“I think Murnau’s imperturbable calm in the studio was due not only to a sense of discipline, but also because he possessed that passion for ‘play’ itself which is necessary and essential to any kind of artistic activity.
For instance, I’d made a steam apparatus for the heaven scene in the Prologue to Faust. Steam was ejected out of several pipes against a background of clouds; arc-lights arranged in a circle lit up the steam to look like rays of light. The archangel was supposed to stand in front and raise his flaming sword. We did it several times, and each time it was perfectly all right, but Murnau was so caught up in the pleasure of doing it that he forgot all about time. The steam had to keep on billowing through the beams of light until the archangel — Werner Fuetterer — was so exhausted he could no longer lift his sword. When Murnau realized what had happened, he shook his head and laughed at himself, then gave everyone a break.”
-Faust art director Robert Herlth, quoted in Lotte Eisner’s Murnau. The scene Herlth is discussing is online here.
“I was in a need of money at the time, and my agent called. I said, ‘Yes?’ and he said ‘Maggie, they want you to play a part on the Wizard.’ I said to myself, ‘Oh Boy, The Wizard of Oz! That has been my favorite book since I was four.’ And I asked him what part, and he said ‘The Witch’ and I said ‘The Witch?!’ and he said ‘What else?’”
2001: A Space Odyssey (1968, dir. Stanley Kubrick)
“Film operates on a level much closer to music and to painting than to the printed word, and, of course, movies present the opportunity to convey complex concepts and abstractions without the traditional reliance on words. I think that 2001, like music, succeeds in short-circuiting the rigid surface cultural blocks that shackle our consciousness to narrowly limited areas of experience and is able to cut directly through to areas of emotional comprehension. In two hours and twenty minutes of film there are only forty minutes of dialogue.
I think one of the areas where 2001 succeeds is in stimulating thoughts about man’s destiny and role in the universe in the minds of people who in the normal course of their lives would never have considered such matters. Here again, you’ve got the resemblance to music; an Alabama truck driver, whose views in every other respect would be extremely narrow, is able to listen to a Beatles record on the same level of appreciation and perception as a young Cambridge intellectual, because their emotions and subconscious are far more similar than their intellects. The common bond is their subconscious emotional reaction; and I think that a film which can communicate on this level can have a more profound spectrum of impact than any form of traditional verbal communication.
The problem with movies is that since the talkies the film industry has historically been conservative and word-oriented. The three-act play has been the model. It’s time to abandon the conventional view of the movie as an extension of the three-act play.”
-Kubrick, quoted in Stanley Kubrick: Interviews (1970)
This sort of thing is exhausting
Resilient giant Myers has become well-known for his annual October 31 killing sprees, which typically result in around 20 deaths.
However, this year the seemingly unkillable killer will forego his murderous routine in favour of a quieter night watching DVDs with a handful of close friends and a Grab Bag of Doritos at the facility where he is incarcerated.
Myers said: “Maybe it’s an age thing, but I just don’t feel the desire to relentlessly stalk teenagers with a variety of bladed weapons like I used to. Perhaps because I’ve been there and done it so many times.
“I do think when you lose the passion for something it’s better to just stop.
“Plus physically it’s a lot harder to bounce back from being shot, stabbed, set on fire, thrown off a roof, then shot some more, then impaled on a weathervane, then stabbed in the head, then set alight, then shot a couple more times when you’re just two months’ shy of 56.
“So we’re going to watch some spooky movies at the unit where I am incarcerated. Nothing too intense, maybe Beetlejuice or Gremlins.
“I’m definitely not going to escape this year. Even if the orderly carelessly forgets to check my harnesses then goes off and sits in his office reading adult magazines and listening to loud music with his back to the door, as tends to happen.
“Although that is kind of difficult to resist.”
“You Only Live Once is the story of a man who tries to live an honest life. He is pursued, fighting alone against the menacing power of a society he must fight.
To fight, that is what counts. If we think there is the smallest chance to succeed, we must continue to do what we believe is good. Perhaps this is a sort of martyrdom, even if I don’t believe it, but it is the essence of life, fighting for the causes we believe to be right.
That is truly the problem that has always interested me—not obsessed or possessed me, because I was possessed only once—that’s all, in one way or another, it is inevitable. You get caught in the works, and you can’t escape. But aside from that, what I always wanted to show and define is the attitude of struggle that must be adopted in the face of destiny. Whether or not the individual wins this fight, what counts is the fight itself, because it is vital.”
-Fritz Lang, quoted in Fritz Lang: Interviews