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James Cameron

James Cameron

James Cameron is not only one of the most successful directors of the last 30 years, but one of the best. With 3 Oscars, 28 other awards (including Saturn, Golden Globe & Bradbury wins) and 18 nominations it is clear he has continued to delight both fans and critics throughout his career. His CV not only boasts a plethora of well loved, successful movies but multiple bona fide classics that have changed the way people have made movies since. Having grossed in excess of $3.5 billion worldwide is it little wonder we are currently greeting a film 12 years in the making and costing an estimate $230 million (so says imdb) to make. Very few directors could pull off such an audacious project, even fewer would be allowed, but Cameron is one of them.

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Akira Kurosawa

Okay folks, time for a history lesson in filmmaking. In this next segment of the director reviews I am looking at the mighty Japanese director Akira Kurosawa, easily the most popular and critically acclaimed filmmaker in Japanese history and a massive figure in the film industry as a whole. His influence on world cinema is immeasurable as he inspired directors before and after his death in 1998 with many famous names like Sergio Leone (who made two of Kurosawa’s films into Westerns – A Fistful of Dollars & A Few Dollars More), Ingmar Bergman, Takeshi Kitano, Steven Spielberg, Spike Lee, Sam Pekinpah and Francis Ford Coppola all citing his influence in their work. He was an unrivalled perfectionist and a master with the camera. He truly had a gift for attaining the perfect images and he made this his art. Although he was a very humanist writer and a lot of his stories offer glimmers of hope, generally his films offer a bleak insight into a world of disease, war, malice and betrayal. It seemed only fitting that he chose Shakespeare’s King Lear as the story for his masterpiece Ran. Don’t let that put you off though, Kurosawa’s wit was as sharp as his eye and his films offer clever and often hilarious moments. He also writes some of the most touching stories I have ever seen. I’m not one to cry in films but Ikiru and Dersu Urzala were two films that had me on the brink! I have once again selected four films that capture some of Kurosawa’s best traits and are genuine masterpieces of cinema. Enjoy! Read More…

Wes Anderson

After seeing Mr Fox my appreciation for cult director Wes Anderson’s work has reached a new high and I think this is the perfect time to have a brief look at some of his films to examine his impact on modern cinema. He has achieved quite a cult following and is very popular in the film industry but he has come under a lot of stick due to his slightly pretentious and strange style. Some have even said his work is devoid of any real emotional weight. Wes Anderson’s vision however is one that is strangely upbeat but at the same time very deadpan and brutally honest. This by no means suggests that his films are emotionally vacant – quite the opposite. Anderson’s stories are generally about flawed, misguided protagonists, often with questionable morals and attitudes who learn by trial and error to appreciate their flaws as well as their strengths.  We also see characters who look for redemption, purpose or success and we see dysfunctional families that learn to cope with one another despite the wrongs they have done. We find that redemption, success and forgiveness are never impossible in Anderson’s tales. Despite this Anderson’s films are far from being sentimental and gushing but are performed in the most subtle, honest and understated fashion. This combination results in his films being ones of quiet beauty and deep intimacy. I have selected four of Anderson’s films which display these traits and that you need to see if you haven’t already. Read More…