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Errol Morris's Quotes

Errol Morris profile photo

Born: 1948-02-05
Profession: Director
Nation: American
Biography of Errol Morris

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People lie, and they always are very very creative in finding new ways to lie.

Tags: Creative, Lie, Ways

Photographs can reveal something to us, and they can also conceal things.

Tags: Conceal, Reveal

There are endless anxieties in putting a film together, and it's an enormous relief when you know it's working with an audience.

Tags: Film, Together, Working

When you're working for yourself and your own obsession with finding the truth, you're at your own mercy.

Tags: Truth, Working, Yourself

You know, I actually like doing commercials. I don't like doing them to the exclusion of everything else, but I like doing them.

Tags: Actually, Else, Exclusion

A movie is like a tip of an iceberg, in a way, because so little of what you do in connection with making a movie actually gets into the movie. Almost everything gets left behind.

Tags: Actually, Almost, Making

But I can say what interests me about documentary is the fact that you don't know how the story ends at the onset - that you are investigating, with a camera, and the story emerges as you go along.

Tags: Along, Fact, Story

But one of the amazing things about documentary is that you can remake it every time you make one. There is no rule about how a documentary film has to be made.

Tags: Amazing, Film, Time

Films are neither true nor false. That includes my films, as well as others. They may make claims that are true or false, but films are too complex. They have too many ingredients.

Tags: May, Others, True

Forty years ago this country went down a rabbit hole in Vietnam and millions died. I fear we're going down a rabbit hole once again - and if people can stop and think and reflect on some of the ideas and issues in this movie, perhaps I've done some damn good here!

Tags: Done, Fear, Good

I believe it was probably less than ten minutes that went by from the invention of photography to the point where people realized that they could lie with photographs.

Tags: Less, Lie, Point

I don't believe truth is conveyed by style and presentation. I don't think that if it was grainy and full of handheld material, it would be any more truthful.

Tags: Full, Style, Truth

If we're reading a first-person account, we know that each and every one of us, myself included, have a great desire to be seen in a certain way, or to be perceived in a certain way. It's unavoidable.

Tags: Desire, Great, Reading

If you're a journalist - and I think, on some level, I'm a journalist, and proud to be a journalist, or a documentarian, however you want to describe it - part of what I do has to be the pursuit of the truth.

Tags: Level, Proud, Truth

Listening to what people were saying wasn't even important. But it was important to look as if you were listening to what people were saying. Actually, listening to what people are saying, to me, interferes with looking as if you were listening to what people are saying.

Tags: Actually, Looking, Saying

We all know that yellow journalism didn't just happen a week ago or a month ago, that yellow journalism has probably been with us as long as journalism has been with us.

Tags: Happen, Journalism, Week

What's great about documentary, it seems to me, is that it can be experimental filmmaking. You have a license to do a lot of diverse things under the umbrella of 'documentary.'

Tags: Filmmaking, Great, Seems

When 'The Thin Blue Line' came out, I was criticized by many people for using reenactments, as if I wasn't dedicated to the truth because I filmed these scenes. That always and still seems to be nonsensical.

Tags: Line, Seems, Truth

You're meant to think somehow that literature, in espousing eternal values, is kind of normal and balanced and reasonable. When it fact it's anything but.

Tags: Fact, Normal, Values

The proper route to an understanding of the world is an examination of our errors about it.

Tags: Errors, Proper, Route

Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it without a sense of ironic futility.

Tags: Cannot, Past, Remember

But there's a big difference between, say, reporting on a story and simply making up a story.

Tags: Between, Big, Making

I've never had any problem with crazy people. I like crazy people; I probably am a crazy person myself.

Tags: Crazy, Problem

Maybe existence is ultimately a lonely thing.

Tags: Existence, Lonely, Maybe

A lot of stories that have fascinated me are tabloid stories that have come from other newspapers, like 'The New York Times.'

Tags: Stories, Times, York

A lot of the themes of my movies, the actual stories, come from tabloid stories.

Tags: Actual, Movies, Stories
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Certain kinds of intimacy emerge on a phone call that might never occur if you were sitting right next to the other person.

Tags: Call, Might, Next

Despite all of our efforts to control something, the world is much, much more powerful than us, and more deranged even than us.

Tags: Control, Efforts, Powerful

Do I like tawdry, sleazy stories? Yeah, I do.

Tags: Sleazy, Stories, Yeah

Ecstatic absurdity: it's the confrontation with meaninglessness.

Tags: Absurdity, Ecstatic

First of all, tabloid stories are some of the richest and most important stories that we have. There's nothing wrong, per se, with tabloid stories.

Tags: Richest, Stories, Wrong

I feel as if I became a documentary film-maker only because I had writer's block for four decades. There's no other good reason.

Tags: Good, Reason, Writer

I like to think that I'm nonjudgmental, that I can listen and be engaged by almost anything.

Tags: Almost, Engaged, Listen

I taught my son to read with tabloids. We would sit to read the 'Weekly World News' together.

