Wednesday, May 27, 2009

On Popularity and Making Film in Sackcloths

"I have nothing against popularity but if the only yardstick for whether a film is good or not is the box office numbers, then you're barking up the wrong tree. If you only gave people what they wanted, then they'd still be eating sugar because it's sweet. But it's empty calories. It's good to have pioneers who have dared to serve us something bitter, which then turns out to be one of those great experiences - like alcohol, something intoxicating. We need more intoxicants in cinema. Just a few people who dare to serve us something bitter."

"Cinema isn't something you pack up at four o'clock - the ideal thing would be to make films together with a group of tonsured people in sackcloth and ashes, in penance outfits. Art does not come out of industry. It's important that art arises from an inner urge, and to this some people will surely say, "yes, sure, but we all have to live." But for God's sake, in that case you have to live from something else! Cinema is so close to me that I can't stand it getting a bad reputation, you know, on account of all these dumbasses."

Lars Von Trier, interview with Lars Schwander, 1983

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