Terence Davies Poster

Quotes (17)

  • Work is my raison d'etre and if that's taken away you become a non-person. You're just filling in time till you die.
  • I don't like being gay. It has ruined my life. I am celibate, although I think I would have been celibate even if I was straight because I'm not good-looking; why would anyone be interested in me? And nobody has been. Work was my substitute.
  • There's only one thing more embarrassing than an actor with a gun: a British actor with a gun. Ridiculous.
  • All my films, up to and including The House of Mirth (2000), were made with very small budgets and modest intentions. We all started out at the BFI. There was me, Bill Douglas, Derek Jarman, Sally Potter, Peter Greenaway. It was all modest, but all those people had a voice in a way that people haven't today.
  • Who says there has to be a climax on page six? Why? Film people in the UK think we should imitate America and we've always done that badly. You're not welcome here if you want to make cinema that is art, that should be interpreted by an audience, using their own minds.
  • [on writing poetry] It's just you and the paper and no one is going to say: this is going to cost £50,000. [2015]
  • [on Sunset Song (2015)] It's about forgiveness and accepting what has happened, and not being bitter, which is what my mother did. These are the cards you are dealt, so you get on with it and don't complain. That I find enormously moving. [2015]
  • [after The House of Mirth (2000)] I did absolutely touch bottom, I must say, and despair is awful because it's worse than any pain. You feel that all the decisions you made have been completely wrong. And one felt very disillusioned with oneself. I did despair, I have to say, and that was very hard. I really did think: it's all over now. I don't know how on earth I lived, I don't know how on earth I earned money. But it certainly puts iron in the soul. I just thought: 'Oh well, that's it. If my career is over then "The House of Mirth" is not a bad note to end on.' [2015]
  • Look, film is very expensive and people who put money in have every right to expect a return. (...) But that is not the only way to make films. It isn't. And if that's all it's going to be, you can whistle goodbye to any kind of decent film culture. Because all you'll get is well-upholstered period stuff, with the same people. Fine, it may make money, but who actually cares? Nobody. Nobody with any sense, anyway. [2015]
  • If I am introduced to somebody powerful, I immediately forget their name. No wonder I've got no bloody career. I'm hopeless at all that, just hopeless. [2015]
  • [on catholicism] I was terribly devout, I believed it completely. I prayed literally till my knees bled. My teenage years were awful because of that. [2015]
  • Whatever or whoever is up there, I just thank my lucky stars. I don't question it, I don't know how it's come about, and when it ends, I'll think: 'Well, I got a second chance.' A lot of people don't even get a first chance. I've just been very lucky. [2015]
  • I have hated being gay, and I've been celibate for most of my life. Some people are just good at sex, and others aren't; I'm one of them who isn't. I'm just too self-conscious. [2015]
  • I was 12 years in a job I absolutely detested; you just felt you were dying by the centimetre. I saw a lot of people go under. In the offices I worked in, they hated every minute of it, and dreading when they got to 65, being given a Teasmade in the boardroom. [2015]
  • [on Lewis Grassic Gibbon's Sunset Song] You can't read that last page without being in tears.
  • [2015 interview] There are times when I think, "What's been the bloody point? They want big blockbusters. They want big names." That's what people want because that's what they go to see. No one may remember mine. What does worry me is if they're kept alive by academics. Who reads Finnegan's Wake now? It's incomprehensible. Ulysses is pretty hard going as well although the Molly Bloom sequence is one of the greatest achievements in literature. You want ordinary people to respond to them. And I'm an acquired taste. I just am. The number one film critic in America after seeing the trilogy (The Terence Davies Trilogy (1983)) said these films make Ingmar Bergman look like Jerry Lewis which is a wonderful insult. It's almost a compliment.
  • If I can see it and hear it then I do it. There's no point. I'm not a jobbing director. I wish I were, simply in terms of my bank balance. But I can't do something that I don't love.