I've always been fascinated by maps and cartography. A map tells you where you've been, where you are, and where you're going -- in a sense it's three tenses in one.— Peter Greenaway
The most colorful Peter Greenaway quotes that will inspire your inner self
I have always had severe problems with Austrians.
... Musical, churchy, uptight... nice legs... hypocritical... authoritarian... always insist their dustbins are very clean.
I would be curious about one of those Jane Austen women - you know - long-suffering, dutiful - but all right in the end - a plump 19th century type, five foot four, ringlets, brown eyes, long fingers.
I wanted to make a cinema of ideas, not plots, and to use the same aesthetics as painting, which has always paid great attention to formal devices of structure, composition and framing.
Creation, to me, is to try to orchestrate the universe to understand what surrounds us. Even if, to accomplish that, we use all sorts of strategems which in the end prove completely incapable of staving off chaos.
Every historian has a vested interest.
"The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire" was not about the Roman but the British empire. What price the truth?
I always think that art is one of the most wonderful exciting curious ways to learn. I have no worries or apologies about art being used as a teaching medium.
Most cinema is not about images but text.
Why on earth have we based cinema on text? Why can't we break that umbilical cord? Why do we have to pollute cinema?
Only cinema narrows its concern down to its content, that is to its story.
It should, instead, concern itself with its form, its structure.
The pretence that numbers are not the humble creation of man, but are the exacting language of the Universe and therefore possess the secret of all things, is comforting, terrifying and mesmeric.
There is visual illiteracy with text-oriented films like bloody 'Harry Potter' and 'Lord of the Rings.'.
I want to regard my public as infinitely intelligent, as understanding notions of the suspension of disbelief and as realising all the time that this is not a slice of life, this is openly a film.
I am certain that there are two things in life which are dependable: the delights of the flesh and the delights of literature. I have had the good fortune to enjoy them both equally.
If you never lived out your sexuality - it's a great force, and if you try to fight it, what does that create? Energy: positive and negative, self-loathing.
As for critics, one mediocre writer is more valuable than ten good critics.
They are like haughty, barren spinsters lodged in a maternity ward.
We don't need virtual reality, we need virtual unreality.
I went to art school, and every Tuesday and Friday we drew the nude.
If you look at Western painting, male and female nudes are in the center of every painting. It's difficult and exciting to draw the nude. Why get so upset about this? It's our duty to break taboos.
I think it is really important to be in some way provocative -- either intellectually or viscerally -- in the films one makes.
Human relationships are patterned and cross-patterned and restricted and limited and delimited and caged and freed again by the elaborate conventions, rules and games which we call civilisation. They're often absurd and farcical, and sometimes they're tragic, yet we acknowledge that they are necessary.
Continuity is boring.
Words reproduce themselves pleasurably too.
I've always been fascinated by Eisenstein.
I never go to the cinema. I can't stand sitting in the dark with strangers -- all of us obliged to share the same emotional experiences -- it's too intimate. I like to be emotional in private.
If every man is supposed to think of sex once every nine minutes, what on earth does he think of in the other eight?
There's more religion in my little finger than there is in the pope.
But no, I don't believe in God. I am an athiest. A Darwinian evolutionist.
There have been innumerable films about film-making, but Otto e Mezzo was a film about the processes of thinking about making a film -- certainly the most enjoyable part of any cinema creation.
You should be allowed to rub out and start again, it means that you are human.
The purists are tedious, they tell you a mistake is like an enduring black mark. Nonsense -- better to be human than some infernal machine never going wrong.
I certainly don't believe you documentary filmmakers.
Like me, you are involved in making fiction, and your fiction is just as well organized and just as well predicated, but the big difference between me and you is that I'm honest and you're dishonest. I know I'm telling you lies.
Imagine a world where nothing is stable.
In the West, we have three moving elements -- Air, Fire, Water -- but at least we can depend on the fourth.
What do you want art to give you? What do you want cultural experience to give you? Shouldn't it be in-depth, profound experiences which have some satisfaction and can be retained in your four senses and your imagination for the rest of your life?
It's so miserable and so easy to keep slamming Titanic -- I'll shut up.
Churchill was a good writer but a bad historian.
We are all united by the phenomenon that we have a body and that body is universally the same, more or less. If we lose sight of that perspective, everything can desperately suffer.
I don't want to become an ivory tower filmmaker.
That sounds peculiar, but I want to be a mainstream filmmaker. I want the largest possible audience that I can find - but, of course, on my terms.
I think my films are very English. That certain emotional distance, interest in the world, interest in irony. These are all deeply English propositions.
Tulse Luper, who without too many confessions, in a sense, is a fictive version of me. I have to say he has far more exciting adventures, and certainly a lot of them sexual, than ever I've experienced. But in a sense, what you do with an alter ego, you give them all sorts of permissions and licences which you know you'll never be able to embrace in your real life.
We have to move away from the concept of screening in cinemas.
This can be achieved with the new technologies. I enjoy my films and the fact that I can include you in them as well. Cinema is only a small part of a much greater phenomenon. We transcend the barriers of culture. DVDs' image quality and longevity provide us with new prospects. They are a powerful medium. I think they were invented especially for me.
Bill Viola is worth ten Scorseses.
We can have our own choices in sex partners, but you cannot avoid birth and death. It's the content of all religion and art. We familiarize them and if we're more honest, we'd be far more relaxed about them.
I obviously irritate people. I obviously antagonise them.
Cinema is dead, long live cinema.
I don't have any particular wish to be polemical or didactic;
I don't have a 'message', but what I do thoroughly enjoy are those works of art, not necessarily in the cinema, but in the other arts as well, which have an encyclopaedic world.
As you probably know, I'm often accused of intellectual exhibitionism and all forms of elitism. Although I can understand this point of view, it's a rather wasted argument because, if we regard areas of information as being elite and therefore somehow not usable, it means our centre-ground of activity becomes very, very impoverished.
I always think that if you deal with extremely emotional, even melodramatic, subject matter, as I constantly do, the best way to handle those situations is at a sufficient remove. It's like a doctor and a nurse and a casualty situation. You can't help the patient and you can't help yourself by emoting. And I don't think cinema is intended for therapy, so I object also to that huge, massive manipulation which is perpetrated on the public.
Many quite popular films are filled with violence.
I think the difference between those and my films is that I show the cause and effect of violent activity. It's not a Donald Duck situation where he get a brick in the back of the head and gets up and walks away in the next frame. Mine have violence which keeps Donald Duck in the hospital for six months and creates a trauma which he will remember for the rest of his life.
I don't believe that one has to tear down the cinema screen in order to renew cinema. But new input and new energy are lacking. They are flowing above all into the television technologies. We must, therefore, concentrate on the CD-ROM.
My second Christian name is John. Good solid bourgeois Christian name, like my first name, Peter, a rock. Minerals. Build on rock, rocks, uranium. Peter and John were two of the twelve apostles - arguable the two most significant. Were my parents hedging their bets?
My audience is comprised of three categories.
The first category contains the people who decide after the first five minutes that they've made a mistake and leave. The second category is the people who give the film a chance and leave annoyed after 40 minutes. The third category includes the people that watch the whole film and return to see it again. If I'm able to persuade 33% of the audience to stay, then I can say that I've succeeded.
Cinema is far too rich and capable a medium to be merely left to the storytellers.
I like to think of The Falls as my own personal encyclopedia Greenaway-ensis.