Woody Allen quotes and sayings
December 1, 1935
It's important to control yourself because life gets too complicated if you don't, but the impulse is often there for people. Some say society should be more open. That doesn't work either.
Some women feel power is important, some women feel that looks are important, tenderness, intelligence...but sense of humor seems to permeate all of them.
In certain areas I don't function well and in other areas I function very well. I'm very good professionally. I have good discipline, I'm able to write every day and do films and not go six times over the budget. I mean I'm a coherent person, but I also don't like to go through tunnels when I travel. I'm claustrophobic.
"Boy, the food at this place is really terrible." The other one says, "Yeah, I know; and such small portions." Well, that's essentially how I feel about life - full of loneliness, and misery, and suffering, and unhappiness, and it's all over much too quickly.
I work for a company that makes deceptively shallow serving dishes for Chinese restaurants.
Film is more of novelty, because I've done so much theater over many years. I'm in love with making movies. Also, I find it easier to remember three minutes of dialogue than three hours.
I was a smart kid and I was not understood by my parents.
I foresee death by culture shock.
Standard mathematics has recently been rendered obsolete by the discovery that for years we have been writing the numeral five backward. This has led to reevaluation of counting as a method of getting from one to ten. Students are taught advanced concepts of Boolean algebra, and formerly unsolvable equations are dealt with by threats of reprisals.
More than at any other time in history, mankind faces a crossroads. One path leads to despair and utter hopelessness. The other, to total extinction. Let us pray we have the wisdom to choose correctly. I speak, by the way, not with any sense of futility, but with a panicky conviction of the absolute meaninglessness of existence which could easily be misinterpreted as pessimism. It is not. It is merely a healthy concern for the predicament of modern man.
A stockbroker is someone who invests other people's money until it is all gone.
The heart wants what it wants. There's no logic to these things. You meet someone and you fall in love and that's that.
I think there is too much wrong with the world to ever get too relaxed and happy. The more natural state, and the better one, I think, is one of some anxiety and tension over man's plight in this mysterious universe.
When I am in New York, I want to be in Europe, and when I am in Europe, I want to be in New York.
Is Knowledge knowable? If not, how do we know?
My luck is getting worse and worse. Last night, for instance, I was mugged by a quaker.
Our love, our love will last forever. It's forever but it just doesn't work. That's why it will always be romantic because it can not be complete.
This stuff tastes awful; I could have made a fortune selling it in my health-food store.
They were doing the Dying Swan at the ballet. And there was a rumor that some bookmarkers had drifted into town from upstate New York and that they had fixed the bullet. There was a lot of money bet on the swan to live.
The best an idea gets is when its in your head.
What I do know about physics is that to a man standing on the shore, time passes quicker than to a man on a boat - especially if the man on the boat is with his wife.
With films, I just scribble a couple of notes for a scene. You don't have to do any writing at all, you just have your notes for the scene, which are written with the actors and the camera in mind. The actual script is a necessity for casting and budgeting, but the end product often doesn't bear much resemblance to the script--at least in my case.
People still have existential anxiety. It just may not be expressed in Hebraic idiom.
In order to be successful, all you've got to do is show up 80 percent of the time.
I was in analysis. I was suicidal. As a matter of fact, I would have killed myself, but I was in analysis with a strict Freudian and if you kill yourself they make you pay for the sessions you miss.
Between the Pope and air conditioning, I'd choose air conditioning.
I'm awash in self-contempt!
I don't like to meet the actor and have a lot of conferences and talk about their sub-life and their off-screen life and their back stories and all that nonsense, because it never means anything.
Early in life, I was visited by the bluebird of anxiety.
I'm in show business. I'm not like a poor factory worker who'd been laid off.
It's very hard to keep your spirits up. You've got to keep selling yourself a bill of goods, and some people are better at lying to themselves than others. If you face reality too much, it kills you.... you've got to find an answer to the question: Why go on?
Music has always helped my films. In 'The Curse Of The Jade Scorpion,' you can hear 'Sunrise' by Glenn Miller, an idol of my childhood, in the surprise ending. I like mixing comedy with suspense and action.
