"I’m so fucking tired of going to the cinema and watching these marriages where the wives are nagging and annoying and demanding, and the husbands are ho-hum and want this younger, hotter thing. It just is like, enough already. What about all the relationships that I see my friends having, or my parents having? Where they work together, and they’re still madly in love with each other after decades. Where’s that?"
Werner Herzog: The images found in vampire films have a quality beyond our usual experiences in the cinema. For me genre means an intensive, almost dreamlike, stylization of screen, and I feel the vampire genre is one of the richest and most fertile cinema has to offer. There is fantasy, hallucination, dreams and nightmares, visions, fear and, of course, mythology… For me, Nosferatu is the greatest of all German films…
Jacques Tourneur: Nothing is more fantastic than the human brain. Fear, horror, terror are in us. Rightly or wrongly, we all carry in us a feeling of guilt. Cruelty flows in our blood, even if we have learned to master it… Now, a good horror film is one that best awakens our old dormant instincts.
John Carpenter: Horror films are a universal genre in that they appeal to the entire world. Whereas, say comedy, that doesn’t really travel sometimes. But horror does. What scares somebody here in Los Angeles probably scares somebody in Hong Kong. People have tried for years to think ‘what is it that scares people and I’ll make a movie about that.’ Well, it’s not that simple… The question is: what is it that you have as a storyteller? What do you have to give to the audience that makes your story compelling?
Kiyoshi Kurosawa: I find ghosts in Japanese horror much more terrifying. In the standard American Horror canon, because a ghost violently attacks you or comes after you, at least you have the chance to fight back. And what you’re fighting for is the idea that you can beat the bad thing and go back to the good old days when you were peaceful and happy and there weren’t any ghosts hanging around. But if they don’t attack you then the best you can do is figure out a way to co-exist with them. I find the idea that one just has to live with this thing much more terrifying. You have no chances of running away or fighting it; you’re stuck with it forever.
Beautiful People is one of the last films David Wojnarowicz made, like his controversial film, Fire in My Belly, left uncompleted at his death. Nevertheless, the film, unusual among his work for its clear narrative, stands as one of his best films. Filming his 3 Teens Kill 4 bandmate, Jesse Hultberg, as he gets up in drag in his small East Village apartment before heading through the city and out into the wider world, in Beautiful People Wojnarowicz sees “drag queens as true revolutionaries who fuck with visual codes of gender,” bringing the queer, East Village revolution to the streets of the city and beyond.