Directors that didn't fulfil their potential

..and why not?
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Davey the Fat Boy
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Re: Directors that didn't fulfil their potential

Postby Davey the Fat Boy » 16 Sep 2017, 18:16

Clyde Gash wrote:Charles Laughton


You could argue that he DID fulfill his potential in a single film. It's as great as anything. I'd say the same about Cimino...his great early films likely fulfilled any promise he could have been said to have.

The suggestion of Brando is a good one, as One-Eyed Jacks" is kind of an unfinished masterwork. He clearly didn't live up to his potential as a director.

Someone mentioned Guy Ritchie, but I'll toss in Michael Ritchie. His early films made you think that he might have a great one in him - but it never fully materialized.
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Re: Directors that didn't fulfil their potential

Postby Rayge » 16 Sep 2017, 18:38

Positive Passion wrote:Yes - surely Bogdanovich had done all he needed to with the last picture show.

With Targets, as far as I'm concerned. One of the great directorial debuts.
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Re: Directors that didn't fulfil their potential

Postby algroth » 16 Sep 2017, 19:27

Jeemo wrote:
algroth wrote:For both Singer and the Wachowskis I prefer their X-Men and post-Matrix work respectively, actually. For the latter case in particular, Speed Racer is highly creative and heads and shoulders above anything they'd done til that point or since.


Spèed Racer is headache inducing. All flash and nothing underneath.


Sure, but it's interesting flash at least, opposite to The Matrix.

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Re: Directors that didn't fulfil their potential

Postby Jeemo » 16 Sep 2017, 19:52

algroth wrote:
Jeemo wrote:
algroth wrote:For both Singer and the Wachowskis I prefer their X-Men and post-Matrix work respectively, actually. For the latter case in particular, Speed Racer is highly creative and heads and shoulders above anything they'd done til that point or since.


Spèed Racer is headache inducing. All flash and nothing underneath.


Sure, but it's interesting flash at least, opposite to The Matrix.


i liked The Matrix. The sequels were bobbins though.
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Re: Directors that didn't fulfil their potential

Postby Sneelock » 16 Sep 2017, 20:18

I like the "Too Many Hugo Weavings" scene. Makes my head spin! Spectacular stuff.
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The Modernist
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Re: Directors that didn't fulfil their potential

Postby The Modernist » 16 Sep 2017, 22:36

Jeemo wrote:
The Modernist wrote:Some great shouts so far.

Donald Cammell of Performance fame seems an obvious example.
Also I'd add Mathieu Kassovitz who hasn't done anything of note since La Haine.



How much of Performance was down to Roeg, any idea?


Most things I've read (for example the McCabe book) and seen tend to credit Cammell as the "author" of the film. He'd been working on the themes in previous scripts, wrote the script, assembled much of the cast ( Jagger, Pallenburg, Fox and Breton were all part of his social circle) and storyboarded it. Roeg was brought in for his technical knowhow and was more like the dp. The film's distinctive non-linear, fragmented editing style was developed by Cammell and Frank Mazzola, partly to overcome censorship problems. Ironically (given the editing style of some of his own films) Roeg favoured a more conventional edit, but was overruled.

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Re: Directors that didn't fulfil their potential

Postby Sneelock » 16 Sep 2017, 23:27

I'm a fan of both directors. This seems like a pretty fair assessment. Cammell wrrote "Duffy" and "Performance" seems set in the same world. Roeg had a very strong hand on movies he shot. You look at Richard Lester's "Petulia" and you'd never guess it was a Richard Lester film.

Cammell's "Demon Seed" and that weird little blood-bath movie with David Keith (white of the eye, I think) both feature visual things you'd associate with Roeg (artsy-fartsy lighting, the long slow zooms.) maybe this was self conscious on Cammell's part but I guess we'll never be sure where one style starts and the other ends.

"Demon Seed" is pretty damned unpleasant but I think it's a VERY well put together film. Sure, it's no "Don't Look Back" but when you consider that the villain of the film is basically some Radio Shack toggle switches and stuff, it's very well done. Christie is amazing in it.
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Re: Directors that didn't fulfil their potential

Postby driftin » 17 Sep 2017, 08:59

joels344 wrote:Bernardo Bertolucci. While he's directed some impressive films with great popularity i.e., Last Tango in Paris, and The Last Emperor, I feel The Conformist was his last and only masterpiece. That film showed much potential for him as a filmmaker. After that and some scattered success, he was sadly designated to making big budget flops, mediocre art films, one convoluted epic, and largely forgettable affairs. He could've been what followed for Italian cinema after Fellini and Antonioni, but that wasn't the case.

That does seem to be the general consensus about his filmography and I can get on board with it but in my opinion his best film isn't The Conformist, Last Tango, or The Last Emperor (although all 3 are great), it's The Dreamers. I know it's not as well regarded by critics or viewers but to me it's brilliant.

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Re: Directors that didn't fulfil their potential

Postby driftin » 17 Sep 2017, 09:03

algroth wrote:
Jeemo wrote:
algroth wrote:For both Singer and the Wachowskis I prefer their X-Men and post-Matrix work respectively, actually. For the latter case in particular, Speed Racer is highly creative and heads and shoulders above anything they'd done til that point or since.


