There can be a blurry line between laughing at the expense of a character and laughing at the recognition of something painful and true. But blurry as it may be, it is nevertheless unmistakable, and sometimes the laughter I hear makes me wince.— Todd Solondz
The most sublime Todd Solondz quotes that are guaranted to improve your brain
Narcissism and self-deception are survival mechanisms without which many of us might just jump off a bridge.
Some people will of course accuse me of misanthropy and cynicism.
I can't celebrate humanity but I'm not out to indict it either. I just want to expose certain truths.
A palindrome is a word or pattern that instead of developing in different directions it folds in on itself so that the beginning and end mirror each other, that they are the same.
The ability to take pleasure in one's life is a skill and is a kind of intelligence. So intelligence is a hard thing to evaluate and it manifests itself in so many different ways. I do think the ability to know how to live a life and not be miserable is a sign of that.
The ability to take pleasure in one's life is a skill and is a kind of intelligence.
When I want to show the kind of meanness people are capable of, to make it believable I find I have to tone it down. It's in real life that people are over the top.
Part of it has to do with this business of being approached in public.
I have a distinctive look - it's partly the glasses I wear - and people seem to remember me once they've seen me.
Optimism is not inherently a superior way of viewing the world.
Certainly doctors will say it might be better for one's physical health to be an optimist. But, morally speaking it may not be appropriate in certain circumstances.
Usually the audience has no idea that the censored version of whatever movie they're watching isn't the original.
And that's just what I'm saying. I would never want to be like certain people, who change the way they dress, go out in disguise, wear a big floppy hat and dark shades. I would hate that.
As Mark Weiner puts it, whether you gain 50 pounds or lose 50 pounds, whether you have a sex change operation for that matter, that it doesn't matter, that there is some part of ourselves that we cannot escape.
Some directors hardly talk to the actors at all.
I admit there’s an element of brutality in all my work - it’s part of the truth about human existence I always want to explore - but the last thing I’m trying to do is put on some kind of freak show, inviting people to get off on other people’s pain and humiliation.
It's one of the great gifts of having so little money that you are able to make these kinds of radical conceits that you could never afford to do had you had a reasonable budget,.
I mean, I don't want to sound - of course it's very nice, people come up and say appreciative things about my work. But the loss, in terms of privacy and anonymity, is no small thing to me.
Art has a smaller audience than, say, movies or other forms of mass consumption.
But that doesn't mean the work doesn't have an impact in a way that transcends just a few cultural arbiters.
The funny thing is, strangers still seem to feel comfortable coming up to me and saying things, but now usually it’s because they recognize me, and they say nice things.
Compromise is part and parcel of making a movie.
It's a question of the kinds of compromises that you have to make.
At eleven I was at the peak of my creative powers: I was writing stories and playlets, putting together poetryprojects. I was absorbed by my 'work.' At twelve I was no longer reading or writing, just counting off days and checking them off. I was interested in survival.
We say we embrace humanity, but what does that mean? We are all defined by our limits, so to what extent can we embrace all this? Because we all contain within ourselves equally the capacity for kindness, as much as for cruelty or evil. And the best of us are able to suppress those baser impulses, instincts. That's the war within.
I always make mistakes and I always fix things up, as best I can, in the cutting room.
For me, New Jersey is kind of a mythical place.
It's emblematic of a certain aspect of American life. Florida is the same way. It's where people go to recreate, to reinvent themselves. It's what California used to be. I think Florida is still a place to erase the past.
I always have to presume that each movie is my last movie because I never know if I'll get money again.
Storytelling is the only studio movie where the censorship is perfectly clear, the only studio movie with a big red box covering up a shot. I take pride in that - and, of course, in having avoided the fate of Eyes Wide Shut.
Casting is great fun, except for the business of it.
I love the casting process. I love the editing process. I love working with the music. And even prep is very exciting. But once you get there and the clock is ticking, all it is is stress.
There are a lot of ideas I have that I think would be very marketable and commercial, but they're not as compelling to me as the ones that are unmarketable, uncommercial, and unprofitable.
Some people see me as dissecting my characters in some kind of heartless, coldblooded, analytical way, when in truth making these movies is a passionate, intensely emotional experience for me. I'm detached from the characters only to the degree that I have to be in order to write honestly about them.
All I mean is, I'm not the kind of audience comedy directors want at a test screening because I seldom laugh, and if I do, it's not very loud. That doesn't mean I don't like the movie.
I can't please everybody and I don't try to.
If I can please myself that's enough. For the rest, I just hope for the best.
But anonymity is very important to me, and I don't want to be recognized in public more than I already am.
If I grew up in a different background, I could see myself getting a gun and shooting an abortionist. That's my job, to imagine what could happen, what can make people go in different directions.
Like everything, what compels one to put pen to paper is a great question.
Casting is everything. If you get the right people they make you look good.
People cant help how they look.
I've always said that I myself am not the best audience for my own work, because I'm just not that receptive to comedy.
What makes me angry is the idea that people would be going to a movie because of what I said about it. It makes me feel, I don't know, arrogant, self-important, self-aggrandizing, whatever. Like I'm being used.
I think success is a lot more healthy than failure.
When I'm asked who my audience is, I say someone with an open mind, which is not a vacant one and sometimes a liberal mind is not the same thing as an open one.
I love working with actors. If you cast the right person in the right part at the right time, they make you look like a better writer and director than you really are.
When I go to the movies, I do like to see things that surprise me, a little bit, in ways that seem truthful to the world that we live in.
One thing I want to say: I don't like victim stories and I don't write them.
When part of what you're trying to get at is the truth hidden under a taboo, or when you want to nail a hypocrisy, laughter is a very useful tool. I want to show the painful side of existence, but there is no question I also want to make people laugh.
Artwork can be a portal, a kind of rethinking and reseeing of the world as we live it.
Every time you try to make another movie, you never know what will come of it.
I can't say it ever gets easier, but it is in it's own way gratifying. I think that because no one movie that you make ever quite satisfies you, you're always feeling, "Next time I can get it right."
I don't have a formula. Every time an actor wants me to hold their hand, I hold their hand. If they say, "Stay," I say "Okay, respect." You know? "I'm right over here." A kid, if I need to give a line-reading, I'll start acting out the part for the kid and just mimic the kid. You know? Whatever it takes.
What makes me put pen to paper? You know, that's the million-dollar question.
I've been writing since I've been reading. It's not a question I think that's even meant to be answered, but it's something you always seek to discover the answer to. And the process of filmmaking is one of discovery, and self-discovery at that. Pleasure... it's not exactly what I would call fun, but it's absorbing.
You try to make them comfortable so they can do what they're best at, and make them shine. You always want to make an actor shine. I'm of the mind that there's no one - you, your mother, anyone, that if in the right place at the right time in the right context, couldn't shine in a movie. And so if it means, "Oh, I have to make them uncomfortable," then whatever it takes to get what I need up onscreen. It's all in the service of the story.
That said, be mindful, to someone who's never seen any of my work, it's just a movie with actors. So it's only those who of course know the earlier work that will see something is afoot, so to speak. But I don't want to intellectualize.
That is definitely a misunderstanding between me and a part of my audience.
To be honest, I am often unsettled by the responses some people have had to my movies, and that includes many people who like them.