"The cinema….that temple of sex with its goddesses, its guardians and its victims….a film is a petrified fountain of thought."

            Jean Cocteau

"Cinema is half-way between life and art….cinema is the most beautiful fraud in the world….the cinema is truth 24 times a second."

            Jean-Luc Godard


"My invention....can be exploited for a certain time as a scientific curiosity, but apart from that it has no commercial value whatsoever."

-Auguste Lumiere (French co-inventor of the Lumiere motion-picture camera) 1895


"It is probable that the fad will die out in the next few years."

-The Independent, Mar 17,1910


"The cinema is little more than a fad. It's canned drama. What audiences really want to see is flesh and blood on the stage."

-Charlie Chaplin 1916


"Many modern people have a sort of imaginative reverence for (the cinema) not only because a lot of money is got out of it, but merely because a lot of money is put into it."

-G.K. Chesterton


"Who the hell wants to hear actors talk?"

-Harry M. Warner (President of Warner Bros. Pictures)


"The great directors, from D.W. Griffith to Alfred Hitchcock, have never lost sight of the fact that the art of the movies is not a verbal art. Words have come in with the "talkies" but a decade of effort has so absorbed them into the primary function that they are no longer disturbing as they once were-and indeed the term "talkie" has ceased to be in common use. We still go to "movies' and can take the dialogue in our stride. The gloomy predictions that dialogue would kill the art have only their historical interest....A silent picture of 1927 or 1928 was likely to be superior in sophistication to any talkie of 1931. Had not audiences been trained to interpret movement, gesture, change of scene and flutter of symbol-and to interpret these things with the eye alone? Sometimes we had to lean over and talk to our neighbors about what was going on behind the door." That window was not open before; the burglar must have entered while the party was going on downstairs." This is the girl who fainted at the factory," And so on. We can no longer indulge in such confidences. We must be as silent as the films themselves used to be."

-Mark Van Doren "Let the Movies Be Natural" Autumn 1937


"Film is not the art of scholars but of illiterates. Film culture is not analysis but agitation of the mind."

            Werner Herzog

"Drama is life with the dull bits cut out. The length of a film should be directly related to the endurance of the human bladder. The cinema is not a slice of life, it’s a piece of cake."

            Alfred Hitchcock


"The cinema like the detective story, makes it possible to experience without danger all the excitement, passion and desirousness which must be suppressed in a humanitarian ordering of society."

            Carl Jung


"Film is a dog; the head is commerce, the tail is art, and only rarely does the tail wag the dog."

            Walter Wagner


"Cinema is the culmination of the obsessive, mechanistic male drive in western culture. The move projector is an Apollonian straightshooter, demonstrating the link between aggression and art. Every pictorial framing is a ritual limitation, a barred precinct

-Camille Paglia

Sexual Personae


"The lights flicked away; the screen glowed silver, and soon life began to unfold, beautiful and passionate and sad,  till the young men and girls entered, scented and sibilant in the half dark, their paired backs in silhouette delicate and sleek, their slim, quick bodies awkward, divinely young, while beyond them the silver dream accumulated, inevitably on and on."

            William Faulkner
            "Dry September"


"No romance has ever unfolded on the silver fantastic tale from the pen of Jules Verne has ever depicted the glamorous drama of Hollywood, America's real, live fairyland-the dreamer's dream come true. Brilliant as the eternal California sunshine, soft and languid as the California moon, the beauty of Hollywood is the glorious envy of the artist, the never-to-be obtained goal of the poet.'"

-Nathaniel West


"No art passes our conscience in the way film does, and goes directly to our feelings, deep down into the dark rooms of our souls."

-Ingmar Bergman



"Movies are one of the bad habits that corrupted our century. Of their many sins, I offer as the worst their effect on the intellectual side of the nation. It is chiefly from that viewpoint I write of them-as an eruption of trash that has lamed the American mind and retarded Americans from becoming a culture people."

-Ben Hecht (1893-1964)


   "It was not, however, the mere depiction of the act that gave smoking such a boost, but rather who was smoking on screen that turned the people on. For the first time the population had public figures other than their rulers to adore. The cinema, like nothing before it, elevated the cult of appearance. Its idols moved, and after 1927 learned to speak and sing. Although only two-dimensional Pygmalions, they were so different, so much more convincing than the static representations people had hitherto respected, that their passions were inflamed. The actors and actresses played up to this adulation-some even saw it as their duty to live out their fans' fantasies in real life as well as on screen. Gloria Swanson, star of Male and Female and Why Change Your Wife?, vowed 'I will be every inch and every moment a star.' Not only were movie stars idolized, they were imitated. And in the absence of an obvious physical resemblance, the best way of impersonating a hero or heroine was via their tobacco habit. People began to smoke because their favourite film star did. The cheapness and availability of cigarettes were to their advantage. The average audience member in the Great Depression (now global) could not afford the mansions, the yachts, the furs or the diamonds their idols enjoyed in flickering black and white, but they could buy the cigarettes and so share a portion of the dream. Smoking was an aspiration everybody could fulfill."

-Iain Gately

La Diva Nicotina: The Story of How Tobacco Seduced The World



'ANDRE BAZIN put movie directors in their place, as the true "authors" of films. The question of who could claim authorship of fils has been fought out in court cases since the 1930s. But in 1951, when Bazin founded his French journal Cahiers du Cinema, he proceeded to make a very convincing case that it was, indeed, the director (not the producer, actors, cameraman, screenwriter, etc.) who was the author of a film. Bazin did this by publishing articles in his journal pointing out the distinctive styles of the different directors. You would have thought this would be obvious, but generally it wasn't. But the articles Bazin wrote or edited made it clear that each director did have a distinct style , and this revelation caused a revolution in how many people viewed films. With the coming of television and VCRs, it was possible for the growing number of movie buffs to appreciate the films of a director over many viewings. Bazin died in 1958, but not before he opened the eyes of millions and got directors the respect they deserved."

James F. Dunnigan

Dirty Little Secrets of the Twentieth Century


Cinema: "Baraka"

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Book: "Lion Of Hollywood: The Life and Legend of Louis B. Mayer" by Scott Eyman



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