Tagged: Cassavetes

the director spirit

10 years ago an ad made a bold statement: EVERYONE IS A DIRECTOR.

Making of Sony Two Worlds from Spy Films on Vimeo.

In the 1960’s this statement would have been ludicrous. Directors were grand masters of a young art-form, explorers of the mystery of movement and the power of story. Directors, at least in Eruope, were an intellectual avant-garde at the edge of all the arts, carrying the torch of inspiration, talent, individuality, genius.

Cinema directors of that time were like shamans, a living conduit between universal questions and small human stories told in frame-by-frame detail. Films often reflected experiences that the mostly grown-up audiences could recognize and identify with.

In a film by Fellini or Kurosawa or Antonioni one could expect to get lost in magical worlds that other arts could not yet access. The master directors blended material, physical and spiritual dimensions in personal, unique manifestos. No other art-form could move so dynamically: the monopoly on moving images, virtual travel, urban escapism and human darkness and dream belonged to the cinema.

Directors held the power to unleash Freudian/Junghian shadow dark sides. The new release by Kurosawa or De Sica was awaited (in almost every country except the United States) with fervor, more than a Lady Gaga show today. Cinema audiences were mostly still unspoiled by a world of inflated, constant, omnipresent imagery and constant swift manipulation and pressure to buy, not think or feel.

is making a movie like playing in the band?

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My favourite filmmakers use the same crew for every film. Do yours?

For example, I am Thinking of John Cassavetes, actor -director who shot many of his films inside his own studio-house. He cast his wife Gena Rowlands and his best fiends in every picture.

Each new movie was a challenge to a familiar formation of artists. The scripts went directly to the actors, not to outside casting agents or on-shot producers. The movies were not easy to make and the edits ignored audience tastes. The film “Husbands” was cut long and much less of a comedy than the studio insisted on, costing Cassavetes and his “band” pretty pennies, but resulting in a one-of-a-kind film. (the plot? three friends go to a hotel in London after the funeral of their best friend in the U.S.)

But like a band that plays every new song different, John Cassavetes played film different. He changed the rules of a game that has today changed even more.

Especially if you are making short films, your filmmaking is already like playing in a band. An adventure with friends.

The name of the awesome band in the clip is VIDAR. Worth keeping an eye on.