Born On This Day — August 7, 1911

Dennis Hopper & Nicholas Ray
Dennis Hopper and Nicholas Ray

I am interested in the story and the characters. The camera is an instrument, it’s the microscope which allows you to detect the “melody of the look.” It’s a wonderful instrument because its microscopic power is for me the equivalent of introspection in a writer, and the unrolling of the film in the camera corresponds, in my opinion, to the train of thought of the writer. But if the character on whom I am working has nothing to photograph, then the camera becomes useless; all you are doing then is playing with the most expensive electric train set in the world.

—Nicholas Ray