» Posts Tagged ‘directors’

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Too Much JohnsonWhen it comes to cinematic innovators, Orson Welles (along with DPs Gregg Toland and Russell Metty) is one of the biggest early contributors to the art of cinematography and filmmaking in general. Films like Citizen Kane and Touch of Evil are staples of film education, and any aspiring moviemaker would be wise to get their hands on as much of the Oscar-winner’s work as humanly possible. Now, thanks to the National Film Preservation Foundation and Fandor, you can watch and/or download his long-lost farce Too Much Johnson, which, as the title seems to suggest, was his first professional foray into making films with long running times. More »

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Ingmar BergmanIngmar Bergman is one of the giants of cinema, to the point that some images from his films have become so iconic as to make up a visual shorthand, possessing an allusive quality (the Knight playing chess with Death comes to mind.) The Swedish filmmaker directed over 40 narrative features and documentaries, both for film and TV, in his 61-year career, and was also a prolific theater director. In 1975, he sat down with students from the American Film Institute, and now a 40-minute audio recording of their conversation is available online. It’s a remarkably open and candid talk from a master director, and required listening for any fan, student of cinema, or lover of movies. More »

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f100pickpocketIf there is a patron saint of French cinema, surely it must be Robert Bresson, considered, after Renoir, the greatest of 20th century Gallic filmmakers. Jean-Luc Godard, no slouch himself in the French director’s department, once observed that, “Robert Bresson is French cinema, as Dostoevsky is the Russian novel and Mozart is the German music.” High praise indeed. A new video supercut from Kogonanda for the Criterion Collection focuses on the director’s inimitable use of gesture in his films. Plus, the director’s own notes on cinematography and cinema. More »

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Film Director

The other day, I overheard someone say that Steve McQueen’s cinematography in 12 Years A Slave was brilliant. As a huge fan of Sean Bobbitt (the actual cinematographer of that film), I wanted to say something, but held my tongue because avoiding the argument that would have ensued seemed like a better option. Despite my inaction, this instance got me thinking about our shared cultural view of film directors, and about whether or not that view needs to change. More »

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Room 666If you could get a large group of some of cinema’s greatest directors in one room, what would you ask them? Well, director Wim Wenders got that opportunity while at the 1982 Cannes Film Festival, and subsequently made a documentary about it. 16 iconic directors, including Jean-Luc Godard, Steven Spielberg, Werner Herzog, and Rainer Werner Fassbinder, were asked a series of questions about the future of the film industry, as well as the art form itself, and their answers became an incredible 44-minute video compendium of cinematic knowledge. Check it Wenders’ Room 666 after the break. More »

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kubrick headerMaybe Stanley Kubrick isn’t the first person you’d think of to answer an existential question like why life is worth living — it’s not like his body of work screams (or even really whispers) confidence in humankind. However, he did offer an incredible answer in a 1968 Playboy interview with Eric Nordern, one that has been reproduced in a remarkable comic by Zen Pencils’ Gavin Aung Than that not only illustrates Kubrick’s quote, but tells a story depicting the life of a young man being turned upside down by the legendary director’s work.  More »

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Tarkovsky waterIf you look through the books, documentaries, and websites dedicated to the legendary Russsian director Andrei Tarkovsky, you’ll quickly find out that his work is often described as poetic. There’s absolutely no doubt that his films, full of metaphysical themes and beautiful long takes, are visual poetry; they’re emotionally resounding, and film theorists, critics, and students of film have spent decades trying to decode the poetic messages believed to be in his visual motifs, like his use of water and fire for example. However, is there really something there to decode, or did Tarkovsky avoid symbolism altogether? More »

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Moonrise KingdomThere are very few filmmakers working today whose films are so heavily marked by their DNA, so much so that they’re recognizable to cinephiles and casual moviegoers alike. One of these filmmakers is Wes Anderson. Most people know a Wes Anderson movie when they see it; the distinguishing color palette, signature camera moves, the many, many overhead shots, but there is much, much more to be said about his visual themes. Nelson Carvajal peeks inside the director’s imaginative world in this excellent video that showcases some of Anderson’s best films, as well as voiceovers from interviews with the director in which he talks about his artistic sensibilities. More »

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The 2014 Academy Awards are now exactly two weeks away, which means advertisements, TV spots, interviews, and talk show appearances featuring nominated films and their actors are reaching their seasonal apices. But over at Keyframe, they’ve put together a video that pits each Best Director nominee against each other in a fight to see which one is most deserving of the Oscar. Continue on to take a closer look at the directorial styles, performances, and artistic approaches of some of the most talented directors working today. More »

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Auteurs of ChristmasMost of us know what a Chris Columbus and John Hughes holiday looks like: a crazy midwestern family, pizza-sized pancakes, and ill-fated road trips along a blizzard-worn highway. Both of these filmmakers managed to capture the spirit of the winter festivities, but in an entertaining little short, Fourgrounds Media asks the question, “What would the holidays look like through the eyes of some of cinema’s greatest auteurs?” Continue on to check out their pretty spot on response. More »

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Film Meets Art Christopher NolanFilmmakers draw their inspiration from absolutely everywhere — every experience they’ve had, place they’ve been, song they’ve heard. For some, obscure historical events triggers their creativity, while for others, it could be a simple photograph — the title character from Wes Anderson’s Rushmore, Max Fischer, was inspired by a photo by Jacques Henri Lartigue. The Tate Gallery in London has launched a fascinating series of videos entitled “Film meets Art” that asks prominent U.K. directors about which works of art from famous painters have inspired their films. More »

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Federico FelliniThe term “master filmmaker” gets thrown around quite a bit, but I can say without hyperbole that Italian director Federico Fellini is in fact a master filmmaker. With so many classics to his name, including his masterpiece 8 1/2 (1963), which covers subject matter that is often thought to be impossible to do well, making a film, the flamboyant director has become one of the most celebrated filmmakers of all time. His cinematic worlds of good-natured fools, early neorealist screenplays, and carnivalesque studies of society and human nature, blend and war to form the universe in which Fellini’s unique sensibilities abide. More »

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Tarantino & SmithWhen thinking about the filmmakers that carried the torch for independent cinema in the 90s, the names that immediately come to mind are Quentin Tarantino and Kevin Smith (and Robert Rodriguez, of course.) Both directors offer great insight into what it means to man the helm of a film project, including the importance of communicating your vision, and what the job of a director is really all about. Continue on for this incredibly important video from filmschoolthrucommentaries. More »

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Scorsese Coppola from LIFE MagazineEvery once in a while the internet offers us a rare gem from the past, and today is one of those days. Circa 1997, Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola sat down with Geoffrey Gilmore, the then-director of the Sundance Film Festival to discuss their careers and their views on the future of filmmaking. Well, the future is here, and it’s cool to see that a couple of the century’s best filmmakers were spot on about the direction things are moving in. After the creative frenzy of the 70′s, described by Scorsese as “an atmosphere of making special movies,” United Artists collapsed. Maverick filmmakers like Scorsese and Coppola had to re-learn how to make movies, and on smaller budgets. Sound familiar? Hit the jump for the full 50-minute interview. More »