It’s been several months since I’ve done the movie blog, while I sorted out some things in real life, and worked on revamping it so it wasn’t just movie reviews. I wanted to do features and contemplations (one sided discussions). I made a promise to myself and friends that I would make a return to the blog in October, but I wanted to ease myself back into it, and not just go full force with reviews and what not. So I’ll be rolling out a few non-review posts over the next few weeks, then get back to actual reviews come November.
To get me back into the swing of things, it’s a meme I’ve seen on a few movie blogs, and while I wasn’t tagged, I did see it, and think it interesting. Name 15 directors who have shaped the way I view films. And here they are, in alphabetical order. Keep in mind, I’m a child of the late 80s and early 90s, so that’s where most of my picks lean, when I started getting into movies. And this isn’t a list of favourites, just ones who influenced me (though they all are amongst my favourites)
Mel Brooks – Young Frankenstein, Blazing Saddles – He’s such a force in comedy. He constructed these amazing parodies, but unlike the referential parodies of today, the jokes were born out of the script and the story, so it was all self-contained. And he never lost sight of his primary goal… make the audience laugh.
Frank Capra – It’s A Wonderful Life – Call him schmaltzy if you will, but he did it well. There was always an earnestness, an honesty to his films.
John Carpenter – The Thing, Halloween – There was always something understated about his films, and he knew how to build the suspense, and not lose the audience.
Amy Heckerling – Fast Times At Ridgemont High – While John Hughes (more on him later) tended to present high school in more of a fanciful way, Heckerling kept it rooted in reality. While you could relate to Hughes’ characters, you were Heckerling’s.
Alfred Hitchcock – North By Northwest, Rear Window – A lot of what we view as cliche today, he perfected. He’s a director that still surprises me, no matter how many and how many times I’ve seen his movies.
John Hughes – The Breakfast Club, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off – There was more to the dialog than there was to the characters. It became more important what was being said than who exactly was saying it, and that’s what spoke to me and audiences, that they’re feelings and emotions and experiences were being represented.
Sergio Leone – A Fistfull of Dollars, Once Upon A Time in the West – These were the first Westerns that I remember watching, and he cemented my idea of what a Western was.
Sidney Lumet – 12 Angry Men, Network – There’s a precision every step of the way in his films, and he expertly captures great performances.
John McTiernan – Die Hard, Predators – He came along during the Golden Age of the action genre, and became the best of the era.
Robert Rodriguez – Desperado, Sin City – He’s one of the “Big 3” (as I call them) that really got me into cinema. He’s always been about doing his movies his ways, which I’ve always admired.
Martin Scorsese – Taxi Driver, Mean Streets – When I first started exploring more of cinema after I initially got hooked by the “Big 3,” Scorsese was one of the first who I really got into.
Kevin Smith – Clerks, Mallrats – The 2nd of the “Big 3” on the list, I was immediately blown away but what I saw in Clerks, and was 12 at the time I saw it (in ’97) and I would say was a real turning point for me. The spark that ignited the fire.
Steven Spielberg – Jurassic Park, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade – Spielberg had this knack for capturing the imagination that many tried and failed to duplicate. He really is a one of a kind director.
Quentin Tarantino – Pulp Fiction, Kill Bill – Last of the “Big 3,” I started watching his, Smith’s and Rodriguez’s films all at around the same time (about 12 years old), and that trifecta, seeing what they could do, that they were making their own films they way they wanted, got me hooked on movies and it spiraled out of control from there.
Robert Zemeckis – Back to the Future trilogy – Much like Spielberg, he had a knack for capturing the imagination, but it a different, more fun way. I’ve seen BTTF dozens, if not a hundred times since I was a kid, and I still watch it with the same wide eyed wonderment.