Five keepers from Robert Redford‘s “What I’ve Learned” quote piece, assembled by Matthew Belloni and published by Esquire in January 2011:
5 Robert Redford Quotes to Live By pic.twitter.com/wuSyaAiBVy
— Esquire (@esquire) October 29, 2016
Lesson/quote #1: “Life is essentially sad. Happiness is sporadic. It comes in moments and that’s it. Extract the blood from every moment.”
Lesson/quote #2: “I was in a small charter plane flying from Santa Fe to Santa Rosa, and the engines went out for nine minutes. You go through that checklist. Then you get down to what it’s gonna feel like. What’s it gonna feel like? I still wonder.”
Lesson/quote #3: “I grew up in a pretty cynical environment. All my friends gave each other a horribly bad time. We’d destroy each other with criticisms, but for me it was a sign of friendship. If someone gave me a hard time, I’d say, ‘Well, I guess he’s my friend.’ I think Paul and I had that relationship.
Lesson/quote #4: “Humor. Skill. Wit. Sex appeal. In that order.”
Lesson/quote #5: “People don’t remember who the critics were.” [HE response: Oh, yeah? Pauline Kael, A.O. Scott, Otis Ferguson, Anthony Lane, Penelope Gilliatt, Eric Kohn, Judith Christ, Joe Bob Briggs, Andrew Sarris, James Agee, Andre Bazin, David Denby in the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s, Vincent Canby, Manohla Dargis, Arthouse Trump, etc.
Five keepers from “Son of What I’ve Learned,” posted on Hollywood Elsewhere on 7.12.12:
Lesson/quote #1: “Woody Allen and Rod Stewart were right. Some people are just lucky and don’t have to sweat it that much. Their genes and heritage have paved a path. Life is unfair. But if things go too easily or too well for anyone too early, they always seem to suffer on some level. It’s best to come into the really good stuff when you get a bit older.”
Lesson/quote #2: “Friends will not save you. Girlfriends and wives will not save you. Your mother and/or your father will not save you. You have to save you. I’ve known an awful lot of guys (myself included) who’ve spent their 20s looking for some form of salvation from some combination of the above. But life without a few supportive friends (i.e., those who’ve decided to embrace and accept you, asshole-ish tendencies and all, and have never changed their minds) and quality-level girlfriends or wives isn’t much of a life. Dogs and cats also tend to round things out.”
Lesson/quote #3: “People have an unmistakable gleam in their eye when they’re 18 or 19 and about to start college. A gleam that says, ‘Holy shit, I can’t wait…all this stuff to savor, all these things to learn, all these places to see.’ By the time most people have hit 43, that gleam has been diminished if not snuffed out. That’s what I saw at my 25th high-school reunion. No more adventures, thank you. I’ve got my deal more or less worked out and I love my wife and my kids and my weekend routine, and we go to France or the Caribbean once a year. But about 5% of the people at that reunion still had that gleam. Thank God for that.”
Lesson/quote #4: “It’s a good thing to own a baseball mitt, and every so often to have a catch with someone on a big green lawn. Preferably when the late-afternoon light is just starting to mellow down. And it’s okay to groan like John McEnroe when you throw the ball.”
Lesson/quote #5: “All my life I’ve tried to follow the example of Cary Grant, and this has served me well. Always try to be gracious and gentlemanly. Stay as trim as you can. Be a cheapskate. Try to eat less. Enjoy good wine but stay away from the booze. LSD can be good for the soul if you treat it with respect and keep a copy of the Bhagavad Gita nearby. Don’t go bald.”
Kicker: “Bad luck. That’s all it is. I pray in your life you will never find it runs in streaks. Streaks. I pray it misses you. That’s all I want to say.” — from David Mamet‘s Glengarry Glen Ross, which opened in March 1984.