Posts tagged ‘Director’

April 9, 2012


the cell

the fall

Tarsem Singh Dhandwar (b. 1961), known professionally as Tarsem, is an Indian film director. He began his career directing music videos, including those of ‘Hold On’ by En Vogue, ‘Sweet Lullaby’ by Deep Forest, and R.E.M.’s smash hit ‘Losing My Religion,’ the latter of which won Best Video of the Year at the 1991 MTV Video Music Awards. He has directed dozens of commercials for brands such as Nike and Coca-Cola.

Tarsem’s feature film directorial debut was ‘The Cell’ (2000), starring Jennifer Lopez. His second film, ‘The Fall,’ debuted at the 2006 Toronto International Film Festival and was released theatrically in the United States in 2008. His third film was 2011’s ‘Immortals.’ He directed an adaptation of the Brothers Grimm story of Snow White, called ‘Mirror Mirror’ in 2012.

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March 18, 2012

Sergio Leone

Sergio Leone [lee-oh-nee] (1929 – 1989) was an Italian film director, producer and screenwriter most associated with the ‘Spaghetti Western’ genre. Leone’s film-making style includes juxtaposing extreme close-up shots with lengthy long shots. His movies include ‘The Last Days of Pompeii,’ ‘The Colossus of Rhodes,’ the Dollars Trilogy (‘A Fistful of Dollars,’ ‘For a Few Dollars More,’ and ‘The Good, the Bad and the Ugly’), Once ‘Upon a Time in the West,’ ‘Duck, You Sucker!’, and ‘Once Upon a Time in America.’

Born in Rome, Leone was the son of the cinema pioneer Vincenzo Leone (known as director Roberto Roberti) and the silent film actress Edvige Valcarenghi (Bice Waleran). During his schooldays, Leone was a classmate of his later musical collaborator Ennio Morricone for a time. After watching his father work on film sets, Leone began his own career in the film industry at the age of 18 after dropping out of law studies at the university.

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March 8, 2012

Jan Švankmajer

Bilderlexikon Zoologie

Jan Švankmajer [shvank-mai-er] (b.1934) is a Czech filmmaker and artist whose work spans several media. He is a self-labeled surrealist known for his surreal animations and features, which have greatly influenced other artists such as Terry Gilliam and  the Brothers Quay. An early influence on his later artistic development was a puppet theater he was given for Christmas as a child. He studied at the College of Applied Arts in Prague and later in the Department of Puppetry at the Prague Academy of Performing Arts.

He contributed to Emil Radok’s film ‘Doktor Faust’ in 1958 and then began working for Prague’s Semafor Theatre where he founded the Theatre of Masks. He then moved on to the Laterna Magika multimedia theatre, where he renewed his association with Radok. This theatrical experience is reflected in Švankmajer’s first film ‘The Last Trick,’ which was released in 1964. Under the influence of theoretician Vratislav Effenberger Švankmajer moved from the mannerism of his early work to classic surrealism, first manifested in his film ‘The Garden’ (1968), and joined the Czechoslovakian Surrealist Group.

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February 17, 2012

Wes Anderson

wes anderson by Derek Eads

Wes Anderson (b. 1969) is an American director and screenwriter. Anderson has been called an auteur, as he is involved in every aspect of his films’ production. His films employ similar aesthetics, using a deliberate, methodical cinematography, with mostly primary colors. His soundtracks feature folk and early rock music, in particular classic British rock. Anderson’s films combine dry humor with poignant portrayals of flawed characters – often a mix of the wealthy and the working class. He is also known for working with many of the same actors and crew on varying projects, particularly Owen Wilson (who co-wrote three of Anderson’s feature films), Bill Murray, and Jason Schwartzman. Other frequent collaborators include writer Noah Baumbach, who co-wrote ‘The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou’ and ‘Fantastic Mr. Fox,’ with Anderson co-producing his film ‘The Squid and the Whale.’

Anderson went to India to film his 2007 film ‘The Darjeeling Limited’ partly as a tribute to the legendary Indian filmmaker Satyajit Ray, whose ‘films have also inspired all my other movies in different ways’ (the film is dedicated to him). Jason Schwartzman reunited with Anderson for it, acting as well as co-writing the script with Anderson and Roman Coppola. In 2006, following the disappointing commercial and critical reception of ‘The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou,’ Steely Dan’s Walter Becker and Donald Fagen released a tongue-in-cheek ‘letter of intervention’ of Anderson’s artistic ‘malaise.’ Proclaiming themselves to be fans of ‘World Cinema’ and Anderson in particular, they offered Anderson their soundtrack services for his ‘The Darjeeling Limited,’ including lyrics for a title track.

January 12, 2012

Marco Brambilla

san angeles

Marco Brambilla (b. 1960) is an Italian-born Canadian video artist who works in the United States. He first worked in commercials and feature films, directing the successful 1993 science fiction film ‘Demolition Man.’ In 1998 he shifted focus to video and photography projects, and has since exhibited works in private and public collections including, ‘Cyclorama’ at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, ‘HalfLife’ at the Santa Monica Museum of Art in 2011. His commissions include ‘Superstar’ for the ’59th Minute’ series in Times Square in 1999, and ‘Arcadia’ for ‘Massless Medium: Explorations in Sensory Immersion’ at Brooklyn Bridge Anchorage in 2001, both for New York public arts organization Creative Time.

His installation, ‘Cathedral’ was showcased during the Toronto International Film Festival 2008, and his 3D work ‘Evolution’ was selected for the 2011 Venice Film Festival and the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. A second 3D work ‘Civilization’ is a permanent installation at the Standard Hotel in New York. ‘Transit,’ a collection of photographs Brambilla took in and around national and international airports, was published in 2000.

