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. a. block Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 1, 1999
    star 1
    Oh, btw, I totally disagree that a lot of people would disagree and be angered. And I agree that Spielberg would never intentionally do such a thing. Not too recently I was talking with a few friends, and I tried to discuss with them the difference between a two shot of a conversation with a woman and a man, versus the same conversation but cut back forth between each other. But most of my friends just said they could care less about stupid things like that. I mean they even love "The Usual Suspects", even though it has a shot at the beginning that leads you to believe that Kevin Spacey's character as the limp dude is hiding behind that stack of crates, but you realize later that he wasn't. We find out that he was lying throughout the film, and that even the director was lying to his audience. The worst sin ever! And somewhere else in these boards I saw the point that someone said that sound effects or something like that were just as important as the shot or something. Imagine telling that to Erich von Stroheim when he was doing "Greed" or Chaplin when he was doing "The Gold Rush". Films are the same when they had sound as when they didn't. But of course my friends would say that they are different.

    My lunactic ranting is about that I feel, at least around me, that most people don't understand or care to understand the aesthetics of film. And then I guess that that's what we're arguing about. This is going nowhere so I think I'll quit my ranting. And besides, I shouldn't bring other people into a discussion if he/she isn't here to support his/her own views.
  2. Devilanse Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 11, 2002
    star 5
    If you're going to list Kubrick....

    2 words....

    THE....
    and
    SHINING.
  3. Qui-Gon Zero Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 26, 1999
    star 4
    I commend Kevin Smith more on his use of dialogue than his direction. That's not to say that I don't think that he is a competent director. I enjoy how he makes his dialogue come out of his actors so naturally and that has a lot to do with direction. I don't know anyone who speaks that way, but KS always reminds me that just because I don't know people that speak that way, doesn't mean that they don't exist.

    The way Robert Rodriguez directs action is always a blast for me to watch. I recommend watching "El Mariachi" and "Desperado" on DVD with the commentary. It's as if he used those commentaries as opportunities to teach an indie filmmaker, how to make a small budget look like an expensive one. It was incredibly insigtful. The documentary that's attached to "From Dusk Till Dawn: Collector's Edition" is an incredible look into what film crews go thru while making movies. A hell of a lot of fun to watch.
  4. jango-joe1 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 25, 2001
    star 4
    Was that Full Tilt Boogie?
  5. Qui-Gon Zero Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 26, 1999
    star 4
    Yeah....It was...."Full Tilt Boggie" was incredibly insightful and a blast to watch....haha. To me anyways.
  6. JollyJedi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 2, 2000
    star 2
    a. block, i'll be sure to check those out.

    lol, u sound like one of those grads from vancouver film school who complain they can't enjoy movies anymore cos they always end up picking 'em apart. :)

    anyway, i apologize for being disrespectful to ur teacher and urself. sorry 'bout that.
  7. AgentCoop Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 16, 2002
    star 4
    "I commend Kevin Smith more on his use of dialogue than his direction. That's not to say that I don't think that he is a competent director. I enjoy how he makes his dialogue come out of his actors so naturally and that has a lot to do with direction."

    Kevin Smith admits openly that he is not much of a director when it comes to creating the images, the moving visuals that tell the story. Which is why he is absolutely fanatical when it comes to his dialogue. There is NO ad-libbing on a Kevin Smith set. He is absolutely insistent that the actors stick to the script as written because he knows his strengths are as a writer and not necessarily as a director.
  8. Radiohead Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 31, 2002
    star 4
    According to The Internet Movie Database, the director is
    the principal creative artist on a movie set. A director is usually (but not always) the driving artistic source behind the filming process, and communicates to actors the way that he/she would like a particular scene played. Typically, a director has complete artistic control over all aspects of the movie, but it is not uncommon for the director to be bound by agreements with either a producer or a studio.
    But, does anyone else think that the cinematographer is often overlooked? After all, cinematographers/directors of photography often dictate how a film will look aesthetically.

