What makes a "Great" Director?

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What makes a "Great" Director?

Postby verbal_nz » Tue Jul 23, 2002 5:10 pm

Perusing through our topics here and there, reading with especial interest the thread on best directors of all time...What does make a director great in your opinion? Is it because you like the films that they make? Is that the sole qualification? Or is it more of the subtle or invisible?
Their choice of shot?
Their cinematography?
Perhaps their reputation?
Their particular technique of juxtaposing soundtrack and shot?

I'm curious, as the more I think about it, the more I think the essence of a director's work is nothing we can see tangibly in the finished product of a film.. it's more elusive than that. A great director can elicit a great performance from a good actor - but is that obvious in the finished product?

I'd love to hear what others have to say.

Re: What makes a "Great" Director?

Postby john-5 » Wed Jul 24, 2002 12:19 pm

Mastery of specifically cinematic expression; integrity of vision (i.e not just following fashion or pandering to commercial expectations); development of recognisable personal style; emotional, intellectual and social-political depth; willingness to experiment/ push back boundaries without fear of rejection. And a dose of good old humanity thrown in for good measure. Hope this doesn't sound too imposing or pretentious! Perhaps not all these qualities, but the more the merrier.

Re: What makes a "Great" Director?

Postby john-5 » Wed Jul 24, 2002 12:47 pm

Oh, and psychological insight, visual imagination and awareness (eg eye for composition), and spiritual depth, too. I should have thought about this a bit longer. It might help if i were a film-maker.

Re: What makes a "Great" Director?

Postby john-5 » Wed Jul 24, 2002 1:10 pm

Sorry to hog this thread so far, but it also seems that having some form of background in painting is hardly a hindrance to becoming a great director. Eisenstein, Mizoguchi, Satyajit Ray, Renoir, Kurosawa, Murnau, Fellini, Welles, Bresson for starters. And not surprisingly, the theatre has an obvious link- Welles and Eisenstein again, Dreyer, Ophuls , Bergman, Griffith....The other main route seems to be directly from film school/criticism; Scorsese, Godard, Truffaut, Paradjanov, Tarkovsky... But scouring the art colleges seems to me the best bet for any country wanting to develop/regain a cinema reputation.

Re: What makes a "Great" Director?

Postby verbal_nz » Wed Jul 24, 2002 1:36 pm

I definitely agree that a background in theatre or painting helps.

What do you think sets apart a great director from merely a good one?

This is all just intellectual, just out of curiosity.

Re: What makes a "Great" Director?

Postby sia » Sat Aug 31, 2002 4:57 am

A great director does not have a formula to make a masterpieces. It is simply an extension of his/her political views. And director’s ideology were formed from director’s social class. A great director tells you the same story over and over, however in different form and different way. As he/she becomes socio-politically more mature or more aware her stories change their form only not the substance. In the mean time if you “understand”director’s point of view and if you find him convincing, then you would like him and you would appreciate his views (movies) thus he becomes your favorite.

Re: What makes a "Great" Director?

Postby gratefultiger » Wed Sep 18, 2002 3:33 am

what makes a great director? see,really see the films of jean renoir "the wisest man to make films" the unsentimental
humanity of his films says it all.

Re: What makes a "Great" Director?

Postby john-5 » Wed Sep 18, 2002 4:26 am

Yeah, it was Renoir i was using as my main yardstick; particularly, as you say, for his humanity. A perfect example of a great director.

Re: What makes a "Great" Director?

Postby bigpoppa_2059 » Thu Oct 03, 2002 6:59 am

"What Makes a Great Director"?

Answer: You must have the first name Jean, and your last name must be Renoir.

Re: What makes a "Great" Director?

Postby gimferrer » Fri Oct 04, 2002 9:20 pm

ha haaa! ask bergman he lives like a monk and writes and writes and writes and writes while he is asleep and dreams while writing...


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