Orson Welles on the set of Macbeth (1948, dir. Orson Welles)
“You could write all the ideas of all the movies, mine included, on the head of a pin. It’s not a form in which ideas are very fecund. It’s a form that may grip you or take you into a world or involve you emotionally—but ideas are not the subject of films. I have this terrible sense that film is dead, that it’s a piece of film in a machine that will be run off and shown to people. That is why, I think, my films are theatrical, and strongly stated, because I can’t believe that anybody won’t fall asleep unless they are. There’s an awful lot of Bergman and Antonioni that I’d rather be dead than sit through.
For myself, unless a film is hallucinatory, unless it becomes that kind of an experience, it doesn’t come alive. I know that directors find serious and sensitive audiences for films where people sit around peeling potatoes in the peasant houses—but I can’t read that kind of novel either. Somebody has to be knocking at the door—I figure that is the way Shakespeare thought, so I can’t be in bad company!”
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“Man devours man in a metaphorical sense. He feeds upon his fellow creatures, without the excuse of animals. Animals actually do it for survival, out of hunger…. I use that metaphor [of cannibalism] to express my repulsion with this characteristic of man, the way people use each other without conscience: ‘We all use each other and that’s what we think of as love.’
It horrified me, the film. [Producer] Sam Spiegel made the mistake of inviting me to a private screening of it in his apartment and I walked out in the middle of it. I was so offended by the literal approach because the play was metaphorical; it was sort of a poem, I thought. I loved Katharine Hepburn in it, but I didn’t like the film.
…[The death by cannibalism scene] became so realistic, with the boys chasing Sebastian up the hill - I thought it was a travesty. It was about how people devour each other in an allegorical sense.”
-Tennessee Williams, Conversations with Tennessee Williams
Would you like me to tell you the little story of right-hand/left-hand? The story of good and evil? H-A-T-E! It was with this left hand that old brother Cain struck the blow that laid his brother low. L-O-V-E! You see these fingers, dear hearts? These fingers has veins that run straight to the soul of man. The right hand, friends, the hand of love. Now watch, and I’ll show you the story of life. Those fingers, dear hearts, is always a-warring and a-tugging, one agin t’other. Now watch ‘em! Old brother left hand, left hand he’s a fighting, and it looks like love’s a goner. But wait a minute! Hot dog, love’s a winning! Yessirree! It’s love that’s won, and old left hand hate is down for the count!
Some places are like people: some shine and some don’t. - The Shining (1980).