Michael Powell Poster

Quotes (19)

  • I make films for myself. What I express I hope most people will understand. For the rest, well, that's their problem.
  • My master in film, Buñuel [Luis Buñuel] was a far greater storyteller than I. It was just that in my films miracles occur on the screen.
  • [of his wife Frankie] In fact, if only I had been the perfect husband, she would have been the perfect wife.
  • We decided to go ahead with [David O. Selznick] the way hedgehogs make love: verrry carefully!
  • For ten years we had all been told to go out and die for freedom and democracy; but now the war was over. The Red Shoes (1948) told us to go out and die for art.
  • Actors and technicians were being demobbed [demobilized] every day. Very soon the only ham actor left in the combined forces would be General George S. Patton.
  • The great innovators have always been fearless . . . I have fallen off haystacks, out of trees, over cliffs. I have been nearly drowned, shot and hanged. I have been in countless car crashes without getting a scratch. I have been alone in an office with Louis B. Mayer.
  • Art is merciless observation, sympathy, imagination, and a sense of detachment that is almost cruelty.
  • Everyone has heard of Canterbury if only because they murder archbishops there.
  • [interview in Midi-Minuit Fantastique, Oct. 1968] I live cinema. I chose the cinema when I was very young, 16 years old, and from then on my memories virtually coincide with the history of the cinema . . . I'm not a director with a personal style, I am simply cinema. I have grown up with and through cinema; everything that I've had in the way of education has been through the cinema; insofar as I'm interested in images, in books, in music, it's all due to the cinema.
  • [1987] I got my first assignment as a director in 1927. I was slim, arrogant, intelligent, foolish, shy, cocksure, dreamy and irritating. Today, I'm no longer slim.
  • [After Peeping Tom (1960)] When they got me on my own [the critics] gleefully sawed off the limb and jumped up and down on the corpse.
  • The truth lies in black and white.
  • Seventy years ago there were men like D.W. Griffith and 70 years later--now--there are not many men like Martin Scorsese. But so long as there is one there will be others, and the art of the cinema will survive.
  • I am the teller of the tale, not the creator of the story.
  • Of course, all films are surrealist. They are because they are making something that looks like a real world but isn't.
  • The only genius in films was Walt Disney.
  • [on Deborah Kerr] Deborah Kerr is enormously sensitive and responds to a director particularly. I think she could have gone on to become a very great actress, but she went on as a contract artist with MGM for just too long.
  • [on Walt Disney] He was one of the great innovators of film. One of the things I liked was when talkies came in, a lot of the timing of silent films went out of the window and nobody made those marvelous slapstick comedies anymore because there were only verbal jokes. But Disney kept on making those wonderful cartoons for at least another ten years so he kept the whole idea of film comedy and narrative through image alive. People don't realize that they owe an enormous lot to him.