Sergio Leone Web Board
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
December 15, 2017, 02:53:44 PM
Home Help Search Calendar Login Register
News:


+  Sergio Leone Web Board
|-+  Other/Miscellaneous
| |-+  Off-Topic Discussion (Moderators: cigar joe, moviesceleton, Dust Devil)
| | |-+  Rate The Last Movie You Saw
0 Members and 4 Guests are viewing this topic. « previous next »
Pages: 1 ... 394 395 [396] 397 398 ... 1170 Go Down Print
Author Topic: Rate The Last Movie You Saw  (Read 1838629 times)
moviesceleton
Moderator
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 3928


The glance that makes holes in the silver screen


View Profile
« Reply #5925 on: April 30, 2009, 02:51:27 AM »

Jim Jarmusch (uses small crews but has stated on many occasions that his crew is vital - thinks of filmmaking as a group process. could be false modesty but I'm curious)
I can provide an opinion only on this one since my knowledge on the others is limited. Jarmusch is definitely an auteur, hard or soft I don't know. He writes his own material (unless when he steals, as some claim) and has complete creative control e.g. final cut. But it's true what you say about his group work. Even though he has "complete control" he seems to be very open for improvisation. Here's an interesting bit The New York Times wrote about his upcoming movie: "Mr. Jarmusch started filming without a complete script; instead he had what he called “a minimal map,” a 25-page story. The dialogue was filled in the night before a scene was shot." And another: "The clearest sign of Mr. Jarmusch’s commitment to a looser way of working was his decision to team up with the cinematographer Christopher Doyle, best known for his seat-of-the-pants collaborations with Wong Kar-wai. “I wanted Chris’s wild side to find things I might not find,” Mr. Jarmusch said." And although he is very specific about his actors and often writes roles for some particular actor, it seems to me that he casts more personalities than actors. Getting the right cast and crew seems to be a big part of his way of working and once has the people he wants he can let things roll on their own weight. But if he worked in Hollywood, he probably wouldn't be able to get all the people he wants.

Conclusion? IMO he's not a complete or definitive auteur but maybe still a tad more than Leone or Hitchcock were because he works outside the system.

Logged

"Once Upon a Time in America gets ten-minute ovation at Cannes"
Groggy
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 11458


This post gets Agnew's stamp of approval!


View Profile WWW
« Reply #5926 on: April 30, 2009, 07:36:32 AM »

I don't know the Rivette article you mention, Groggy, but I suspect you and I are close to agreeing (if you prefer "craftsman" to "technician," fine, I'm using the terms interchangeably--Italian Word Police take note). The problem with the AT is that it tries to account for every film going, when in fact not all directors are alike. Tuco H, elsewhere I have distinguished between "hard auteurs" "soft auteurs" and "non-auteurs", which, while still reductive, at least attempts to draw greater distinctions than the AT normally allows. Hard auteurs are people like Bergman and Herzog, directors who conceive, write, execute their creative visions, and are therefore truly the authors of their films. Generally, this is possible because such people work with small crews and relatively small budgets, and are thereby able to maintain complete control over every facet of the production of their films. Then there are soft auteurs, directors who must cede some creative control to others and thus operate more like team managers than authors, but who nonetheless are able to imprint a distinct and consistent vision on all they produce. In this category I place people like Leone and Hitchcock. Finally, the non-auteurs are those who, though talented (or not), hew to industry norms and/or specialize in the adaptations of other people's visions. Such directors do not have a distinctive vision (I don't say "style") of their own. Here is where I place great craftsman like Wyler and Zinnemann. Possibly, even Kubrick would go here, but perhaps he is a special case (although he tends to be an adapter of other's work, he often ends up transforming or commenting on his sources, sometimes even subverting the original material). Doubtless, even greater distinctions can be made, but this will do for a start. I just can't pretend that the AT successfully covers every feature film ever made.

I think I'd agree largely with your point. See if you can find "The Genius of Howard Hawks" by Rivette anywhere, it really shows the limitations and absurdities of taking the auteur theory too far. Andrew Sarris tried to refine it beyond the simple "all directors are auteurs", making categories similar to yours (although his seemed rather arbitrary and driven by personal taste) but I take issue even with his more revised version of the theory. I agree largely with Bazin's take on the whole issue - that the very idea of auteurism is too driven by a critic or viewer's personal taste, and as you'be said, a director is quite often not the most important person on a film.

Personally though, I don't think the originality argument you seem to be pursuing is entirely helpful, in this case. Many if not most of Hitchcock's works were based on already existing stories and books; whether or not he improved on them is another issue entirely of course, but the point remains. The implication that an auteur makes completely original films strikes me as false. It's especially problematic in Leone's case, considering how heavily he drew on other, pre-existing Westerns for his films.

Logged


Saturday nights with Groggy
dave jenkins
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 13707

"One banana, two banana, three banana, four...."


