your favorite directors

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steve hyde
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Post by steve hyde » Tue Sep 13, 2005 5:09 am

Contemporary directors?

right now I'm interested in following the work of:

Majid Majidi
Nonzee Nimibutr
Pedro Almodovar
Alfonso Cuaron
Werner Herzog
Takeshi Kitano
Les Blank
Errol Morris


But I also like to explore the work of

Carl Dryer
Charlie Chaplin
Yasujiro Ozu
Kurusawa
Satyajit Ray
Tarkovsky
Bergman
Fellini
John Huston


It seems like it would be interesting if we wrote about why we like the work of a given director or directors..

EDIT: a misspelled name
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Post by mattias » Tue Sep 13, 2005 11:31 am

subject matters and the way they address them. to me a director is the eye and the taste first of all. it doesn't necessarily have very much to do with storytelling nor craftmanship.

/matt

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Post by steve hyde » Tue Sep 13, 2005 9:16 pm

mattias wrote:subject matters and the way they address them. to me a director is the eye and the taste first of all. it doesn't necessarily have very much to do with storytelling nor craftmanship.

/matt
....do you mean the themes and subjects the director focuses on? When you say "the way they address them" you are inevitably talking about craftsmanship. It isn't entirely clear what you mean, but I do agree that a well told story and a well crafted film can still be a total bore and/or irrelevant...

Steve

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Post by Scotness » Tue Sep 13, 2005 11:52 pm

Peter Weir
Ridley Scott
Ingmar Bergmann
Paul Cox
Woody Allen


... nice call on Sofia Copolla Matt - Lost in Translation was great


Scot
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Post by tlatosmd » Wed Sep 14, 2005 12:00 am

Speaking of Terry Gilliam, what's his latest Brothers Grimm adaption called again? You think it will ever get bigger releases than only festivals or even get to DVD?
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Post by Evan Kubota » Wed Sep 14, 2005 4:53 am

"Speaking of Terry Gilliam, what's his latest Brothers Grimm adaption called again? You think it will ever get bigger releases than only festivals or even get to DVD?"

'The Brothers Grimm,' and yes, it's currently in wide release in the US despite reportedly being terrible. Frankly, after watching 'The Man from La Mancha' (the documentary about the disintegration of Gilliam's Quixote movie) I don't feel like seeing any of his current work. The guy came off as a total prick with a terrible inability to work in circumstances that varied slightly from his expectations. The 'hamster incident' from Brazil (or was it 12 Monkeys?) comes to mind.

I should probably add John Woo and Ridley Scott to my list. Maybe not as intellectual, but Woo's mastery of cinematic technique in the action genre is unparalleled. Watch 'The Killer' and understand why it received a Criterion release (although Armageddon is also on Criterion - maybe it doesn't mean very much). Ridley Scott has been inconsistent recently, but 'Alien' and 'Blade Runner' are more than enough to cement his mastery. The first few minutes of 'Blade Runner' by themselves are astonishing. There's never been a better visualization of cyberpunk in live action.

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Post by tlatosmd » Wed Sep 14, 2005 11:44 am

That would really come as a surprise for me, I loved all of Gilliam's movies except for two, Jabberwocky and The Fisher king.

I mean he used to be so consistent in making great movies, first Time bandits, then Brazil, The adventures of Baron Münchhausen, 12 monkeys, and his latest being Fear and loathing in Las Vegas.

Last I heard, The brothers Grimm is being shown on either the Berlinale, Venice, or Cannes. Doesn't it have to be at least good for that or something?
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Post by mattias » Thu Sep 15, 2005 7:02 pm

steve hyde wrote:....do you mean the themes and subjects the director focuses on?
yes, on a micro scale. i'm interested in any theme on the macro scale.
When you say "the way they address them" you are inevitably talking about craftsmanship.
i see what you're saying, but no not really. what i'm talking about is point of view. sure, that's part of the director's craft, but i define craftmanship as a more technical thing. if you consider the work of the directors i mentioned i think it will be clearer. i never studied film so i can't really intellectualize it any better.

/matt

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Post by steve hyde » Thu Sep 15, 2005 7:58 pm

mattias wrote:
steve hyde wrote:....do you mean the themes and subjects the director focuses on?
yes, on a micro scale. i'm interested in any theme on the macro scale.
That's interesting. What do you mean by scale?
When you say "the way they address them" you are inevitably talking about craftsmanship.
mattias wrote:i see what you're saying, but no not really. what i'm talking about is point of view. sure, that's part of the director's craft, but i define craftmanship as a more technical thing. if you consider the work of the directors i mentioned i think it will be clearer. i never studied film so i can't really intellectualize it any better.

