long time, he was the greatest comedian that ever lived."
"My religion is cinema. I believe in Charlie Chaplin…"
"He is beyond praise because he is the greatest of all. What else can one say? The only filmmaker, anyway, to whom one can apply without misunderstanding that very misleading adjective, ‘humane’… Today one says Chaplin as one says Da Vinci—or rather Charlie, like Leonardo."
"The master of masters, the filmmaker of filmmakers, for me is still Charlie Chaplin. He has done everything in his films—script, direction, setting, production, performance and even the music… His films are not only examples of perfect unity, but all his work is one. One may say indeed of Chaplin that he has made only one film and that every facet of that film is a different enactment of the same profession of faith."
"All Chaplin’s early films assured me that the comedy can say in a grotesque way much more about people’s characters than serious films, which after a certain time fade away and became ridiculous. Good comedy is immortal."
"When I was young, the idea of an orgy was tremendously exciting. Charlie Chaplin once organized one in Hollywood for me and two Spanish friends, but when the three ravishing young women arrived from Pasadena, they immediately got into a tremendous argument over which one was going to get Chaplin, and in the end all three left in a huff."
"Last year I went to the Cannes Film Festival and met Charles Chaplin. They showed his works. I was deeply impressed by his greatness. His films, his methods and content, are modern and so contemporary; he is a great genius."
"[Did other filmmakers teach you anything?] There was one, an old man whom I had the fortune to meet very old, Charlie Chaplin; he told me that everyone could do this job, but that it is very demanding… He was the only guy who you couldn’t see in bars, nightclubs, or at receptions. He told me one had to stay at home and work…”
Pier Paolo Pasolini
"You can always feel underneath my love for Dreyer, Mizoguchi and Chaplin… I feel this mythic epicness in both Dreyer and Mizoguchi and Chaplin: all three see things from a point of view which is absolute, essential and in a certain way holy, reverential."
"If there is any name which can be said to symbolize cinema—it is Charlie Chaplin… I am sure Chaplin’s name will survive even if the cinema ceases to exist as a medium of artistic expression. Chaplin is truly immortal."
"If something is really happening on the screen, it isn’t crucial how it’s shot. Chaplin had such a simple cinematic style that it was almost like I Love Lucy, but you were always hypnotized by what was going on, unaware of the essentially non-cinematic style. He frequently used cheap sets, routine lighting and so forth, but he made great films. His films will probably last longer than anyone else’s.”
Vittorio De Sica
"Truly good films—like Chaplin’s—should stimulate as well as soothe, should appeal to the mind as well as to the senses, should kindle thought as well as the emotions."
Abbas Kiarostami, 1990s
People do have different ideas, and my wish is that all viewers should not complete the film in their minds the same way, like crossword puzzles that all look the same no matter who has solved them. Even if it’s “filled out” wrong, my kind of cinema is still “correct” or true to its original value. I don’t leave the blank spaces just so people have something to finish. I leave them blank so people can fill them according to how they think and what they want. In my mind, the abstraction we accept in other forms of art—painting, sculpture, music, poetry—can also enter the cinema. I feel cinema is the seventh art, and supposedly it should be the most complete since it combines the other arts. But it has become just storytelling, rather than the art it should really be.
World’s First Empire, The Achaemenid Empire
For what it’s worth, I can’t remember ever having kissed any other woman before.
"I didn’t start making films until I was 34. But that wasted youth was probably the most valuable asset for what I’m doing now. You see the world, you end up in jail three or four times, you accumulate experience. And it gives you something to say. If you don’t have anything to say then you shouldn’t be making films. It’s nothing to do with what lens you’re using."
Still from In the Mood for Love (2000, dir. Wong Kar-wai) Cinematography by Christopher Doyle
John Ford on set of The Searchers
Douglas Gordon - 24-hour Psycho (1993)
"The work consists entirely of an appropriation of Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 Psycho slowed down to approximately two frames a second, rather than the usual 24. As a result it lasts for exactly 24 hours, rather than the original 109 minutes.
The film was an important work in Gordon’s early career, and is said to introduce themes common to his work, such as recognition and repetition, time and memory, complicity and duplicity, authorship and authenticity, darkness and light.”