Inspiring Quotes from Avant Garde Filmmakers

This weekend, I will be hosting the Concrete Dream Film Festival, founded by Mulholland Drive actress Rena Riffel.  Part of preparing for this event has been to take a deep dive back into my film school days to rediscover avant garde, experimental and arthouse film.

Here are some gems I found!

Alejandro Jodorowsky

“Birds born in a cage think flying is an illness.”

“Failure doesn’t mean anything, it just means changing paths.”

“One does not go to the theater to escape from himself, but to reestablish contact with the mystery that we all are.”

“For a true artist, difficulties become opportunities and clouds become solid present.”

“Most directors make films with their eyes; I make films with my testicles.”

Maya Deren

I make my pictures for what Hollywood spends on lipstick.

Jonas Mekas

As a film-maker and a poet, I feel it’s my duty to be an eye and an antenna to what’s happening around me.

I live, therefore I make films. I make film, therefore I live.

Man Ray

To create is divine, to reproduce is human.

An original is a creation motivated by desire.

David Lynch

Life is very, very complicated, and so films should be allowed to be, too.

Yoko Ono

Art is like breathing for me. If I don’t do it, I start to choke.

Art is my life and my life is art. Yoko Ono

Andy Warhol

Art is what you can get away with.

Kenneth Anger

Making a movie is casting a spell.

Luis Bunuel

Mystery is the essential element of every work of art.

The Concrete Dreams Film Festival is June 11-16 in Los Angeles, CA.  For tickets and information, click here.  This year, there will be a special guest appearance by cinema icon Phillipe Mora, who will be presenting the Phillipe Mora Award for Filmmaking.

David Lynch, The Cinematic Shaman

Very little causes my jaw to drop, but tonight, David Lynch, you have done it.  Everyone was oohing and aahing over last week’s episode of Twin Peaks, a chorus of WTF-s over the nebulous and at times, horrific images.  I expect that from Lynch.  What I didn’t expect was he to channel me or me, him.

http://gph.is/YBejIT

Harry Dean Stanton understated-ly sang “Red River Valley”, a decades-old folk ballad of love and loss.  You would almost miss it if you weren’t listening carefully.   My jaw dropped.  That was the theme song of “Seeking Valentina” an award-winning, Lynchian-esque short film directed by Armin Nasseri, which I starred in and helped him produce.  It was so odd, because it seemed like Harry Dean Stanton continued right where our theme song left off. It was beyond weird–like David Lynch.

Here’s my version of the song, which played over the end credits of “Seeking Valentina”.  Check out the trailer of the film.  It will be playing at the Hollywood Dreams Film Festival in late August.  Curious?  Read Char Hardin’s review of Seeking Valentina, comparing my character to Laura Palmer.

David Lynch, you have blown my mind.  If you channeled us, we are honored.  If we channeled you, we hope to do it again.  We love you David, and the amazing journeys you take us on, always a little cuckoo and a little dangerous, just like you.