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 Posted:   Nov 3, 2013 - 1:33 PM   
 By:   mastadge   (Member)

(Wow! I just clicked on that link. $76 for a book on Ridley Scott?!!!! Thor.... no way.)

That's what the library's for!

 
 
 Posted:   Nov 3, 2013 - 1:42 PM   
 By:   Thor   (Member)

Indeed. I crave books like that -- scholarly approaches to my favourite directors! But $76 was a bit steep, I'll grant you that.

 
 Posted:   Nov 3, 2013 - 1:58 PM   
 By:   RoryR   (Member)

Indeed. I crave books like that -- scholarly approaches to my favourite directors! But $76 was a bit steep, I'll grant you that.

Oh, you're in Norway. Didn't know that. I guess that's why the use of "Thor." I get it.

O' NO!!!! I just remembered THOR 2 is about to arrive. Another movie I won't be going to!

 
 
 Posted:   Nov 3, 2013 - 1:59 PM   
 By:   Thor   (Member)

Me neither, I think. The first was too "camp" for me, and I understand the second one is even more so.

In fact, the comic book version doesn't sit quite right with me, being brought up on the original Norse God after which I'm named (Thor is my real name).

 
 Posted:   Nov 3, 2013 - 2:09 PM   
 By:   RoryR   (Member)

Well, we have something in common, we both use our real first names on this board!

Hear that NSA?!!!!!

 
 Posted:   Nov 3, 2013 - 2:50 PM   
 By:   Ray Worley   (Member)

He's my second favourite director of all time.

Not trying to start a fight, 'cause it is a matter of taste, but who's the first?

I like Ridley fine and one of my top 10 favorite movies of all time (BLADE RUNNER) is his, but I can name 20-30 directors I like better. Kurosawa is probably my favorite, then Ford, Peckinpah, Fellini, Rohmer, Nicholas Ray, Kubrick, Bresson, Kieslowski, Tati, John Huston, not in any order, but whew! I'd be a foot down the page before I got to Ridley Scott.
Hmmmm...like Rory's faves, they're all dead. Like Rory, one of my big problems with Ridley is his failure to treat composers properly. The Goldsmith debacles are well-documented.

Rory, your points are well taken. I only sensed a certain incredulity that anyone could enjoy a film like PROMETHEUS without being concerned about story. If I mis-read I apologize.

And Thor, I second the recommendation on the Turner Classic Movies documentary. It's called THE STORY OF FILM: AN ODYSSEY by Mark Cousins. I don't know if you get TCM in Norway, but the doc is at Netflix and available on DVD (in the $40 range). I liked it a bit better than Rory, I think. Besides an interesting analysis, it has some really beautifully shot contempoary footage as the doc takes you around the world to the studios, locations, cities where film history was made.

Totally off topic, but one my favorite tidbits on info in the series was the fact that in the 50's -60's Brigitte Bardot brought more money into the French economy than auto maker Renault. (!)
Too bad most of her films were froth, but CONTEMPT, LA VERITE, and EN CAS DE MALHEUR were superb.

Well, we have something in common, we both use our real first names on this board!

Hear that NSA?!!!!!


Ha! Me too! I guess we're all in the NSA dB now.

 
 Posted:   Nov 3, 2013 - 2:50 PM   
 By:   Ray Worley   (Member)

dp

 
 Posted:   Nov 3, 2013 - 2:53 PM   
 By:   Ray Worley   (Member)

dp dammit!

 
 
 Posted:   Nov 3, 2013 - 2:57 PM   
 By:   Thor   (Member)

Not trying to start a fight, 'cause it is a matter of taste, but who's the first?

Steven Spielberg.

Other favourites include Tim Burton, David Fincher, David Lynch, Michelangelo Antonioni, Stanley Kubrick, Satyjajit Ray, Andrei Tarkovsky, Jean-Luc Godard, Francois Truffaut, Ingmar Bergman (the earlier, more experimental stuff) and many more. I used to be all keen on Yasujiro Ozu back in my student days, but not that much anymore. Of course, there's a bunch more.

And Thor, I second the recommendation on the Turner Classic Movies documentary. It's called THE STORY OF FILM: AN ODYSSEY by Mark Cousins.

Ah, is THAT the one you're talking about. Yes, I'm well aware of that. Mark Cousin's dialect and style is a common source of reference/respectful parody in our staff at montages.no.

