“Hollywood is the reason I make the films I do. Because I hate it. And I would never go there or waste my time watching their films because… well, I am a lousy film-maker, this I admit. But I refuse to make shit. Bad films I can make. Shit, no.”
“Why do people go to the cinema? What takes them into a darkened room where, for two hours, they watch the play of shadows on a sheet? The search for entertainment? The need for a kind of drug? All over the world there are, indeed, entertainment firms and organizations which exploit cinema and television and spectacles of many other kinds. Our starting point, however, should not be there, but in the essential principles of cinema, which have to do with the human need to master and know the world. I think that what a person normally goes to the cinema for is time: for time lost or spent or not yet had. He goes there for living experience; for cinema, like no other art, widens, enhances and concentrates a person’s experience—and not only enhances it but makes it longer, significantly longer. That is the power of cinema: ‘stars’, story-lines and entertainment have nothing to do with it.”
“I see it as my duty to stimulate reflection on what is essentially human and eternal in each individual soul, and which all too often a person will pass by, even though his fate lies in his hands. He is too busy chasing after phantoms and bowing down to idols. In the end everything can be reduced to the one simple element which is all a person can count upon in his existence: the capacity to love. That element can grow within the soul to become the supreme factor which determines the meaning of a person’s life. My function is to make whoever sees my films aware of his need to love and to give his love, and aware that beauty is summoning him.”
Arnold Newman took a series of photographs of the elderly Stravinsky at work with his scissors, snipping out short musical phrases and piecing them in place; he also snapped something that must be unique in the history of photographs of composers, a picture of Stravinsky erasing a note – perhaps the most Stravinskian gesture of all.
“I never thought of the Tramp in terms of appeal. He was myself, a comic spirit, something within me that said I must express this. I felt so free. The adventure of it. The madness. I can do any mad, crazy thing I like. And then?—did it come off, this insane idea I had, did it come off? That was the thrill.”
Once into production, work on Ran progressed so smoothly that even Mr. Kurosawa was surprised. In the summer of 1984, just when he was preparing to shoot the great storm scene in which Hidetora (his Lear) rushes deranged into the wilderness, a typhoon struck the shooting location in Kyushu perfectly on schedule. Later Mr. Kurosawa joked, “In Japan, journalists often call me ‘Emperor’ because they think I’m so tyrannical. Well, I guess I can now command even the elements!
I must study politics and war, that our sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. Our sons ought to study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history and naval architecture, navigation, commerce and agriculture in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry and porcelain.