Top 149 Quotes & Sayings by Charlie Kaufman

Explore popular quotes and sayings by an American novelist Charlie Kaufman.
Charlie Kaufman

Charles Stuart Kaufman is an American screenwriter, producer, director, and novelist. He wrote the films Being John Malkovich (1999), Adaptation (2002), and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004). He made his directorial debut with Synecdoche, New York (2008), which film critic Roger Ebert called "the best movie of the decade" in 2009. Further directorial work includes the stop motion animated film Anomalisa (2015) and I'm Thinking of Ending Things (2020). In 2020, Kaufman made his literary debut with the release of his first novel, Antkind.

Explore Charlie Kaufman Quotes About

Ability Absorb Abstract Accept Accuracy Acknowledging Acting Actors Adaptation Adapted Hide All Adults Affects Afraid Afraid Of Death Ages Aging Alive Allen Allowed Alter American Amount Angry Animation Answer Answers Anxiety Anymore Apparent Appeals Approach Architecture Arena Argue Artist Aspect Assume Astonishing Attention Audience Authenticity Authority Authors Avoid Aware Back Background Bad Idea Badge Based Basis Be True Beckett Beginning Being Honest Beings Believing Big Part Big Thing Biggest Biggest Surprise Biggest Thing Bodies Bodily Functions Body Book Books Boring Born Boston Boston University Brains Break Bring Built Bunch Business Businesses Care Casting Celebrity Cell Cells Certain Things Changed Chaos Character Character Trait Characters Child Children Choose Circular Clarity Closer Clue Collaborate College Combination Comedy Comfort Coming Common Communicate Communicating Compassion Complete Completion Complicated Compulsive Conclusion Condescending Confusion Connections Consciousness Constant Constantly Constraints Constructed Continue Continuum Contribution Controlled Conventional Conventional Wisdom Conversations Copying Core Crap Create Created Creating Creative Creative Work Critical Critics Daily Daily Basis Danced David Day Night Days Deal Dealing Death Decide Decided Decision Decision-Making Decisions Department Deployed Description Design Destroy Developing Devices Dialogue Difference Differences Different Ages Different Ideas Different Interpretations Different Jobs Different Life Different Person Different Personalities Different Things Different Times Different Ways Difficult Direct Directed Directing Directions Director Directors Discussed Discussions Dishonesty Distance Distribution Dream Dreams Dwell Dying Dynamic Dynamics Early Editing Eleventh Hour Emotional Emotionally Ending Endlessly Ends Enjoy Enjoyable Enormous Environment Envy Escapism Event Evolution Exception Exhausting Exist Existence Exists Expectations Expensive Experience Experiences Explain Explore Express Expressing Extra Extreme Extreme Sports Fact Fail Failure Fall Falling Familiar Family Famous Famous People Feel Feeling Feels Felt Figure Figured Figuring Figuring It Filling Filling In Film Filmmaker Find First Thing Fish Focus Force Forget Form Forward Found Frame Friday Friday Night Friends Function Functions Funny Garbage Generally Generosity Generous Genre Give Goal Gonna Good Good Experiences Grab Graduated Gratifying Ground Growing Growing Up Guess Guilt Haphazard Happened Hard Hate Hating Head Health Hear Heart Helpful Hidden High High-Quality Hire Histories History Hockey Honest Honor Honour Hope Hopes Horrible Hotel Hotel Room Hour Human Human Being Human Beings Human Life Humanity Humans Hundred Hurt I Fall In Love I Hate Idea Ideal Ideal World Ideas Illustration Imagination Immerse Important Importantly Impossible Incapable Inception Influences Information Inherent Insecurity Inside Insulting Intellectually Intended Intentionally Interaction Interest Interested Interesting Interests Interpretation Interpretations Intimidation Intuition Involved Involvement Involves Irrational Isolation Isolation And Loneliness Issue Jewish Job Description Jobs Journey Judaism Just Live Keep Moving Keys Kind Knowing Large Leads Learn Learn To Love Yourself Learning Learning Experience Leave Level Library Life Life Experience Life Experiences Life Is Lifting Limitation Limitations Limited Limits Line Listen Listen To Me Literature Live Lived Lives Loneliness Lonely Long Long Shot Loss Lost Lots Love Love Each Other Love You Love Yourself Loves Loving Loving You Lung Made Magazine Maintain Major Make Makes Making Making Movies Manage Manageable Management Market Mask Material Matters Meaningless Means Medical Meet Meeting Memory Metaphorical Metaphors Middle Middle Age Million Million People Mind Moment Money Montauk Months Moody Morning Mortality Move Move Forward Moved Movie Movies Moving Multiple Mundane Music My Family My Friends My Life My Time National National Lampoon Necessarily Needed New York Nice Nice Thing Nice Things Night No Interest Not Interested Notes Notice Notion Novels Objective Occur Occurred Ocean Offer One Of The Things One Thing Online Open Operations Opinion Opposed Opposite Organize Organized Our Lives Our Time Overrated Pages Paint Painting Pandering Part Parties Party Passes Passing Passionate Passionately Pathetic People People In Our Lives People Say Performing Person