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Lights, Camera, Action! :: A Discussion of Directors and Their Craft

Discussion in 'Archive: The Amphitheatre' started by Radiohead, Jun 13, 2002.

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  1. smauldookie

    smauldookie Jedi Knight star 5

    Mar 5, 2002
    Steven Spielberg and
    George Lucas are my favorite of all time.

    starwars ANH,ET,JAWS,CloseinCounter3kind,radiersoflostark,templeofdoom,lastcrusade,jurassicpark,lostworld,schindlerlist,savingprivateryan,amistade,artificialintellagence,minorityreport,phantommenace,attackoftheclones.

    pluse all the cool movies they produced and exec.produced.

    without them there wouldn't be popcorn movies or summer blockbusters. iam glad i got live in their era.
  2. AmadeusExMachina

    AmadeusExMachina Jedi Youngling star 3

    May 19, 2002
    Here's a short list.....

    Stanley Kubrick

    Best Film - 2001: A Space Odyssey

    Most Underrated Film - A Clockwork Orange

    Francis Ford Coppola

    Best Film - Apocalypse Now

    Most Underrated Film - Godfather Part II

    John Carpenter

    Best Film - The Thing

    Most Underrated Film - Big Trouble in Little China, or They Live

    Alex Proyas

    Best Film - Dark City

    Most Underrated Film - Dark City

    Rob Reiner

    Best Film - Stand By Me

    Most Underrated Film - This is Spinal Tap

    Milos Forman

    Best Film - Amadeus

    Most Underrated Film - Man on the Moon
  3. Radiohead

    Radiohead Jedi Padawan star 4

    Mar 31, 2002
    Francis Ford Coppola

    Best Film - Apocalypse Now

    Most Underrated Film - Godfather Part II

    Wait a minute... you think The Godfather II was his most underrated film??
  4. gwaernardel

    gwaernardel Jedi Master star 4

    Nov 5, 2001
    What about Christopher Nolan?
    Granted, he's only directed three movies(Insomnia, Following, and Memento) but IMO, they were all excellent, well-crafted films. I admire the fact that he can take what would become a simple gimmick in a less capable director's hands (the order the scenes are shown in Memento and Following and the constant daylight in Insomnia) and turn it into the most riveting part of his movies. Anyone else agree?
  5. AmadeusExMachina

    AmadeusExMachina Jedi Youngling star 3

    May 19, 2002
    "Wait a minute... you think The Godfather II was his most underrated film??"

    Yea. With Ford Coppola, all of his films were given pretty fair appraisals. Godfather 3 was a letdown, and is regarded as such. Dracula is pretty much universally enjoyed as a beautiful spectacle that's a bit thin on substance, but it's not really UNDERrated. Godfather, Apocalypse Now, those are both universally hailed as the classics they are.

    Out of all of his work, the only one that really doesn't get enough credit really seems to be the 2nd Godfather film. Not that it wasn't critically hailed at the time, or won tons of Oscars.

    It's just that most people who're less intimately familiar with the Godfather series say the original is easily the best, and then cursorally mention that "the second one was still quite an achievement, though" which is basically shortchanging it and taking it for granted. Truth be told, the second Godfather film is likely better than the original, much deeper and more sweeping as far as the characters and story arcs, and it's probably Coppola's second best film.

    Underrated doesn't always mean ignored, it just means "not given credit enough."
  6. Radiohead

    Radiohead Jedi Padawan star 4

    Mar 31, 2002
  7. Aanix_Durray

    Aanix_Durray Jedi Padawan star 4

    Dec 29, 2001
    Ridley Scott ~~ best movie --Gladiator

    Guy Ritchie ~~ best movie --Snatch (that shot in the ring was brilliant!)