 
 Posted:   Nov 3, 2013 - 4:06 PM   
 By:   RoryR   (Member)

And Thor, I second the recommendation on the Turner Classic Movies documentary. It's called THE STORY OF FILM: AN ODYSSEY by Mark Cousins.

Ah, is THAT the one you're talking about. Yes, I'm well aware of that. Mark Cousin's dialect and style is a common source of reference/respectful parody in our staff at montages.no.


Yes. The dialect, and I'm of Scotch decent, is distracting, as is his style, but he makes good points. Still, I can't fully recommend it, but it's nice that Turner Classic Movies, now almost the only channel on all of American television that celebrates the classics of American and International film -- and doesn't that tell you something about the culture of the supposed "best country in the world" -- is showing it. I never would have known about it otherwise.

 
 Posted:   Nov 3, 2013 - 8:19 PM   
 By:   Ray Worley   (Member)

And Thor, I second the recommendation on the Turner Classic Movies documentary. It's called THE STORY OF FILM: AN ODYSSEY by Mark Cousins.

Ah, is THAT the one you're talking about. Yes, I'm well aware of that. Mark Cousin's dialect and style is a common source of reference/respectful parody in our staff at montages.no.


Yes. The dialect, and I'm of Scotch decent, is distracting, as is his style, but he makes good points. Still, I can't fully recommend it, but it's nice that Turner Classic Movies, now almost the only channel on all of American television that celebrates the classics of American and International film -- and doesn't that tell you something about the culture of the supposed "best country in the world" -- is showing it. I never would have known about it otherwise.


Ah yes, the accent. I don't find it distracting...kind of endearing actually. But us Americans are always a sucker for a Scottish accent. His is kind of different though. Do you know if it's regional or is it because Cousins was born in Ireland/raised in Scotland and it's kind of a mash-up?

Thanks goodness for Turner Classics. I've been watching a ton of it lately, catching up on lots of fun stuff I've missed over the years. From Ann Sothern's "Maisie" series to obscure foreign films...something for everyone. And sometimes they even mention the music in the intros!

 
 Posted:   Nov 3, 2013 - 8:19 PM   
 By:   Ray Worley   (Member)

dp again...my computer is being fractious today.

 
 
 Posted:   Nov 4, 2013 - 1:54 AM   
 By:   Ian J.   (Member)

...and I'm of Scotch decent...

You're into good whisky then? wink

(I think you meant Scots or Scottish descent, 'Scotch' should really only be used as a reference to whisky smile )

Back on topic, I used to think Spielberg was a top director, but since he (IMO) failed with Minority Report to allow it to have a dystopian ending I've been less forgiving of his films.

Ridley Scott has always been a mixed bag for me. I really like Alien and Blade Runner, and I have a number of his other films on disc, but all too often I feel he misses the importance of story clarity and coherence. However, I think as he himself would say, that's not what he's in it for.

I just feel that if a story is going to be in a movie, it should done properly and not in a half-arsed way just to hang pretty pictures on. I think that's why I don't like Terence Malick's work much either. If he and Scott just made montage movies, then I might be able to watch them purely for their visualizations.

As for me, I have no 'go to' director these days. I like Chris Nolan's stuff, but I don't feel I have to see everything he does. I like Soderberg's stuff, but again, don't feel I need to see all of it.

I think I'm getting a bit old and cynical smile

 
 
 Posted:   Nov 4, 2013 - 2:47 AM   
 By:   Thor   (Member)

One of the reasons I love Scott is his duality and the fact that he's placed somewhere between traditional Hollywood storytelling and alternative, arthouse sentiments. Malick is closer to the latter than the former, but is also a 'hybrid' director in a way.

But yeah -- I'd definitely like to see a video installation-type exhibtion from Scott and Malick. I think Scott did some of those back in the 60s when he was studying at the Royal College of Art, and before he threw himself into television and commercials in the 70s.

 
 
 Posted:   Nov 4, 2013 - 5:26 AM   
 By:   Spymaster   (Member)

This whole thing about Ridley Scott being an "auteur" makes me giggle.

I think most people in the film industry - actors, directors, composers, cinematographers - will agree that the story is king. The story drives characters, drives the ebb and flow of emotions, drives the design, drives musical ideas. Pretty pictures alone are great in an art gallery, or in an IMAX documentary, but where is the drama in that alone? Where is the point?

