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Robin Day Sir ROBIN DAY 1923-2000; British television political interviewer
Hitherto the timorous answer to the challenge of television’s power has been to contain it, by keeping it in a very few ‘impartial’ hands. During the next quarter of a century let us distribute the power of television, so that in 1984 television will not be the Orwellian instrument of mass hypnosis, but will have long been built into a broad and open platform of democratic opinion. • 'Television in a Democracy', in Society of Film and Television Arts’ Journal, spring 1965
Lee de Forest Dr LEE DE FOREST 1873-1961; American electrical and radio inventor
1 While theoretically and technically television may be possible, commercially and financially I consider it an impossibility, a development of which we need waste little time dreaming. • quoted in the New York Times, 1926
2 You have debased [my] child. ... You have made him a laughing stock of intelligence ... a stench in the nostrils of the gods of the ionosphere. • Address to the National Association of Broadcasters, quoted in his obituary, Time, 7 July 1963
C B de Mille C B de MILLE Cecil Blount de Mille
1881-1959; US film director/producer
1 I make my pictures for people, not for critics. • source unknown
2 Give me a couple of pages of the Bible and I’ll give you a picture. • source unknown
3 Every time I make a picture, the critic's estimate of American public taste goes down another 10 per cent. • source unknown
4 What do you want me to do, stop shooting and release it as The Five Commandments? [0046] • to producer Adophe Zukor when asked why The Ten Commandments was going over-budget, 1923
5 It looked like it was made for $35,000, but it carried a message and that’s what a picture is supposed to do. • at premiere of Billy Graham’s first film, Mr Texas, made for $35,000
William de Mille WILLIAM C de MILLE 1878-1955; US film director/writer/producer
1 [The movies are] galloping tintypes [which] no one can expect to develop into anything which could, by the wildest stretch of the imagination, be called art. • cit. Lewis Jacobs: The Rise of the American Film
2 The trouble with Cecil [his brother] is that he always bites off more than he can chew—and then he chews it. • source unknown. Also quoted as 'I have always admired the ability to bite off more than one can chew and then chew it.'
  PAUL DEL ROSSI President, Theater Division, General Cinema
The conditions for why people want to go to the movies still prevail: people want to get out of the house, and they want to have a social experience. People don’t want to be umbilically connected to an electronic box. • quoted in New York Times, 5 May 1985
  EDMUND DELL Rt Hon Edmund Emanuel Dell
1921-1999; British politician (MP 1964-1979), Chairman, Channel Four Television 1982-1987
I had bought my first TV set in April 1979, ten month's before Lady Plowden's visit. It is true that my mind was not clouded with much knowledge about television and that I did not know personally or even by name any of those whose important function is to produce TV programmes rather than present them. Thus my nomination was a typically British amateur appointment but I would not entirely rule out the possibility that the IBA was right in its choice in the peculiar circumstances of Channel Four. • Edmund Dell: 'Controversies in the Early History of Channel Four' in Peter Catteral (ed): The Making of Channel Four, Frank Cass Publishers, London, 1999. Lady Plowden was the Chairman of the Independent Broadcasting Authority, which was charged with creating the Channel Four board
Gerard Depardieu GERARD DEPARDIEU 1948- ; French film actor
The French cinema plays with itself a lot but never reaches a climax. • at the Cannes Film Festival, 10 May 2000
Go to John Updike See also John Updike
Philip K Dick PHILIP K DICK Philip Kindred Dick
1928-1982; American novelist and science fiction writer
The power of spurious realities battering at us today—these deliberately manufactured fakes never penetrate to the heart of true human beings. I watch the children watching TV and at first I am afraid of what they are being taught, and then I realise, they can't be corrupted or destroyed. They watch, they listen, they understand, and, then, where and when it is necessary, they reject. There is something enormously powerful in the child's ability to withstand the fraudulent. A child has the clearest eye, the steadiest hand. The hucksters, the promoters, are appealing for the allegiance of these small people in vain. • 'How to build a universe that doesn't fall apart two days later', introduction to I Hope I Shall Arrive Soon
Thorold Dickinson Professor THOROLD DICKINSON 1903-1984; British film director, teacher
It is a truism to state that teachers must be literate; but as soon as the moving image is accepted as a medium of education, teachers involved with films should also be educated to become cinemate. • Screen Digest, September 1973
W K L Dickson WILLIAM KENNEDY LAURIE DICKSON 1860-1935; Scottish engineer, inventor of the Edison Kinetograph, co-founder of the Biograph company
From what conceivable phase of the future can the movie be debarred? In the promotion of business interests, in the advancement of science, in the revelation of unguessed worlds, in its educational and re-creative process, and in its ability to immortalize our fleeting but beloved associations, the kinematograph stands foremost among the creations of modern inventive genius. • W K L Dickson and A Dickson: History of the Kinetograph, Kinetosope, and Kineto-phonograph, 1895. Quoted in Lewis Jacobs: The Rise of the American Film, A critical history, 1939.
