It struck me that the movies had spent more than half a century saying, They lived happily ever after and the following quarter-century warning that they'll be lucky to make it through the weekend. Possibly now we are now entering a third era in which the movies will be sounding a note of cautious optimism: You know it just might work.
A strange thing has happened -- while all the other arts were born naked, this, the youngest, has been born fully-clothed. It can say everything before it has anything to say. It is as if the savage tribe, instead of finding two bars of iron to play with, had found scattering the seashore fiddles, flutes, saxophones, trumpets, grand pianos by Erhard and Bechstein, and had begun with incredible energy, but without knowing a note of music, to hammer and thump upon them all at the same time.
Mayakovsky has an essay called How to Write Poems where he says that a poet must spend time and effort choosing the uniquely appropriate words, force them into the rhythm of the poem and then test it out loud ten times or more. Vertov did something very similar at the editing table. A hundred tests, a thousand different variants, endless numbers of try-outs--for meaning, for imagery, for rhythm--and finally, after long intensive efforts, that feeling of joy: it works. . .
Movies are one of the bad habits that corrupted our century. Of their many sins, I offer as the worst their effect on the intellectual side of the nation. It is chiefly from that viewpoint I write of them -- as an eruption of trash that has lamed the American mind and retarded Americans from becoming a cultured people.
If I'd have gone to art school, or stayed in anthropology, I probably would have ended up back in film ... Mostly I just followed my inner feelings and passions ... and kept going to where it got warmer and warmer, until it finally got hot ... Everybody has talent. It's just a matter of moving around until you've discovered what it is.