Quotes by Ira Sachs

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I don't think I'd ever start making a film until I had both the intimacy with the subject and the distance to make it live in a certain way. more...

I got into filmmaking in order to tell very personal stories, and in this day and age, the opportunity seems all the more precious. more...

I grew up thinking there was something called 'independent film,' which I wouldn't necessarily have had access to if there wasn't Sundance. more...

I have been very influenced by the director Maurice Pialat, who I continue to be in conversation and conflict with and get inspiration from. more...

I realize I have strength as an artist and professional by embracing my difference instead of what makes me the same. more...

I think there's a fear of difference in American cinema. more...

I've always been interested in how the individual comes to know and accept him or herself, which I think has been hard for me. more...

I've been close to two or three couples, gay and straight, who have been together for 45 years. more...

It's easy to make a film, but it's hard to make a career of being a filmmaker. more...

Most simply but profoundly, I chose to live an honest life, which I think as a gay person is not a given. more...

Movies are romantic fantasies. more...

Music Box has proven itself in a few short years to be a cutting edge distributor with a sophisticated understanding of both the market and cinema. more...

My films might have been queer - because I was - but they were not gay. more...

New York grabbed me too hard, as did adulthood. more...

There's a lot of things lost in the Digital Age. more...

What's interesting to me is the distinction between my old life and my present life. more...

Why do people stay in relationships that are tough from almost the very beginning? more...

Without community events like NewFest, I don't think we'd have a queer cinema in America. more...

You can be aware of the passing of time without being nostalgic. more...

You can only begin to share life well when you think well of yourself. more...

You can understand why good publicists go on to run distribution companies: because the creativity involved is complex and nuanced. more...

As independent filmmakers, we are actually deeply dependent on each other. The Spirit Awards are a public expression of those bonds, the intricate set of relationships and histories that we filmmakers depend on to make our most personal work. more...

Every time you make a film, you create a world. You make decisions about sets and costumes, and you create a universe connected to reality, but not reality itself. more...

I always hope that people feel less alone when they see a movie that I make. That some part of the story played out on the big screen will resonate for individuals in the audience in a way that gives them comfort. more...

I always think of my films within the context of where aesthetics meet economics. That's the nature of making art - not being naive about what is possible and getting what you need to tell the story you want to tell. more...

I came to N.Y.C. in 1988 and got very involved with Act Up. I also started making movies, including two very gay shorts, 'Vaudeville' and 'Lady.' It was the height of the AIDS epidemic, and New York City was both dying and very alive at the same time. more...

I don't rehearse with my actors... the first rehearsal is the first time we turn the camera on... Sydney Pollack never rehearsed his actors, and I found out that's allowed... so you film reactions; you don't create them. more...

I find the stuff that is exciting to me are the films coming out of Taiwan and Iran and France. So I have the feeling I'm not making the films that American distributors want to make. more...

I grew up in the 1960s in Memphis, and my father was a member of the American Civil Liberties Union. I was born three years before Martin Luther King was killed, and I think that history of civil action was something that I had in my blood. more...

I like a film that makes the audience feel like they are in the middle of life as it is moving, and in a way, they are catching up. They are thrown into things. more...

I remember being a teenager and seeing Seymour Cassel across a crowded room and being incredibly star struck, and not having the courage to say, 'Hello.' more...

I started making movies in the early '90s, a few years after I discovered 'the cinema' during a three month stay in Paris during which I watched 100s of films. more...

I think it's interesting: What is the generational effect of the experience of being a gay person in America? For my generation, it was very difficult. more...

I've made four films about the destructive nature of relationships, of secrets and lies, and I think I'm no longer interested in that subject - which is a wonderful relief. more...

One of the biggest things that happens to many people when they have kids is that you suddenly realize that you're not going to last forever. You know there is another generation who are the heroes of their own stories, and that is humbling. more...

Secrets make for good drama, and revealing the hidden truths and contradictions of life is, for me, one of the most exciting aspects of making movies. more...

