James Gray

Quote Topics Cited
There is absolutely no difference between alcohol prohibition and drug prohibition except the drug being prohibited. Alcohol, Tobacco & Other Drugs
All I can say is sometimes home gets burned into your occipital lobe, and it can't leave you, and there's always that longing.
Americans have always been excellent at making romantic comedies - but dramatically, we don't really try to do it. Romantic
Anyone who starts badmouthing Latino immigrants is not only a racist but ignorant. You need to refer them to what was written about the Irish, the Jews, the Italians, any group you want.
'Apocalypse Now' does not alienate us or deconstruct itself. In fact, it welcomes us in.
'Apocalypse Now' poses questions without any attempt to provide definitive answers, and the film's profound ambiguities are integral to its enduring magic.
As ugly an admission as this is, I met my wife at a party, and if I had been to the same party and she were dressed in different clothes, I might never have talked to her. She might have projected something that I found distasteful, even if she otherwise looked exactly the same - a beautiful woman to me.
At a certain point, you have to kind of realize that greatness is a messy thing.
At Ellis Island, I mean, you didn't go there if you arrived in first class. It was only the poorest, the people in the worst shape.
At least in America, the narrative is I'm a Cannes favorite. But, in fact, I've had my best experience in Venice, both with the audience and the jury.
Baseball is the greatest thing in the world.
Film is better than digital in every way. It has better contrast ratio, better blacks, and better color reproduction. It's a more organic image, which is more the way your eyes see.
For me, I get a part of an idea here and a little bit of an idea there, and then finally it accumulates into a movie.
I am an Ashkenazi Jew, and there are a whole host of genetic disorders that only Ashkenazi Jews have. I don't know if you know this, but 16 or 17 disorders that we carry the gene for.
I began to see cinema as the perfect combination of so many wonderful art forms - painting, photography, music, dance, theater. Music, Chants & Rapps ;Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
I continually marvel at people who can make films that reach five hundred million people. How do you do that? Everybody's different - I don't know how that works.
I don't envy the job of people who have to watch five movies a day - that's insane. Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
I don't think my parents told me enough how the world doesn't really care about me. I think it's important to tell children that the world doesn't really care about you. You have to fight to be heard.
I feel like it's a real shame that my generation doesn't make an appearance at the opera.
I feel that The American Dream is this fallacy that you come to the United States and win lotto. That's a disservice to The American Dream because the American Dream is worth striving for. And it's not easy.
I grew up in a semi-attached row house in Queens in New York. And my family and my grandparents and my father's from Brooklyn, and so you're essentially an outer boroughs kid, you're growing up. Families, Children & Parenting
I had written 'Two Lovers' before we started shooting 'We Own the Night.'
I have no athletic skills whatsoever. I'm just literally incompetent.
I have no interest whatsoever in pursuing acting or becoming a mogul. I love writing and directing; I see those two jobs as the most critical in the making of a film. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
I have three young children, and I kind of stopped going to movies in 2006. I go to see some, but I'm a little bit out of touch, and I didn't know who Marion Cotillard was. Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
I know this sounds phony, but I don't start out on a project going, 'I'm going to make an emotional work,' you know what I mean? You try to tell the story directly and honestly and with passion. Work, Workers & The Labor Force
I live up Laurel Canyon, and if I want to walk with my son, I have to drive to the park, which is so insane to me.
I remember as a little kid, I would always feel comfortable if the light in the crack of my parents' door was on at night. When it went off, that meant they were asleep. Then that terror and the fear of being by myself started to creep in.
I start with a mood or an idea that comes from a personal place emotionally, and the narrative concepts come much later.
I suppose I'm always trying to break down the wall between my characters and myself. I'm trying to make the film as expressive and personal as I can, even if I can't explain, for example, how important it is for me to be Jewish.
I think I'm a very American director, but I probably should have been making movies somewhere around 1976. I never left the mainstream of American movies; the American mainstream left me. Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
I think storytelling is a thing of beauty, and also very difficult. It's a craft you have to continue to work at. Work, Workers & The Labor Force
I think to be a movie critic is troubling from one major respect. If you are forced to watch ten movies a week, it's really only something you can do for a few years. After a while, it's a bit too much. Respect ;Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
I think true economic class unhappiness comes from when across the street someone has a new Cadillac and you can't get that.
I was going to Studio 54 when I was 12 years old. It's true. It's crazy.
I went to see 'Star Trek Into Darkness,' and J.J. Abrams, who's a friend of mine, made this film, and I went to see it at the premiere. Believe it or not, I was really blown away by the comic timing of it.
I would love it if my films made a lot of money, and may I say that 'The Yards' is the only one that's lost money. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex ;Money, Coins & Minting
If everybody lives in the same way, there's something almost narcotizing about it, but the true misery of economic class difference is knowing that you can't have what somebody else does.
If everybody loves you, you must be doing something wrong. It means there's no button being pushed... The only way that everybody loves you is toward the end of your career.
If you read about the astronauts who went to the moon - the 12 who walked on it, and the others who orbited - all suffered serious mental trauma of one kind or another.
I'm just not willing to give up on myself. If I'm going to fail, then I want to fail to the limits of my talent.
I'm not a website guy, although I'm not a Luddite, either. I have looked at a computer, but I don't go to PopSugar and Goop and all that.
I'm telling you, every film I've ever made has been hated by the U.K. critics.
It's difficult because Manhattan is so fantastic, and it's 9 miles away, and all these cool rich people live there and have great lives, and you live in a semi-attached row house in Queens.
It's hard to run away from who you are, and when your taste is formed is a very important thing.
It's much easier to make a movie with kind of stylistic pyrotechnics because you can hide behind that if there's a gap in the story.
