What makes a "Great" Director?

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Re: What makes a "Great" Director?

Postby gratefultiger » Wed Oct 09, 2002 1:30 am

big poppa you sound like a wise man who knows &loves his films,renoir "imcomparable"....cheers

Re: What makes a "Great" Director?

Postby Gaz » Wed Oct 09, 2002 2:12 pm

Yes, clever, but does bigpoppa truly think Renoir is the only great director, or does he just have a smart mouth? Surely others are worthy - I would consider Malle, Herzog, Kieslowski etc. great directors. Not always perfect films but unquestionably masters at their best. It's worth remembering that a great director will not always make great films - as far as I'm concerned, the greatest directors will take risks and experiment (not that Renoir doesn't do that...).

Re: What makes a "Great" Director?

Postby MichaelMac28 » Wed Oct 09, 2002 2:35 pm

What makes a "Great" Director?

A "great director should see an image and be able to grasp it on film. A director is the most important person on the set, creatively speaking. It is their job to create the scene.If a director can do that, then they are "great".

Anchero Manas, is one of those great directors. His work in EL BOLA was superb. If you get the chance to see it, I suggest you do so. I just ordered my copy of his movie on DVD through the filmmovement.

Re: What makes a "Great" Director?

Postby thegreatken1 » Wed Oct 16, 2002 1:00 am

Avoid Hollywood.

Re: What makes a "Great" Director?

Postby admin-2 » Sun Oct 20, 2002 2:59 pm

The best directors are those that have a world view that informs their work (we expect it of composers and painters...why not filmmakers?). They must also NOTpander to the public. A Beethoven (especially in his later work) and a Picasso never gave the impression that they cared about the "public". They did what they HAD to do.

There are few directors of film that follow these rules.

Spielberg panders all the time because he wants to be loved. Kurosawa attempted suicide in the early '70's because he was out of favour in Japan. Coppola (a good director) would rather make wine than make personal (if unpopular) films. Are these people artists in the truest sense of the word? Perhaps!

But...I would rather watch a bad, but heartfelt and personal film by Altman than anything by Spielberg. I'd rather watch a flawed, but deeply humanistic film by Renoir, than the later work of Kurosawa. I'd rather laugh at one of Buñuel's "hack" films from Mexico (say THE GREAT MADCAP) then "Jack" or "Bram Stoker's Dracula" by Coppola. And...I would rather watch any film by Michael Powell, Orson Welles, Stanley Kubrick, Chantal Akerman, Ingmar Bergman or even (more recently) Brad Anderson, then just about anyone else out there. They are true "originals" who are making or have made films that they HAD to make. They never leave the impression that their films are "just jobs". They truly care about their characters and their stories and their films, although often "unsuccessful", are truly heartfelt.

Re: What makes a "Great" Director?

Postby admin-2 » Sun Oct 20, 2002 3:20 pm

I forgot to mention that a grest director has to inspire his collaborators (actors and technicians). With the notable exception of Stanley Kubrick (and maybe Hitchcock), I do not think that it is possible for any one person to make a great film.

Would Orson Welles be considered great if he hadn't inspired cinematographers like Gregg Toland (CITIZEN KANE), Stanley Cortez (THE MAGNIFICENT AMBERSONS) or Russell Metty (TOUCH OF EVIL)?

Gabriel Figueroa, one of the most dazzlingly inventive cinematographers that ever existed, trusted Buñuel so much that he was willing to NOT make a scene look pretty. He totally suppressed HIS ego to bring Buñuel's vision to the screen.

Need I mention the "stock companies" of Altman, Renoir, Bergman, Allen, Ford, Hawks, Sturges and even Capra (who I don't like, but I still think is great).

These director inspire and nurture their relationship with their collaborators. They treat them like equals and they are rewarded with work that makes them look like geniuses. Perhaps that is the sign of a great director. The ability to know when to keep your mouth shut and to accept the praise for work that others have done.


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