Hello, Film Doctor friends. Are you ready to welcome the end of another productive week? Since UK cinemas are offering 2 key releases this weekend – Steven Soderbergh‘s (“Ocean’s Eleven”/”Twelve”/”Thirteen”, “Traffic”, “Magic Mike”, “The Informant!”) “Behind The Candelabra” and M. Night Shyamalan‘s (“The Sixth Sense”, “The Village”, “The Last Airbender”) “After Earth” – this Fun Friday post is a double whammy.
After famously resigning from film back in February, Soderbergh still seems to be going strong – albeit now with TV productions (he’s just signed on for a series with Clive Owen). “Behind The Candelabra” earned record-breaking ratings for HBO and, with that fact alone, Soderbergh is once again the choice for this week’s Director’s Favourite Films – re-visit his list here.
M.Night Shyamalan‘s new film boasts one of the world’s biggest stars and, once again, visits the realms of fantasy . His filmic choices are a little more down to earth, however, and even come with little notes:
– “The Godfather” (dir. Francis Ford Coppola, 1972) – “Favourite movie of all time, what I think is the best crafted movie of all time, is The Godfather. It was the perfect confluence of the source material being so intimate and true, and having within its DNA, it just so happens, is an incredible plot in the most organic matter. It is so not contrived, or “your IQ’s dropping,” which is almost the case of all other combinations, right? In this one, it’s inherently built into the life of these people. And there are stakes, there’s threat, and that’s just built in, so the source material had all of that. And the confluence of one of the great artists of his time for sure in Coppola, the great kind of forward thinking artists, and a leader in — he was a cult figure for artists that followed him for a long time.”
– “Jaws” (dir. Steven Spielberg, 1975) – “It’s genius because life moves on, and this is like real life. It’s the collision of a perfect story from the book with great sensibilities for entertainment and humour. Spielberg gets the precision of the craft and thinking about the shot with the me lieu of the time, and does in that docu-1970s style, which is my favourite time period in cinema ever.”
– “The Exorcist” (dir.William Friedkin, 1973) – “Friedkin spent an enormous amount of time shooting the movie and did it with reverence, and the structure is perfect. It starts in the Middle East, goes to a Georgetown bedroom, and gets smaller and smaller until you meet a side character, the second priest. The plot is this incredible kind of twisty thing, and then he ends up sacrificing himself. It’s awesome.”
– “Being There” (dir. Hal Ashby, 1979) – “Bold, bold, bold genre-breaking filmmaking, and will always be kind of a beacon of originality for me.”
– “Rebecca” (dir. Alfred Hitchcock, 1940) – “Coming from a super, super anal place as a filmmaker, the idea that the greatest hands-on auteur [Alfred Hitchcock] in cinema history made a movie with his hand buried in there perfectly–a lot of his movies, his hand is on top, and in this one, his hand was buried perfectly in there. Again, I’m not sure what genre it is and I love it because of that. Is it scary? I’m not sure it is. Is it a drama? For sure. Is it a romance? Yeah. And I love it, so elegantly done, I so fell in love with those characters, the performances were amazing. It was epic and haunting, and it was just its own perfect little gem that will never be re-created.”