"My films are not a personal expression but a prayer. When I make a film, it’s like a holy day. As if I were lighting a candle in front of an icon, or placing a bouquet of flowers before it. The spectator always ends up by understanding when you are sincere in what you are telling him. I don’t invent any language to appear simpler, stupider, or smarter. A lack of honesty would destroy the dialogue. Time has worked for me. When people understood that I was speaking a natural language, that I wasn’t pretending, that I didn’t take them for imbeciles, that I only say what I think, then they became interested in what I was doing."
"Given the competition with commercial cinema, a director has a particular responsibility towards his audiences. I mean by this that because of cinema’s unique power to affect an auditorium—in the identification of the screen with life—the most meaningless, unreal commercial film can have just the same kind of magical effect on the uncritical and uneducated cinema-goer as that derived by his discerning counterpart from a real film. The tragic and crucial difference is that if art can stimulate emotions and ideas, mass-appeal cinema, because of its easy, irresistible effect, extinguishes all traces of thought and feeling irrevocably. People cease to feel any need for the beautiful or the spiritual, and consume films like bottles of Coca-Cola.”
April 4, 1932 — December 29, 1986