Manoel de Oliveira Quotes

My films are not political films. They have a deep human character, in its different phases. And these human preoccupations – hatred, jealousy, passion, vengeance, love – take the same shape for all different classes. Man is always the same. Circumstances can give it a different aspect – if a man’s poor, it doesn’t stop him from feeling love, hatred, lust, envy, it doesn’t stop him from wanting to be rich.

Cinema is an offspring of theater.

What’s cinematic is what comes out of the camera – that can be good or bad. The cinematic doesn’t exist. What exists is life. That’s what everyone is looking for; even the most abstract expression is life.

Commerce and industry have to worry about pleasing their audience. Some people say that film is an industry – film is not an industry. The film cameras are industrial, the film itself is industrial, labs are industrial. But artistic expression is not industrial.

I’m not an intellectual, erudite, a scholar, I’m much more intuitive.

I don’t like books that are very cinematic. I like literary books, where one is forced to discover, conjure up the images that fit the text.

Not all the films, not all the books, not all the plays, can give us the totality of what life is. We just try to give meaning to parts of it.

Cinema is a mirror of life. I believe that it is not one simple mirror, there is no other! Film-making is the only reflection of life. And, as well as being a reflection of life, it is also a record of life.

If you stop, you die; if you keep going, you live.

Knowledge is the very essence of humanity, and without that we cannot progress.

Films always have music to accompany them and fill them out.

A Mexican director once told me that governments should support cinema; But support shouldn’t be given as a favour, but as an obligation because cinema mirrors life. And I really don’t see anything else that does. Of course, painting does, too, but in a different way. Everything comes down to memory, and without memory there’s no thought, there’s nothing at all, there’s no life.

The only eternal moment is the present.

The actors are the salt of a film. They give a body and a voice to the characters and make up the strength of the film. And this is the reason why the most difficult part of making a film is choosing the actors. Once I’ve done the casting I’m much more relaxed.

Health is more important than money. A person with good health can sleep in the doorway. A sick rich patient may not have a position in bed.

The director is not creative, he’s the creature.