The calling of art is to extract us from our daily reality to bring us to a hidden truth thats difficult to access – to a level thats not material but spiritual.

Poetry always runs away from you – its very difficult to grasp it and every time you read it depending on your conditions you will have a different grasp of it. Whereas with a novel once you have read it you have grasped it.

When I talk to some of the younger filmmakers they are so worried about their films that eventually this state of being worried reflects itself in and helps the final work. Whereas with projects that are meticulously planned you look at the end result and it is full of emptiness.

I dont know whether it is fortunate or unfortunate but I have no such thing as national pride. I dont feel proud that I am Iranian. I happen to be who I am.

A good movie is made by an initial burst of energy the way that when you are in school your class exercises are always better than your final projects.

All the different nations in the world despite their differences of appearance and religion and language and way of life still have one thing in common and that is whats inside of all of us. If we X-rayed the insides of different human beings we wouldnt be able to tell from those X-rays what the persons language or background or …

I really enjoy listening to stories. I remember them and keep them in my mind.

Cinema gives you the opportunity to be both a grandparent and a grandchild whereas in life you cannot be both at the same time.

In the total darkness poetry is still there and it is there for you.

My films have been progressing towards a certain kind of minimalism even though it was never intended. Elements which can be eliminated have been eliminated.

I spend a lot of time doing carpentry. Sometimes there is nothing that gives me the contentment that sawing a piece of wood does.

My way of expression is full of complications and mystery because thats my perception of life.

Good cinema is what we can believe and bad cinema is what we cant believe.

In order to be universal you have to be rooted in your own culture.

Ive often noticed that we are not able to look at what we have in front of us unless its inside a frame.

There are at least two retrospectives of my work each year in some country.

There is violence in real life but I would never impose violence in a film just to attract the audience.

Cinema seats make people lazy. They expect to be given all the information. But for me question marks are the punctuation of life.

Whenever people ask me what the story is for my next film I wont tell and people feel its because Im being secretive or something but its actually because Im ashamed to sum up a film in three sentences.

I would be too selfish if I said everyone should see my movies more than once. To say that would mean Im just marketing my work!