August 22, 2011

Georges Méliès

a trip to the moon

Georges Méliès [mey-lyes] (1861 – 1938) was a French filmmaker famous for leading many technical and narrative developments in the earliest cinema. He was very innovative in the use of special effects. He accidentally discovered the ‘stop trick,’ or substitution, in 1896, and was one of the first filmmakers to use multiple exposures, time-lapse photography, dissolves, and hand-painted color in his films. Because of his ability to seemingly manipulate and transform reality through cinematography, Méliès is sometimes referred to as the First ‘Cinemagician,’ and before making films, he was a stage magician at the Theatre Robert-Houdin.

His most famous film is ‘A Trip to the Moon’ (‘Le voyage dans la Lune’) made in 1902, which includes the celebrated scene in which a spaceship hits the eye of the man in the moon.

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July 12, 2011

Richard Kelly


Donnie Darko by Alex Amezcua

Richard Kelly (b. 1975) is an American film director and writer. He won a scholarship to the University of Southern California to study at the USC School of Cinema-Television. He made two short films, ‘The Goodbye Place’ and ‘Visceral Matter,’ before graduating in 1997. His first feature film, ‘Donnie Darko’ (2001), a psychological thriller, was given a budget of just $4.5 million, received major critical acclaim. His fourth film, and second feature, ‘Southland Tales,’ (2006) is a science fiction dark comedy-drama, which was unsuccessful critically and financially. His most recent feature, ‘The Box’ (2009), is a psychological horror film.

Although Richard Kelly’s films differ considerably in setting and characters (‘Donnie Darko’ is about a suburban teenager, ‘Southland Tales’ is an L.A. epic, and ‘The Box’ is about a married couple in Richmond, Virginia), they share similar themes of time travel, existentialism, and spirituality. Kelly’s style is composed of Steadicam based tracking shots and camera movement in general, satirical elements (as seen sparsely in ‘Donnie Darko’ and much more prominently in ‘Southland Tales’), comedy, drama, and enigmatic plots. Music also plays a large role in Richard Kelly’s films; for example, the closing segment of ‘Donnie Darko’ is a montage of several characters awakening from their lucid dreams to Gary Jules’s version of the Tears for Fears song ‘Mad World.’

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May 25, 2011

Frank Oz

frank oz by mrwhaite

Richard Frank Oznowicz (b. 1944) , better known as Frank Oz is an American film director and puppeteer who is known for creating and performing the characters Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, and Animal in ‘The Muppet Show’ and for directing films, including the 1986 ‘Little Shop Of Horrors’ remake and ‘Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.’ He is also the operator and voice of Yoda in the Star Wars series, as well as Grover, Cookie Monster, Sam Eagle, and Bert on Sesame Street.

In addition to performing a variety of characters, Oz has been one of the primary collaborators responsible for the development of the Muppets over the last 30 years. His puppetry work spans from 1963 to the present, though he has retired from the Muppets. His Muppets were taken over by Eric Jacobson, though Oz still performs his characters on occasion. He also worked with the puppets on the movie Labyrinth, starring David Bowie.

March 28, 2011

Andrei Tarkovsky


Andrei Tarkovsky (1932 – 1986) was a Russian filmmaker, widely regarded as one of the finest of the 20th century. Tarkovsky’s films include ‘Andrei Rublev,’ ‘Solaris,’ ‘The Mirror,’ and ‘Stalker.’ He directed the first five of his seven feature films in the Soviet Union; his last two films were produced in Italy and Sweden, respectively. They are characterized by spirituality and metaphysical themes, long takes, lack of conventional dramatic structure and plot, and distinctively authored use of cinematography.

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February 24, 2011

Takashi Miike

Audition by Peter Strain

Kikihara by jason beam

Takashi Miike (b. 1960) is a highly prolific and controversial Japanese filmmaker. He has directed over seventy theatrical, video, and television productions since his debut in 1991. In the years 2001 and 2002 alone, Miike is credited with directing fifteen productions.

His films range from violent and bizarre to dramatic and family-friendly. He gained international fame in 2000 when his romantic horror film Audition (1999) played at international film festivals. He has since gained a strong cult following in the West that is growing with the increase in DVD releases of his works.

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February 20, 2011

Paul Verhoeven

basic instinct


Paul Verhoeven (b. 1938) is a Dutch film director, screenwriter, and producer who has made movies in both the Netherlands and the United States. Explicitly violent and/or sexual content and social satire are trademarks of both his drama and science fiction films. He is best known for directing the American feature films RoboCop (1987), Total Recall (1990), Basic Instinct (1992), Showgirls (1995), Starship Troopers (1997), and Hollow Man (2000).

February 14, 2011

Jean-Luc Godard


Jean-Luc Godard (b. 1930) is a French-Swiss filmmaker. He is often identified with the group of filmmakers known as the Nouvelle Vague, or ‘French New Wave.’ Many of his films challenge the conventions of traditional Hollywood cinema as well as the French equivalent. He is often considered the most extreme or radical of the New Wave filmmakers. His films express his political ideologies as well as his knowledge of film history. In addition, Godard’s films often cite existentialism as he was an avid reader of existential and Marxist philosophy.

His radical approach in movie conventions, politics and philosophies made him the most influential filmmaker of the French New Wave, inspiring directors as diverse as Quentin Tarantino, Martin Scorsese, Bernardo Bertolucci, Paul Thomas Anderson, Arthur Penn, Hal Hartley, Richard Linklater, Gregg Araki, John Woo, Mike Figgis, Robert Altman, Steven Soderbergh, Richard Lester, Jim Jarmusch, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Brian De Palma, Wim Wenders, Oliver Stone and Ken Loach.