Some people are funny, and some people are not funny. Many people who are not funny can make a living at it. You don't have to be great to make a living at it. Just like a doctor who doesn't have to be great can still make a living out of it.
If I just got up in the morning and had no place to go and was retired or something, I would be sitting there and be thinking, "Gee, what is the purpose of life? Why are we all finite? Why do we get old and die? Is there nothing out there? Why is it so tragic? Why do our loved ones perish? Why do we generate?" Who wants to think about that stuff?
Once munching has begun, Schopenhauer held, the human will cannot resist further munching, and the result is a universe with crumbs over everything.
Throughout history in the theater and film people do like sarcastic characters, and they do like curmudgeons - if they're amusing, they do like them despite the fact that they're vitriolic, particularly if they're for the right thing. If you can see that the person is a decent person and is for the right thing, and is not just a nasty person with base motives, but someone who is a decent human but expresses himself.
God, you Jews are truly exotic." Exotic? She should only know the Greenblatts. Or Mr. and Mrs. Milton Sharpstein, my father's friends. Or for that matter, my cousin Tovah. Exotic? I mean, they're nice, but hardly exotic with their endless bickering over the best way to combat indigestion or how far back to sit from the television set.
I always thought that as long as man is mortal, he will never be relaxed.
Sylvia Plath. Interesting poetess whose tragic suicide was misinterpreted as romantic by the college-girl mentality.
Existence for eternity could get a little boring... especially towards the end.
I never ever see a film of mine after I release it to the public. I see it when I shoot it in my dailies and while I'm editing it, re-editing it and reshooting it and all that. By the time it's finished I never want to see it again.
You always think another time would have been ideal for you . . . the reality is there was no novocaine when you went to the dentist.
It has become harder and harder in the United States to make films unhampered by outside influences. I've always been able to steer clear of that and keep the business people out of my hair completely.
I like filming in New York a lot myself, but London is accommodating to me; the weather's very good there and the conditions for shooting and the financial conditions, the artistic conditions are good, so it's a pleasant place to shoot.
New York is my home and I have a particular fondness for it. I think it's a place where you can generate any kind of story wonderfully. But I also would be very happy to make a film in Paris or Rome.
I've inherited the worst of each parent. I have my father's hypochondria and lack of concentration. I have his amorality. I have everything bad that he had. Then I have my mother's surly, pill-like, complaining, whining attitude.
Those who can't do, teach. And those who can't teach, teach gym.
You can live to be a hundred if you give up all the things that make you want to live to be a hundred.
I keep getting more and more ambitious. Over the years, to some degree, in some areas, I feel I've grown. In some areas, I made a fool of myself. In some areas, I think I can still do some funny things.
Bisexuality doubles your chances of a date on a Saturday night. I believe that sex is a beautiful thing between two people. Between five, it's fantastic. If there is reincarnation, I'd like to come back as Warren Beatty's fingertips. I'm such a good lover because I practice a lot on my own. My love life is terrible. The last time I was inside a woman was when I visited the Statue of Liberty. Sex without love is an empty experience, but as empty experiences go it's a pretty good one.
Standing in a garage no more makes you a car than standing in a church makes you a Christian.
Sex is like having dinner: sometimes you joke about the dishes, sometimes you take the meal seriously.
Interestingly, according to modern astronomers, space is finite. This is a very comforting thought-particularly for people who can never remember where they have left things.
I can't enjoy anything unless everybody is. If one guy is starving someplace, that puts a crimp in my evening.
I can understand that an audience, buying a ticket to see a picture of mine, wants to see something funny because they feel confident that at least I have a fighting chance to make a funny film when I make a film, whereas if I make a dramatic film there's one chance in a thousand that it's really going to come out great, so I understand how they feel about that and they're completely right.
Life doesn't imitate art, it imitates bad television.
I don't believe in the after life, although I am bringing a change of underwear.
No matter what the shrinks, or the pundits, or the self-help books tell you, when it comes to love, it's luck.
Cynicism is reality with an alternate spelling.
I enjoy the making of the film and it's something for me to do. If nobody ever comes to my films, if people don't want to give me money to make films, that will stop me. But as long as people come all over the world and I have an audience and I have ideas for films, I will do them for as long as I enjoy the process. And I like the whole process of making a film.