View Profile
« Reply #5927 on: April 30, 2009, 10:54:12 AM »

Personally though, I don't think the originality argument you seem to be pursuing is entirely helpful, in this case. Many if not most of Hitchcock's works were based on already existing stories and books; whether or not he improved on them is another issue entirely of course, but the point remains. The implication that an auteur makes completely original films strikes me as false. It's especially problematic in Leone's case, considering how heavily he drew on other, pre-existing Westerns for his films.
There is a distinction to be drawn between directors who "adapt" their sources, and those who "transform" them. To my mind, Wyler is an adapter; Hitchcock, however, is a transformer, at least, usually. Very little of the original remains in his finished product. The act of transformation is thus one of original creation. There are exceptions in the Hitchcock oeuvre, of course: Dial M For Murder is almost a direct transplant from a stage production; Rebecca and Under Capricorn closely follow the novels on which they're based. But this is not the usual Hitchcock method: more often than not, AH takes only the premise of a work, throws away the story and then works up a whole new plot (in collaboration with a scriptwriter).

But Tuco Harmonica's caution is a good one: each film has to assessed on its own. A director's working method can change from picture to picture. Slavish adherence to theory is the very thing that frequently renders the auteurist approach unhelpful.

Logged


That's what you get, Drink, for being such an annoying Melville fanboy.
Kurug3n
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1687


Que pasa?


View Profile
« Reply #5928 on: April 30, 2009, 11:20:24 AM »

The Spirit- 8/10

I liked it.

Logged
dave jenkins
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 13707

"One banana, two banana, three banana, four...."


View Profile
« Reply #5929 on: April 30, 2009, 11:26:45 AM »

While I agree to an extent, there are too many formalities and exceptions, especially considering the natural collaborative aspects of the filmmaking process. You would almost have to be present on the set to oversee the shooting process to formulate an opinion on each filmmaker. Then, of course, that could change from film to film. I would also take the editing process into account: how much say does the editor have?

Sorry to be a pain in your ass but what categories would you place the following filmmakers:
Anthony Mann (his work with Alton primarily) -soft or non?
Robert Wise -soft or non?
Teshigahara -collaborated with Japanese author - the name escapes me.
John Ford -soft? but so influential
Jim Jarmusch (uses small crews but has stated on many occasions that his crew is vital - thinks of filmmaking as a group process. could be false modesty but I'm curious)
Bunuel - had co-writers for later work, adapted, not sure about earlier work
Several good points. Yes, every director works differently, and sometimes directors even change their working methods over the course of their careers, so each project has to be assessed separately. The auteurist idea is useful, though, because particular directors do seem to be responsible for bodies of work that cohere in terms of ideas and themes.

I'll take a shot at your list, although I'd appreciate it if you didn't hold me to what I say. I'm more or less thinking out loud.

I distinguish between Anthony Mann pictures and Anthony-Mann-with-John-Alton pictures. Alton has to be considered a co-auteur, at least. The Mann/Alton pictures represent a coherent body of work with a unified worldview and consistent aesthetic values. I don't know any other way to put it.

Robert Wise is a very good craftsman on the order of Wyler and Zinnemann. He tends to be an adapter of other people's work, and therefore, no consistent worldview emerges from his oeuvre.

Teshigahara, it seems to me, successfully adapts the work of novelist Kobo Abe without significantly altering it.

John Ford made so many films that pegging him is no simple task. I suspect we can find examples of hard, soft, and non-auterism over the course of his career.

Jarmusch strikes me as an auteur: regardless of whether he uses Robby Muller or Christopher Doyle as his cameraman, the things that make a Jarmusch film distinctively Jarmusch-like invariably emerge. Collaboration within a group is just one of the techniques a director may use to achieve his distinctive vision.

Bunuel seems to have made two different kinds of film: those adapted from sources in other media, and wholly original works generated with the help of screenwriters. I much prefer the former to the latter. Anyway, you can really tell the difference.

This is more or less a thought exercise; I won't be working up any of this for publication.

Logged


That's what you get, Drink, for being such an annoying Melville fanboy.
Groggy
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 11458


This post gets Agnew's stamp of approval!


View Profile WWW
« Reply #5930 on: April 30, 2009, 12:50:53 PM »

Family Plot - 7-8/10 - Very slight, but intricately plotted, very funny and lots of fun.

Logged


Saturday nights with Groggy
Groggy
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 11458


This post gets Agnew's stamp of approval!


View Profile WWW
« Reply #5931 on: April 30, 2009, 12:55:19 PM »

See, but with Zinnemann at least, whether or not there's a consistent "worldview" as you put it (whatever that means) there certainly is continual themes running through the work that would distinguish his work. The individual or loner butting his head against authority, social norms or expectations has shown up in all of the Zinnemann films I've seen to date, and perhaps with the exception of Day of the Jackal it is largely the central focus of any of the films in question.

