Thursday, September 16, 2010

Leviathan filmmaking.

Maybe cinema is the medium through which artists most acutely express their vantage of the world. A conglomerate of skills and mediums exploding with vibrant images, probing narratives, and tightly honed technical prowess, film IS art. To view a film is to act as an detective, noting the subtle, often transparent, techniques used in its creation and in its presentation. A slight alteration in lighting or camera angle can shift the mood or message of an entire scene. A good director or filmmaker, if nothing else, is deliberate. A choice is not a whim for these few. Do you think there is anything in an Orson Wells movie that he did not mandate to be there? Not likely. When Fellini constructs a vast, multi-layered scene with seemingly endless scope, he does so meticulously. Each layer carefully planned and contemplated for a reason. After all, this is how you create a masterpiece.
This task, overbearing scrutiny, is falling to the wayside in the contemporary film industry. So seldom is a film created that represents a filmmaker’s desires and his desires alone. I believe that the formula for success is not having a skilled team of experts each responsible for a piece of the puzzle, but one leviathan manifesting his own mind. This separates the wheat from the chaff. A shit director can skate by because his special effects team is tremendous or she hired good writers only to result in an average movie. A movie that might make some money, might be talked about for about eight minutes and then quickly forgotten. This is fine and provides pockets of entertainment here and there. Lord knows I need the breaks from everyday life. In the end, there are good movies and there are bad movies, they each requires a vision of some kind, but the great movies are those which emerge from the mind of a sole creator. A diabolical mastermind churning up thematic depth and projecting it thirty feet wide and luminous. This is how Antonioni did it. The Cohen Brothers, Di Sica, all of the greats. They made movies that baffle us in their complexity. Too much for more than one mind to handle.

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