My father worked for the same firm for 12 years. They fired him and replaced him with a tiny gadget that does everything my father does, only much better. The depressing thing is my mother ran out and bought one.
I was thrown out of college for cheating on the metaphysics exam; I looked into the soul of the boy sitting next to me.
You can be with your wife, very happily married, and then you meet some woman and you love her. But you love your wife, too. And you also love that one. Or if she's met some man and she loves the man and she loves you. And then you meet somebody else and now there are three of you. Why only one person?
There's nothing good about getting older-absolutely nothing-because the amount of wisdom and experience you gain is negligible compared to what you lose. You do gain a couple of things-you gain a little bittersweet and sour wisdom from your heartbreaks and failures and things-but what you lose is so catastrophic in every way.
I've always believed that thoughtful people don't really take the tabloids seriously. They're basically a form of entertainment. I enjoy them as much as the next New Yorker.
A: Socrates is a man. B: All men are mortal. C: All men are Socrates.
No, I don't think you're paranoid. I think you're the opposite of paranoid. I think you walk around with the insane delusion that people like you.
I'm a big believer in supporting the action on film with the appropriate music. It covers a multitude of sins. It's gotten me out of a lot of jams, over the years. So, music for me is a very big thing in films and I use it unashamedly.
There is dignity in suffering; nobility in pain; but failure is a salted wound, that burns and burns again!
I read in self-defense.
Organized crime in America takes in over forty billion dollars a year and spends very little on office supplies.
Men would make love with any number of women ... even total strangers, while females were selective. They were catering to the demands of one small egg. While males had millions of frantic sperms screaming: "Let us out, let us out!".
What advice would I give the average homeowner to protect himself against burglars? Well, the first thing is to keep a light on in the house when you go out. It must be at least a sixty-watt bulb; anything less and the burglar will ransack the house, out of contempt for the wattage.
When I started out, I was a television writer, and we wrote a television show that was on live every week. And you didn't have the luxury of coming in and waiting to be inspired. You came in and you had to write. And you wrote, because it was going to be live on the air. So I can do that.
Then Job fell to his knees and cried to the Lord, "Thine is the kingdom and the power and glory. Thou hast a good job. Don't blow it.".
I can levitate birds. No one cares.
It's a wonderful thing to be able to create your own world whenever you want to. Writing is very pleasurable, very seductive, and very therapeutic. Time passes very fast when I'm writing-really fast. I'm puzzling over something, and time just flies by. It's an exhilarating feeling. How bad can it be? It's sitting alone with fictional characters. You're escaping from the world in your own way and that's fine. Why not?
The universe is haphazard, morally neutral, and unimaginably violent.
Figures tell us there are already more people on earth than we need to move even the heaviest piano.
You look up after many years and you find that a film has become a classic because it's meaningful to people and alive, decade after decade.
See, I will always have this penchant for what I call kamikaze women. I call them kamikazes because they, you know they crash their plane, they're self-destructive. But they crash into you, and you die along with them.
Magic has always been of a great interest of mine. I was an amateur magician when I was young. I used to practice and read up on it a lot. I'm well-aware of the history of magic.
I can't with any conscience argue for New York with anyone. It's like Calcutta. But I love the city in an emotional, irrational way, like loving your mother or your father even though they're a drunk or a thief. I've loved the city my whole life - to me, it's like a great woman.
The content dictates the style all the time. That's the way it is. If the content of the film - as in Husbands and Wives - is highly jagged, neurotic, fast-paced, nervous New York film, it just called for that kind of shooting, editing and performance.
I usually want to crawl into the ground after I make a film, almost invariably.
It's funny. Maria Elena and I, we are meant for each other and not meant for each other, it's a contradiction.
And in all of Babylonia there was wailing and gnashing of teeth, 'til the prophets bade the multitudes get a grip on themselves and shape up.
Guillermo del Toro
Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu
Nicolas Winding Refn
Francis Ford Coppola
Julie Anne Peters
Roy Jones Jr.
Robert W. Service
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