"Popular art is dominated throughout by the star system, not only in its actors but in all its elements, whatever the medium. Everywork of art, to be sure, has its dominant elements, to which the rest are subordinate. But in popular art it is the dominant ones alone that are the objects of interest, the ground of its satisfaction. By contrast, great art is in this sense pointless; everything in it is significant, everything makes its own contribution to the aesthetic substance. The domain of popular art is, paradoxically, an aristocracy, as it were: some few elements are singled out as the carriers of whatever meaning the work has while the rest are submerged into an anonymous mass. The life of the country is reduced to the mannered gestures of its king. It is this that gives the effect of simplification and standardization."
"Life baffles and seems almost to mock. It refuses long to remain consistently one thing or another and it seldom puts us into onemood without violating it soon after. But Art, seeming to have for human dignity a respect which Life consistently lacks, grants us at least our right to sorrow fully and freely when sorrow is called for or to laugh our laugh out when laughter is appropriate. The artist selects and classifies what nature mingles in a hideous confusion and in doing so he is, in one of his many ways, adapting the universe to our minds by presenting it in an order which our emotions can follow."
"You know, I often thought that the gangster and the artist are the same in the eyes of the masses. They're admired and hero-worshipped but there is always present underlying desire to see them destroyed at the peak of their glory."
"I always say, my motto is "Art for my sake." If I want to write, I write--and if I don't want to, I won't. The difficulty is to find exactly the form one's passion--work is produced by passion with me ... Mwants to take."
"Popular cinema cooperates with desire for reverie rather than opposing it. This is why mass-audience movies are so conscious of genre formulas. A formula--the formula for romance, for example, or thrillers or westerns--is something predictable. If it is made sufficiently obvious through advance advertising and the use of identifying motifs in the introductory scenes of the movie itself, the audience can settle immediately into its reverie, secure in the knowledge that there will be no surprises. Nothing will happen that will require conscious mental effort. The art film, it should be admitted, attempts to move in just the opposite direction--to awaken and shock and engage the audience."
"There is only one art, whose sole criterion is the power, the authenticity, the revelatory insight, the courage and suggestivenesswith which it seeks its truth.... Thus, from the standpoint of the work and its worth it is irrelevant to which political ideas the artist as a citizen claims allegiance, which ideas he would like to serve with his work or whether he holds any such ideas at all."