They don’t want freedom. They sometimes complain and say ‘You are
telling me exactly what I have to do!’ but they love it. They love
it when the part is laid out for them, and they don’t have to make
those kinds of decisions. You can’t get an actor to do something
that is beyond his range, so you have to be aware of the range of
the actor and, if necessary, alter the part to suit the actor.
A Director’s Responsibility To the Script
I think that as a director you have to at the very least shape the
script; structure it. Otherwise you’re not really doing you’re job.
What we see today in cinema is a kind of a new brutalism, where
the camera changes speed and jumps around and all that stuff. It’s
post-modern: “You’re watching a film.” This is what it’s telling
you. That doesn’t particularly appeal to me.
Legends and Myths
All the great legends are Templates for human behavior. I would
define a myth as a story that has survived.
On Two Great Innovators of Cinema
What Griffith devised really was a God’s eye view: the camera could
go anywhere, and change its position-a close-up of one character,
then a jump to somebody else two miles away. It’s this that gives
film the quality of dream, because dreams move in the same sort
of way; we jump from one place to another. There were two sides
to David Lean: on the one side, he was kind of a rather stiff, disciplined
Englishman. And then he had this kind of romantic side to him. I
think being true to both sides of your nature is important.