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Public Discussions

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GreenCine Movie Talk
Star Power
Discuss the people who make what we watch.
59

Favorite Directors
Topic by: Eoliano
Posted: December 29, 2002 - 6:42 AM PST
Last Reply: January 22, 2003 - 10:49 PM PST

author topic: Favorite Directors
Eoliano
post #1  on December 29, 2002 - 6:42 AM PST  
Okay, okay, here it is.

The next step is up to you.

dpowers
post #2  on December 30, 2002 - 12:22 AM PST  
see i ... oh i don't know what to say about directors! uh. um. uh.

while filling my profile with an alphabet of favorite movies, which BTW is a great way to start a conversation at a bar / "say gorgeous what's your favorite movie that starts with K" / i realized, if i could sit down with a director right now, and they had to answer every dumb question, i couldn't think of a single film director i wanted to talk to.

which is sad. it's bela tarr's fault, though. at the SFIFF, after the screening of werckmeister harmonies i got to ask bela tarr a question and he blew it off. and it came to my head so naturally. let me tell you though if you want to stay on his good side, don't mention franz kafka or orson welles.

actually now that i think of it here are the four the five THE SIX FAMOUS DIRECTORS i want to interrogate (clockwise around the table):

jacques rivette
ousmane sembene
chantal akerman
isao takahata
guy maddin
vera chytilová
tsai ming-liang
the ghost of luis buñuel
charles burnett

for the most part i excluded the dead, and of course anybody who scares the shit out of me, such as eisenstein, fellini, rossellini, scorsese, tarkovsky, godard, oshima, &c.
Eoliano
post #3  on December 30, 2002 - 2:36 AM PST  


> jacques rivette
> ousmane sembene
> chantal akerman
> isao takahata
> guy maddin
> vera chytilová
> tsai ming-liang
> the ghost of luis buñuel
> charles burnett


All of them at one time?

I hope that you have lots of cigarettes, scotch and film in the camera.

> for the most part i excluded the dead, and of course anybody who scares the shit out of me, such as eisenstein, fellini, rossellini, scorsese, tarkovsky, godard, oshima, &c.

None of them really frightens me, save perhaps Godard, who might make me grit my teeth.

Eisenstein, Fellini, Rossellini & Tarkovsky are all deceased, and it most certainly would raise the hairs on the back of my neck to find myself in a room with them!
Eoliano
post #4  on December 30, 2002 - 2:43 AM PST  

> > the ghost of luis buñuel


I've encountered Buñuel's ghost and I can happily report that he still makes an excellent martini.

I wonder if he's got plans for Thurday night.

dpowers
post #5  on December 30, 2002 - 12:16 PM PST  
well since being scary trumps being dead, i went by that first, then by levels of body decay.

YES! all at once. why mess around. talk with them individually later, i mean, they're busy, but this is an I Get What I Want situation. don't smoke tobacky. scotch i have. i would definitely record this with video, i mean, since everyone would just agree to that anyway.

these are pretty much all the people whose movies consistently make me rethink my sense of reality and time. i left off anybody really experimental because i was frightened the group would become immersed in poetic excess and would leave me behind.

so there are limits, and i'm not happy with that.

i haven't even seen some of jacques rivette's long work from around 1970, the less narrative material, l'amour fou and out 1. the other movies are all astounding to me even though of the ones GC has, i've only seen joan the maid -- the other great ones aren't out on DVD yet.

nothing by ousmane sembene on DVD in north america, that i know of. but for his handling of groups, satire, politics, history, he's amazing at simplifying a flow of power into a few tokens that look small but manage to carry all the weight of the story.

chantal akerman has been making video documentaries lately that are blowing people away who get to see them. her work is i think a more palatable, more outwardly oriented form of godard's film-as-playground, and i might like rivette because of her, or vice versa. i like night and day very much.

isao takahata is of course a cornerstone of studio ghibli, along with his longtime partners hayao miyazaki and toshio suzuki (suzuki to much excitement attended the screenings of spirited away at the SFIFF). takahata's gift as a director is to make animation that gives you life-threatening heart tugs. you can read what i think about grave of the fireflies, but it's pompoko what gets me excited.

guy maddin is happily, totally bananas for silent movies and their ways and means. eisenstein fans who haven't seen archangel (or the heart of the world) should DEFINITELY RENT THIS.

very chytilová is just for one movie i've seen, and for various correspondence of hers i found strewn about the web. right or wrong she's convinced me that movies have a responsibility to evade rules.

tsai ming-liang works in a very small area, with the same people, often using the same buildings, the same locations. but if there is such a thing as purity of location, these movies are hunting for it, and the characters in them are swamped with existential confusion. i hesitate to call it angst because they find it so funny themselves.

hard to believe luis buñuel is the most famous of the bunch, and of course, the most dead. fifty years of changes and innovation, leaving a trail across spanish- and french-language film that's as visible as (and often mistaken for) godard's. hearsay quote: "the worst thing about death was that [one] would not be able to read tomorrow's newspaper."

and last at the table, though it's because he's sitting right next to me, charles burnett, a great and very under-radar-ed american director, whose indie killer of sheep is a terrific counterargument for 70s blaxploitation. (and it deals with some realistic demographics, that most of the black population in california wasn't born in a crack house but came from the houston area during and after world war 2, with a fairly rural attitude.) if you can find it, nightjohn has i think an angle on slavery, as a state of mind that is continuous and difficult for everybody, that moves us into an almost theological area. jonathan rosenbaum is showing when it rains in san francisco next week.

okay now. when do i get to actually sit down at this table and get to the talking part.
dpowers
post #6  on December 30, 2002 - 12:20 PM PST  
> very chytilová <

she is very, at that, but her given name is vera.
Eoliano
post #7  on December 31, 2002 - 6:35 PM PST  

Luis Buñuel would be the one person (deceased anyway) who I would like to spend time with, especially at his Mexican retreat. His humor sends me, and over a few drinks under the palms, I might get him to cast me as Don Jaime, Don Lope, Don Rafael, Mathieu, or perversely, as Séverine Serizy. {G}
Eoliano
post #8  on December 31, 2002 - 7:15 PM PST  
Jacques Rivette's Joan the Maid is now on my queue!

I like this man's work!

I recently watched Secret défense for the first time and La Belle noiseuse again.

dpowers
post #9  on January 22, 2003 - 10:49 PM PST  
a while ago i wrote:

> guy maddin is happily, totally bananas for silent movies and their ways and means. eisenstein fans who haven't seen archangel (or the heart of the world) should DEFINITELY RENT THIS. <

i hadn't seen any films by alexander dovzhenko at that point. dovzhenko seems more of an influence on archangel.

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