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Yesterday was Danny Boyle’s birthday. The director is 59 years old, and over the course of his career has been quoted on a variety of matters to do with movie making, both in general and specifically. He once said: “I learned that what I’m better at is making stuff lower down the radar. Actually, ideally not on the radar at all.” It’s a great quote and one that shows the man doesn’t take himself too seriously. Here then are ten more great quotes by ten more directors, all of whom don’t take themselves – or the industry – too seriously either.

David Lean – “I wouldn’t take the advice of a lot of so-called critics on how to shoot a close-up of a teapot.”

David Lean

William Wyler – “It’s a miserable life in Hollywood. You’re up at five or six o’clock in the morning to be ready to start shooting at nine. The working hours aren’t arranged to suit the artists and the directors; they’re for the convenience of the technicians. If you go to a party at night, you’ll never find anyone there who’s shooting a picture; they’re all home in bed.”

David Fincher – “People always ask why I don’t make independent movies. I do make independent movies – I just make them at Sony and Paramount.”

Clint Eastwood – “When I was doing The Bridges of Madison County (1995), I said to myself, “This romantic stuff is really tough. I can’t wait to get back to shooting and killing.”

Clint Eastwood

Milos Forman – “It all begins in the script. If what’s happening is interesting, it doesn’t matter where you shoot from, people will be interested to watch. If you write something boring, you can film from mosquitoes’ underpants and it will still be boring.”

Steven Soderbergh – (on his retirement) “Cinema, as I define it and as something that inspired me, is under assault by the studios and, from what I can tell, with the full support of the audience.”

Woody Allen – “[The French] think I’m an intellectual because I wear these glasses, and they think I’m an artist because my films lose money.”

Woody Allen2

Federico Fellini – “Even if I set out to make a film about a fillet of sole, it would be about me.”

Martin Scorsese – “I’m not a Hollywood director. I’m an in-spite-of-Hollywood director.”

Paul Thomas Anderson – “Well I’d really love to work with Robert De Niro, because he’s still the most talented actor out there. Maybe he makes some bad choices, which can be frustrating. On the one hand, you want to say, ‘What the fuck’s going on?’ On the other, you can’t get mad at him for wanting to work, because most actors would be murderers if they weren’t working.”

Paul Thomas Anderson