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With movies becoming more of a thrill-seeking experience (CGI, 3-D, Virtual Reality, etc.), some cultural critics have been predicting the death of cinema. With that in mind, I thought I would start collecting some quotes that describe the importance of drama and storytelling. Today's quote is from the book "Screenplay: The Foundations of Screenwriting" by Syd Field.

"The nature of drama, after all, is to show the universal connection between all humans, regardless of race, color, gender, or cultural differences."


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― Abhijit Naskar, The Film Testament

“Make films that purify the soul with the flow of rational, vigorous and compassionate thinking.”

“Use filmmaking to eliminate racism – use to it terminate misogyny – use it to destroy homophobia and all other primitiveness.”

“Entertain, but also, give the viewer something to think about.”

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Francis Ford Coppola just published a book, "Live Cinema and its Techniques". Coppola gives a brief history of film and where he thinks the medium is headed. Coppola also shares a list he keeps taped above his desk that reveals what he considers the key elements of drama. I'll share a few of them.

"1. The memorable moment is often unspoken. 2. Emotion. Passion. Surprise. Awe. 3. Audiences want to become involved with the characters, want that involvement developed. 4. Audiences want themselves and their lives explained and illuminated."


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Last night, The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences held their 9th Governors Awards. These statues are handed out for special and/or lifetime achievements. French director Agnes Varda was one of the honorees. My quote of the day comes from another honoree, actor Donald Sutherland, who has always been one of my favorites. Sutherland, who thought his offbeat appearance would bar him from appearing in film, told the audience, "I don't deserve this, but I have arthritis, and I don't deserve that either." (Sutherland was borrowing from Jack Benny, but still funny.)


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"To me, the perfect film is as though it were unwinding before your eyes, and your eyes were projecting it themselves, so that you were seeing what you wished to see. Film is like thought. It's the closest to thought process of any art."

Director John Huston


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"I think no movie reaches its full potential, no matter how good or bad the movie is, until it is seen on a screen in a movie house by people who have bought tickets of their own free will. As long as I stay in the business, that's what I'm interested in. I want to send movies into movie theaters."

Actor Viggo Mortensen


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"What I still want from a film--or a play, a painting, a novel, a piece of music--is exhilaration. I want to be moved and surprised at some revelation about the human condition."

Director William Friedkin


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"We are all the creators of our own reality. Reality is not something that exists but is something that we have constructed, and since we have made it, we can also remake it differently."

Lucrecia Martel - Director of "La Cienaga" and "Zama"


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"Reality in movies is the reality of the story you're telling, so it may not match the reality as we know it, but the reason there's art is that it tries to bring some kind of understanding of all the suffering and joys and pain that we go through. Storytelling brings some value to it."

Cinematographer and director Caleb Deschanel


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"If we can make films that are useful as well as entertaining, marvelous. But cinema must reflect the temper of the times. We must choose material not only on the basis of whether we feel deeply, but on whether or not anyone's bloody well going to see it." Director Richard Lester

Check out my review of Richard Lester's gripping 1974 suspense film "Juggernaut" on the Drama Movies site.Juggernaut Film Review


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