John Boorman's Quotes

1 [on the infamous opening night of Exorcist II: The Heretic (1977)] Such is a prime example of why I never attend my own premieres. I heard about the filmmakers being chased from the theater and several blocks down the street, about people demanding their money back and/or throwing trash at the screen...At the time, I was busy ducking and covering beneath my dining room table at home.
2 [on Jean-Luc Godard ] He is wonderfully subversive and wickedly funny. Half of what he says, I'm sure, is designed to mislead younger filmmakers.
3 Movies are the repository of myth. Therein lies their power. An alternative history, that of the human psyche, is contained and unfolded in the old stories and tales. Film carries on this tradition.
4 Paul Henreid told me about Michael Curtiz making Casablanca (1942). Curtiz suddenly decided he needed a poodle for a scene. The prop man and assistant directors ran in all directions, searching and making calls. Meanwhile Curtiz and Bogart played chess. Eventually, an animal wrangler arrived with a selection of poodles for the director to choose from. "Not a poodle!", he screamed. "A 'poodel'! With water!".
5 [on Sarah Miles ] Every actor has certain ways of expressing their nerves and with Sarah it was always terribly difficult to actually get her on the set. There was always a problem, usually with her clothes ... I found myself shouting at her. Then she'd burst into tears and her eyes would go all red so we wouldn't be able to shoot the scene.
6 [1987 comment on Sean Connery as James Bond] There was nothing much in Fleming's [ Ian Fleming ] Bond -- English, public school, snobbish -- that connected with him, but he took the character by the throat and shook some sense into it. It was the disparity between the man and the role that made it so compelling. The slickness, the cleverness, the effete charm were there in the scripts, but Sean's animal power made them seem like decorative accretions thinly concealing a real hero in the old mythic mold.
7 [1984 comment on Richard Burton ] He's like all these drunks. Impossible when he's drunk and only half there when he's sober. Wooden as a board with his body, relies on doing all his acting with his voice.
8 [on Richard Attenborough ] One can not escape the suspicion that Dickie is acting out all his roles as mediator, peacemaker, director, chairman, businessman, yet he is redeemed by a true goodness of heart, which drives him to pursue the common good. He has reached out to me just at the moment I needed it, alone and embattled. That is his genius.
9 [on Lee Marvin ] The profound unease we feel in identifying with an evil character in a movie is the recognition that we may be capable of such evil. Lee knew from his war experiences the depth of our capacity for cruelty and evil. He had committed such deeds, had plumbed the depths and was prepared to recount what he had seen down there.
10 Filmmaking is inventing impossible problems for yourself and then failing to solve them.
11 [on Lee Marvin ] I learned more from Lee about filmmaking than from anyone. He has this incredible economy and brilliant camera technique. Most actors are completely spastic when it comes to moving properly, but Lee has the economy and quickness of a dancer.
12 He seems to think he's Lee Marvin . Except he's two feet shorter. And about one third the talent. - On Mel Gibson
13 I always think that watching films is very like dreaming.
14 [on his failed attempt at bringing writer J.R.R. Tolkien 's "Lord of the Rings" to the screen] Everything I learned, the technical problems I had to resolve in planning for "The Lord Of The Rings", I applied to Excalibur (1981). That was my recompense.
15 [on the "Lord of the Rings" film trilogy by Peter Jackson ] I think it was a brilliant idea to make three films ... I'm glad "The Lord Of The Rings" is being made now, and I'm looking forward to seeing it. I'm sure it'll be a big success.
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