About Film Critics

“My work has been mercilessly attacked. As far as critics are concerned, I’ll mention what I read somewhere: ‘Everyone has two professions. One they do for a living, while the other is a film-critic’.”

“We all know that a human is his own director and sometimes he becomes his own observer. This is the magic of cinema, the magic of creating that kind of world. It’s just that some idiots in the press, seeking to influence the public through their reviews, are trying to deprive them of this magic.”

“Many who pretend to be critics interpret how they see it. They interpret my films as a means of catharsis or self-knowledge, or whatever. I can’t stop them from doing that. But I write more from the heart than the head.”

“There’s a category of people which deeply depresses me: the Sunday audience. Along with intellectuals who write about cinema without having made any movies and their underlings, the ‘vulgarians’, so-called cultured people, who watch films without having made any. Also the critic ‘labelers’ and the film-club regulars, the alleged boutons de jeunesse of the cinema and, above all, the fat-arsed homo cinematograficus (usually found contemplating in small-town art house cinemas). Their common characteristic is their partially educated politicization, lack of humour, and of course, their ignorance of cinema.”

“There is terrible censorship in the world outside. In relation to others, we are one of the most liberal countries where ‘anything goes’. Numerous agents and distributors told me that in America things are starting to regress as various organizations and groups like the ‘Legion of American Mothers’ are butting in everywhere. This backtracking of America seems to be something Europe is copying. Now as far as our work is concerned the reviews were generally positive, even if some were stupefied and started writing about ‘golden showers’, ‘feces worship’ and so on. A verbal diarrhea came out of their mouths like a compulsion. You read it and see how much pleasure they get in writing and seeing such words in print. It gave them the opportunity to write things like this for the first time.” (Singapore Sling 1990)

“When a film critic comes and tells you: ‘you are a great director, I admire you, but I don’t like your topics’, then you understand that you’re dealing with an idiot, because direction is based on a topic and a position.”

“In general, I don’t think they managed to bother me and I generally don’t think that I ‘paid for it’ somehow… aside from the fact that they need me (and not only me) to improve their vulgarity. Maybe you remember a scene from a Jerry Louis’ film where the platinum-blonde, secret agent Zsa Zsa Gabor shouts to her bodyguards (who are chasing Jerry to extract a secret military formula that he sees in his dreams) ‘Catch him, but don’t kill him because we need his dreams’.”