There are two ways of being happy: We must either diminish our wants or augment our means—either may do—the result is the same and it is for each man to decide for himself and to do that which happens to be easier.Benjamin Franklin
- It's easy to direct while acting—there’s one less person to argue with.
- New York Times (22 February 1976)
- If you have a great passion it seems that the logical thing is to see the fruit of it, and the fruit are children.
- The Independent (12 May 1991)
- It's already getting more and more difficult to make an ambitious and original film. There are less and less independent producers or independent companies and an increasing number of corporations who are more interested in balance sheets than in artistic achievement. They want to make a killing each time they produce a film. They're only interested in the lowest common denominator because they're trying to reach the widest audience. And you got some kind of entropy. That's the danger; they look more alike, those films. The style is all melting and it all looks the same. Even young directors— for most of them, their only standard of achievement is how well their films do on the first weekend or whatever. It worries me. But then, from time to time, you have a film like The Usual Suspects or.... I'm trying to think of something American with some kind of originality... Pulp Fiction.
- "Roman Polanski: An Exclusive Interview"by Taylor Montague
- You know, whenever you do something new and original, people run to see it because it's different. Then, if it happens to be successful, the studios rush to imitate it. It becomes commonplace right away. But it's been like that before, I think. Now, the stakes are so gigantic that they cut each other's throats. So if most of the films are failures, then those that succeed so spectacularly, so commercially, become the norm. It's like a roulette for the studios. The problem with it is that it becomes more and more of a committee. Before, you dealt with the studio. It had one or two persons and now you have masses of executives who have to justify their existence and write so-called "creative notes" and have creative meetings. They obsess about the word creative probably because they aren't.
- "Roman Polanski: An Exclusive Interview" by Taylor Montague
- Berlin was great. It’s a new generation. If you continue to hate, you are entering into the same philosophy that began the war. You have to look forward at people and new times.
- "The Pianist Interview" by Marilyn Cole Lownes
- Cinema should make you forget you are sitting in a theater.
- I can only say that whatever my life and work have been, I'm not envious of anyone— and this is my biggest satisfaction.
- I don't really know what is shocking. When you tell the story of a man who is beheaded, you have to show how they cut off his head. If you don't, it's like telling a dirty joke and leaving out the punch line.
- I never made a film which fully satisfied me.
- I see Macbeth as a young, open-faced warrior, who is gradually sucked into a whirpool of events because of his ambition. When he meets the weird sisters and hears their prophecy, he's like the man who hopes to win a million-a gamble for high stakes.
- I want people to go to the movies. I am the man of the spectacle. I'm playing.
- In Paris, one is always reminded of being a foreigner. If you park your car wrong, it is not the fact that it's on the sidewalk that matters, but the fact that you speak with an accent.
- My films are the expression of momentary desires. I follow my instincts, but in a disciplined way.
- Nothing is too shocking for me.
- People like Truffaut, Lelouch and Godard are like little kids playing at being revolutionaries. I've passed through this stage. I lived in a country where these things happened seriously.
- Whenever I get happy, I always have a terrible feeling.
- You have to show violence the way it is. If you don't show it realistically, then that's immoral and harmful. If you don't upset people, then that's obscenity.