What I loved about 'Goodfellas' is that it's a film about bad behavior - but told with great energy and without judgment - but it doesn't actually shy away from the consequences of that behavior in the characters' lives, which I think is similar in 'Keep the Lights On.' more...

Working on the Obama campaign was a life-changer for me. I realized during that campaign that structure is the name of the game, and so, soon after the election, filmmaker Adam Baran and I started Queer/Art/Film, a monthly series at the IFC Film Center in downtown New York that invites queer artists to present the films they love to an audience. more...

I try to keep feeling what's going on and try to use the camera, the actors and the design to enhance those feelings. There's something really emotionally direct and honest about how I put the material with the images. You hope that the strength of mise-en-scene comes from an honesty towards the material. You also hire really well. more...

So there's a choice that I made to tell stories that are still psychological melodramas about domestic issues. The challenge is to figure out how to make 10 films a career as a filmmaker, and that's a really challenging thing. more...

All history is defined by shifting modes of reality and time and how things change. That's what I love about cinema. It changes in the moment. more...

Fighting bitterness can be a full-time job. more...

Intimacy is something to be cherished, and intimacy is not something to be afraid of. more...

My father moved out to Park City in in the mid-'70s and lived in a Winnebago behind a hippie joint called Utah Coal & Lumber that was one of only two or three restaurants at that time. Park City was a sleepy little mining town, with not a condo in sight. more...

All history is defined by shifting modes of reality and time and how things change. That's what I love about cinema. It changes in the moment. more...

As a gay person, my life has been marginalized. more...

I conveniently was not accepted to film school, which I applied to in 1987, and so I decided I would become a filmmaker instead of a student. more...

I've been hiding crucial events in my life since I was 13. more...

Suspense films are often based on communication problems, and that affects all of the plot points. It almost gives it kind of a fable feeling. more...

Capturing intimacy is pretty much the only thing I'm interested in. That's what excites me and what I find beautiful in movies personally - that almost obscene sense that we shouldn't be this close to these people. I find that very inviting and meaningful as an audience member. more...

'How to Survive a Plague' is history-telling at its best. It's a film I'll show my two children, now toddlers, when they are old enough to understand. It's a movie that I cannot forget. more...

I'm not interested in a film about deceit anymore. I think I was always invested in deceit on some level. But it no longer compels me the way it did for so many years. more...

Seeing the road show of 'A Chorus Line' in 1977 at the Orpheum Theater in downtown Memphis was a life-changing event for me: there were gay people, on the stage, and they all lived in New York. more...

A lot of what I think I do as a director is try to give everything over to the actor. So I disappear. more...

All of my films have been autobiographical - it's all I've got to go on. more...

As a filmmaker, you realize that places have character based on their history as much as a face does or an actor does. more...

As I've gotten less righteous, less pedagogic, I have become more loving of the artificiality, the art form, the imitation of life in film. more...

Being an artist is in part an act of rupture. more...

By 15, I was lucky enough to find the theater. more...

By 1988, I was living in New York myself. more...

Every film is hard to fund. more...

Everyone wants to belong, and everyone needs to belong in order to make a career on some level. more...

Everything encourages you not to tell stories of gay lives. There is no economy yet for that kind of cinema. more...

For gay people, we learned about our lives in secrecy and a lot of fear. more...

For me, every film is actually a form of documentary. more...

I could not - and I still cannot - see a sustainable career as a filmmaker in which I focus fully on our gay stories. more...

All history is defined by shifting modes of reality and time and how things change. That's what I love about cinema. It changes in the moment. more...

I think my movie addresses the struggles of communities facing class distinctions, which are timeless. The questions of how we live together and what we do for money are really the stuff of drama. more...

I think parenting well is not so different than trying to consider how to be successful at any relationship. Like, how do you partner well? How do you collaborate well? How do we have this conversation well? You know, you're always trying to figure out what "well" means, so I think parenting is another version of that. more...

