What was so interesting about the glam era was that it was about bisexuality and breaking down the boundaries between gays and straights, breaking down the boundaries between masculinity and femininity with this androgyny thing.— Todd Haynes
The most heartwarming Todd Haynes quotes that are life-changing and eye-opening
Pop music can get inside us and enter our memory bubbles.
It provides those true Proustian moments, unlocking sensations, unlocking our imaginations. Music inspired me as a filmmaker.
Feminist theory has left an indelible mark on my own critical—and creative—thinking . . . For me, everything I questioned about what it meant to be a man – and how much my sexuality would perpetually challenge those meanings—could be found in arguments posed by feminists. What can I say? I identified.
Music and film are parallel experiences: they are linear, they are narrative.
The ways in which Oscar Wilde was attacking the Romantics that preceded him, and the Romantic ideas that preceded him, were very similar to what the glam-rockers, particularly Bowie and Bryan Ferry, were attacking in the earnestness of '60s culture. Trying to shock, but with wit, cleverness, and homosexuality.
I think that's what I love about glam-rock.
It invited you to participate. It asked you to change yourself in all these different ways, or offered up all these options.
There is no single approach that actors take to their craft.
And the best thing you learn is that you have to really listen and respect each actor's own process and own method, and that takes a kind of delicate, non-imposing patience and openness, I think, to get the very best out of the people you work with.
I think camp is a really fascinating thing, and it's hard to define and hard to apply consciously. It's almost something you take from material that's already existed in the world, a reading of the world. But I think it speaks of a long tradition of gay reading of the world, before gays were allowed to be visible.
A refusal of nature as a model is a tradition that goes right back to Oscar Wilde.
Nostalgia could be considered a disease because you're living now.
I used to fall hard when I was younger, and it occupies a lot of journals and redundant preoccupation and analysis. It is a state in which you are in an overheated fervor of production - of mental production - where you're analyzing everything that happened. And what they said! And how they looked! Did that touch mean something, or not? Everything is sort of endowed with meaning, but you're also hopelessly boring and out of the world.
I'm a great admirer, fan and consumer of television.
I love serial drama. I have been a major fan of HBO's series for many years.
I think when you're trying to get a film together that's had a long gustation process before I came on board and was trying to get financed in various stages, sometimes you're trying to make it more friendly to the financial interests or the commercial interests of various parties.
I figured I would be teaching my whole life and making experimental films on the side.
I don't pay attention to the 'marginalizers.
' They simply don't have any impact anymore, on where we're headed or what the law is. I'm not worried about gay people in America right now, as opposed to their status in other countries. The change here was remarkable and swift, which was awesome, and we've witnessed that change right before our eyes.
I'm drawn to female characters, not all of them are strong characters.
I think I'm drawn to female characters partly because they don't have as easy or as obvious a relationship to power in society, and so they suffer under social constraints or have to maneuver within them in ways men sometimes don't, or are unconscious about, or have certain liberties that are invisible to them.
In my research, all roads led back to Oscar.
It's definitely in a way trying to understand the truly English element to glam-rock. It really does not come from American culture.
It's like our go-to notion of innocent and secure mythology of American life.
I was always amazed when people would come up to me and say that 'Far from Heaven' was exactly what it was like back then. [laughs] I was so disinterested in what it was 'really like' in the 1950s when I was putting the film together, I was only interested in what it was like in movies.
We're the end of the baby boomers, and we participated in many social changes.
Who would of thought, for example, when the AIDS epidemic came along that so many would die, because it was gay people dying. And what emerged was a grassroots movement that developed, and succeeded in getting things done. The pinpointing of that movement evolved into the changes that we have today.
The Johnny Depp generation has this kind of brooding, weighty, introspective quality, very James Deanish. Which is nice, great for a lot of characters.
I always bring it up to my lawyer every now and then.
And another reason we have to revisit it is because there is a restoration going on right now for the film through UCLA and Sundance.
When Cate Blanchett starts directing, it's over for all of us.
I came to this project and 'Far from Heaven' from completely different vantage points. 'Heaven' was of course about the Douglas Sirk films of that period, with the very specific cinematic language and style of melodrama. With 'Carol,' it was presented to me already packaged, with Cate Blanchett attached and Phyllis Nagy's script complete - when it came to me it had a long history and pre-history.
In fact, to me it's liberating to not think of identity as some organic property that we have to find and stick to, but actually something that is constructed, or that's imposed, that we can then counter by taking a different route and re-dressing it, and then re-dressing it again, and then re-dressing it again.
Once you are shooting a movie, even if it's your own script, you have to let it go at a certain point. That's true for every film. It breaks up into phases where the thing that you have in front of you is the thing you have to address, and you can't worry about what you imagined a scene was going to like and that it came out differently, because that's what you have to make work.
