"I began to feel that the drama of the truth that is in the moment and in the past is richer and more interesting than the drama of Hollywood movies. So I began looking at documentary films."
"Film spectators are quiet vampires."Ken Burns on Jim Morrison
"Am I a romantic? I've seen 'Wuthering Heights' ten times. I'm a romantic."Ken Burns on Johnny Depp
"You know what your problem is, it's that you haven't seen enough movies - all of life's riddles are answered in the movies."Ken Burns on Steve Martin
"This film cost $31 million. With that kind of money I could have invaded some country."Ken Burns on Clint Eastwood
"Movies can and do have tremendous influence in shaping young lives in the realm of entertainment towards the ideals and objectives of normal adulthood."Ken Burns on Walt Disney
"I think we too often make choices based on the safety of cynicism, and what we're lead to is a life not fully lived. Cynicism is fear, and it's worse than fear - it's active disengagement."
"I have made a film about jazz that tries to look through jazz to see what it tells us about who we are as a people. I think that jazz is a spectacularly accurate model of democracy and a kind of look into our redemptive future possibilities."
"History is malleable. A new cache of diaries can shed new light, and archeological evidence can challenge our popular assumptions."
"You can learn as much about the history from reading about the present as you can vice versa, that is learning about the present through history, which is what I do for a living."
"I record all of my music with authentic instruments in a studio before we start editing, doing many, many versions. The music shapes the film as we edit so it has an organic relationship to the content."