"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."
"To introduce a new play only six weeks after another has been banned is also a way to speak one's piece to the government. It proves that art and liberty can grow back in one night under the clumsy foot which crushes them."
"As for the author, he is profoundly unaware of what the classical or romantic genre might consist of.... In literature, as in allthings, there is only the good and the bad, the beautiful and the ugly, the true and the false."
"Life's so ordinary that literature has to deal with the exceptional. Exceptional talent, power, social position, wealth.... Dramabegins where there's freedom of choice. And freedom of choice begins when social or psychological conditions are exceptional. That's why the inhabitants of imaginative literature have always been recruited from the pages of Who's Who."
"The finest works of art are precious, among other reasons, because they make it possible for us to know, if only imperfectly and for a little while, what it actually feels like to think subtly and feel nobly."
"Give me Catholicism every time. Father Cheeryble with his thurible; Father Chatterjee with his liturgy. What fun they have with all their charades and conundrums! If it weren't for the Christianity they insist on mixing in with it, I'd be converted tomorrow."
"Nobody who has any kind of creative imagination can possibly be anything but disappointed with real life.... Of course, you couldalways argue that you live more intensely in your mental world-substitute than we who only wallow in the real thing.... But the trouble is that you can't be content to stick to your beautiful ersatz. You have to descend into evening clothes and Ciro's and chorus girls--and perhaps even politics ... with lamentable results. Because you're not at home with these lumpy bits of matter. They depress you, they bewilder you, they shock you and sicken you and make a fool of you."
"When truth is nothing but the truth, it's unnatural, it's an abstraction that resembles nothing in the real world. In nature thereare always so many other irrelevant things mixed up with the essential truth. That's why art moves you--precisely because it's unadulterated with all the irrelevancies of real life."