"In movies of the past the characters never stammer or search for words. They always speak the way
we all wish we could speak in real life. From the self-effacing plea to the scathing diatribe, the movie character shows unfaltering
eloquence. We have tolerated this particular lack of realism in movies until recently because it has given us archetypal
ideals to which we may aspire."
"We love actors and musicians best because they allow us to step out of our daily routines to laugh
or weep, then quickly return without getting too involved. The price they pay is that they involve themselves in too
much emotion. This, combined with the illusion of invulnerability which comes from great success, is what so often leads them
to self destructive lifestyles".
"We study films because we want to make ever-better ones. In the beginning, creative people make common sense
decisions about to how to shoot a scene. Later there is intellectualizing and deconstruction to explain how it was done. This
may at times prove irksome to creative innovators, but it's necessary so that there will be a vocabulary to teach
filmmaking to new generations of creative people."
"The auteur theory of filmmaking asks us to believe that if a film director produces ten brilliant
films in a row, each of which is among the best of it's genre, but shows no common viewpoint or earmark trait across the body
of this work, then he is only a metier en scene, a mere mechanic. Could all this exclusionary theorizing by certain
critics planning to become directors, perhaps have had more to do with ensuring their own future preeminence than with any
genuine concern about good filmmaking? Why not just let theatergoers decide who is an auteur and who is not?"
"There is a movement afoot in the film industry that wants to convince us that every new thing we learn about
filmmaking has to cancel out everything we have learned in the past. We are now being told that back-story, character development,
and voice-over narration are no longer acceptable. All this nonsense is coming from individuals who have had one or two successful
projects, and now expect to dictate to everybody else that we must do it their way or be looked upon as hopelessly cliche.
The rigidity of fashion is for haute coutuirre, not fimmaking. What people learn in any area of endeavor should be
cumulative and increase the options for making good product, not diminish them."
"When you work in a motion picture, it is well to give those around you room to flourish creatively. If you
do your job the right way you can influence and inspire their vision, and may be very surprised at the
wonderful embellishments they come up with. A movie is like a revolution. It comes down in many ways."
A Less Serious Note:
Not a Roy C. Peterson quote, but relevant here anyway. Back in the 1930's if a young girl was perceived
to be "stuck on herself" because she never dated, then her reputed posture towards movie going was ~
"I love me.
I think I'm grand!
When I go to the show,
I hold my hand!"
The Peace Corps
Roy C. Peterson was evaluating the Peace Corps with the idea of making application. The lady
at headquarters asked,
"Why to you want to join the Peace Corps?"
Roy replied sadly,
"Because the French Foreign Legion won't have me!"