    A.R. Bradley ~~ best movie --unknown as of yet... she's a film student. (I'm a little biased, she's my sister) :)

  8. Hatter

    Hatter Jedi Padawan star 4

    Apr 16, 2001
    For all you Burton fans, which of his films do you think exemplifies his style best?
    I'd say The Nightmare Before Christmas... while it wasn't directed by him, it seems as if it was taken directly from his imagination.
  9. Qui-Gon Zero

    Qui-Gon Zero Jedi Padawan star 4

    Nov 26, 1999
    I can agree with that, hatter. I think Edward Scissorhands does a good job of it too.
  10. ParanoidAni-droid

    ParanoidAni-droid Jedi Padawan star 4

    Nov 27, 2001

    Best film- Blue Velvet
    Most Underrated- The Elephant Man

    Best film- Edward Scissorhands
    Most underrated- Ed Wood

    Martin Scorscese
    Best film- Taxi Driver
    Most underrated- Personal Journey with Martin Scorscese

    Stanley Kubrick
    Best film- 2001: A Space Odyssey
    Most underrated- Eyes Wide Shut

    Fedrico Fellini
    Best film- 8 1/2 and La Dolce Vita
    Most underrated- Nights of Cabiria

    Gosh, I forget his name [face_blush]
    Best film- The Others
    Most underrated- Abre Los Hojos

    Steven Spielberg
    Best film- A.I.
    Most underrated- A.I. and Sugarland Express

    Francis Ford Copolla
    Best film- The Godfather, Apocalypse Now
    Most underrated- The Conversation

    Elia Kazan
    Best film- A Streetcar Named Desire
    Most underrated- Spleandor in the Grass and America, America

    David Lean
    Best film- Lawrence of Arabia
    Most underrated- Dr. Zhivago

    Akira Kurosawa:
    Best film- The Seven Samurai
    Most underrated- Ran and Yojimbo

    Roger Coreman:
    Best film- Masque of the Red Death
    Most underrated- The Raven

    Ingmar Bergman:
    Best film- The Seventh Seal

    Woody Allen:
    Best Film: Annie Hall and The Purple Rose of Cairo
    Most underrated: Interiors and Stardust Memories

    Cameron Crowe:
    Best film- Almost Famous
    Mostunderrated- Vanilla Sky

    John Woo:
    Worst film: Mission Impossible 2
    Most overrated: Windtalkers



  11. Radiohead

    Radiohead Jedi Padawan star 4

    Mar 31, 2002
    If you want to discuss directors and directing, discuss it here!
  12. a. block

    a. block Jedi Master star 1

    Oct 1, 1999
    I like seeing people talking about directing and directors. But there are some people and some movies that you guys listed that I'm not sure I really like. But of course that will happen all the time-can't agree on everything.

    I've just got a quick question for those of you who like Spielberg. Though I do commend him for picking serious subjects, ala "Schindler's List", do you think that the way he shoots his subjects that are supposed to be the victims are well done? I've heard a few complaints, especially from my Ingmar Bergman teacher at college who absolutely hates Spielberg, about how the way he shoots his subjects is appalling. She thinks that the way he films them actually dehumanizes them and almost makes fun of them. Now, for me, I haven't learned quite enough about the geography of the frame just yet, but I kinda do know the differences in filming something in a long shot vs. a close up. So, would someone like to defend Spielberg's framing and help me learn about the frame and what it artisically means?
  13. ParanoidAni-droid

    ParanoidAni-droid Jedi Padawan star 4

    Nov 27, 2001

    Let me get this strait, you were taught by Ingmar Bergman ( [face_shocked] ) and he actually believes that Spielberg is capable of filming something in a dehumanizing, non-sentimental way? ( [face_shocked] )


  14. a. block

    a. block Jedi Master star 1

    Oct 1, 1999
    A teacher at the college I attended taught/teaches a class about Ingmar Bergman's films.

  15. JollyJedi

    JollyJedi Jedi Youngling star 2

    Dec 2, 2000
    a. block, i don't know ur teacher personally, but from the sounds of it, she doesn't seem to know what she's talking about.

    if she is talking about "schindler's list", that film was shot almost as a documentary, and to say that his technique makes fun of the victims is quite a stretch in my opinion. i've been learning about film at my uni (and i would have learned a heck of a lot more if i didn't skip so much, lol). but as far as i know, framing and shot selection of one's subjects generally are used to evoke different moods and themes. when a film has been shot documentary-style like in "schindler's list", the technique is as objective it can possibly be. if spielberg were to make fun of his subjects, he would most likely be using longer lenses to make the subject more the center of attention. as far as i am aware, the difference between long shots and close ups are used for different thematic purposes, and not as a way of making fun of them or not.

