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Directors' Trademarks

mnkykungfu

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The rabid Kevin Smith fanbase that doesn't see the faults in his films depresses me. But the man sure can talk up a storm, so it feels only fitting to have him narrate his own Trademarks video.
 

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It didn't occur to me that Catherine Hardwicke really had trademarks other than working on lots of teen films. This video makes them look far more promising than their critical scores would lead you to believe...
 

mnkykungfu

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Harmony Korine.... is a person who has directed things.
I'm not convinced Korine has anything to say really, but he sure does commit to... saying stuff.
 

mnkykungfu

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Before Wes Anderson, Tim Burton was the director I most felt like if you had seen one of his films, you had a pretty damn good idea of what you'd get in the next film. His tastes are so specific and so predictable, it's easy to get tired of them now that he's been doing it 30+ years. Those early films though.... it's just magical to see them laid out here.
 

mnkykungfu

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Who better to close of the "season" of Trademark videos than probably the king of trademarks, Hitchcock himself? One of the most distinctive directors of all time, he repeated the same motifs and plot points in so many films that it could often feel like he was remixing his own earlier work. This is one of the better videos for sure, but here is the link to the (updated) Director's Trademark Video Playlist, if anybody wants to see the full list of Season 1 and Season 2 videos.
 

mnkykungfu

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In Season One of these videos, they listed one for Sam Mendes, but really it's just clips from a bunch of his films. His proper Trademarks film is up on Facebook though, here:

I'd add that his films are usually about characters upending the expectations of them. They also often feature men focused on a goal where a lady is a detour or distraction from that goal (though sometimes their goal is self-destructive, soooo)
 

mnkykungfu

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Back for a "Season 2" of these videos! If you've ever wondered what the links are between the films of some renowned auteur directors, these short videos show you....

Kicking off with a bang with Terence Malick, the director I hate to love. Visually astounding, but I've yet to get into a single one of his tone poems:

For the full playlist of videos including all the ones posted so far plus more, go to the Youtube playlist here.
 

mnkykungfu

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This video was a helpful one for me because it taught me a term for a thing that I recognized but didn't know what to call: "slow motion speed ramps".
Did anyone do this before Guy Ritchie? I don't know, but he sure popularized the bollocks out of them.
 

mnkykungfu

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This was instructional in showing me that Todd Philips has a style beyond just Scorsese homages. But not one mention of Starsky & Hutch? Ouch. I'd figure there's a link with "1970s Style" or maybe... awesome mustaches?
 
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mnkykungfu

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Too bad they made this before Fincher's excellent Mank was released, but it's still a pretty comprehensive video. This is as much a style guide to the tastes of Fincher as it is a dissection of his trademark techniques.
 

mnkykungfu

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Well, love 'im or hate 'im, there's also this guy:
(I want to say they forgot "Scripts With Big Ideas That Lose Track of the Story"....)
 

mnkykungfu

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Lens flares! Yes yes, but there's a lot more to J.J. Abrams' style than just that. Another trademark is starting a lot of interesting story points and then not knowing how to pay them off. ;) (I say that lovingly.)
 

asterixsmeagol

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I usually like JJ movies if I can make myself watch them one scene at a time and forget about all the plot holes and missed payoffs.
 

mnkykungfu

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^Ha ha I feel that. I will say though that I still stan for The Force Awakens, and I quite liked his first Star Trek reboot.
 

mnkykungfu

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BRAAAAAAAA{Nolan has been so successful for long enough to see himself become cinephiles' villain...his sense of style and overall excellence in presentation resonates with me more often than not though, and even his failures (Interstellar and Insomnia [and arguably the Dark Knight Rises and Dunkirk, though those might have just been too ambitious] are often cited) can be argued to be much more interesting than the modest successes of most other directors}AAAAAAM!
@TinyBreadMouse thank you for getting what I was going for there. lol
 

TinyBreadMouse

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I think the implication is just that they were failures to @mnkykungfu specifically, not that they were critical/financial flops. And I somewhat agree with DKR and Interstellar, though they're better than 90% of what makes it to theaters these days, they're still his weakest films. I'm afraid Nolan's been tapped out, because Inception feels like the last truly good film he's made- DKR, Interstellar, and Tenet feel like Nolan taking a paycheck and was told by WB to "make it like your other movies!"
 

mnkykungfu

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Not that I want to turn this thread into a "no this movie was awesome/no this movie sucked" debate, but to clarify, my comment was "Interstellar and Insomnia....are often cited". This is in the context of a director who stormed onto the scene with his very first US release, Memento. Nolan's films were jaw-dropping, massively acclaimed, until Insomnia. Then he recovered and had a string of excellently-appraised films...until Interstellar. Look at the reviews for those films and you'll see they were a much more mixed bag than his other work. It's not to say they're horrible films, they just did not completely succeed in what they were trying to do. My comment "and arguably TDKR and Dunkirk" is my own editorializing. They were pretty well-reviewed, it's just my personal opinion that they didn't totally succeed.
 

mnkykungfu

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Ava DuVernay is a really unusual Hollywood success story... wanted to direct but couldn't get a shot and ended up a producer until in her 40s. Then the industry started looking for more women and POC to give opportunities to, and she started a new career. You can definitely see how that influences her film-making, which is very agenda-driven. That makes her a love 'er or hate 'er director for some people.

Netflix also did a "trademarks" video on her, but it certainly doesn't focus on her technical skills. It's a pretty gushing piece all about her messaging.
 
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