Some will tell you that you are mad, and nearly all will say, 'What is the use?' For we are a nation of shopkeepers, and no shopkeeper will look at research which will not promise him a financial return within a year. And so you will sledge nearly alone, but those with whom you sledge will not be shopkeepers: that is worth a good deal. If you march your Winter Journeys you will have your reward, so long as all you want is a penguin's egg.
Mountains are cathedrals: grand and pure, the houses of my religion. I go to them as humans go to worship. . . From their lofty summits, I view my past, dream of the future, and with unusual acuity I am allowed to experience the present moment. My strength renewed, my vision cleared, in the mountains I celebrate creation. On each journey I am reborn.
In the time of the seventh Fire new people will emerge. They will retrace their steps to find what was left by the side of the trail long ago. Their steps will take them to the Elders, who they will ask to guide them on their journey. But many of the Elders will have fallen asleep. They will awaken to this new time with nothing to offer. Some of the Elders will be silent out of fear. But most of the Elders will be silent because no one will ask anything of them.
Cities have often been compared to language: you can read a city, it's said, as you read a book. But the metaphor can be inverted. The journeys we make during the reading of a book trace out, in some way, the private spaces we inhabit. There are texts that will always be our dead-end streets; fragments that will be bridges; words that will be like the scaffolding that protects fragile constructions.
Every movie I get involved with I get involved in as big a level as I possibly can, but this has been a very much more personal journey for me, so bringing it here tonight there's a sense of relief, there's a sense of just amazement that got here. . . because it's been a struggle. But this is a good way to launch it and there couldn't be a better way of celebrating this movie than bringing it to the West End.