"People expect me to be dark and gloomy then write that Im a jolly chap and after all that is what I am. I think its a case of an absolute romantic naivety that there should be a parallel between the work and the artist."
"You can use your means in a good and bad way. In German-speaking art we had such a bad experience with the Third Reich when stories and images were used to tell lies. After the war literature was careful not to do the same which is why writers began to reflect on the stories they told and to make readers part of their texts. I do the same."
"Films that are entertainments give simple answers but I think thats ultimately more cynical as it denies the viewer room to think. If there are more answers at the end then surely it is a richer experience."
"And I dont believe that children are innocent. In fact no one seriously believes that. Just go to a playground and watch the kids playing in the sandbox! The romantic notion of the sweet child is simply the parents projecting their own wishes."
"Films for TV have to be much closer to the book mainly because the objective with a TV movie that translates literature is to get the audience after seeing this version to pick up the book and read it themselves. My attitude is that TV can never really be any form of art because it serves audience expectations."
"Film is the manipulative medium par excellence. When you think back on the history of film and the 20th century you see the propaganda thats been made. So there are moral demands on the director to treat the spectators as seriously as he or she takes himself and not to see them merely as victims that can be manipulated to whatever ends they have."
"My father and I had a good relationship it was very relaxed. He had a lot of humour. He looked a little bit like me although he had no beard. He had the appearance of a very elegant British-looking man."
"Ive never let producers tell me what to do. Even when I was making television I always did what I wanted to do and if I couldnt I didnt do it. It was a freedom that these days young directors starting out dont have."
"When I first envisioned Funny Games in the mid-1990s it was my intention to have an American audience watch the movie. It is a reaction to a certain American cinema its violence its naivety the way American cinema toys with human beings. In many American films violence is made consumable."
"To me its far more efficient to mobilize the imagination. Its far more efficient to hear a creaking step for example than to see the face of a monster which usually looks ridiculous and where you know that the blood is ketchup."
"Mainstream cinema raises questions only to immediately provide an answer to them so they can send the spectator home reassured. If we actually had those answers then society would appear very different from what it is."
"Its unbearable when someone changes around you. Just imagine that your life partner changes then it is difficult to cope with. Or your mother. Or your father. They were strong and now theyre like a baby - its not so funny."
"I love actors both my parents were actors and the work with actors is the most enjoyable part of making a film. Its important that they feel protected and are confident they wont be betrayed. When you create that atmosphere of trust its in the bag - the actors will do everything to satisfy you."
"Funny Games was conceived as a provocation. My other films are different. If people feel my other films are or respond to them as provocation then thats quite different. Funny Games is the only one of mine where my intention was to provoke the audience."
"To be perfectly honest I think that as Im growing older Im just growing more impatient. Ill be very happy if at some point people say Michaels grown wiser and softer in his old age. But well have to wait and see what my next project is."