I think by around the time I was about 8 or 9, the idea of filmmaking probably took hold. I made little Super 8 extravaganzas when I was a kid, the first being my own version of Romeo and Juliet, and where I played all the parts except for Juliet.
You want everything for your kids that you didn't have, but that that very desire can pollute and corrupt the good, basic American pluckiness, resourcefulness and down-to-earthness that we like to pride ourselves with, and result in aspirations of wealth and high culture.
I have always had an interest in performers who play against the most obvious of expectations and are able to find something secret, something withheld, and some level of restraint.
I always loved theater and acting in plays and directing, writing little plays and directing friends in plays.
In male-driven [films], the protagonist is not the person who's necessarily in harms way. There's a sense that they're going to figure out how to persevere and take on the obstacles and foes and you don't necessarily know if that's going to happen with the subjects of love stories.
People define gay cinema solely by content: if there are gay characters in it, it’s a gay film... Heterosexuality to me is a structure as much as it is a content. It is an imposed structure that goes along with the patriarchal, dominant structure that constrains and defines society. If homosexuality is the opposite or the counter-sexual activity to that, then what kind of a structure would it be?
I really want the audience to place close attention to the movement, possibilities of movement, possibilities of trespassing boundaries and observe what's possible in different social settings, and different settings of class designation as well.
When I write my scripts, there's a point at which if I'm not starting to see them visually, I feel like I'm kind of cheating. So my scripts are laden with a lot of visual description, which makes them not so much fun to read - I kind of weigh them down.
You always feel like rock critics are frustrated musicians.
I envy musicians their ability to live their art and share it with an audience, in the moment.
In the end, whether I write the script or, in this case, somebody else did, there's a point where you let it go when you're making a movie. You just have to. The thing that you shoot is not what you imagined in your head - it never is exactly that. And it shouldn't be.
I was 3 years old and Mary Poppins  made an impression on me that was seismic, apparently. I fell into some kind of total creative, imaginative rapture over that movie that propelled this industry of Mary Poppins drawings, plays, performances - just an obsessive, creative reaction to it.
As an independent filmmaker, to develop the money and the financing and the structure and the whole process, and then promoting them and traveling with them, which is a part of the process that I've always enjoyed and I've learned a great deal from.
I was about 6 or 7, I would have said I wanted to be an actor and an artist.
And that just kind of kept honing itself around film and getting closer to film.
There are always things I have to remove.
I might look at a shot for five months, when somebody new to the screening room will say, 'hey, there's a modern air conditioner in that window.' It's a process.
Doing a love story as a genre, and looking at love stories in movies, and feeling like I learned stuff about that, and that it broadened my view and my idea of what I can do, and how I can work with the people around me, that was such a great, really satisfying experience.
I'm not ready to give up gayness in and of itself as something unique and different. A litmus test for me for all of it was the bisexual imagination and the androgynous imagination of the Glam era. Because that meant everybody was implicated in this uncertain sense of sexual self, and it meant that everything was unstable. I guess I'm just not that interested in stable notions of identity, whatever they are.
In a way, I think Roxy Music is high camp, in a brilliant way.
When you really do feel like an alien, and you really do feel like a space creature, and you really do feel you want to experiment and dress up and be different every day, to find what looks best but never stick to one thing... Just the fact that that was offered to those kids during that time is pretty remarkable.
I sort of have a dog-minded single strategy but I am a little more open to stuff that's out there, now and looking at scripts in the world and seeing if something that already exists can spark my interest and my curiosity.
It's only when you look back sometimes and you look at some people in your life and you're like, Oh my god, there was something so pure about that. The thing that kind of bugged me, maybe, is the thing that's so unique.
I liked to act in plays when I was a kid, and then in college.
But that's the last time I really acted. I always loved it. But my interests were more in looking at the whole, rather than getting completely swallowed up in a single part of the whole.
I would just say there are no two roles that are more demanding than Bob Dylan of 1966 [Blanchett's role in 'I'm Not There'] and Carol Aird of 1952. I challenge any director out there to come up with a wider divide. I had to convince her to take the Dylan role, and that took effort. But with 'Carol,' she was already attached.
I envy musicians their ability to live their art and share it with an audience, in the moment. From a filmmaker's standpoint, that's so rare and pure in a way that I'm sure is way more complicated than it appears.
I hope it's water under the bridge, but Richard Carpenter is a complicated individual, and he's also entitled to his own opinion on how his sister is depicted. The film has lived on and survived, and to me is ultimately is an affectionate celebration of Karen Carpenter. I hope that wins out in the end.
I found that with Rooney, her instincts in films was always to underplay and to sort of reduce down what was necessary to bring you in - a sense of economy, a sense of scale, which just seemed to understand the medium so well. When you see that in a younger actor, I always think it speaks to incredible knowledge. I can't exactly figure out where that comes from, that confidence to know how to be quiet.