I’m passionate about film. There are few things I love more than watching a great film. Even if a movie has a crap storyline or the acting is atrocious or the music is mainly comprised of midi horns, I’ll still learn something from it. Maybe it’s what not to do or maybe it’s just stunning visually.
I get a lot of my photo lighting and composition ideas from film. I’m actually just watching “The Assassination of Jesse James” and I have an uncontrollable hankering for tall wheat grass and dark and moody skies. … I’d take Roger Deakins over Mr Pitt any day. Well, maybe every other day :p
I also love learning all about the people who make films and their process. And yes, I watch all the special features. Yup, even the lame ones with just written credits or extended scenes. I do, however, hate watching deleted scenes. The scene was cut for a reason. Just leave it be. If you disagree, let’s argue! Ha! Cuz for me, you can’t beat hot n’ heavy, super geeky discussion about film.
When I was in Vegas for the NME, I ended up at a very swanky party with some of New Media’s top dogs talking/arguing about great directors. It was super fabulous. It went something like this.
What are your top 3 favourite directors?
The 19 year-old shaggy blond intern & film school n00b said, “Michael Bay. Dude. Transformers was seriously awesome!”
The 30 year old film school veteran & top dog retorted, “Michael Bay??? Scorsese. Hands down.”
The intern then shot back, “but dude… that car chase scene in Bad Boys 2 is like the best EVER!”
There was much back and forth discourse, until the fast-talking, smooth, good-looking agent, also a film school grad, gave a detailed and analytical description of his favourite directors, David Fincher, Tony Scott, Ridley Scott & James Cameron. I totally gave him a high five and we talked about how wikkid awesome James Cameron’s 3-D movie “Avatar” will be.
Then I threw in an awkward “they mostly come out at night, mostly” and waited for someone to get the film reference, but no one did, and it hung in the air like a hovering fly or perhaps something larger and more uncomfortable like a pelican.
Thankfully, the quiet intern with the dark framed designer specs broke the silence with, “I know that everyone is gonna say this lately because of Batman, but… Christopher Nolan.” I totally gave him an air high-five, because I wasn’t close enough to high five and I felt like we hadn’t reached that level of comfort yet. Eye-contact had been made, but no “safe zone” had been established.
And then the power mane loving intern pointed at me and said, “Now you! Go!”
- Tony ScottPeriod. Some people say Tony is hit or miss. I say, he’s a visonary. He takes risks and takes jump cuts to the next level of awesome. Top Gun!? Classic. It was my absolute favourite movie when I was a kid. I even plastered my room walls with F-14 Tomcats. No Goose!!!!! Also, Spy Game (2001) is one of my top 10 movies. You know that one sequence with Brad and Robert Redford on the roof and the helicopter circling around? Yeah! That’s the stuff. The Last Boy Scout (1991), True Romance (1993), Crimson Tide (1995), Enemy of the State (1998), Man on Fire (2004)? Awesome. I love his visual style and how he always highlights sweet tech stuff and loads of gadgets. I know a lot of people didn’t like Deja Vu (2006), but seriously, it was a high tech visual orgasm of awesomeness.
- Christopher Nolan knocks my socks off. His movies are so darn good. Every scene is meticulous and melts into each other. No one else could have captured Memento like Nolan. His awareness of time, structure, and lighting is insane. The Dark Knight (which I haven’t seen yet… forgive me) The Prestige (2006), Batman Begins (2005), Insomnia (2002), Memento (2000) & Following (1998).
Gosh only one more… But there’s Terry Gilliam, Paul Greengrass, Alfonso Cuarón, Sam Mendes, Francis Ford Coppola, Scorsese, Sofia Coppola, Mike Nichols, Oliver Stone, Ron Howard, Michael Mann, Steven Soderbergh, Wes Anderson, Jean-Pierre Jeunet, Pedro Almodovar, David Fincher, Christopher Guest, Gorge Clooney (who is so ridiculously talented)… Ack…
Ok. I need 3 more. I know it’s cheating, but…
- Ridley Scott is Epic. Everything he does is big, bold, and beautiful. Give this man an Oscar, seriously. That fact that he didn’t win best director for Gladiator (2000) was so totally lame. Uh! I don’t think I even have to tell you why I love Ridley. I’ll let the plethora of awesome Ridley Scott films speak for themselves. My personal favs are American Gangster (2007), Black Hawk Down (2001), Blade Runner (1982), Alien (1979) (my favourite of the Alien Quadrilogy) . I can’t watch Hannibal (2001) as it scares my pants off. Also, if you haven’t seen Ridley’s first movie, The Duellists (1977), go rent it and watch the last scene. One shot. It’s intense.
- Paul Greengrass
is gritty and real. His four films have all been incredible. Two of them even make it into my top 10: The Bourne Ultimatum (2007) & The Bourne Supremacy (2004). And that’s something. United 93 (2006) & Bloody Sunday (2002) are also stunning. I can’t wait to see what he does next.
- Steven Spielberg:is like a perfect hug. Smothers you in visual perfection and endings that make you just love the world. How could you not say Spielberg.