Brazilian director Mário Peixoto on the origins of his experimental 1931 silent film Limite.

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“The idea for Limite came about by chance. I was in Paris, having come over from England where I was studying, and I was passing by a newspaper stand when I saw a magazine with a photograph of a woman on the cover, with arms wrapped round her chest, handcuffed. A man’s arms. And the magazine was called Vu [no. 74, 14 August 1929]… I carried on walking and I could not get this image out of my mind. And right after that, I saw this sea of fire and a woman clinging to the remnants of a sinking ship… At night, in a hotel, I scribbled down the opening scene of the film, without knowing what I was doing.”

Sergio Leone

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“I made 58 films as an assistant—I was at the side of directors who applied all the rules: make it, for example, a close-up to show that the character is about to say something important. I reacted against all that and so close-ups in my films are always the expression of an emotion … so they call me a perfectionist and a formalist because I watch my framing. But I’m not doing it to make it pretty, I’m seeking, first and foremost, the relevant emotion.”
 
Sergio Leone
January 3, 1929 – April 30, 1989

Sergei Parajanov

Sergei Parajanov

“I believe you have to be born a director. It’s like a child’s adventure: you take the initiative among other children and become a director, creating a mystery. You mould things into shape and create. You torment people with your ‘artistismus‘—scaring mother and grandmother in the middle of the night. You dress yourself up like Charlie’s Aunt, or as (Hans Christian) Andersen’s heroes. Using feathers from a trunk, you transform yourself into a rooster or a firebird. This has always preoccupied me, and that is what directing is.”

Sergei Parajanov
January 9, 1924 — July 20, 1990