Director of Dazed and Confused, Waking Life, Before Sunrise, School of Rock, etc.
"I always sensed instinctively from the earliest age that I was being lied to."
"It's kinda like D.H. Lawrence had this idea of two people meeting on a road, and instead of just passing and glancing away, they decide to accept what he calls the confrontation between their souls. It's like freeing the brave, reckless gods within us all."
"[on "Raging Bull"] It made me see movies as a potential outlet for what I was thinking about and hoping to express. At that point, I was an unformed artist. At that moment, something was simmering in me, but "Raging Bull" brought it to a boil."
"We get a lot of cautionary tales about the dangers of getting exactly what you want in life. You know, if you take out the striving and the incompleteness, then where are you?"
"I've always been most interested in the politics of everyday life: your relation to whatever you're doing, or what your ambitions are, where you live, where you find yourself in the social hierarchy."
"Well, you have to keep your faith in the fact that there are a lot of intelligent people who are actively looking for something interesting, people who have been disappointed so many times."
"I lost a year or two in there, trying to get films financed that I didn't know would never get financing."
"You can never replace anyone because everyone is made up of such beautiful specific details."
"[Terrence Malick] is a guy who sees his movies and thinks, "I would have done that differently". I see mine and say, "Given the circumstances, that's what I did and that's what I'd do again". I don't know how much of a free-will guy I am."
"A self-destructive man feels completely alienated, utterly alone. He's an outsider to the human community. He thinks to himself, "I must be insane." What he fails to realize is that society has, just as he does, a vested interest in considerable losses and catastrophes. These wars, famines, floods and quakes meet well-defined needs. Man wants chaos. In fact, he has to have it. Depression, strife, riots, murder - all this dread. We're irresistibly drawn to that almost orgiastic state created out of death and destruction. It's in all of us. We revel in it. Sure, the media tries to put a sad face on these things and paints them up as great human tragedies. But we all know the function of the media has never been to eliminate the evils of the world - no! Their job is to persuade us to accept those evils and get used to living with them. The powers that be want us to be passive observers, and they haven't given us any other options outside the occasional, purely symbolic, participatory act of voting. "You want the puppet on the right or the puppet on the left?"
I feel that the time has come to project my own inadequacies and dissatisfactions into the sociopolitical and scientific schemes, let my own lack of a voice be heard."
"It's tough, man. Unless it's a tentpole, sequel, remake, or over-the-top comedy, that's all the studios are even doing. They've kind of admitted they're not in the business of doing anything else. The slightest level of irony or intelligence and, boom, you're out of the league, you're done."
"To those humans in whom I have faith; I wish suffering, being forsaken, sickness, maltreatment, humiliation. I wish that they should not remain unfamiliar with profound self-contempt, the torture of self-mistrust, and the misery of the vanquished. I have no pity for them because I wish them the only thing that can prove today whether one is worth anything or not—that one endures' . . . Remember, the passion for destruction is also a creative passion."
"[on how he handled the passing of time on Boyhood] I think the tendency would be to draw attention to it, like, "Hey look how it's a year later!" And your memory doesn't work that way. I wanted the thing to feel like a memory, and it just kind of flows. So I wanted the audience to earn the transition by observation. Sometimes it's a little more obvious. But I didn't want like, a direct-cut close-up of Ellar with long hair, and then the next shot he has short hair. I actually cut a transition between years one and two and then again between years 11 and 12 because I wasn't happy with it. It was a little too obvious."
"Most of us are losers most of the time, if you think about it."