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Bond
February 18th, 2006, 11:43 PM
Since this is a film forum I thought we should have a thread on the directors.

I notice that there seems to be a lot of love for Tim Burton. Why??? I cannot think of a single movie by him that I like. Aside from him having distinctly weird gothic art direction in his movies, which seems more a function of costumes, background, and story than camera work, I do not see what sets him apart.

Wulfa_Jones
February 19th, 2006, 08:27 AM
You can't think of a Tim Burton film that you like? I have trouble thinking of a Tim Burton film I don't like! (that said... Planet of the Apes)

Beatlejuice,
Sleepy Hollow,
Batman and Batman Returns,
Ed Wood,
Big Fish,
Corpse Bride,

All pretty good films.

ArthurFrayn
February 19th, 2006, 05:26 PM
So, we start out by bashing Tim Burton?
Allreet...

I like Tim Burton- I don't like everything he does.
He's very inconsistent, not unlike a similar visually oriented director which we could discuss -Terry Gilliam.
As far as IMO:
Not a fan of the Batman films (they've gotten progressively worse for me with repeated viewings -now I think they stink), Mars Attacks, or Beetlejuice. I've only seen enough of Planet of the Apes to keep me far away.
I really luhvv Ed Wood ,Sleepy Hollow, PeeWee's Big Adventure, Edward Scissorhands and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I think they're wonderful. I bought Big Fish on the cheap but haven't sat down and watched it yet.It looks promising.
I also luhv Nightmare Before Christmas, which he produced -a massive favorite.
I like Cabin Boy which he produced as well.

Rob B
February 19th, 2006, 06:40 PM
Burton does interesting films. I think he is best when he is not working from well known source material. The original Batman film was OK, but for my tastes, he made soem VERY unnecessary changes to the Batman myth.

Edward Scissorhands was a dark, surreal parable and one of his strongest and most visually unique films.

Beetlejuice was probably his best and captured Michael Keaton at the height of his popularity and acting game. A very interesting look at the afterlife.

Pee Wee's Big Adventure was just bizarrely fun, for both kids and adults.

Sleepy Hollow, for me. is where he started to lose his mind.

Planet of the Apes was pretty awful and for the most part unnecessary.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was perhaps the most unnecessary remake. The first was a classic and stands the test of time extremely well, despite the fact that Roald Dahl doesn't really like it himself.

Other directors I do like - David Fincher, even his lesser efforts (Panic Room) are pretty good, but Fight Club is a wonderful film and a great mediation on what it means to be a man in the late 20th/early 21st century. Se7en is just one of those WTF films that keeps you thinking the whole time.

simon woodhouse
February 19th, 2006, 10:06 PM
Tim Burton is a bit of a hit and miss director.

Hits Charlie and the Chocolate Factory & Sleepy Hollow

Misses Planet of the Apes & Mars Attacks

He does have a very recognisable style though, which is rare in today's film world.

Evil Agent
February 19th, 2006, 11:41 PM
I like most Burton films.

But what about other directors? Peter Jackson. Steven Spielberg. George Lucas. Stanley Kubrik. Terry Gilliam. Martin Scorcese. Francis Ford Coppolla.

kron
February 20th, 2006, 04:13 AM
In my view, those are more or less conventional directors (with the exception of Guilliam). I tend to feel respect for more extravagant directors like: Alex Proyas (The Crow, Dark City), Christopher Nolan (Memento, Insomnia), Alejandro Amenabar (Abre los Ojos(the original of Vanilla Sky), The Others, The Sea Inside), Darren Aronofsky (Pi - my favourite ever, Lost - the series), Rupert Wainwright (Stigmata, The Fog).

On Saturday I discovered Dave McKean with his Mirror Mask.

Bond
February 20th, 2006, 12:15 PM
I like Tim Burton [...]
He's very inconsistent, not unlike a similar visually oriented director which we could discuss -Terry Gilliam.

Yes, I always get those two mixed up. I wouldn't say they are similar because they are visually oriented, many directors are visually oriented, but I would say their visual styles are similar---and I dislike both.



