At a very young age of eight, David Fincher’s passion for cinema grew when he was inspired by the movie Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969). Born in 1962 Denver, Colorado, David Fincher moved to Ashland, Oregon in his teens, where he graduated from Ashland High School. During high school, he directed plays, designed sets, and managed lighting after school. One summer, he and a friend attended the Berkley Film Institute’s summer program, where he hoped to learn film as a true art form but instead was taught the technical production. Either way he was happy to engage is this and as his early film industry career started, he was a production assistant at his local television news station. Years went by as he directed propaganda films followed by becoming a well-known music director until his first movie feature debut Aliens 3 in 1992. However, the American director David Fincher didn’t become a modern 21st century visionary until his creation of the film Se7en (1995). The huge success from this film started Fincher’s popularity in the film industry. From there he continued to make ironic movies we know today such as: Fight Club (1999), Zodiac (2007), The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008), The Social Network (2010), Gone Girl, and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.
Hollywood cinema is primarily subjected to telling stories. The inclination of Hollywood narratives comes not just from good chronicles but from good story telling. The following essay will discuss Hollywood’s commercial aesthetic as applied to storytelling, expand on the characteristics of the “principles of classical film narration” and evaluate alternative modes of narration and other deviations from the classical mode.
The debate over Casablanca and Citizen Kane has been a classic argument between film critics and historians alike, and this is because both of these pieces are timeless pictures that have managed to captivate audiences well after their era. On a broad spectrum analysis this is an apples and oranges debate as the two films both have great cinematographic value but for different reasons. However, the real question at hand is which film is the greatest? Which film transformed the future of American film making? It is these questions that I as many others have, will attempt to answer in the following essay as I explain why I believe Citizen Kane is the greatest film ever made.
Martin Scorsese is an award-winning film director and writer, who has created culture shaping movies over the past six decades. His work is dark, gritty, real, and sometimes misinterpreted, which lead to a large scandal in the 1980’s. However, its hard to deny the impact this director has left on American culture. Martin Scorsese is an inspirational for his film directing and producing, screenwriting, and his effect on American culture. Martin Scorsese began his career as a producer and director in 1967, with his first major film, “Who’s That Knocking at My Door”.
This essay is based on films of the same story, told in different ways, with emphasis, themes, meaning and interpretation shaped or shaded by the situation of the storyteller; the cinematic mise-en-scene. Based on the same story, the films reveal and reflect the film-maker’s social norms and views, emerging from their different national contexts. While exploring the two films, this essay will examine elements of film language or semiotics: color saturation (or black and white), sound, setting, type of camera angles used; repetition of visual motifs (Metz, 1985). The two films explored were made in the 1960s. Neither film is American, yet both reveal influences and reflections on American cinema and American power; the Western film, adherence or detracting from Hollywood Classical cinema tropes, i.e. close-ups, shot-reverse-shot, POV, depth of field (Bazin, 1985: 128-9). The two films are Kurasawa’s Yojimbo (1961) and Leone’s Fistful of Dollars (1964), from Japan and Italy, respectively. How are they different; how similar? Why do they use the same plot,
Countryman emphasises that films produced from the late 1950s through to the 1970s were subject to political influences in the filmmaking having been, “produced in times of trial and turmoil” (Countryman 20). The political turmoil present during the era of the Cold War allowed for the construction of, “a myth that is at the very core of American self-understanding… that was to dominate Cold War representations of American identity” (Countryman
From producing to directing to writing, Steven Spielberg is undoubtedly one of the most influential filmmakers in the history of film. As one of the wealthiest filmmakers and perhaps one of Hollywood’s best directors, Spielberg has countless top grossing and critically acclaimed works of art. Whether it was writing, producing, or directing, Steven Spielberg success results from unique aesthetic style, trademark characteristics, and filming techniques. In this essay, I will review Spielberg’s life and examine the director’s aesthetic style and thematic preoccupation, I will analyze his trademark characteristics and themes, and I will investigate his way of filming. Steven Spielberg was born into a Jewish family in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1946.
