“I dreamed of going to Palestine as a farmer or artisan… To find a meaningful life in security and beauty… I love the smell of planed wood, the singing of saws, the banging or hammers… Intellectual work alienates you from human society.”—Franz Kafka
“Letter writing is an intercourse with ghosts, not only with the ghost of the receiver, but with one’s own, which emerges between the lines of the letter being written… Written kisses never reach their destination, but are drunk en route by these ghosts.”—Franz Kafka’s letter to Felice Bauer
“The light which puts out our eyes is darkness to us. Only that day dawns to which we are awake. There is more day to dawn. The sun is but a morning star.”—Walden; or, Life in the Woods (1854) by Henry David Thoreau
“This generation reclines a little to congratulate itself on being the last of an illustrious line; and in Boston and London and Paris and Rome, thinking of its long descent, it speaks of its progress in art and science and literature with satisfaction. There are public Eulogies of Great Men! It is the good Adam contemplating his own virtue. ‘Yes, we have done great deeds, and sung divine songs, which shall never die’— that is, as long as we can remember them. The leaned societies and great men of Assyria— where are they? What youthful philosophers and experimentalists we are! There is not one of my readers who has yet lived a whole human life… We know not where we are. Beside, we are sound asleep nearly half our time. Yet we esteem ourselves wise, and have an established order on the surface. Truly, we are deep thinkers, we are ambitious spirits!”—Walden; or, Life in the Woods (1854) by Henry David Thoreau
Probably, I make films in order to tempt fate, to simultaneously be the most humiliated and, if only for a few moments, the freest person in the world. Because I despise stories, as they mislead people into believing that something has happened. In fact, nothing really happens as we flee from one condition to another. Because today there are only states of being - all stories have become obsolete and clichéd, and have resolved themselves. All that remains is time.
…films are our only means of authenticating our lives. Eventually nothing remains of us except our films - strips of celluloid on which our shadows wander in search of truth and humanity until the end of time.
I really don’t know why I make films.
Perhaps to survive, because I’d still like to live, at least just a little longer….
“I have seen such beauty as one man has seldom seen;
therefore will I be grateful to die in this little room,
surrounded by the forests, the great green gloom
of trees my only gloom - and the sound, the sound of green.
Here amid the warmth of the rain, what might have been
is resolved into the tenderness of a tall doom
who says: ‘You did your best, rest’ - and after you the bloom
of what you loved and planted still will whisper what you mean.
And the ghosts of the birds I loved, will attend me each a friend;
like them shall I have flown beyond the realm of words.
You, through the trees, shall hear them, long after the end
calling me beyond the river. For the cries of birds
continue, as - defended by the cortege of their wings -
my soul among strange silences yet sings.”—The Bones of My Hand (1930) by Edward James
Do you think A Touch of Sin and Like Father, Like Son would be hard finds if not for festivals?
Kore Eda’s “Like Father, Like Son” I can reasonably imagine to be picked up for a wider release based on it’s success at Cannes, and even more likely if it gets the critical reception that “Nobody Knows” recieved.
Whereas “A Touch of Sin” is a tougher call, mainly because North America seems like it hasn’t warmed up to Jia Zhang Ke as much as Europe has. I have a feeling that both those two movies would benefit greatly from a theatre experience, so I certainly hope that they get a good amount of screen time outside of festivals!
UPDATE: Thanks pacheeno: “As a note, “A Touch of Sin” got picked up for american distribution, so look forward to seeing it here.”
“Looking up from this work of an entire day, from noon till sundown, amazed to see where I was, who I was, what I`d done—- The absolute innocence like of Indian fashioning a canoe all alone in the woods… So I make supper with a happy song and go out in the foggy moon-light (the moon sent its white luminescence through) and marveled to watch the new swift gurgling clear water run with its pretty flashes of light.”—Big Sur (1962) by Jack Kerouac
The feeling of commiseration is the beginning of humanity; the feeling of shame and dislike is the beginning of righteousness; the feeling of deference and compliance is the beginning of propriety; and the feeling of right or wrong is the beginning of wisdom.
Men have these Four Beginnings just as they have their four limbs. Having these Four Beginnings, but saying that they cannot develop them is to destroy themselves.
”—The Four Beginnings by Mencius - Meng Zi (372 BCE - 289 BCE)
“Jan imagines that the Greek gods at first passionately participated in the adventures of humans. Then they settled in on Olympus to look down and have a good laugh. And by now they have been asleep for a long time.”—The Book of Laughter and Forgetting (1978) by Milan Kundera