Personal Personal Life Personalities Personality Perspective Pervasive Philip Physical Places Play Plays Pleased Poem Point Point Of View Polished Positively Post Post-Production Power Powerful Practice Pragmatic Pre-Production Prefer Preparation Presence Present Presented Pretty Pretty Good Problems Process Product Production Profession Program Project Protected Provoking Public Public Life Puppet Purity Purpose Putting Quality Questions Quiet Quiet Life Random Rational Reacting Reaction Read Reading Ready Real Real Conversation Real Human Real World Realism Realistic Realities Reality Realizing Reason Recognise Record Refer Regret Regrets Regular Relatable Relationship Relationship Problem Relationships Relatives Remain Remember Replacement Represent Researching Resist Resonates Respond Rest Restrictions Reveal Revealed Reviews Rewrite Right Answer Risk Rocks Role Room Sad Same Things Sand Scary Screening Screenplay Screenplays Screenwriting Script Secret Secretly Sense Separate Settle Share Shifts Shoot Shooting Short Shot Shots Show Shown Shows Sick Sickness Silly Simplify Simply Sitting Situation Situations Size Small Smart So Many People Social Solutions Some People Something Interesting Sophistication Sort Sorting Space Spaces Sparks Specific Speed Spend Spending Spent Sports Start Starting Starts State Stories Storing Story Storytelling Structure Struggling Stuck Studied Studio Studios Stuff Stuff Happens Stupid Style Subjective Subjectivity Subscribe Suburbia Successful Sudden Suddenly Supposed Surprise Surreal Takes Taking Talent Talk Talking Telling Tempting Tend Tendency Tending Tenth Terms That Moment The First Thing The Real World Theater Theatrical Theme Themes Therapeutic Thing Things Thinking Thirteen Thought Throw Time Time And Money Time Passing Times Tiny Titles To Be Honest To Love Touch Traits Trap Trapped Trip True Truth Truth Is Truthfully Turns Type Unacceptable Unattractive Understand Understanding Uninterested University Unknown Unusual Utilize Vantage Vantage Point Version Video View Visceral Visual Vital Vulnerability Vulnerable Waiting Wakes Wanted Watch Watching Ways Weak Weird Weirdness What You Love Wisdom Woman Women Woody Woody Allen Work Worked Working World Worldview Worry Wound Write Writer Writes Writing Writing Dialogue Written Yeah Year Years York Young Your Body Less More Hide All See All
I tend to not only read reviews, but also every little stupid thing online. It's a very bad idea, and there's a lot of angry people in the world. And it's weird to absorb all that weirdness.
I have a tendency to hire people who tend to be unattractive to the studios. Maybe this is a bad idea.
I hate a movie that will end by telling you that the first thing you should do is learn to love yourself. That is so insulting and condescending, and so meaningless. My characters don't learn to love each other or themselves.
Directing is a more pragmatic experience, where you have to deal with the restrictions of time and money that force you to make certain decisions you don't have to make when you're writing.
I'm not a celebrity. I'm intentionally and defiantly not a celebrity. I don't have any interest in it. I don't have any talent for it. I keep my personal life out of my public life as cleanly as I can.
Everything I've written is personal - it's the only way I know how to write. — © Charlie Kaufman
Everything I've written is personal - it's the only way I know how to write.
As a kid, I had a background in theater.
I studied acting at Boston University. I was in the theater department there. Somewhere in there I decided that wasn't what I was going to do and I went to the B.F.A. film program at N.Y.U.
I don't subscribe to anything. I sit there and I try to think about what seems honest to me.
I don't write genre stuff in any form. I'm not interested in it. I always try to do the opposite of that.
I actually think I'm probably more interested in structure than most people who write screenplays, because I think about it.
We try to organize the world, which isn't organized the way our brains want to organize it. We tell stories about the people in our lives, we project ideas onto them. We project relationships with people, we make our lives into stories. I don't think we can avoid doing that.
I graduated from college in 1980.
I do throw out a lot of ideas, and I forget completely about them.
I think that people have expectations of themselves and other people that are based on these fictions that are presented to them as the way human life and relationships could be, in some sort of weird, ideal world, but they never are. So you're constantly being shown this garbage and you can't get there.
The way I write is very much without kind of a goal. I have something I'm interested in and then I decide I'm going to explore it. I don't know where the characters are going to go, I don't know what the movie is going to do or what the screenplay is going to do. For me, that's the way to keep it alive.
I'm old enough, by a long shot, to remember going to the library and spending days researching. If I was looking for a line from a poem or something else I needed, that would be the trip I would have to take.
