“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.”
“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!
There are films made to exist as box office results first, or as reviews first, or as expression of the author first. My films are meant to come to life in people’s heads. They are incomplete before, actually they are meant to be incomplete. I see them like open systems that need to be pulled together by somebody. That somebody is each and every spectator. In a way I think of films the same way I looked at stories in books, when I was little. I realized very early on that the story was not in the written words, but in the space between the lines. That’s where the real reading took place: In my imagination, and that happened in all the white between the letters and the lines. And when I started to see films, I approached them the same way. In fact those films allowed me to perceive them like that, they were asking me to dream myself into them. The classic American cinema has that same specific quality, and this is also the great tradition of European Cinema. I did not invent that “method.” It is an endangered process, though, these days. More and more films come as “wall to wall” entertainment. What you see (and hear!) is what you get. No more space between the frames, so to speak. No chance to sneak in with your imagination, to dream on and to project your innermost hopes or fears or desires into what you see and thereby pushing it further. You come out of the theatre and feel strangely empty. For two hours you were prevented from participating. You were obliged to “witness” instead. And that is the opposite to what you called my “method” which is in the true sense of the word “interactive.”
Andy Warhol,Dracula, 1981, Polacolor 2 print. Colby College Museum of Art, Waterville, Maine. Gift of the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc., The Andy Warhol Photographic Legacy Program
Fun fact: in 1974, Andy Warhol produced a film called Blood for Dracula. Art and film come together in an amazing way with this production.
"I remember being young in the 1960s… we had a great sense of the future, a great big hope. This is what is missing in the youth today. This being able to dream and to change the world."
Marlon Brando and Bernardo Bertolucci on the set of" Last Tango in Paris". In the background, Maria Schneider.
It is a mistake to talk about the artist “looking for” his subject. In fact, the subject grows within him like a fruit and begins to demand expression. It is like childbirth. The poet has nothing to be proud of: he is not master of the situation, but a servant. Creative work is his only possible form of existence, and his every work is like a deed he has no power to annul. For him to be aware that the sequence of such deeds is due and ripe, that it lies in the very nature of things, he has to have faith in the idea; for only faith interlocks the system of images (for which read: system of life.)