• Interesting use of the word 'movie', which—if Jacobs' transcription is accurate—pre-dates the first citation in the Oxford English Dictionary by 14 years.
Walt Disney WALT DISNEY Walter Elias DISNEY
1901-1966; American animator, creator of Mickey Mouse, etc
1 [Mickey is] too sweet tempered for modern tastes. • explaining reason for cessation of production of Mickey Mouse cartoons, 1953
2 It is a curious thing that the more the world shrinks because of electronic communications, the more limitless becomes the power of story-telling.
    Actually, as I understand it, culture isn’t that kind of snooty word at all. As I see it, a person’s culture represents his appraisal of the things that make up life. And a fellow becomes cultured, I believe, by selecting that which is fine and beautiful in life and throwing aside that which is mediocre and phoney.
• cit. The Listener, 16 February 1984
3 This will make Beethoven. • attrib, tearfully, after the initial screening of the sequence featuring Beethoven's Pastoral Symphony in Fantasia, 1940
David Docherty DAVID DOCHERTY Deputy director of television, BBC
It's going to be difficult in two to three years time to spot the difference between the Web and television. • September 1997
Mabel Dodge MABEL DODGE Mabel Dodge Luhan
1879-1962; American writer and cultural patron
Many roads are being broken today, and along these roads consciousness is pursuing truth to eternity. This is the age of communication, and the human being who is not a communicant is in a sad plight, which the dogmatist defines as being a condition of spiritual non-receptivity. • Camera Works (Alfred Stieglitz, ed), Special issue, 1913
Norman Douglas NORMAN DOUGLAS George Norman Douglas
1868-1952; British novelist and writer
You can tell the ideals of a nation by its advertisements. • South Wind, 1917
Carl Th Dreyer CARL THEODOR DREYER 1889-1968; Danish film director
Imagine that we are sitting in an ordinary room. Suddenly we are told that there is a corpse behind the door. In an instant the room we are sitting in is completely altered: everything in it has taken on another look; the light, the atmosphere have changed, though they are physically the same. This is because we have changed, and the objects are as we conceive them. That is the effect I want to get in my film. • while making Vampyr, 1932
John Drinkwater JOHN DRINKWATER 1882-1937; English poet, dramatist and critic
Nothing has done so much to vulgarise the taste of the world as the cinema. • Kine Weekly, 29 November 1934
  CHARLES H DUELL 1850- ; lawyer, Commissioner US Office of Patents 1898-1901
Everything that can be invented has been invented. • 1899
Allen B DuMont ALLEN B DUMONT Dr Allen Balcom DuMont
1901-1965; Pioneer television engineer, manufacturer and broadcaster
Movies are the permanent record. Television is the more advanced way of getting the picture. As time goes on the pictorial quality of televised images will steadily improve until it is on a par with motion picture film. Television-film recording will then be fully feasible, with television cameras transferring their images to a central control room where the director and his technicians will select the choicest scenes and actions for recording. • 'The Film in Relation to Television' in Journal of the SMPE, September 1946
Chris Dunkley CHRIS DUNKLEY Television critic, Financial Times
One small step for Ross McWhirter and one massive retrograde stride for British television in particular and the concept of free speech in general. • Financial Times, January 1973. An injunction preventing ITV from screening a programme about Andy Warhol was granted on 15 January 1973 on an application by McWhirter. Quoted in Jeremy Potter: Independent Television in Britain, Volume 3. [0062c]
ORRIN E DUNLAP Jr Radio critic, New York Times
These modern television machines have entertainment value, all who watch agree, but even during a forty-minute demonstration it is noticed that spectators become restless, especially if an act is on the screen too long. The eye is not as easy to entertain as the ear. • 'Television Flashes Pictures Through New York's Air', New York Times, 15 November 1936
Richard Dunn RICHARD DUNN Richard Johann Dunn
1943-1998; manager, Swindon Viewpoint community channel; managing director, Thames Television
1 The first shaky steps of a new-born giraffe are awkward, hilarious and not very effective—so are the first attempts of housewives, union organisers, social workers and the like, when they try their hand at television production. But with the simplicity of half-inch tape at their disposal, some of those people are going to make programmes of considerable interest to other people in their town. • Broadcast, 13 April 1973
cf Tony Benn Tony Benn 2
2 Swindon now owns its own television and radio station and has financed its running costs from a variety of sources. There was no street fighting, no occupation of the studio, no violent upheaval, but there can be no doubt that this was a revolutionary development in British and European broadcasting. • Swindon Viewpoint: A community television service, Council of Europe, 1977
3 It has taught us how not to do it, ever again. • The one great benefit in answer to the question in his title The Broadcasting Act: A benefit or a disaster?, Peter Le Neve Foster Lecture, Royal Society of Arts, 16 November 1994.
Bob Dylan BOB DYLAN Robert Allen Zimmerman
1941- ; American singer/songwriter
It will scramble up your head and drag your brain about. • TV Talking Song
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Page updated 10 March 2010
Compilation and notes © David Fisher