The Review/ Feature/

The Year in Quotes: 2016

They said it

Dec 21, 2016

Every day of the year, TIFF plays host to filmmakers, talent, film thinkers, and film lovers who care deeply about cinema and the moving image. As 2016 draws to a close, we've gathered some of the most profound, surprising, and beautiful things they said this year.

Hit the links under each quote to read, hear, or view the full piece where the quote came from, and get ready to hear more like this in 2017.


His athleticism, his timing, the sense of seemingly carelessness with which he tosses himself around the set and the precision that actually underlies every single movement are all parts of what makes the routine so great."

"Tension that never dissipates — not even for a second — is really important. It doesn’t require multiple plot twists."

"I say shut up and shoot. Just shut the fuck up and shoot. Just shut up and shoot! Because you never really ever know what the audience will care about."

"I wanted everyone to buy into the beauty of space, and the beauty of their mission, and the beauty of the Enterprise itself."

"It’s kind of like when you’re writing poetry. You don’t want to write 'roses are red, violets are blue' because everyone knows that poem. So I try to create a visual metaphor or a visual for an idea or an event I try to go where and depict it in a way that hasn’t been depicted before."

"It never ceases to amaze me to this day that the 'most' French of French directors [...] didn’t hesitate to pluck a Chinese-Canadian student freshly disembarked from Montreal, out of thousands, to take up a key post in his filmmaking"

"I used to describe myself as a metaphysical vacuum cleaner. I go for the hair in the drain. I will stop at virtually nothing to figure things out. I compulsively want to know."

"I do very much like being a vampire."

"I think satire is a way of expressing a deep worry to do with something in the world and then there’s something cathardic to laughing about it."


"The patriarchy is the way things have been done. And if you take your eye off the ball for a day, they will slide back."

"As a community and as a people, it's our job to control our narrative. We don't only have to tell one type of story."

"To restrain an actor's movement in the scene is asking for trouble."

"I would like critics to be careful. They do not have to like the film, and they can give interesting feedback, but they should not forget that someone has taken years of their life to tell this story."

"'Directed by?' Is that really the right word? There should be another word. Because you're not really 'directing.' You should be called 'the decider.'"

"Fuck you! It's 6am. I'm not fucking American, I'm Scottish."

Werner Herzog Quote

"I have a theory that all successful filmmakers need to have some degree of delusion in order to combat the relentless obstacles involved in being one. The world needs many things right now, but I am not sure that a new filmmaker is one of them."

"Any time you get a character that is well developed and emotionally vulnerable and yet intellectual... it's a real gift as an actress."

— Amy Adams

"To be a billboard painter, for me, the truth is I feel like a small part of the movie production."

"I'm the greatest believer in audiences. If they're with a movie, they don't have to tell you. You can feel it."

"It's almost like the idea has to come to you. You don't look for it, you're struck by it, and you're a victim to it."

"I think Jack Bauer would have a very unpleasant flatlining experience."

"There's no way in the world I would disrespect Jennifer Hudson by trying to give her direction on the scene knowing her history..."

Nic Cage Snake Eyes

"As a writer and a woman on the internet, it taught me that people respond differently to my so-called mistakes and blunders. I have a thicker skin for criticism and mockery. I’ll also never be able to look at Nic Cage without feeling one million emotions all at once."

"If you can get away with a fart joke at age 21, this is a badge of honour."

"Are we really just escaping, or are we trying to connect those virtual public spaces to our physical realities?"

"I had to create this character, or else I was going to become him. And that character was Travis Bickle."

fireatsea 04

"There’s ultimately something deeply poignant about the obliviousness of Guest’s dreamers and pretenders. Their self-delusion keeps them from hurtling into despair."

"Moviegoers in Nigeria would see a Hollywood film first before they see a Nollywood film. It's not right - but we're trying to change of all of that."

"I don't think satire changes anything, because if it did the world wouldn't be so fucked."

"We have to get to a point where you're not watching Canadian cinema as homework. It shouldn't always be a civic duty to watch a Canadian flick."

"Preparation is very important – but when you actually go to shoot, the best-laid plans sometimes go out the window."

"I sweat sometimes to make a film. I lose a kilo, 500 grams."

"I love flip phones. I love old phones. And then, I also hate cars."