Spèed Racer is headache inducing. All flash and nothing underneath.


Sure, but it's interesting flash at least, opposite to The Matrix.

There's a decent video about Speed Racer that goes into this. It talks about realism, formalism, verisimilitude, and the use of colours in comic book movies. I think you might find it interesting. Even if you disagree with his opinions about the films I think you can agree with the argument.


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Re: Directors that didn't fulfil their potential

Postby algroth » 17 Sep 2017, 15:56

Seen that, it's a good video and I agree with a lot of what it's saying. I don't necessarily think Speed Racer is a masterpiece as Willems does but I do think it is a creative approach that works for that specific story/property. I mean, it's Speed Racer, if you really want to hold its lack of substance against it be my guest. It's still a fun watch and as far as I'm concerned the best achievement from the directors in great part because it's the only film of theirs that I've seen (or recall at this moment) that doesn't pretend to be more than what it is.

With regards to The Matrix I'm of the weird opinion that Reloaded is the best of the lot, but that's really the definition of "damning with faint praise".

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Re: Directors that didn't fulfil their potential

Postby joels344 » 17 Sep 2017, 19:30

driftin wrote:
joels344 wrote:Bernardo Bertolucci. While he's directed some impressive films with great popularity i.e., Last Tango in Paris, and The Last Emperor, I feel The Conformist was his last and only masterpiece. That film showed much potential for him as a filmmaker. After that and some scattered success, he was sadly designated to making big budget flops, mediocre art films, one convoluted epic, and largely forgettable affairs. He could've been what followed for Italian cinema after Fellini and Antonioni, but that wasn't the case.

That does seem to be the general consensus about his filmography and I can get on board with it but in my opinion his best film isn't The Conformist, Last Tango, or The Last Emperor (although all 3 are great), it's The Dreamers. I know it's not as well regarded by critics or viewers but to me it's brilliant.


That's one I still need to check out. Looks interesting.

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Re: Directors that didn't fulfil their potential

Postby Darkness_Fish » 18 Sep 2017, 09:48

Ridley Scott.

Alien, Blade Runner, and a bunch of fair to middling bobbins until The Martian.
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Re: Directors that didn't fulfil their potential

Postby driftin » 18 Sep 2017, 12:32

Darkness_Fish wrote:Ridley Scott.

Alien, Blade Runner, and a bunch of fair to middling bobbins until The Martian.

And then after The Martian he went back to making fair to middling bobbins with Alien: Covenant.

I'd argue that The Martian could even be part of that mediocrity too. I enjoyed it when I saw it at the cinema but the more I think about it the less I like it. I can't back this up with any sort of evidence but I have a gut feeling it won't age well.

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Re: Directors that didn't fulfil their potential

Postby joels344 » 18 Sep 2017, 15:19

driftin wrote:
Darkness_Fish wrote:Ridley Scott.

Alien, Blade Runner, and a bunch of fair to middling bobbins until The Martian.

And then after The Martian he went back to making fair to middling bobbins with Alien: Covenant.

I'd argue that The Martian could even be part of that mediocrity too. I enjoyed it when I saw it at the cinema but the more I think about it the less I like it. I can't back this up with any sort of evidence but I have a gut feeling it won't age well.


I've never felt any urge to rewatch The Martin. I'll just put it that way. Enjoyable and fun film in the cinema, though.

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Re: Directors that didn't fulfil their potential

Postby Darryl Strawberry » 18 Sep 2017, 17:46

joels344 wrote:I've never felt any urge to rewatch The Martin. I'll just put it that way. Enjoyable and fun film in the cinema, though.



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Re: Directors that didn't fulfil their potential

Postby joels344 » 18 Sep 2017, 17:54

The Martian*

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Re: Directors that didn't fulfil their potential

Postby PENK » 18 Sep 2017, 18:11

joels344 wrote:The Martian*


Shame. A film about Dick Martin getting stranded on Mars might have been fun!
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Re: Directors that didn't fulfil their potential

Postby joels344 » 18 Sep 2017, 18:14

PENK wrote:
joels344 wrote:The Martian*


Shame. A film about Dick Martin getting stranded on Mars might have been fun!


I wouldn't tempt Ridley Scott with a possible sequel.

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Re: Directors that didn't fulfil their potential

Postby PENK » 18 Sep 2017, 18:15

Scott is a good call though. He did have Gladiator which was a great blockbuster and a massive commercial success, but he's spent the years since trying to redo that or, recently, going back to his earliest, best work with all the Alien prequels and the new Blade Runner sequel (does anyone feel even vaguely optimistic?), though not always as director himself.

The Martian was another big hit, of course, and as you guys say it's an enjoyable Saturday-evening kind of film, but hardly a classic for the ages.
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Re: Directors that didn't fulfil their potential

Postby pcqgod » 18 Sep 2017, 21:45

Roberto Rodriguez. Not that he had lofty artistic goals, but how many "Spy Kids" sequels has he churned out by now?

Neil Marshall, though I guess directing "Game of Thrones" and "Westworld" episodes is a good direction for him.
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