Susanne Bier Quotes

  1. When I watch a movie myself, I want to forget that I’m watching a movie, and I want to be inside the movie. That’s the kind of experience I want my audience to have.
  2. I don’t do a lot of rehearsal. I don’t like rehearsals. I rehearse the day or morning. I spend one hour and a half with all the actors, and we go over the scenes, and we change it and change the dialogue, and we do a lot of things to it, but prior to shooting, I don’t really rehearse.
  3. I’ve got this fear of becoming comfortable.
  4. People don’t necessarily do evil deeds because they want to; people happen to do something with horrible consequences even if they meant to be kind.
  5. I believe in rules. I believe in artistic limitations, and I always have. I’ve always thought that setting out a set of rules before you start, and then being completely consistent with them, is the only way to make a really good film.
  6. John le Carre’s ‘The Night Manager’ is a relentlessly exhilarating thriller with profound emotional depths.
  7. The foundations of our lives are far more fragile than we think. So we are severely shaken when life turns out to have a will of its own.
  8. For years, whenever I’d been travelling and came back to Copenhagen, I’d think: ‘People are so stylish.’ And it’s not any one class. It’s everyday life.
  9. I don’t feel I have an issue with listening or understanding English in any sort of way.
  10. In a way, the whole notion of a blueprint of a building is not that different from a script for a movie. A sequence of spaces, which is what you do as an architect, is really the same as a sequence of scenes.
  11. I guess I strongly feel that we cannot pretend that the Third World is not part of our world. We cannot say ‘OK, there’s that problem over there, let’s just close our eyes’ – we cannot do that.
  12. There were 10 or 15 years where all the Scandinavian movies were gray and light brown. I got really bored with it. I really felt that movies had to have that life of vivid colors.
  13. If you look at children’s stories in fairy tales, they’re pretty brutal.
  14. I never have particular actors planned when I’m in the process of writing.
  15. Parents can shape a child, but a great teacher can, too.
  16. I really don’t like that modern notion of ‘I don’t need anyone.’ I see a lot of young women feeling they have to be that way, they have to be hard, in a way. And what does that bring them? They’re just going to be lonesome. They’re going to be, at best, lonesome and capable, at worst, lonesome and hard. And is that what we want? No.
  17. I think most of my films all have a certain tone or intensity in them. They are tense, and you kind of anticipate some kind of catastrophe, but you’re not quite sure.
  18. Anders Thomas Jensen and I had talked about making a movie which addressed the cancer issue, and we didn’t want to make it heavy-handed. We wanted to do something which had a lot of hope in it. And then for some reason we came up with a romantic comedy.
  19. I think the lack of automatically feeling, ‘Yes, the future is going to be like the present’ – that is very much a Jewish thing.
  20. I’m extremely straightforward. And I can’t do that sort of traditional girl thing of saying one thing that actually means something else. I never understood it, and I still don’t understand it.
  21. I don’t want actors to be writers. I think it’s too much responsibility.
  22. There are certain things you cannot accept. There are certain things that human beings cannot tolerate.
  23. Oftentimes, reality is much worse than what you can put in a movie.
  24. I’ve always been slightly hesitant about generalizing movies made by men and women being different in their nature; I think movies by each director are different. Having said that, I think that it’s kind of disgraceful that there aren’t more female directors.
  25. I’ve had a very fortunate, very privileged life. I say it with all humility because it could change tomorrow.
  26. Any creative process is about being in a territory which isn’t secure, isn’t necessarily familiar, and isn’t convenient in any sort of way. And that’s the excitement of it.
  27. A significant number of women who have been ill or had marital issues feel they have no value, and society is so keen on telling us that’s the case.
  28. My favorite hobby is matchmaking. It’s a lot easier to do it in movies then in real life because in real life, people don’t do what I tell them to do.
  29. None of my movies are autobiographical.
  30. I don’t feel that I’m strictly Danish; I don’t feel that my sense of humor is strictly Danish or my human sensibility is strictly Danish.
