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Thread: Content, Issues, and Craft

  1. #16
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Ottawa Canada
    You nailed it Justafied.

    Filmmaking is about telling a story.
    The contrasts between Greenaway and say Spielberg are rooted in how they tell their stories.

    That's why when a film like Sokurov's Russian Ark comes along, film buffs wet their pants.

    New ways of telling stories with a camera are few and far between these days. We are beat over the head with formulaic crap quite regularly.

    It's pretty sad when Jim Jarmusch must make his films on the fringe. The pursuit of financial success and trying to predict what the audience wants has taken that phrase "commercially viable" and made it into a mantra.

    Each film project is a risk for studios, and I realize that films SHOULD make money. But to pour truckloads of marketing money on a weak film is inexcusable. Warner Brothers had the intelligence to back Kubrick on his "esoteric" visions, and now they have certified classics in their vaults.

    But I can hear the brass now: "Finding a person of Kubrick's talent is extremely difficult".
    I say "yes but". Yes, but if studios set up programs of study whereby filmmakers study and employ methods pioneered by Eisenstein, Ophuls, Lean and Kubrick, they would increase their chances of the creation of classics.

    Look at Coppola- he was a true-blue student of the masters. We got The Godfathers, The Conversation and Apocalypse Now from him. Not too shabby.

    Jarmusch studied the masters, Spike Lee studied the masters, Tarantino studied the masters, P.T. Anderson studied the masters.

    Great films result from doing your homework. I'm not saying there is no possibility of mind-blowing cinema coming from someone who's never heard of Hitchcock, but you greatly increase your chances of success by knowing and acknowledging what came before.
    "Set the controls for the heart of the Sun" - Pink Floyd

  2. #17
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Yeah, I agree it's important to "study the masters", but isn't it also cool when a director comes out of nowhere and creates something really new and original? It's that creativity especially that separates great film (and art) from simple storytelling. That's the excitement, that's the beauty. Like the Beatles in music, breaking the mold, doing something in a way that hasn't been done before.

    A couple more examples in the area of film that come to mind: Pulp Fiction by Tarrantino and Punch Drunk Love by P.T. Anderson. Both those films to me seem really original and creative. They're refreshing to watch, even on the 100th viewing.

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