    There are lots of great cinematographers out there. Janusz Kaminski (Shindler's List, Saving Private Ryan) and Conrad Hall (American Beauty, Road to Perdition) are the best ones in my mind.
  9. AgentCoop Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 16, 2002
    star 4
    Being a layman I may be wrong, but I think the extent of the cinematographer's role is largely an extension of the director's approach. Some directors are more concerned with visuals than others. A Woody Allen or Kevin Smith tend to focus more on the acting and the dialogue in their films, so I think in such a case the cinematographer probably has a lot more influence on the "look" of the film. Whereas filmmakers like David Lynch, for whom the visuals play an integral role in the artistic process, are probably far less willing to allow someone else's creative stamp on the imagery of the movie.
  10. Radiohead Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 31, 2002
    star 4
    Yes that's true. Some directors aren't really concerned with the aesthetic look of their film. But, a great deal of Spielberg's success in Schindler's List (and other films) was because of Kaminski. And I haven't heard any criticisms of Hall's work. I just think these guys need to be given at least some credit.
  11. Twelve_Motion Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 12, 2002
    star 4
    What do you guys think of David Fincher?
  12. Radiohead Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 31, 2002
    star 4
    I love David Fincher. He's now one of my favorite directors. I put him on my list which should appear on the first page.
  13. weezer Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 16, 2001
    star 6
    This is a nice thread :D


    Couple of directors that have only gotten a passing mention that I'd like to talk about.

    Baz Lurman
    What can you say. The man definatly has a cinamatic vision that rivals that of other directors.
    His growth as a director is also interesting. His short career is what he calls a trilogy but their only real bind is the stories that they tell (dance, drama, music) with the final one giving the best example of what he can do when left alone. Get ready for lots more from him though including a broadway play, upcoming film adaption of Rent, and possibly :eek: a James Bond movie :D.
    Best Film Moulin Rouge
    Most Underated Romeo & Juliet

    Sam Raimi
    I can't belive only one person mentioned him. :eek:

    What can you say. He was/is the quintessential B-movie director. Like Lucas its his love of the genre that contributes to his visual style. As he grows older what he does also changed. Once again its a case of major studios giving him a chance and then knowing when to step back and let the man work.
    Best Film You're going to make me pick ?[face_plain] Fine, A Simple Plan.
    Most Underated You might find this very odd but I'm going to have to go with Evil Dead 2.
    Little known work Not that the movie isn't well know but lots of people don't know that the Darkman guy also directed the baseball movie For Love of The Game.

    Other than that I have to agree with what everyone else said about Fincher, Lucas, Speilberg, Etc.
  14. Bresson Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    May 16, 2002
    star 3
    My top 10:

    1) Ingmar Bergman
    best film: Fanny and Alexander. No director has ever gone out on such a high note that summarizes and elevates their career.
    Underrated: Shame. Bergman's most narratively 'accessible' movie that's sadly almost forgotten these days. A potent anti-war movie about the death of fidelity and the soul.

    2) Martin Scorsese
    Best: Raging Bull. Not for nothing is this regarded as the best American movie of the past 20 years. You can feel every hit to Jake LaMotta's face and spirit...then his slow move to grace.
    Underrated: Age of Innocence. A beautiful bottle of Visconti, the great Italian filmmaker who inspired Scorsese. A love story about the inability to love.

    3) David Lean
    Best: Lawrence of Arabia. The sand and the sun burns a hole in Peter O'Toole's psyche. Perhaps the most visually gorgeous movie ever.
    Underrated: A Passage to India. Lean's last film has faded from memory, but contains some of his most elegant and intense imagery. Caves will never look the same again.

    4) Orson Welles
    Best: Citizen Kane. The movie that changed the rules and invented new ones.
    Underrated: The Trial. Welles's last great movie is a mesmerizing visual exercise, and one of the great influences on Gilliam's 'Brazil'.