    maybe she's talking about the techniques he used in a film like "jaws". the framing of the characters and the shark is done in such a way as to catch them unawares to the latter's presence. the most prominent example that comes to mind is when roy scheider's character is dropping bait into the water and is facing toward the camera. the shark then enters the frame in the center and both scheider and the audience is caught by surprise. also, when hooper (richard dreyfus's character) is in the shark cage, and the (classic) music builds up, we see the shark approach and then leave the left side of the frame. hooper is looking left after it, and the music dies down. naturally, the audience is looking toward the left too. the shot holds for a few seconds, with both hooper and the audience focused toward the left. then, all of a sudden, and without any musical cue to alert us, the shark comes into frame from the right. this effectively fools the character and the audience. another example is when hooper is scuba diving and discovers the head with the severed eye-ball. the way that shot is set up, both hooper and the audience can see what it is after it is right in front of the camera. these are scare tactics. in a film like jaws, they are essential to this kind of story. it is a way of keeping the audience on their toes. if "jaws" was shot like a documentary, it would be one heck of a snooze-fest.

    other than "jaws", i cannot see ur teacher's line of reasoning that spielberg "makes fun" of his subjects, and definitely not in schindler's list, if it is indeed SL she is talking about. u should ask her to be more specific, namely what film, and what scene(s) she sees them in.

    anyhow, cool thread Radiohead. :) i should post here more often.
  16. Healer Apprentice Lina

    Healer Apprentice Lina Jedi Master star 4

    Jun 1, 2000
    Kenneth Branagh
    Best: Hamlet , Dead Again
    Underrated: Hamlet
    Comments: Yes, I do mean Mr. Kenneth "Four Hour Version of Hamlet" Branagh. The man has an exquisite eye for beauty. The procession/petels shot in Hamlet is breathtaking as is the last two shots in Dead Again .

    Tim Burton
    Best: Edward Scissorhands
    Underrated: Sleepy Hollow
    Comments: Pretty much everything that's been said before. He's got a gothic-like vision and its a unique staple in all of his movies.

    Alfred Hitchcock
    Best: Rope
    Underrated: Rope
    Comments: The man has made several other wonderful films but for me, Rope is the best and the most ignored, sadly enough. It was experimental during its time and poorly received but Hitchcock managed to bring out some of the best acting from his actors in the picture. Brilliant.
  17. JollyJedi

    JollyJedi Jedi Youngling star 2

    Dec 2, 2000
    i loved rope as well. very innovative and full of hitchcock's trademark suspense. altho i wouldn't say it's his best film, it is definitely underrated.
  18. a. block

    a. block Jedi Master star 1

    Oct 1, 1999
    All I know is that it's been over a year ago since I really last talked to her; and that she definetly knew what she was talking about,artistically, when we discussed the 9 or 10 Bergman films through the quarter. Also, I remember at last year's Cannes film festival, I read on imdb that Jean-Luc Godard even said that he'd rent a theater and prove why Spielberg films aren't good. So, I'm not going to say that I totally agree that Spielberg is a hack, but sometimes I do feel uncomfortable watching his work.
    And no matter what "style" is used, shots are still planned and concrete choices are made as to how to frame the film.

    Ingmar Bergman
    best - The Seventh Seal
    underrated - Persona, Wild Strawberries

    Akira Kurosawa
    best - The Seven Samurai
    underrated - Ikiru

    Alfred Hitchcock
    best - Vertigo, Notorious
    underrated - Vertigo
  19. Ki-Adi Bundi

    Ki-Adi Bundi Jedi Padawan star 4

    Mar 3, 2000
    I'd like to add:

    Sam Raimi

    Best Film:
    The Gift
    Most underrated film: The Gift
    Most overrated film: Spiderman (don't get me started ;) )
  20. JollyJedi

    JollyJedi Jedi Youngling star 2

    Dec 2, 2000
    i've read articles on godard and to me he sounds like nothing more than a broke, disgruntled filmmaker who resents spielberg's financial success.

    but, we cannot discuss this matter in a proper fashion since u don't even remember which scenes of spielberg's she hated, nor even the films she saw them in. u obviously seem to have a lot of respect for her, but if u don't even remember which movies of spielberg's she talked about, that says a lot about her teaching ability. either that or u weren't a very good student, whichever the case may be.