Ridley Scott, upon the release of Prometheus, was quoted as saying:

"[The filmmaking landscape over the last 30 years] hasn’t really changed. The bottom line still is: what’s your story? How good are your characters? How good is the dialogue?"

"What makes a good film? That’s where I come from. I’m a yarnteller. My job is to engage you as much as I can and as often as I can".

"It is important that films are successful and I am fully supportive of that because I'm not just a director, I've been in this business long enough and, to a certain extent, I'm a businessman".

There are some good ideas in Prometheus, but the script is awful (that birth scene? Seriously? The most wasted "horror" opportunity in recent memory), the characterisation is shocking and the film is significantly flawed. You can pretend all you like that it's a "auteur's masterpiece" but it isn't. It looks great, true enough, but that was about it.

Scott got REALLY lucky with his designers on Alien and Blade Runner (another flawed "masterpiece" that took, what, 5 goes to get "right"?) and fans have been riding along on it ever since.

Just IMHO of course.

 
 
 Posted:   Nov 4, 2013 - 5:52 AM   
 By:   Thor   (Member)

Spymaster, you're free to have your opinion on Scott. It obviously differs a lot from mine.

However, I would say that no director goes around calling themselves 'auteurs' (unless they're really pretentious). Both Scott and Spielberg will stress repeatedly that 'story' is king. That doesn't negate or undermine the way OTHER people perceive their work, however. In fact, many of the thematic and/or stylistic trademarks may not even be conscious to the filmmaker. It's just part of his genetic make-up, so to speak.

What is often interesting, however, is when interviewers ask these auteur directors about their trademarks -- sometimes, they may be able to elaborate on WHY that is so, other times they may just say 'because that's what I did' -- much like how Goldsmith responded when he was asked about the workings of his music. Many of them communicate through images and sound, and aren't very good at intellectualizing their own work in words.

 
 Posted:   Nov 4, 2013 - 5:52 AM   
 By:   Francis   (Member)


Scott got REALLY lucky with his designers on Alien and Blade Runner (another flawed "masterpiece" that took, what, 5 goes to get "right"?) and fans have been riding along on it ever since.


It's the other way around; I think those designers got lucky they got to work with Ridley Scott; his visual storytelling is where his talent lies, yes he's directed some turkeys and IMO I wouldn't call him an auteur either, though his movies do have a style to them. Prometheus, Body of Lies, American Gangster, Kingdom of Heaven, ... all recent films of his that differ so much in genre yet have his signature style and like him or hate him, he still remains very influential on hollywood filmmaking. I still look forward to any movie he's doing but especially enjoy his sci fi output because whatever the result, you know it wont be a conventional approach and he'll give it his own spin.

 
 Posted:   Nov 4, 2013 - 5:55 AM   
 By:   RoryR   (Member)

...and I'm of Scotch decent...

You're into good whisky then? wink

(I think you meant Scots or Scottish descent, 'Scotch' should really only be used as a reference to whisky smile )


You are correct. I love when I'm corrected like that. I was going to use Scots but wasn't sure it was correct, and then thought Scottish isn't right, so I of course use the completely wrong term. And would you believe I'm planning a trip to Edinburgh next year? I better get my "shit" together, or is it "shitte"?

 
 
 Posted:   Nov 4, 2013 - 8:06 AM   
 By:   Spymaster   (Member)

What is often interesting, however, is when interviewers ask these auteur directors about their trademarks -- sometimes, they may be able to elaborate on WHY that is so, other times they may just say 'because that's what I did' -- much like how Goldsmith responded when he was asked about the workings of his music. Many of them communicate through images and sound, and aren't very good at intellectualizing their own work in words.

That's true of any artist. It doesn't mean they're "auteurs". Nobody is going to say I used a G major chord there because of X or Y. They're going to do it because it feels right.

I would argue that Scott has made too many mistakes, and allowed too many other people to influence his decisions, to be anything other than a talented but flawed director. He's certainly not great at spotting good scripts... or good scores!

Legend's score... in/out? Alien's temp-track... in/out? Blade Runner's narration... in/out? Deckard is a replicant... in/out? That's not auteur, that's confused.

 
 
 Posted:   Nov 4, 2013 - 8:10 AM   
 By:   Thor   (Member)

Alright. We'll just have to agree to disagree on that.

 
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