Fritz Lang Speaks

Director Fritz Lang explored the intricacies of human behavior in his masterful films. Known for his perfectionism, Lang wanted to create art that had meaning, and his movies have captured audiences for decades.

He said, “I am profoundly fascinated by cruelty, fear, horror and death. My films show my preoccupation with violence, the pathology of violence."

Read some of Lang’s thoughts on filmmaking below.

1. On the role of a director.

"A producer could be of great help to the director. He could move big stones from the director's way. Each picture has some sort of rhythm which only the director can give it. The man is the director. He has to be like the captain of a ship."

2. On Hollywood screenwriting.

"The writer was very important in Europe, but here he is transformed into a mechanic. In any major studio, there are ten writers working on a single script You never know which was the first. This has not changed. How can you expect anthing to come of it? How can an idea be deveoped by ten different people who are competitors, who don't know each other?"

3. On audiences.

"I like audiences. Producers don't. They used to say that audiences had the mentality of a ten-year-old child. Ridiculous!"

4. On the creative process.

"You have to satisfy yourself, and you should not underestimate yourself. You make the picture for yoursef. You are interested in life, in what's going on. The producer is just interested in making money."

5. On movies.

"I've said motion pictures are the art of our century. Certainly finance is a headache, but I have never found that honest pictures lose money. Practically all of my pictures showed a profit. I had only one flop... It was the only really lousy picture I ever made precisely because I wasn't being myself, and it didn't work."

6. On his early life.

"As a young man, I roamed around the world. I really had an education in life, as a director should have. I wrote too, but I am not a writer... Nothing is more important for a creative artist than that he be curious. In this respect, the artist is like a creative scientist, only he should take care not to become specialized."

7. On his art.

"I have alwasy been a loner. I have had too much to do just thinking about the art of motion pictures. You have a vision if you are creative. You have an idea which is very vague. If you try to grasp it, it goes away."