    as for schindler's list, it was shot as a docudrama. there are two huge reasons why he would not be making fun of his characters in that film. first and foremost, it is dealing with very sensitive material. the holocaust killed 6 million jews, and this movie deals with their struggle. if his framing of the characters and such "made fun" of them, the movie would be blasted out of the water by holocaust survivors, film critics, and the general movie-going public. secondly, spielberg is a jewish person himself. and as a child, he was tormented cos of that fact. his classmates would toss pennies on the ground near his desk to see if he would pick them up. after all that, why on earth would he make a film that ridicules their plight?

    obviously he would not make fun of them intentionally. and i doubt it would happen unintentionally. i doubt he would do that by accident, since he went to film school at USC. another notable USC alum being some guy named george lucas. ;P

    and godard also ridiculed spielberg for trying to make films set in a time when spielberg wasn't around. 'schindler's list' and 'saving private ryan', he argues, shouldn't have been made by spielberg because he never experienced it firsthand. well, then who has? the survivors of the holocaust, obviously, and the veterans of the war. both groups have nothing but praise for spielberg. they thanked him for making these movies about what they experienced and suffered through. i think it's fair to say that they have the final say of whether they think it was depicted realistically or not, and not godard.

    anyway, i don't see any validity in ur teacher's opinion of spielberg, nor do i see any validity in godard's opinion as well. godard and other film scholars seem to bash spielberg for making films into a business. but spielberg can't be blamed for that. he and lucas were making films, they were making art. after the unbelievable commercial success of 'jaws' and 'star wars' however, studio executives then turned hollywood into the business that it is now. but then again, hollywood has always been a business. it was one even way before 'jaws' and 'star wars'. those two films were just the next step. but filmmakers have always been artists, even the ones who make a lot money, and to say that they're not is wrong and very unfair.
  21. jango-joe1

    jango-joe1 Jedi Padawan star 4

    Apr 25, 2001
    Kevin Smith
    Let me tell you that this guy knows dialogue. His films are so unique and you have to be keen to understand some stuff and other stuff well you don't have to be smart at all.
    Best Film: Clerks
    Most Underrated Film: Dogma

    I have to agree with Qui-Gon Zero with Robert Rodriguez as a good director. Did you catch the first feature length film El Mariachi (1992), Desperado was it's sequel. He's making it into a trilogy with next years' Once Upon A Time In Mexico
  22. Healer Apprentice Lina

    Healer Apprentice Lina Jedi Master star 4

    Jun 1, 2000
    Yes, Kevin Smith! Forgot about him for some mad reason.

    I agree that Dogma is very underrated. That was one of the most innovative films I've seen in awhile. The special edition DVD is a great buy if anyone is curious. Dogma blends classic Smith humor with some seriousness without being bogged down by it. He mentions Neil Gaiman in his credits too which makes him extra cool.

    (it may start to look rather obvious by now that I am Neil Gaiman fan....)
  23. Twelve_Motion

    Twelve_Motion Jedi Padawan star 4

    Feb 12, 2002
    Oh boy, a Director thread!


    Favorite Director: Stanley Kubrick
    Favorite Film: Dr. Strangelove: Or, How I Learned To Stop Worring and Love the Bomb
    Most Underated Film: Lolita (go rent it)

    2nd Favorite Director: David Fincher
    Favorite Film: The Game
    Most Underated Film: Alien 3

    3rd Favorite Director(s): The Coen Brothers
    Favorite Film: The Man Who Wasn't There
    Most Underated Film: Blood Simple

    Have a good one! :)
  24. jango-joe1

    jango-joe1 Jedi Padawan star 4

    Apr 25, 2001
    Also with the Coen Brothers, I would have to say that the Big Lebowski was pretty underrated
  25. a. block

    a. block Jedi Master star 1

    Oct 1, 1999
    For some reason you're assuming facts that I haven't said one way or another. I remember what was and wasn't said. I wouldn't make such bold assumptions with such a lack of info.

    See if you can find these books and then you can make your own assessments to her validity. If you don't agree with what she writes, then stick with your opinions, if vice versa, then maybe you'll have a change in heart.
    - "Persona: The Transcendent Image"
    - "Gender and Representation in the Films of Ingmar Bergman"
    - "Ingmar Bergman and the Humanist Tradition: Reactionary Solipsism or Viable Engagement?"

    The only thing I do know, is when I see a scene shot in a long shot and it reminds me of a Charlie Chaplin comedy sequence, I just get a weird feeling in my stomach like this isn't quite the way to go. But I'm not an expert.
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