The Lives of Others (2006)

“I have to show you something: “Prison Conditions for Subversive Artists: Based on Character Profile”. Pretty scientific, eh? And look at this: “Dissertation Supervisor, A. Grubitz”. That’s great, isn’t it? I only gave him a B. They shouldn’t think getting a doctorate with me is easy. But his is first-class. Did you know that there…

Fox and his Friends (1975)

“There are drunks lying everywhere! The state should do something. It’s the same everywhere. In Helsinki recently, there were so many drunks lying around even though it’s hard to get alcohol in Finland.” ‘Fox and his Friends’, directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder in 1975, is a German drama starring the director as a naïve, semi-literate…

Spartacus (1960)

“Your followers are deluded enough to trust you. I intend that you shall speak to them tomorrow for their own good, their peaceful and profitable future. From time to time thereafter, I may find it useful to bring you back to Rome to continue your duty to her, to calm the envious spirit and the…

Notorious (1946)

“When he told me a few years ago what he was, everything went to pot. I didn’t care what happened to me. Now I remember how nice he once was, how nice we both were. It’s a very curious feeling, a feeling as if something had happened to me, not to him. You see I…

Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966)

“You take the trouble to construct a civilization, to build a society based on the principles of… of principle. You make government and art and realize that they are, must be, both the same. You bring things to the saddest of all points, to the point where there is something to lose. Then, all at…

The Right Stuff (1983)

“There was a demon that lived in the air. They said whoever challenged him would die. Their controls would freeze up, their planes would buffet wildly, and they would disintegrate. The demon lived at Mach 1 on the meter, seven hundred and fifty miles an hour, where the air could no longer move out of…

Caro diario (1993)

(On watching ‘Henry – Portrait of a Serial Killer) “I wandered around the city for hours trying to remember who was it that said good things about this film. I read a review in a paper. I read something positive about “Henry”. Suddenly, I remember… I find the review and I copy it in my…

The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (1943)

“You know that, after the war, we had very bad years in Germany. We got poorer and poorer. Every day retired officers or schoolteachers were caught shoplifting. Money lost its value, the price of everything rose except of human beings. We read in the newspapers that the after-war years were bad everywhere, that crime was…

Force Majeure (2014)

“There’s nothing in your head that you haven’t said!” ‘Force Majeure’, directed by Ruben Östlund in 2014, is a Swedish domestic drama. A businessman called Tomas, Johannes Bah Kuhnke, is spending the week skiing with his family: his wife Ebba, played by Lisa Loven Kongsli, and his two children. One lunchtime, they are outside on…

The Player (1992)

“I was just thinking what an interesting concept it is to eliminate the writer from the artistic process. If we could just get rid of these actors and directors, maybe we’ve got something here.” ‘The Player’, directed by Robert Altman in 1992, is an American satire on Hollywood. Tim Robbins plays Griffin Mill, a studio…

Children of a Lesser God (1986)

“Do you think there’s someplace where we can meet that’s not in silence and not in sound?” ‘Children of a Lesser God’, directed by Randa Haines in 1986, is an American romantic drama set in a school for the deaf in New England. James Leeds, played by William Hurt, is a new and charismatic teacher…

Sleeper (1973)

“This was Josef Stalin. He was a communist, I was not too crazy about him, had a bad moustache, lot of bad habits. This is Bela Lugosi. He was, he was the mayor of New York City for a while, you can see what it did to him there, you know. This is, uhm, this…

Pola X (1999)

“Be careful! You dream of writing a mature work, but your charm lies in your thorough immaturity. You dream of setting fire to God knows what, of rising above your times like a dazzling cloud, leaving everyone terrified and admiring. But you weren’t born for that, Pierre! You don’t even believe it yourself.” ‘Pola X’,…

Saving Private Ryan (1998)

“I’m a schoolteacher. I teach English composition… in this little town called Adley, Pennsylvania. The last eleven years, I’ve been at Thomas Alva Edison High School. I was a coach of the baseball team in the springtime. Back home, I tell people what I do for a living and they think well, now that figures….

Gertrud (1964)

“I seek your lips and you give me your cheek. And the door to your room has been locked to me for more than a month. I used to be welcome there. I often lie awake, thinking of you. I’ve thought you might be in love with someone else and I’ve wondered who it could…

Inception (2010)

“I’m going to improvise. Listen, there’s something you should know about me… about inception. An idea is like a virus, resilient, highly contagious. The smallest seed of an idea can grow. It can grow to define or destroy you.” ‘Inception’, directed by Christopher Nolan in 2010, is an American science fiction movie starring Leonardo DiCaprio…

Pusher (1996)

“For instance, there was this Turkish guy once. He fucked up and owed Milo some money. So I went over to his place. I’d been there many times before, asking for the money in a polite way, without any luck. Finally, I took a knife, stabbed it in his kneecap and teared the shit up….

Dead Poets Society (1989)

“We don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive…

The Killing of a Chinese Bookie (1976)

“Now, teddy. Teddy. Everything takes work. We’ll straighten it out. You know. You gotta work hard to be comfortable. Yeah, a lot of people kid themselves, you know. They-they know when they were born, they know where they’re goin’… they know whether they’re gonna go to heaven, whether they’re gonna go to hell. They think…

Sergeant York (1941)

“Well I’m as much agin’ killin’ as ever, sir. But it was this way, Colonel. When I started out, I felt just like you said, but when I hear them machine guns a-goin’, and all them fellas are droppin’ around me… I figured them guns was killin’ hundreds, maybe thousands, and there weren’t nothin’ anybody…

Early Kubrick

“There is war in this forest. Not a war that has been fought, or one that will be, but any war. And the enemies who struggle here do not exist, unless we call them into being. This forest, then, and all that happens now is outside history. Only the unchanging shapes of fear – and…

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)

“It’s Guardian! Why would I be a Garden of the Galaxy?” ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’, directed by James Gunn in 2017, is an American fantasy comedy. Chris Pratt plays Peter Quill, a human who was kidnapped by aliens when young and brought up with bounty hunters lead by a Fagin-like character called Yondu…