« Last Edit: April 30, 2009, 01:00:07 PM by Groggy » Logged


Saturday nights with Groggy
dave jenkins
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 13707

"One banana, two banana, three banana, four...."


View Profile
« Reply #5932 on: April 30, 2009, 01:45:50 PM »

See, but with Zinnemann at least, whether or not there's a consistent "worldview" as you put it (whatever that means) there certainly is continual themes running through the work that would distinguish his work. The individual or loner butting his head against authority, social norms or expectations has shown up in all of the Zinnemann films I've seen to date, and perhaps with the exception of Day of the Jackal it is largely the central focus of any of the films in question.
Consistent themes can be indicative of a unique vision, but they can also bespeak a lack of vision. "The individual against authority" is pretty much a Hollywood Industry Standard. Any company man--be he artist or hack--could, under an intellectual lapse,  default to such a view. And preaching to the choir, as they say, has never been particularly noteworthy. When I consider Leone, however, I see a consistency of themes, but they are themes not often sounded in Anglo-Saxon films of the period: the primacy of male heterosexual friendships and the inevitable betrayal of those friendships. The fact that SL was putting that over consistently, and was doing so in contradistinction to most of his colleagues, makes me feel that a particular set of values belonging to a single author were being expressed.

Granted, my take is highly subjective and constantly subject to revision, but . . . .

Logged


That's what you get, Drink, for being such an annoying Melville fanboy.
Tuco the ugly
Guest
« Reply #5933 on: April 30, 2009, 04:38:44 PM »

The Spirit- 8/10

I liked it.

Ugh. Me hardly.

Logged
Kurug3n
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1687


Que pasa?


View Profile
« Reply #5934 on: April 30, 2009, 06:54:50 PM »

Ugh. Me hardly.

Dislike it much Tuco?

Logged
cigar joe
Moderator
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 12783


easy come easy go


View Profile
« Reply #5935 on: May 01, 2009, 04:14:40 AM »

The Great locomotive Chase (1956) about a 6.5/10,  with  Fess Parker , Jeffrey Hunter,  Harry Carey Jr., Slim Pickens. A narration heavy film about the Anderson Raid. Its highlight for me are the vintage steamlocomotives and museum rolling stock provided by the Baltimore & Ohio RR. Also the scenery looks like it was shot in the vicinity of where the events took place. Its about the first recievers of the Congerssional Medal of Honor.

You don't see these locomotives anymore in modern films, a pitty. This was a two part TV film originally shown on Disney, but it plays a bit more like a docudrama than a typical cutesy Disney film. Slim Pickens is great as a cigar chomping engineer with strip bacon cooking on the firedoor of is locomotive.

I still think a fictional film based on this and Von Ryan's Express would would make a great fictional action Civil War/Western (if it took place in Missouri or another Western state (that had a RR) ),  or a great Mexican Rev/Western.

« Last Edit: May 01, 2009, 04:16:50 AM by cigar joe » Logged

"When you feel that rope tighten on your neck you can feel the devil bite your ass"!
Tuco the ugly
Guest
« Reply #5936 on: May 01, 2009, 04:37:48 AM »

Dislike it much Tuco?

Yeah. Frank Miller's TS is something you'd expect to be directed by Michael Bay, but at least MB never pretended to be an artist. Vanity project. I thought I'd give it another try one of these days but really don't feel like it.

Logged
Groggy
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 11458


This post gets Agnew's stamp of approval!


View Profile WWW
« Reply #5937 on: May 01, 2009, 06:39:15 AM »

Consistent themes can be indicative of a unique vision, but they can also bespeak a lack of vision. "The individual against authority" is pretty much a Hollywood Industry Standard. Any company man--be he artist or hack--could, under an intellectual lapse,  default to such a view.

Perhaps, but given the frequency of such themes in Zinnemann's work and their centrality in the stories, I think it's fair to consider it a recurring theme rather than a "default" to expectations.

Logged


Saturday nights with Groggy
Tuco the ugly
Guest
« Reply #5938 on: May 01, 2009, 07:37:19 AM »

Gleaming the Cube (1989) - 4/10

Eh, I used to love this movie...

Logged
moviesceleton
Moderator
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 3928


The glance that makes holes in the silver screen


View Profile
« Reply #5939 on: May 01, 2009, 07:43:31 AM »

Westward the Women (1951) - 9/10

Logged

"Once Upon a Time in America gets ten-minute ovation at Cannes"
Pages: 1 ... 394 395 [396] 397 398 ... 1170 Go Up Print 
« previous next »
Jump to:  



Visit FISTFUL-OF-LEONE.COM

Powered by SMF 1.1.21 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines
Page created in 0.058 seconds with 21 queries.