Quotes by Tony Kushner

You have to have hope. It's irresponsible to give false hope, which I think a lot of playwrights are guilty of. But I also think it's irresponsible to simply be a nihilist, which quite a lot of playwrights, especially playwrights younger than me, have become guilty of.
– Tony Kushner
You have a strange relationship with calamity when you're a writer: you write about it as an artist, you objectify and fetishize it. You render life into material, and that's a creepy thing to do.
– Tony Kushner
You don't go to the movies to do historical research, unless it's historical research about the movies.
– Tony Kushner
Who knows better than artists how much ugliness there is on the way to beauty, how many ghastly, mortifying missteps, how many days of granitic blockheadedness and dismaying ineptitude there is on the way to accomplishment, how partial all accomplishment is, how incomplete?
– Tony Kushner
There's a kind of a fundamental irresponsibility in playwriting, and the strength of playwriting comes from that irresponsibility.
– Tony Kushner
The way that same-sex marriage should reach the federal level is that it absolutely should be decided by the Supreme Court as quickly as possible. It's a 14th Amendment issue. There's no argument about it.
– Tony Kushner
The kind of theater that I do is sort of 'narrative realism,' which I think in the broadest sense is legitimate to say is mainstream. I mean, in a certain sense, Suzan-Lori's plays have had mainstream levels of success. But Suzan-Lori is in some ways not a narrative realist.
– Tony Kushner
The general consensus among historians, among the ones who can handle the fact that 'Lincoln' is, in fact, historical fiction, is that we demonstrate enormous fidelity to history and that, beyond that, we've actually contributed a line of thinking about Lincoln's presidency that's somewhat original.
– Tony Kushner
People shouldn't trust artists and they shouldn't trust art. Part of the fun of art is that it invites you to interpret it.
– Tony Kushner
Making movies is a very different experience in a lot of ways. It's difficult when you're used to owning the copyright and having a landlord's possessory rights - I rent my plays to the companies that do them and, if I'm upset, I can pull the play. But the only two directors I've worked with are pretty great.
– Tony Kushner
In a way, film and television are in the same sort of traumatic trance that print journalism is. The technology has outpaced our comprehension of its implications.
– Tony Kushner
If you know that life is basically going to be horrendously difficult, at best, and all but unlivable at worst, or possibly even unlivable, do you go on? And the choice to go on is the only thing that I think can be called hope. Because if hope isn't forced to encounter the worst possibility, then it's a lie.
– Tony Kushner
I'm happy that I feel a little less out of place in filmmaking than I once was - but it's almost impossible for a playwright in the U.S. to make a living. You can have a play, like I did with 'Angels,' and it still generates income for me, but it's not enough for me to live on and have health insurance.
– Tony Kushner
I write plays and movies, I live and work at the borderline between word and image just as any cartoonist or illustrator does. I'm not a pure writer. I use words as the score for kinetic imagistic representations.
– Tony Kushner
I find writing very difficult. It's hard and it hurts sometimes, and it's scary because of the fear of failure and the very unpleasant feeling that you may have reached the limit of your abilities.
– Tony Kushner
I feel there's a power in theatre, but it's an indirect power. It's like the relationship of the sleeper to the unconscious. You discover things you can't afford to countenance in waking life. You can forget them, remember them a day later or not have any idea what they are about.
– Tony Kushner
I don't feel, finally, that my politics are entirely determined by the fact that I'm a gay man.
– Tony Kushner
Gay writers now have both a sense of history and the fables that allows them to dwell in the realms of the ridiculous and at the same time talk seriously about things.
– Tony Kushner
As much as I hate his movies, Oliver Stone has an aspiration I admire, and that is that he wants his art to be part of what makes and changes public policy and cultural practice.
– Tony Kushner
Artists know that diligence counts as much, if not more, as inspiration in art, as in politics, patience counts as much as revolution.
– Tony Kushner