In my view, those are more or less conventional directors (with the exception of Guilliam). I tend to feel respect for more extravagant directors like: Alex Proyas (The Crow, Dark City), Christopher Nolan (Memento, Insomnia), Alejandro Amenabar (Abre los Ojos(the original of Vanilla Sky), The Others, The Sea Inside), Darren Aronofsky (Pi - my favourite ever, Lost - the series), Rupert Wainwright (Stigmata, The Fog).

I do notice this sentiment among many people commenting on direction but I'm not sure I get it. I enjoy clean direction without too many gimmicks that distract from the focus of the film rather than highlighting it. What I've seen of Proyas' and Nolan's direction I've enjoyed but with directors like Burton and Gilliam I find their storytelling thrown off by messy weirdness. They are unconventional but not necessarily in a way that adds something to the story. Compare their weird direction for example to something like the weird playfulness in Jeunet's Amelie. To me Burton and Gilliam seem to be more weird for weirdness's sake.

Maybe part of the reason is because I'm more partial to older cinema which told a story without camera tricks overkill or over-the-top art design. As for the "conventional" directors of today like Spielberg I thought Minority Report was directed very well without being distracting. Martin Scorsese I haven't really seen that many of his movies but his direction of The Age of Innocence I thought was excellent. Doesn't stand out compared to high intensity action movies but next to other period drama pieces the difference is pretty clear.

Evil Agent
February 20th, 2006, 12:35 PM
I don't think actually think about directors that often, but...

The Lord of the Rings holds the spot of my favorite movies of all time, based on my favorite books of all time. Before the movies came out, I familiarized myself with all of Peter Jackson's work. The guy is a mad genius, for sure, and his love of movie-making is undeniable. In my opinion, he kicks Spielberg and Lucas's asses. However, Jackson definitely has some flaws, some of which were quite apparent in King Kong. He's a little self indulgent, for sure.

Some of my other favorite movies and their directors:
-The Coen Brothers (The Big Lebowski, Fargo, Raising Arizona, etc.)
-Martin Scorcese (The Aviator, Gangs of New York, Casino, Goodfellas)
-I'm not a big fan of Mel Gibson, but he did direct Braveheart, one of my favorites
-I like Francis Ford Coppola mainly for Dracula and Apocalypse Now and the Godfather.
-I love Stanley Kubrik's work (The Shining, 2001, Clockwork Orange)

Dawnstorm
February 20th, 2006, 02:24 PM
Both Gilliam and Burton are stylists; and I'm quite partial to their style.

Danny Elfman's music a large part of Burton's appeal to me; they complement each other very well, I should say. I like the fairy tale feel of Edward Scissorhands and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. But I also think he's very good with actors; extracting over-the-top-performances without letting them seem silly (at least in the context of the movie). I found Ed Wood to be a very subdued movie; definitely one of his best.

With Gilliam, I like the movies that have an "opera" feeling best (Brazil, Fisherking). I also have soft spot for Timebandits, which is just cute. I don't care much about 12 Monkeys (though it has it's moments), though.

I'm not too fond of Stephen Spielberg. Anything more ambitious than Indiana Jones, Jaws, or Jurassic Park turns on a sentimentalism I don't like.

Martin Scorsese is a director who makes movies I either like a lot, or that bore me terribly. (Same for Ridley Scott, Roman Polanski, Stanley Kubric and Peter Greenaway).

I remember hearing about the LotR-movies being made, and was less then enthusiastic (remembering that animated film). Then I heard that Peter Jackson would make it. I turned 180 degrees! (I'd seen Heavenly Creatures and Braindead [and Frighteners but I didn't know, then, that it was Jackson movie].)

Other directors I tend to like are: David Cronenberg (M Butterfly, Deadringers, Videodrome, eXistenZ), David Lynch (The Elephant Man, Blue Velvet, Mullholland Drive), John Carpenter (Dark Star, Ghosts of Mars, Assault, Big Trouble in Little China), Ken Russel (Lisztomania, Tommy, [some movie, I keep forgetting its name, where William Hurt goes back in evolution and ends up pure energy]), Robert Altman (The Wedding, Short Cuts, Cookie's Fortune, MASH...)

And, doubtless, a few I forget right now.