I've never liked Welles as an actor, because he's not really an actor. In Hollywood you have two categories, you talk about actors and personalities. Welles was an enormous personality, but when he plays Othello, everything goes down the drain, you see, that's when he's croaks. In my eyes he's an infinitely overrated filmmaker.
Among today's directors I'm of course impressed by Steven Spielberg and Scorsese, and Coppola, even if he seems to have ceased making films, and Steven Soderbergh they all have something to say, they're passionate, they have an idealistic attitude to the filmmaking process. Soderbergh's Traffic is amazing. Another great couple of examples of the strength of American cinema is American Beauty and Magnolia.
The Seventh Seal is one of the few films really close to my heart. Actually, I don't know why. It's certainly far from perfect. I had to contend with all sorts of madness, and one can detect here and there the speed with which it was made. But I find it even, strong, and vital.
If you have a faith, if you've some deep conviction, whether you're a Nazi or a Communist or what the hell else you are then you can sacrifice yourself and others to your faith. But from the moment you've no faith from that moment you live in a deep inner confusion from then on you're exposed to what Strindberg calls 'the powers'.
People think there's a solution... If everything is distributed in the proper quarters, put into the right pigeonholes, everything will be fine. But I'm not so sure. ... Nothing, absolutely nothing at all has emerged out of all these ideas of faith and scepticism, all these convulsions, these puffings and blowings. For many of my fellow human beings on the other hand, I'm aware that these problems still exist and exist as a terrible reality. I hope this generation will be the last to live under the scourge of religious anxiety.
I come from a world of conservative Christian thought. I've absorbed Christianity with my mother's milk. So it must be obvious that certain... archetypes, aren't they called? stick in one's mind, and that certain lines, certain courses of events, certain ways of behaving, become adequate symbols for what goes on in the Christian system of ideas. ... I keep myself supplied with my own angels and demons...
Well, we're grasping for two things at once. Partly for communion with others that's the deepest instinct in us. And partly, we're seeking security. By constant communion with others we hope we shall be able to accept the horrible fact of our total solitude. We're always reaching out for new projects, new structure, new systems in order to abolish partly or wholly our insight into our loneliness. If it weren't so, religious systems would never arise.
I know the first film I ever saw it must have been some time in 1924, when I was six or so... was Black Beauty. About a stallion. I still recall a sequence with fire. It was burning, I remember that vividly. And I remember too how it excited me, and how afterwards we bought the book of Black Beauty and how I learned the chapter on the fire by heart at that time I still hadn't learned to read.
You find him disgusting with his thick mouth and ugly body and wet appealing eyes. You think he's disgusting and you're afraid.
When Jesus was nailed to the cross and hung there in torment - he cried out "God, my God! Why hast thou forsaken me?" He cried out as loud as he could. He thought that his heavenly father had abandoned him. He believed everything he'd ever preached was a lie. The moments before he died, Christ was seized by doubt. Surely that must have been his greatest hardship? God's silence.
Our social relationships are limited, most of the time, to gossip and criticizing people's behavior. This observation slowly pushed me to isolate from the so-called social life. My days pass by in solitude.
When I was young, I was extremely scared of dying, but now I think it a very, very wise arrangement. Its like a light that is extinguished. Not very much to make a fuss about.
I don't want to produce a work of art that the public can sit and suck aesthetically. I want to give them a blow in the small of the back, to scorch their indifference, to startle them out of their complacency.
I don't watch my own films very often. I become so jittery and ready to cry... and miserable. I think it's awful.
The demons are innumerable, arrive at the most inappropriate times and create panic and terror... but I have learned that if I can master the negative forces and harness them to my chariot, then they can work to my advantage.... Lilies often grow out of carcasses' arseholes.