Quentin Tarantino has had an undeniable amount of influence on all cinemagoers. He is often cited as early influences for aspiring filmmakers and compared with some of the greatest filmmakers in film history, including Jean-Luc Godard, Ingmar Bergmann, and Stanley Kubrick. Tarantino’s work has been the subject of countless reviews from critics, journalists, and fellow film directors; the timing of reviews span from even pre-release. The casual film-watcher might talk about Tarantino as the modern American Spaghetti-Western director, despite the fact that his films deal with and through many different genres. The advanced critic will characterize him as an auteur, tearing apart film conventions. As expected, Quentin Tarantino is a polarizing
The auteur theory was introduced in the film industry in 1954 when Francois Truffaut claimed that directors are significantly using their films to express their personal ideas (Thompson and Bordwell 33). The importance of the theory has been under criticism in the recent past. Critiques have questioned the basis for which a director would be recognized as “author.” Moreover, there have been concerns on whether the auteur is recognized more based on the creative aspects of the film or on the scripts that he/she chooses to display in the film. This paper would seek to assess the components of a director’s film that are highly influential in his recognition as an auteur.
Although the most popular, the commercial film industry is not the only way to produce and project motion pictures to targeted audiences. Documentaries and avant-garde films have their own guidelines, production values, technological innovations, budgets, and overall viewership that differ greatly from that of fiction-based films. Many avant-garde films are made not only to challenge the existing use of film itself but also to express the personal views or experiences of the screenwriter and/or director. In most cases, fiction-based film focuses on telling the story of a character rather than shedding light on their life and challenging the presentation of the narrative. Commercial film and film documentary differ greatly not only in their
The medium of film and storytelling processes as a whole have intrigued me for as long as I can remember. I am always captivated by films that successfully explore a variety of themes whilst presenting complex and interesting narrative and characters. These films also provide the entertainment and excitement that I find infinitely fascinating. I find the process of creating stories through to the film making and editing very motivating and exciting, especially when reviewing the end product.
As a child and even currently, I love watching television shows and movies. Horror and post-apocalyptic shows, such as “This is the End”, were the ones that inspired me the most to become a director. In this essay, I will discuss what a director is, some examples of impressive directing work, and why I want to pursue a career as a director.
Understanding movies comes from describing and analyzing the cinematic, theatrical, and literary elements that combine to create meaning. These steps create a basic understanding of the artistic and technical elements found in moviemaking. In addition, the major characteristics of different film genres and classic movies will be analyzed. The purpose of this paper is analyzing the Academy Award winning film Chicago. This paper will describe the six steps that a person should think about when watching a movie. These steps include, (1) analysis of the narrative: story, plot and meaning; (2) theatrical elements, (3) cinematography, (4) editing, (5) sound and the (6) complete package.
Taking Steven Spielberg as example, Spielberg is certainly one of the most successful directors of modern cinema due in part to his joint ownership of DreamWorks’ Studios with Jeffery Katzenberg and David Geffen. Although Spielberg, unlike a vast majority of other directors, has a great influence over Hollywood and almost unique in that he can take complete creative control of project he instead chooses to remain in a director/ producer capacity alone. He will hire the writers and editors, one’s he has built relationships with over his career, most famously his working relationship with composer John Williams. Because production companies are once again taking control of the technical side of filmmaking auteur theory is called into question. With film festivals supporting the idea of auteur to promote an indie image and boost sales by turning the director into a celebrity for ‘serious’ movie fans and production companies supporting this to create a unity between films and avoid loss from unsuccessful pictures then it is questionable if the concept of auteur can exist
With the roots of cinema as an entity deeply embodied in Europe, cinema in France was becoming less and less prominent in the 1950s leaving it in dire need of resuscitation. Meanwhile, the idea of auteurship was fast becoming established in Hollywood because it effectively conferred directors that worked with restriction on their material a somewhat lesser recognition and creative freedom in films. This formulaic approach to cinema was successful yet exhaustive as the same story patterns and effectively the same actors and directors were used through the economic resources that were at their exposal. The system effectively degraded the director’s personal style and stamp on the films they produced, a problem later remedied with the introduction of the auteur policy. The monopolization approach of Hollywood meant particular individual films were bound for box office success and others less so.