There was an age in which it was clear to me that my parents weren't perfect, but then there was an age at which I had empathy for that. And that was through therapy, probably. You have to rebuild and you also have to grow in your understanding of whatever it is your parents are facing, and that takes a major, profound shift of perspective from being a child. more...

I think as a gay person, there was no way in my generation to not grow up with shame and a sense of being wrong. It was impossible to avoid. Externally, you might make choices that are very public and very open but internally that was a struggle. more...

I think I tend to feel discomfort more when I anticipate or arrive upon moments in which I need to be careful. As a gay person, there's the fear of violence, and we're not making that up. more...

I can be incredibly angry with someone, I can be incredibly critical, but... I went through a period where I was reading a lot of memoirs of guards in holocausts and serial killers. I like to understand why people do bad things. more...

I'm someone who can create critiques of individuals based on their economic history. That's one way I look at people in terms of one story that could be told purely in a Marxist construction. more...

To be a creative person and be a professional, as an artist you have to be able to withstand pain, rejection, and for some, a lot of bad feelings, but you have to be able to look through those. more...

I'm a version of the same person. more...

The questions of economics, and how they infect, or rather how they affect intimacy. And that's probably the subject of all my films. more...

I've worked with non-professional actors, I've worked with movie stars, I've worked with kids, I've worked with older people, and I've found my job as a director is to cast them well and to understand what they need on set to bring the material to life. more...

For me, an actor is really, first and foremost, a person and an individual, more than they are an actor or a professional. more...

I'm interested in what actors reveal about themselves through the structure of the character. more...

I love a certain kind of acting style that I would call non-American, which tends to be more detail-oriented and less externalized. There's a kind of naturalism that I often find in non-American actors. I also find that quality in the American actors I work with, but I like to bring in those influences creatively. more...

You are always factoring in the economy within the process of creating something, and making decisions that seem both fearless and full of fear. more...

Utopia is something that I think about in connection to an experience I had when I was a kid. more...

People, for reasons of kind of security, they tend to move towards people like themselves. more...

I try not to articulate ideas in the film once I've arrived on the plot and the characters. I believe that if I focus my attention with enough compassion and heart on those things, then other things will be revealed, and that's from the education that I've had from the novel. more...

I have a career now, and I have to say, five years ago I didn't. I'm 50, and you never know what works, but I think part of that is because - in this way that can't be defined but which can be examined - we cannot work alone. more...

The big change that's happened for me in terms of my own life and how outsidership is reflected in my work is that I used to feel extraordinarily isolated in my life as I was trying to figure out who I was and how to have intimate relationships. And so my central characters also were isolated and usually in quite a bit of pain. more...

As a father, I wanted to make a movie that my kids can love. more...

To me, honesty and the difficulty of honest communication are at the heart of both my life and my movies. The difficulty of being yourself. more...

I actually feel that all drama has an element of comedy in it. A great deal of that I learned from writers like Chekhov who called his plays his comedy even when they touch on tragedy. more...

I make films that are very personal, and I always have. It's kind of the only thing that I think I have to offer as a filmmaker: the intimacy I've had with experience in a particular world, so the film comes from things I've seen and things I've felt. It gets transformed by the process. I don't think I'd ever start making a film until I had both the intimacy with the subject and the distance to make it live in a certain way. more...

I tend not to think that anything I happen to be reporting on in my films is special. Meaning that people are always saying to me, 'you must love New York, you have it in all your films.' But mostly it's because I know New York, and I know Brooklyn at this time. I know the lives there, because I have lived in them. more...

When working on and writing a film, I'm often more of a sponge than other times, aware of what's going on around me. more...

To come to change, there had to be conflict and pain. more...

My early films were about self discovery, and films of internal conflict. At that level, they were very personal. more...

I do love the young adult novels as a form and genre, because it has a purity of intention and heart. more...

The praise helps on a deep level, which gives you the grounding that encourages you to trust yourself. On another level, each film is a risk, and the praise doesn't save you from that risk. more...


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