It's the demand of all demands to do a car chase that's unique because there are so many... really since the beginning of film, even in the silent era, 'The Keystone Cops.'
It's very difficult to put your finger on why a certain actor or actress will capture your attention, and you'll think they're right for a role. There's an essence to a person.
It's weird, because American films in the 1930s and '40s, particularly melodramas, were made for woman, from Bette Davis to Joan Crawford to Barbara Stanwyck to Katherine Hepburn, and for some reason we've taken a step backward in this sense.
I've been a Yankees fan for a long time. When I was a kid in the mid-'70s, the Yankees were really great. They had Reggie Jackson in '77. I was 8 years old at the time. He hit three home runs to win the World Series in game six against the Dodgers, and I was just hooked. Time
I've learned that you can never predict what will happen to a film. You can never predict if people will love it, if they'll hate it. It's an act of ego if you're hoping for everyone to love the film and tell you how great you are. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
Melodrama and melodramatic are not the same thing, and often people make the mistake of confusing the two.
Melodrama is one of the most stunning art forms. These are stories where the emotions are big, and the situations are big, and the artists believe in the situation dramatically. There's no irony or distance. Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
Most people don't watch a movie four or five times; they watch it once.
My grandparents used to tell me stories about their trip to Ellis Island from Russia and life on the Lower East Side of New York. Life
My grandparents, they came through Ellis Island in 1923, and you know, I'd heard all the stories.
My wife and I had been to the genetic counselor; my wife is not Jewish - she's the shiksha goddess type - and was negative for everything. But I was positive. I carried the gene for three genetic disorders, which, if she had been positive for, we would have passed down to the child.
My wife thinks I have an obsession with social class. So I guess I have an obsession with social class. It probably stems from feeling like an outcast.
Really, what I'm doing is an attempt to continue the best work of the people I adore: Francis Coppola and Scorsese and Robert Altman and Stanley Kubrick and those amazing directors whose work I grew up with and loved. Work, Workers & The Labor Force
Sean Penn has announced his retirement from acting about 72 times.
The actor always must be in the scene, not above the scene. To communicate any larger ideas is my problem; it's how the narrative is constructed and directed that hopefully does it.
The closer you can get to being personal, the better the work is, or the more interesting the work is. Work, Workers & The Labor Force
The conventional wisdom is that people come to the United States, and immigration is so great, and they say, 'America, what a great country.' And a lot of that is true.
The corporate system dictates what gets made, and the movies are so bad because of the economic structure of Hollywood. The big business takeover of Hollywood is at fault rather than American storytellers - it's what keeps textured movies from getting made. Business, Commerce & Finance ;Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
The decision about digital or film is going to be made for us. I think the answer is that film is gonna be gone, although I think it'll make a comeback; it'll be like vinyl records or something.
The ending shot of 'Queen Christina' with Greta Garbo is amazing. She's at the head of the ship, and she's been through so much, and the camera gets so close to her face. That really sticks out for me.
The films I grew up loving, and the art that I love, is not generally the kind of postmodern ironic winking stuff. What lasts is the stuff in which the artists are totally in league with the subject. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex ;Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
The first movie, I was 23; I thought I knew everything, but my ego soon took an irrevocable blow.
The idea that the family is this locus of support but can also hold you back and keep you down makes for good drama. Families, Children & Parenting
The key to acting - from what little I know about that wonderful craft - is listening, and interacting with the other person in order to achieve magic. One way to do that is almost to provoke.
The key to humor is often self-loathing or sarcasm. In a sense, that's how self-loathing is made palatable. Humor
The life of a film is very strange. Once the film is done, you wish you could forget about it and move on. Life
The opera in Los Angeles is excellent.
The sad truth for American actors is that they really have no control whatsoever over the material that they get, or can do, particularly actresses. And if you're over 40 and you're an actress, forget it. Truth
The state of being in love is so inherently preposterous. It usually lends itself to romantic comedy. I think we've all been there. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex ;Romantic
The system is not really particularly amenable to filmmakers who write and direct their own work. It's much more about the studio already having a property that has a marketable concept and then hiring the director on board. Work, Workers & The Labor Force
The word 'operatic' is often misused to mean over the top, where someone is over-emoting. And that does a terrible disservice because 'operatic' to me means a commitment and a belief to the emotion of the moment that is sincere.
There are very few movies in English about romantic obsession told with a seriousness of purpose. Romantic ;Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
There's never really been a tradition of making films about Jewish themes or using Judaism as a constant.
There's virtually nothing made up in 'The Immigrant.' So much of the film came from somewhere in my family's past. All the details are from my own family. Families, Children & Parenting
Time can be very good or very cruel to films. Time
To the extent that independent means you're willing to attempt to put your own ideas, personality, and commitment to the material on screen, then of course I hope I'm independent until the day I die. Hope
Unfortunately for critics and audiences alike, I have made several films, and some films with really terrific actors. And I say this at my own peril, but Marion Cotillard is the best actor I've ever worked with.
What a director really does is set the emotional temperature and the mood and the level, amount, or lack of, distance between the action and the character, and the character and the audience.
What I do have to get across is the truth of the moment within the given scene. It's my job, as a director and screenwriter, to create the environment in which all those moments will come together eventually. Truth
When I was quite young, I dreamed of being a painter.
When I was younger, I felt it essential to see every movie ever made. Now I feel as though I've got to read every book, see every art show, watch every play and opera and concert and so on. It does not end, and of course there is truth in the old cliche that the more one knows, the more one realizes one knows nothing at all. Truth ;Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
William Atherton has a very different acting style to Bonnie Bedelia; she has a very different style than Bruce Willis.