/matt
....I haven't studied film formally either. I think it is cool that this forum exists for *truly* independent filmmakers to exchange ideas. That is one of the reasons I like to visit, and contribute to, this forum. I would really like to see more discussions on *theme* here. I think theme is probably the central most complex and challenging aspect of filmmaking.

Steve

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Post by mattias » Fri Sep 16, 2005 10:38 am

steve hyde wrote:
mattias wrote:
steve hyde wrote:....do you mean the themes and subjects the director focuses on?
yes, on a micro scale. i'm interested in any theme on the macro scale.
That's interesting. What do you mean by scale?
it's hard to explain. the "grand scheme" or the plot happens on the macro scale, while the micro scale is what the movie's "really" about, usually in the films i like it's about the characters, but it can also be a political or poetic statement or whatnot. in lost in translation for example, what makes the movie hold together on the macro scale is the well crafted situation comedy of cultural differences, while what makes it fantastic and what i can see in all of coppola's films is the point of view towards the characters, which really speaks to me. i try to get more and more specific in my own point of view with every film i make and i think i'm getting there.
I would really like to see more discussions on *theme* here. I think theme is probably the central most complex and challenging aspect of filmmaking.
indeed. if you bear with me while i try to find the right words we could have some really interesting conversations on the subject. ;-)

/matt

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Post by steve hyde » Fri Sep 16, 2005 9:25 pm

...I'm with you. That is a cool way to think about story structure: in scalar terms. a human life can be imagined in scales. We move through different scales of life. Our own bodies are the micro scale -always the here and now, but the things we do have active effects that jump from the micro scales into the macro scales of life....(like posting to an international film forum) It is interesting when a filmmaker finds creative ways to remind us of this.

Sofia Coppala's "Lost in Translation" was an examination of the multiple scales of life: geographical, cultural, generational, internal. She found truths that connect scales to support her story - to convince us that we are witnessing something authentic - something true, yet also mysterious.

Is it a story of the mysteries of love at different scales of life? On one hand we have a young woman with a lost connection with her successful young boyfriend and on the other hand we have an older man with a lost connection with his wife...The two wanderers find a connection with each other and it opens the story of their whimsical romance that is characterized by a profound innocence, yet is also profoundly intimate. They are lost and confussed and searching for something and they find that something in each other. The power of the film seems to come from the fact that Sofia refrains from any form of explanation. Instead she maintains focus on the mysterious aspects of love. She reminds us that there is no meaningful explanation. That it is what it is and she shows us what it can look like.

How does she do this? Matt, you are talking about POV towards the characters. I'm not sure I know what you mean by this. ( I think I do)Clearly Sofia Coppala is presenting her story through character interactions - it is a strongly character-driven film. On a macro-scale we see that they are out of their element culturally, but on a micro-scale, the scale of their own bodies, we see that they have become lost there too. The authenticity of the story seems to have its origins in the ways the characters behave and the believeability of those behaviors. The characters present a kind of psychological truth: ( e.g. since we now know the character -act #1 - we believe that they would do what they do in -act #2)

As filmmakers, what do we learn from a film like "Lost in Translation"?
For me it is the importance of *psychological truth* through character interaction. The interactions are complex, the complexities are shown at different scales and that makes the situations believable.

Shit - I just spent way too much time writing this. I've got to get to the other side of the Cascades this afternoon....logging off for a few days...

Steve

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Gilliam

Post by P.w.Shelton » Sat Sep 17, 2005 7:21 am

Speaking of Terry Gilliam...He has Another movie soon to be released.
http://www.tidelandthemovie.com/
Sincerely,
Patrick W. Shelton

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Post by unionfederal » Mon Sep 19, 2005 12:55 pm

terry gilliam... care to recommend some movies of his that i might want to check out? thanks!

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Post by mattias » Mon Sep 19, 2005 2:17 pm

can i add catherine hardwicke to the list of my *least* favorite directors? how somebody can so totally wreck two such promising stories and still be working is one of the biggest enigmas in the world today. she has *no* point of view whatsoever except maybe that of a lady with an age complex who thinks kids are cool, or "fascinating". she obviously has no idea what she's talking about in her movies.

/matt

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Post by P.w.Shelton » Tue Sep 20, 2005 8:48 am

I liked Lords of Dogtown. I skated for a decade and I thought it captured the experience of riding really well. As far as Female directors who are good right now I'd have to say Lynne Ramsay is my choice. She hasn't done to much but I like her so far.
Last edited by P.w.Shelton on Tue Sep 20, 2005 9:00 am, edited 2 times in total.
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