I don’t think you can in any way export culture with guns or tanks.
I wanted to have a reaction from the audience. I wanted to be able to talk to somebody, and not be talking just to myself. That’s when I did ‘The Conformist,’ ‘Last Tango in Paris,’ etc. And I found it was incredibly rewarding, something new.
I left the ending ambiguous, because that is the way life is.
I don’t film messages. I let the post office take care of those.
I am still against any kind of censorship. It’s a subject in my life that has been very important.
A monoculture is not only Hollywood, but Americans trying to export democracy.
I remember being young in the 1960s… we had a great sense of the future, a great big hope. This is what is missing in the youth today. This being able to dream and to change the world.
I think that I used to love Hollywood movies. I remember great phases and moments. But, unfortunately, now is not the moment.
To explore technology for me is something that I have to do. Otherwise, I feel completely left in the back… abandoned.
After many, many years, I fell out of love with politics. It’s not something I like but it’s the truth.
I like to be in a huis clos, as the French say – in one place. It’s something that in general can create a bit of claustrophobia. But for me, claustrophobia becomes almost immediately claustrophilia. I love it!
I like that 3D is based on the fact that you look with two eyes, so two cameras imitate that.
What happened in the late Fifties, early Sixties in French cinema was a fantastic revolution. I was in Italy, but completely in love with the nouvelle vague movement, and directors like Godard, Truffaut, Demy. ‘The Dreamers’ was a total homage to cinema and that love for it.
There’s no more film; now everything’s digital. I welcome this. It’s fantastic for me to have a new chance.
I haven’t made a movie for a while, but I’ve watched a lot. It’s my major waste of time. I like to work, but also to be waiting for work.
You live day by day. You can’t build your life.
Sometimes you are in sync with the times, sometimes you are in advance, sometimes you are late.
I don’t see my movies. I think it’s healthier and safer to keep a bit of distance. I’m afraid to be disappointed.
I am in love with the idea of doing a movie in 3D. I think 3D would be great in a kind of realistic normal story without throwing objects to the camera, but using the 3D on the emotions in an intimate story.
I accept all interpretations of my films. The only reality is before the camera. Each film I make is kind of a return to poetry for me, or at least an attempt to create a poem.
For American filmmakers, the Oscars is like a mystic thing. For me, it was being in a mirror of my dreams when I was dreaming of Hollywood when I was an adolescent.
What always made me proud – almost blushing with pride – is that Francis Coppola, Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg all told me that ‘The Conformist’ is their first modern influence.
The conformist understands that the reason of his desperate look for conformism is that he realises he is different and that he never accepted his difference.
I was writing poems when I was young, you know, because my father was a poet, so it was absolutely normal to follow my father.
I wanted already to be a filmmaker after I saw ‘La Dolce Vita.’
The problem in Hollywood is that they try to become the only kind of cinema in the world, okay? The imposition everywhere of a unique culture, which is Hollywood culture, and a unique way of life, which is the American way of life.
‘Dreamers’ was because I really wanted to go back after I heard so much nonsense about ’68. I wanted to go back to what for me was ’68, when young people thought that they could change the world.
Sometimes I think that I understand my movies after I make them. Really. I go very often off of instinct.
I don’t see my movies. When you ask me about one of my movies, it just goes in my memory because maybe sometimes I confuse one for another. I think all movies are like sequences, which is the body of my work.
I lived in a kind of dream of communism.
I saw ‘Avatar’ and liked it very much. It was a great achievement.
English dialogue is the best in the world. So dry and direct. The Italian language is beautiful, but it is too literary.
I like being able to see an innocence in people. I see a lot of beauty in youth. Young people are in progress. Their faces and bodies and minds are constantly changing. It’s exciting to capture that on film.
Commuting in a wheelchair is not easy. I live in a very old part of Rome. These cobbles everywhere… terrible! In London, it is the same. Every pavement is uneven.
Although some people call me anti-feminist, I know I wasn’t because Germaine Greer supported me.
If you mention any ideological thing about shooting ‘Last Tango in Paris,’ I was thinking I was doing a political film.
I think politics is a higher build in life. You know? If you diffuse under normal, common sense of a story, you make it political. If you choose a conventional way for a story, or refuse to use the conventional way, you make it political.
My father basically had two ways of judging anything. Either something was poetic or it wasn’t.
I started very, very young to make movies – I was 21. And at the age of 27, 28, I’d done already three movies.
I started in ’69 to have psychoanalysis, and I realised very soon that I was changing, and that’s I think why my movies were changing. They became much more open to dialogue.
I make movies in order to make things understood, not to be shocking.
New York has always embraced me.
If I don’t fall in love with my characters, I cannot shoot.
When I shoot, I try to feel the body and the face and the weight of the actor, because the character until that moment is only in the pages of the script. And very often, I pull from the life of my actors. I’m always curious about what these characters and these actors are hiding about their lives.
English dialogues are always just what you need and nothing more – like something out of Hemingway. In Italian and in French, dialogues are always theatrical, literary. You can do more with it.