  31. I think the good thing about Dogme is that it forces you into an extreme sense of reality because there’s no artificial light and no set design and all of those icings on the cake that you usually have on a movie.
  32. I quite like some of the movies that have many characters in them.
  33. If my daughter’s going to go out in the winter with summer clothes, I’m gonna question it. And at some point, I assume, if the conversation goes on long enough, if I can convince her, she will put on some warm clothes. And I think that sort of exchange is pretty valid.
  34. I have a slight controversy with the Dogme brethren because I’ve been saying that rules are to be interpreted; not that I haven’t followed the rules, because I don’t see the point of submitting yourself to a set of rules if you don’t follow them. But having said that, it is always a lot of interpretation.
  35. In a way, our family is our modern identity.
  36. You don’t have to go very far away from Scandinavia to realize what an idyllic society it is.
  37. We always want to find good and bad guys, and I don’t believe in that.
  38. The main thing as a director, you always want to have a bit of a worry about the material you’re going to get yourself into. You want to be a bit scared of it so that you have that excitement of having to climb the mountain.
  39. I don’t know that there’s more bullying or whether it’s just more talked about. It seems to me that possibly that there’s been a lot of bullying all the time, but at the moment, it’s something that people are talking about.
  40. I think it’s extremely difficult consistently being a decent human being.
  41. My mother has had breast cancer twice. And my mother has always been this very positive human being: a glass-half-full type. Like, when she was in treatment and feeling really bad, she would always talk about some nurse that was particularly nice to her.
  42. I did learn a lot from ‘Things We Lost in the Fire,’ but I’ve learned different things from different films.
  43. Denmark is like a big family of people.
  44. At some stage in most people’s lives, things turn upside down, and nothing is as you expected it to be.
  45. I think possibly, as an artist, you’re always treated with a certain respect but also with a certain sort of nervousness.
  46. I have this almost obsessive desire to whomever is close to me: I want to have a very intense, close, intimate relationship with them.
  47. For me, grief is a static thing, and my movies have an extremely dynamic sort of movement.
  48. I think that being Jewish has generated an extremely strong sense of the importance of family. If I look at my Scandinavian colleagues, they don’t have that urgency about family. All my movies are about that.
  49. Having done a Dogme film taught me the beauty of simplicity and austerity.
  50. I would say I’m basically interested in human beings, and I don’t really care whether they’re men or women. I think my comprehension is about the same for both.
  51. A lot of people who live in Denmark will understand Danish but not necessarily speak it.
  52. Dogme is like leading a religious life, in that you are freeing yourself from making certain choices. It makes life easier.
  53. For the Oscars, I had a speech in my hand, and I just knew if I opened the piece of paper, I was going to be unable to read it. So I just thought, ‘I’m going to say, as coherently as I can, whatever I can.’
  54. Women, nowhere in the world, have the kind of important position in society in the amount that they ought to have.
  55. In reality most people aren’t as perfect as they want to seem.
  56. I generally edit quite heavily. In general, there aren’t many scenes that are sitting where they sat in the script in the final form.
  57. I am very close to my family, and there’s something life-affirming about that. Even if you feel completely different from them and have totally different views on politics and ethics, you’re still family and have that immediate acceptance.
  58. I’m a huge fan of Richard Curtis – there’s real grief, real compassion in his films as well as cheekiness; it’s a wonderful cocktail.
  59. I hate when the sun is high and there are no shadows. If I could do super high-budget movies, I would only shoot when the sun starts to get low – but you can’t just shoot for four hours every day.
  60. As a filmmaker, I always try not to concern myself with the outcome of things. I make the movie, and I do that as honestly and good as I can. I don’t want to pollute my thoughts with what is going to happen with it afterwards, because I have to work inside-out.
  61. If I go home from a day of shooting, and I haven’t at some point felt the magic, I’m really frustrated.
  62. I see myself as a storyteller.
  63. You win an Oscar, and the movie that comes after that is always going to be compared.

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