Tags: Read, Son, Together

I think an interview, properly considered, should be an investigation. You shouldn't know what the interview will yield. Otherwise, why do it at all?

Tags: Interview, Why, Yield

I think calling someone a character is a compliment.

Tags: Character, Compliment, Someone

I used to work as a private detective years and years ago.

Tags: Private, Used, Work

I've been writing a lot more, I believe, because of the Internet. I've been posting stuff that I've written and I've just been writing.

Tags: Stuff, Writing, Written

I've never made any money off of any of my films. Statement of fact. So without commercial work, I would be in big trouble.

Tags: Big, Money, Work

If everything was planned, it would be dreadful. If everything was unplanned, it would be equally dreadful.

Tags: Dreadful, Equally, Planned

If you think you're going to create an unposed photograph, think again. There is no such thing.

Tags: Again, Create, Photograph

Interviews, when they are just simply an exercise in hearing what you want to hear, are of no interest.

Tags: Exercise, Hear, Interest

My advice to all interviewers is: Shut up and listen. It's harder than it sounds.

Tags: Advice, Listen, Sounds

My stuff always starts with interviews. I start interviewing people, and then slowly but surely, a movie insinuates itself.

Tags: Movie, Start, Stuff

There is nothing wrong with becoming more ambitious along the way, but I think what the government has asked the council to do is a perfectly good starting point.

Tags: Good, Government, Wrong

We do recognise the need to move towards the publication of information showing the progress made by pupils from one stage of their education to another.

Tags: Another, Education, Progress

Where the private sector, or anyone else, has skills, knowledge and resources that can help to deliver a high quality of education and to raise standards, we should use them.

Tags: Education, Help, Knowledge

I think film is a very powerful advocate and message carrier.

Tags: Film, Message, Powerful

At different times I taught humanities, social sciences and pre-vocational education.

Tags: Education, Social, Times

Headteachers and governing bodies run schools and that won't change.

Tags: Change, Run, Won

I am confident that the vast majority of teachers will work with us towards achieving that goal.

Tags: Goal, Majority, Work

I do recognise that, where recruitment difficulties persist, teachers can be put under great pressure.

Tags: Great, Pressure, Put

I taught for 17 years in an inner city comprehensive schools.

Tags: City, Inner, Taught

I want to give producers more financial security.

Tags: Financial, Give, Security

I was head of the Sixth Form Centre when I left the school.

Tags: Head, Left, School

This government has always said increasing pay is something for something.

Tags: Government, Pay, Said

What politicians want to create is irreversible change because when you leave office someone changes it back again.

Tags: Change, Politics, Someone

You have got to attract the brightest and the best, but the brightest and best won't stay unless they see real career options.

Tags: Best, Career, Real

Before this government came to power, many failing schools were simply allowed to drift on in a pattern of continuing failure. The government is determined to break that pattern and is successfully doing so.

Tags: Failure, Government, Power

By creating useful job descriptions and making clear what qualifications should be expected, the Department aims to help improve schools' ability to recruit the right people.

Tags: Help, Job, Making

However, the Government has made it clear that we do not encourage the recruitment of teachers from developing nations where there may be an adverse effect on the economy.

Tags: Economy, Government, May

I know there are things I did in education that will never be reversed. I have not done that in film yet because I have only been here for about nine months.

Tags: Done, Education, Here

If bringing up the next generation is important, why aren't they the best qualified, the best paid? Why aren't we as concerned about their career progression as we are about those who work in the education or health services?

Tags: Education, Health, Work

If we can modernise the workforce, make them better qualified, have this framework of qualifications, then I think they have a very good case for more money.

Tags: Good, Money, Workforce

If you invent the Mini Cooper, pour all your energy and passion into it and it gets made, you should be on a roll. In the film industry you have to start again the next day.

Tags: Energy, Passion, Start

In the 21st century when few of us stay in the same job all our lives, I would like to think there was flexibility so teachers could become social workers, or foster carers become teachers.

Tags: Become, Few, Job

It is a very unusual sector and the one thing I would ask of them is to understand that for most of them one-third of their films are being financed by the taxpayer and that carries huge accountability and responsibility.

Tags: Ask, Films, Understand

My Department has already recognised this and has been working specifically on the technical support issue since January and will offer advice to schools during the Autumn term.

Tags: Advice, Support, Working

My focus and that of all members of the Government responsible for delivering services to the public is to make sure that the public sector can use all the skills it needs to do the job the public wants it to do.

Tags: Focus, Government, Job

OFSTED has made large cuts in the paperwork which schools are asked to provide and further steps to reduce the bureaucratic burden will be introduced in September.

Tags: Asked, Large, Schools

The need for improved technical support in schools has expanded as the Government and schools have increased their investment in information and communications technologies.

Tags: Government, Investment, Support

There is a shortage of teachers but the January 2001 schools census showed that teacher numbers were at their highest level than at any time since 1984 - and 11,000 higher than 1997.

Tags: Since, Teacher, Time
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