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Directors' Trademarks

mnkykungfu

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And now for something completely different: our first and only animator on the list!
(I'm aware Anderson and Burton have each made an animated film, but they're not animators.)

I'd love videos on more animators, like Henry Selick, Isao Takahata, John Lasseter, and many others. Maybe next season.
 

mnkykungfu

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Another one that IMDB has for some reason not uploaded to Youtube with the others (so it's not on the playlist link I made):
I've only seen one Niki Caro film so not sure if her style is really for me.... Whale Rider has been on my list for years though.
 
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mnkykungfu

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With No Time to Die getting ready to come out, it's a perfect time to look at the style of Cary Joji Fukunaga. Some people may only know him from "True Detective", but he's building a stylish body of film work. "Majestic Trees" and "a Palpable Sense of Dread" are totally what I think of for his style...
 

mnkykungfu

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I haven't been nearly as wowed by Patty Jenkins as others seem to be, and IMDB is on that train. She's mostly done TV, so it feels weird to give her a spotlight over directors like, oh, I dunno, Sam Raimi, Ron Howard, Michael Bay, etc, etc. But whatever, they pulled a bunch of TV episodes to make this video for her, and there are indeed some good shots.
 

Hymie

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Jenkins has directed two big blockbusters recently, as well as having directed Charlize's Academy winning performance in Monster, so she's a little more than a tv director. These are ultimately short little looks at directors, so it makes sense to hit a wide range of directors and go back and forth between the long time directors and the ones with smaller filmographies.
 

mnkykungfu

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^TBH, Jenkins made a big splash with Monster, then 14 years later with Wonder Woman. She was very outspoken about giving female directors their voice and complained loudly about not being given those opportunities. So then they let her do what she wanted with Wonder Woman 1984 and....

I just feel like I'm more eager to see people who've got a bit more of a track record and a bit more of an established body of films to highlight style examples. But hey, speaking of the other side of the equation:
ZACK. F'N. SNYDER.

People have alternatively been loving or hating on his vision of DC heroes since Justice League (or Man of Steel, if you're a bitter Superman fan like me) but his earlier films can't be overlooked. He has SUCH a particular style, and it's so dynamic that it's bound to be divisive. He actually gets one of the better-assembled Director's Trademarks videos, and it's a good way to close out Season 2 of the series.

See you guys after a break for Season 3. :)
 

mnkykungfu

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And we're back! This is the final season of these Trademark videos, so I want to start opening this up a bit. If you've seen several of the videos on the original playlist link or throughout this thread, you get what kind of "trademarks" are usually noted for a director's work. I'm going to start posting some videos where they're not necessarily all labeled, and I welcome comments and observations.

First up, Martin Scorsese already has a trademark video posted earlier, but IMDB actually previously made two stabs at a salute to him. They put together a highlight video of (some of) his iconic scenes, but I wanted to post this "director supercut" which tours through some of the major features of his work. I'd highlight his trademarks of:
-use of New York City as a "character"
-long tracking shots
-repeat male actors (DeNiro, DiCaprio, Keitel, Pesci, etc)
-contrasting glamour among grime, or ugliness in the midst of polite society
-mouthfuls of uncommon language
-chaotic crowd scenes
Check out the videos for more...
 

mnkykungfu

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I've sometimes thought Sofia Coppola's style would be like what Wes Anderson might do if he stopped focusing on being so twee and got more curious and human. This is a pretty great look at her style here:
 

mnkykungfu

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Sadly in 2020, Lynn Shelton passed away. She was an actress and director that I'm not too familiar with, as much of her work was in TV and indie films. For some, she's most notable as Marc Maron's partner I guess, and directed his stuff. IMDB put together this tribute to her work though, and with her attention to lighting and her work getting authentic performances from actors, you can easily imagine she would've had an Oscar nod in her future before long.
 

mnkykungfu

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I already posted a Trademarks video on Alfred Hitchcock, but IMDB actually made another pretty great video for him highlighting famous scenes and shots from his films: (@The Scribbling Man this may be relevant to your interests)
What I notice most here is his framing, the way he builds dramatic tension through movement, his use of POV shots, and of course lots of Jimmy Stewart and Cary Grant.
 

mnkykungfu

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I've always thought Ryan Murphy was great at finding pretty people to put within great visuals, but not much else. His recent work may put the lie to that though...or maybe he's just working with better writers these days.
 

mnkykungfu

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Unfortunately Alan Parker doesn't have a true "Director's Trademarks" video, but he does have this nice tribute video after he passed away this past year.

As far as trademarks, he's a little hard to pin down for me. You've got the surreal noir horror of Angel Heart to the joyous artsy musicals like Fame. I suppose he had a tendency towards big emotions and sentimentalism, towards large, complicated crowd scenes, towards interesting uses of shadow and light. Anyone else have some observations?
 

mnkykungfu

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Ridley Scott was my favorite director once upon a time, back when he had a sterling batting average. Here's a great video focusing on many of those earlier films, which I love because it has shots from two really underrated ones: Black Rain and 1492, Conquest of Paradise!

IMDB also put together a "famous scenes compilation", but it just scratches the surface. I think this second visual montage actually much better captures what Scott is all about. Even when his stories fail, he never fails to present them in a really cinematic way:
 

mnkykungfu

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With the new Scream movie coming out soon and getting the original key cast back as well as the original writer, the studio seems eager to invoke the name and spirit of the dearly departed Wes Craven. This featurette has a lot of people saying a lot of nice things about the man, but it didn't convince me this isn't a crass marketing ploy to keep banking on Craven's name, even after his death. Another Hollywood legacy film where a new generation follows in the footsteps of a classic property, only, you know, way less good. I'll try to remain optimistic.

In the meantime, here's a look back at some of Craven's memorable scenes. They're not highlighted by any specific trademarks and I'm not really a big enough Horror fan to claim expertise on them. Anyone know Craven's trademarks?
 
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