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SXSW Official Selection

© Joe Swanberg 2004-2005
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Dziga Vertov

" After all, the eye of the microscope penetrates where the eye of my movie camera cannot. The eye of the telescope reaches distant worlds, inaccesible to my naked eye. What about the camera then? What's its role in my assault on the visible world?"

"Not 'filmming life unawares' for the sake of the 'unaware,' but in order to show people without masks, without makeup, to catch them through the eye of the camera in a moment when they are not acting, to read their thoughts, laid bare by the camera. Kino-eye as the possibility of making the invisible visible, the unclear clear, the hidden manifest, the disguised overt, the acting non-acted; making falsehood into truth."

"We engage directly in the study of the phenomena of life that surrounds us.
We hold the ability to show and elucidate life as it is, considerably higher than the occasionally diverting doll games that people call theatre, cinema, etc. The actual theme of today's debate, 'Art and Everyday Life,' interests us less than the topic, say, of, 'Everyday Life and the Organization of Everyday Life,' since, I repeat, it's precisely in this latter area that we work and consider it proper to do so.

Film-drama tickles the nerves. Kino-eye helps one to see. Kino-drama clouds the eye and the brain with a sweet fog. Kino-eye opens to the eyes, clears the vision.

Kino-drama tightens the throat. Kino-eye brings a fresh spring wind to one's face, the free expanse of fields and forests, the breadth of life."

Werner Herzog

"Coincidences always happen if you keep your mind open, while storyboards remain the instruments of cowards who do not trust in their own imagination and who are slaves of a matrix... If you get used to planning your shots based solely on aesthetics, you are never that far from kitsch."

"We are surrounded by worn-out images, and we deserve new ones."

"We comprehend... that nuclear power is a real danger for mankind, that over-crowding of the planet is the greatest danger of all. We have understood that the destruction of the environment is another enormous danger. But I truly believe that the lack of adequate imagery is a danger of the same magnitude. It is as serious a defect as being without memory. What have we done to our images? What have we done to our embarrassed landscapes? I have said this before and will repeat it again as long as I am able to talk: if we do not develop adequate images we will die out like dinosaurs."

"I've always made it very clear that for the sake of a deeper truth, a stratum of very deep truth in movies you have to be inventive, you have to be imaginative."

"I would travel down to Hell and wrestle a film away from the devil if it was necessary."

Lars Von Trier

While this is not a Dogme film, we have adopted many of the rules from the "Vow of Chastity".
> The camera will be hand-held.
> All filmming will be done on location, with the actors providing their own wardrobe and props.
> The film takes place in the here and the now.
> There will be no superficial action.
> The film will be in color.

Barbet Schroeder

If you want to know what brave (possibly crazy) filmmaking is, read Barbet's article in the August 2001 issue of Playboy magazine. The article is called, "Columbia: Land of Death" and it's still the most amazing cinema related article I have ever read. It's a collection of letters and emails that he sent to friends while shooting his film "Our Lady of the Assassins" in Medellin, Columbia. They had to have constant protection (some of the crew carried guns), get permission from gang leaders to shoot in certain areas, and devise complicated plans to withdraw money from the bank without getting robbed or killed in the process.

While Barbet was making "Barfly," Menahem Golan, the head of the production company, threatened to pull money from the budget. Barbet went into his office with an electric knife and a syringe of novacain. He plugged the knife into the wall, injected the novacain into his little finger, and told Golan that he would cut his pinky off if he didn't promise the entire budget. Golen must have believed him, because Barbet got his budget. This story seems to change slightly depending on who tells it, but even Golan admits that something along these lines happened.

Lloyd Kaufman

Lloyd's independent attitude is a constant source of inspiration, and though our films are not at all similar, I feel like we are cinematic brothers in arms.

" There are 353 Million people starving to death on this planet. Spending 150 Million dollars on a movie: that’s an obscenity. They think our movies are obscene! What’s Obscene is spending 100 Million dollars of the Earth’s resources to make shit with Jean-Claude Van Damme in it! So that’s the point. If we had 100 Million bucks we would give out 98 Million dollars to 98 other filmmakers so they could make their movies, and I would make two movies at 1 Million apiece, or at 500,000 dollars apiece. You’d have a shitload better quality movies than you have now."

Lloyd Kaufman

"After being stuck in development hell at Universal, we produced ourselves, using digital video-less than a month after finishing the script! If you have an idea, you can go out and do it with DV and not wait for someone to bless you with their notes. Now that the technology isn't so difficult, anyone can master it. This will put the writers in a very good position. People have a weird mental defect that, when they read your script, makes them think they wrote it-and that they can push and pull it any way they want. And you are not supposed to care. I do care. Partly because of the way I was trained, with a career as a director first. When I was treated as dirt as a writer in Hollywood, I was appalled."

"If you have a strong story idea, you can go out and make a movie. They can't stop you. If you are waiting to be blessed, paid and have your cappuccino brought to you, you just want to have your picture taken in a crew photo. The opportunities are now there. There are no excuses anymore."

"The next time someone gives you a bagful of notes they got from a "How To" book, stop in an equipment store and make the guy who gave you a hard time irrelevant. They can't make movies without somebody coming up with an idea. The more they micro-manage the more they will force people to go elsewhere. When we have full-streaming, high-definition video online, you will have global distribution of your movie from your web address. People can plug in their credit card and download your movie over the net. And if your movie is any good, you website could stay there for years."