“I think it's a very dangerous thing for anyone to decide if there was a point when one was good, or that one may be good now. Each movie is a chance to do something different and interesting. That's what I mean by not having a career. I've not tried to be a 'something'. I've just tried to live.
“I feel most akin as an artist, in my life and my career, to Agatha Christie. I get where she was coming from, making 80 stories about a point of view. I want at the end of the day to have 50 or 60 stories that came out of my head. Some will hit the mainstream and some won’t, but they’ll all be about human beings, and the analysis of human beings. So she’s my hero.”
“I've always loved the idea of fairy tales, but somehow I never managed to completely connect with them. What interests me is taking those classic images and themes and trying to contemporize them a bit. I believe folk tales and fairy tales have some sort of psychological foundation that makes that possible.”
“Becoming a writer is not a "career decision" like becoming a doctor or a policeman. You don't choose it so much as get chosen, and once you accept the fact that you're not fit for anything else, you have to be prepared to walk a long, hard road for the rest of your days.”
“I merely make films about what comes into me from the outside, and making films is about putting what's within me outside again. I consider myself a hollow container. That's what's most important when I make my films. I myself am empty.”
[on the making of Summer Wars] “I didn’t just want there to be a bad guy who was outside the family. Some family members cause enough trouble on their own. I wasn’t being political, just contrasting domestic and global issues, and the convergence of problems within the family. I mean, if our ‘family’ can’t deal with the problems it already has, how can it deal with the problems of the world around it?”
“Making a movie is so hard, you'd better make movies about something you really know about. And even more, it's really good to make movies about things you need to figure out for yourself, so you're driven the whole way through. It's going to make things more crucial for you.”
“The fighting is not over. Small errors in history are being revealed and revised. People who have been oppressed for 60 years are learning and knowing the truth. We may have to take a very long time, and that part of history may be very small, but it is now affecting us and crying out loud.”