    5) John Ford
    Best: The Searchers. Perhaps the single greatest influence on the Movie Brat generation of the 70s, this potent, angry movie about one man's campaign of genocide, and his eventual redemption, is heartbreaking and debunks the legend that John Wayne couldn't act.
    Underrated: Donovan's Reef. A film only an Irishman could make. Ford's funniest movie not set in Ireland.

    6) Akira Kurosawa
    Best: Ran. A movie told from the point of view of an angry god, made by a master facing his own mortality.
    Underrated: Stray Dogs. Anyone curious as to where Hollywood got the idea for '48 hours', looks no further than this early Kurosawa film noir. It also contains the close up of the eyes over a city that Scorsese used in 'Taxi Driver'.

    7) Francois Truffaut
    Best: Two English Girls. The flip side of 'Jules and Jim' is the saddest, most lyrical movie ever made about how love is all around us, if only we could accept it.
    Underrated: Story of Adele H. Nobody does 'l'amoru fou' better than the French. Nobody plays it better than Isabelle Adjani.

    8) Stanley Kubrick
    Best: 2001. Along with 'Birth of a Nation' and 'Citizen Kane', the only true landmark American movie. Everything can be divided to before and after '2001'.
    Underrated: Barry Lyndon. The ultimate failing of man, Kubrick says, is man himself. Here, it's heartbreakingly, ravishingly played out in its own sweet time.

    9) William Wyler
    Best: Wuthering Heights. The movie that taught Laurence Olivier how to love film acting. Wyler was never an auteur, just a damn good filmmaker who could tell a damn good story.
    Underrated: The Big Country. More than a hint of post war discontent can be seen in this revisionist Western.

    10) Alfred Hitchcock
    Best: Vertigo. The summation of Hitchcock's kinkiest fantasies. That it is so damn romantic makes it all the creepier.
    Underrated: Torn Curtain. Maligned over the years as one of Hitchcock's bad late period, it actually contains some of his most exciting sequences, and a scene where a man is killed in an oven that's a stunner.

  15. Wardo_Fett Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 16, 2002
    star 2
    David Fincher
    Best: Seven
    Underrated: The Game

    M. Night Shyamalan (am I the first to mention him?)
    Best: Sixth Sense
    Underrated:Unbreakable

    John McTiernan(also the first??)
    Best: Die Hard/Hunt for Red October
    Underrated: Die Hard With a Vengance

    Wolfgang Peterson(ALSO the first?!??!?!?)
    Best:Das Boot
    Underrated: Das Boot

    Michael Mann
    Best: Heat
    Underrated: The Insider

    Brian De Palma(Also the first?)
    Best: Scarface
    Underrated: Snake Eyes

    Robert Zemeckis
    Best: Forrest Gump
    Underrated: Contact

    David Lean
    Best: Lawrence of Arabia
    Underrated: Doctor Zhivago

    John Frankenheimer(R.I.P.)
    Best: Manchurian Candidate
    Underrated: Ronin

    Frank Darabont
    Best: The Shawshank Redemption
    Underrated: The Green Mile

    I better stop now.
  16. DARTHPIGFEET Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 24, 2001
    star 4
    Anyone who is in High School or just starting out in Film school needs to go and watch Road To Perdition about 3 or 4 times and take a note pad with you. You can learn a lot about what makes a good movie a good movie, and how you create a steady pace for a movie, and it had some interesting point of view shots. Oh and the lighting and cinematography which you can thank for those shots and scenes in the movie. I highly suggest you do this and you can learn a lot.
  17. Radiohead Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 31, 2002
    star 4
    Up.

    The following is my objective for this thread which I noted in my first post:
    This thread should serve two main purposes: first, to talk about our favorite directors and discuss their best (or worst) works; second, to discuss the finer points of directing a film and to point out how our favorite directors approach certain scenes.
    And please, no lists.
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