Directors Interesting

A Stanley Kubrick Odyssey

This twelve minute montage of Stanley Kubrick movies is a hypnotic tribute to the director.

Incorporating clips from from The Killing (1956) through to Eyes Wide Shut (1999), it highlights various motifs using editing and split-screen effects.

Titled ‘A Stanley Kubrick Odyssey’ it was cut together by Richard Vezina and the music featured is Summoning of the Muse by Dead Can Dance and Sanvean by Lisa Gerrard.

People who often accuse Kubrick’s films of lacking emotion should definitely watch this.

> Stanley Kubrick at Wikipedia and MUBi
> Dead Can Dance

Directors Interesting

Steven Spielberg Panel at the DGA

The DGA recently paid tribute to Steven Spielberg with a panel event that included Michael Apted, James Cameron and J.J. Abrams.

Held on June 11th at the DGA Theater in Los Angeles, it was part of their 75th Anniversary ‘Game-Changer’ series of events.

After an introduction from current DGA president Taylor Hackford, Michael Apted hosts a discussion which sees Abrams and Cameron ask Spielberg questions about his films and career.

It isn’t availabe as an embed but if you click on the image below, it will take you to the DGA page where – if you scroll down a bit –  the full video can be found, along with highlights and photos:

Lasting over 90 minutes, it is a fascinating talk and covers:

  • The famous boat scene in Jaws (1975)
  • Abrams coming across the script for Jaws at Spielberg’s house
  • Using motion capture on his upcoming film version of Tin-Tin (2011)
  • Cameron’s love of Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977) and how it influenced him
  • The early visual effects Spielberg employed on Close Encounters and why he re-shot the ending
  • The classic fight scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) and the fact that Spielberg didn’t get ill whilst filming in Tunisia because he had Sainsbury’s canned food shipped in from the UK.
  • Tips on directing children and how a fantastic preview screening of E.T. (1982) upset actor Henry Thomas
  • How he had to adapt his directorial style for Schindler’s List (1993)
  • The visual effects breakthroughs on Jurassic Park (1993)
  • Being inspired by the films of David Lean and Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
  • How he edited on an Avid for the first time on the upcoming War Horse (2011)
  • How he was being glib when he once advised young directors to wear ‘comfortable shoes’
  • The importance of collaboration and listening to co-workers
  • How he loves shooting in England because the crew there call the director ‘Guv’.
  • JJ Abrams and James Cameron also have nice closing statements about how they have been inspired by him
  • Spielberg also closes by talking about his biggest regret, the film he’s proudest of and the one that most closely resembled his original vision.

[Via /Film]

> Steven Spielberg at Wikipedia and the IMDb

Directors News

Sidney Lumet (1924-2011)

Director Sidney Lumet has died in New York at the age of 86.

He was best known for films such as 12 Angry Men (1957), Dog Day Afternoon (1975), Network (1976) and The Verdict (1982), all of which earned him Academy Award nominations for Best Director.

With over 50 films to his credit he was easily one of the most prolific directors of his era and some of his more overlooked works are well worth seeking out, especially Fail-Safe (1964),

He began directing for live television in 1950 and broke through in to features with the classic court-room drama Twelve Angry Men (1957), which starred Henry Fonda as a member of a jury deliberating over a case.

During the 1960s his output included the Cold War drama Fail-Safe (1964), military drama The Hill (1965), The Pawnbroker (1965), and Bye Bye Braverman (1969).

The 1970s was something of a golden decade for Lumet.

The dark and unjustly neglected drama The Offence (1972) was one of Sean Connery’s best roles as a police officer investigating a series of murders in an English town.

Serpico (1973) was a powerful depiction of police corruption in New York city, with a great lead performance from Al Pacino.

The bank-heist drama Dog Day Afternoon (1975) immediately established itself as one of the great films of that decade and again featured Pacino in one of his most memorable roles.

Network (1976) was also an acclaimed social drama, with Peter Finch as a news anchor who becomes an instant celebrity after his memorably angry speeches connect with the disillusioned public.

Written by Paddy Chayefsky and co-starring Faye Dunaway, William Holden and Robert Duvall, its satire of television and the media is still amazingly relevant 35 years on.

After this extraordinary run of films, it would be a few years before he returned to comparable form with The Verdict (1982), a legal drama about a veteran Boston lawyer (Paul Newman) who seeks redemption in a medical malpractice case.

His output shifted from genre to genre with mixed results over the next three decades, although Prince of the City (1981), Running on Empty (1988) and Q & A (1990) are well worth revisiting.

In 2005 was the recipient of an Academy Award for Lifetime Achievement for his “brilliant services to screenwriters, performers, and the art of the motion picture.”

At the age of 82, he directed the acclaimed thriller Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead (2007), which starred Philip Seymour Hoffman, Ethan Hawke and Marisa Tomei.

Intriguingly, he as was a big supporter of digital filmmaking and at the New York Film Festival in 2007 sang the praises of shooting on digital over celluloid.

The New York Times reported a quote of Lumet’s which serves as a fitting epitaph:

“While the goal of all movies is to entertain, the kind of film in which I believe goes one step further. It compels the spectator to examine one facet or another of his own conscience. It stimulates thought and sets the mental juices flowing.”

> Sidney Lumet at the IMDb and Wikipedia
> Links and articles at MUBi

Directors News

Stanley Kubrick Exhibition in Paris

Last week an exhibition devoted to Stanley Kubrick opened at La Cinémathèque Française in Paris.

It originated in 2004 at the Deutsches Filmmuseum in Frankfurt and was designed by curator Hans-Peter Reichmann in close collaboration with Christiane Kubrick, Jan Harlan and The Stanley Kubrick Archive in London.

Stanley Kubrick – L'exposition by lacinematheque

Over the last few years it has travelled to various cities across the globe including Berlin, Zurich, Rome and Melbourne.

The archives contain a number of documents from Kubrick’s productions including scripts, letters, research materials, photos, costumes and props.

It also includes materials from films that Kubrick planned but never made, including the Napoleon project from the early 1970s and the Holocaust drama Aryan Papers which he planned in the early 1990s.

The layout of the exhibition is designed so each space is dedicated to a film and it takes up two floors of the Frank Gehry building, on the 5th and 7th floors, with large-scale models and interactive digital installations.

The exhibition runs until July 31st.

> Official site for the Kubrick Exhibition in Paris
> Virtual exhibition
> Find out more about Stanley Kubrick at Wikipedia
> Kubrick Archive in London
> Get directions via Google Maps

Amusing Directors Interesting

Cooking with David Lynch

Aside from being a great director David Lynch has some mean skills in the kitchen.

Around the release of Inland Empire (2006) he made these cooking videos where he prepares some quinoa and organic broccoli.

Shot in black and white, they are set to some moody music as the director mentions the qualities of quinoa (“they say that it is the only grain that is a perfect, complete protein”) and he tells a mean anecdote about his travels in Europe involving paper money and sugar water.

I could watch a whole series of this.

> David Lynch
> Find out more about Quinoa at Wikipedia