I don't think screenwriting is therapeutic. It's actually really, really hard for me. It's not an enjoyable process. — © Charlie Kaufman
I don't think screenwriting is therapeutic. It's actually really, really hard for me. It's not an enjoyable process.
I think generally I'm kind of interested in subjective experience, what goes on inside someone's head, that being all they really know of the world.
When I'm writing, I'm trying to immerse myself in the chaos of an emotional experience, rather than separate myself from it and look back at it from a distance with clarity and tell it as a story. Because that's how life is lived, you know?
Before you start production, you have characters you have created without actors in mind, then all of a sudden you've got actors. They bring an enormous amount in creating these characters, and creating the dynamics between the characters that you've written.
I want to try it to see what it's like and see what my stuff looks like when I take it from inception to completion.
I try to make things interesting and thought-provoking.
I'm not into extreme sports or something. I just live a quiet life.
I was trying to figure out what a memory feels like.
You are what you love. Not what loves you.
I feel like I want to keep moving toward idiosyncracy. Personal, personal, personal.
As a writer, or as a filmmaker, you have to present yourself, and part of what yourself is is what you're interested in, or what you think is funny, or what you think is sad, or what you think is horrible.
I'm in my mind a lot. I live there.
I wanted to deal with someone's idea of their relationship.
In a lot of movies, especially big studio ones, they're not constructed in any other way than to get people to like them and then tell their friends. It's a product.
I really don't have any solutions and I don't like movies that do.
I have a personality that tends to be somewhat compulsive, and I do tend to think in a circular way. I dwell on the same things over and over and I try to figure out different ways of looking at the same issue.
Sometimes I don't like the books that I'm reading.
I do have some theatrical background. I've written plays and seen plays and read plays. But I also read novels. One thing I don't read is screenplays.
I'm trying to tell a story and do it truthfully.
There's this inherent screenplay structure that everyone seems to be stuck on, this three-act thing. It doesn't really interest me. To me, it's kind of like saying, 'Well, when you do a painting, you always need to have sky here, the person here and the ground here.' Well, you don't.
I have a lot of health anxiety.
It occurred to me that every work of art is a synecdoche, there's no way around it. Every creative work that someone does can only represent an aspect of the whole of something. I can't think of an exception to that.
If you create something that is asking for people to respond as they're going to respond, you have to allow them to respond as they're going to respond. Some of the people are going to be uninterested and some people are going to be mad for some reason, which is their business. That's just the way the world is.
I'm interested in trying to explore what I think is the truth at a given time in my life, and part of the process of being honest is - in my mind - talking about the idea that you're watching a movie. You're sitting here watching a movie. And I like that. It appeals to me intellectually, and also in a way I can't even explain.
I think you just assume that your memory is just sort of a video playback of your experience, but it's nothing like that at all. It's a complete refabrication of an event and a lot of it is made up, because you're filling in spaces.
I do have, at different times, a certain kind of self-consciousness in the world, an insecurity. — © Charlie Kaufman
I do have, at different times, a certain kind of self-consciousness in the world, an insecurity.
I do like escapism. I like going to the movies on a Friday night and seeing something fun.
My time on the set is the least of my involvement. Most of my time is in pre-production and post-production.
Constantly talking isn't necessarily communicating.
I think I've had pretty good experiences for the most part with the people who have directed my screenplays.
I think if I've worked anything through with screenwriting it's that I'm not going to be able to work anything through.
There's no way to approach anything in an objective way. We're completely subjective; our view of the world is completely controlled by who we are as human beings, as men or women, by our age, our history, our profession, by the state of the world.
I've kind of come to the conclusion that what passes for realism in movies has nothing to do with reality and that my stuff is more realistic than that.
I've had to deal, a lot, with my own sense of intimidation at meeting famous people - especially actors, but really any famous people.
I think if something resonates, even if it's surreal, it's because it is relatable and I think that that's a core issue for me.
I like actors - I used to be one. — © Charlie Kaufman
I like actors - I used to be one.
I think of myself as a guy who tries to write screenplays and now has tried to direct one. Anything more than that is meaningless and it gets in the way of being a real human being.
I can talk endlessly about characters, or why someone did this or that, and what that dynamic and interaction is. I really love it, and I think that actors really respond positively to the fact that I like to talk about that stuff, because I'm not sure that all directors do.
There's theater in life, obviously, and there's life in theater.
I want to create situations that give people something to think about.
I have ideas written down some places, but usually I can't find them. I'm not very organized.
So when I write characters and situations and relationships, I try to sort of utilize what I know about the world, limited as it is, and what I hear from my friends and see with my relatives.
The only honest and generous thing for me to do is to give people myself. That's all I've got as an artist, so I want to do that in an unflinching way.
This site uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience. More info...
Got it!