If you wanted to show a mirror to people that says, 'You've been drunk on money,' they're not going to want to see it. But if you reflected that mirror on another time they'd be willing to. People will need an explanation of where we are and where we've been, and 'The Great Gatsby' can provide that explanation.
I've tried to make 'Strictly Ballroom' impossible to date. It does feel a bit '80s but I consciously made sure there was no technology in the movie that could date it.
The ugly duckling is a misunderstood universal myth. It's not about turning into a blonde Barbie doll or becoming what you dream of being; it's about self-revelation, becoming who you are.
Sydney is rather like an arrogant lover. When it rains it can deny you its love and you can find it hard to relate to. It's not a place that's built to be rainy or cold. But when the sun comes out, it bats its eyelids, it's glamorous, beautiful, attractive, smart, and it's very hard to get away from its magnetic pull.
I feel funny about owning art. I don't really want to say: 'Wow, come and see my Monet - it's in a dark room at the bottom of my cellar.'
The food in Sydney is an Asian Pacific cuisine. It's eclectic but above all it's fresh, inventive and creative and that's what I love about it.
I mean, '8½' to me is such a great dissertation on the whole, you know, act of filmmaking and creativity.
I wouldn't take a directing job if I didn't think it was enriching life.
Historically, epics are set in Africa or Asia or the Wild West, but if you make an epic today it's hard to disassociate from the contemporary realities of those places.
I've always loved the old epics that tell a simple emotional story, whether it's the tumultuous relationship between Rhett and Scarlett or Lawrence of Arabia's passion to get lost in a faraway place.
Australia, to the rest of the world, is just far away, and Australia in the Thirties was the faraway of the faraway.
If Paris is a city of lights, Sydney is the city of fireworks.
Fitzgerald was a modernist.
Fitzgerald coined the phrase the 'Jazz Age,' and now we're living in the Hip-Hop Age.
In the '80s, everyone wanted to be in opera. It was groovy.
Opera was the cinema of its time, so to bring back that popular appeal, you just need to unleash its visceral immediacy and excitement. Most productions don't manage that - but when an opera does do it, you never forget it.
I often think to myself, at the end of an interesting life it's maybe not such a bad thing to spend your last days with your friends sitting by the blue, blue ocean reliving the story of your life while sitting in the dangerous sun.
I feel a kinship with anyone who feels that their road, their life or who they really are is not good enough. I really relate to that.
I think dance in any culture, in any form, is a true leveler.
All good, clean stories are melodrama; it's just the set of devices that determines how you show or hide it.