Alexander Payne Quotes

Alexander Payne (born Constantine Alexander Payne; February 10, 1961) is an American film director, screenwriter, and producer, known for the films Citizen Ruth (1996), Election (1999), About Schmidt (2002), Sideways (2004), The Descendants (2011), and Nebraska (2013). His films are noted for their dark humor and satirical depictions of contemporary American society. Payne is a two-time winner of the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay, and a three-time nominee of the Academy Award for Best Director

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Alexander Payne


I think a badly crafted, great idea for a new film with a ton of spelling mistakes is just 100 times better than a well-crafted stale script.

Alexander Payne


Joe E. Lewis said, 'Money doesn't buy happiness but it calms the nerves.' And that is how I feel about a film being well-received.

Alexander Payne


In a sense, 'Schmidt' is the most Omaha of my films. But have I gotten it right? I'm not sure. Did Fellini get Rome right? Did Ozu get Tokyo right?

Alexander Payne


Well, that's what life is - this collection of extraordinarily ordinary moments. We just need to pay attention to them all. Wake up and pay attention to how beautiful it all is.

Alexander Payne


The kindest thing a director can do is look with open eyes at everything.

Alexander Payne


The novel succeeds on terms exclusive to literature. A good film succeeds on terms exclusive to the cinema. That's why so many bad novels can become good movies, like 'Jaws' or 'The Godfather.'

Alexander Payne


My flag is always flying. My shingle is always out. I'm always looking for movie ideas. The hardest part of this whole movie-making endeavor is finding ideas. That's the real goal.

Alexander Payne


I get asked, 'How can you have such failures in your films?' Well, what else is life about? There's some sense of constant failure in something. Humor gives you a distance from it.

Alexander Payne


If you were falling in love and you could go back in time and relive a day and see the banal things you did that you'd forgotten about, you'd weep, looking at that day,

Alexander Payne


You just never know when you're living in a golden age.

Alexander Payne


Even if we die at 100, we're still dying young. I want at least 700 years. There's a lot of travelling and books to read and movies to see. I'm not going to squeeze it all in in 85 years.

Alexander Payne


Marketing has supplanted story as the primary force behind the worthiness of making a film, and that's a very sad thing. It's film only as a function of consumerism rather than as an important component of our culture, and that's everywhere around the world.

Alexander Payne


I don't feel despair because I am able to make the films I want to make, and that gives me hope.

Alexander Payne


I don't think so much about verbal comedy. I always think about visual comedy. I was raised watching silents, and I'm always thinking about how to make cinema, not good talking - although I want good talking. I'm much more interested in framing, composition, and orchestration of bodies in space, and so forth.

Alexander Payne


I still have energy and some degree of youth, which is what a filmmaker needs.

Alexander Payne