Category Archives: Directors

“All I need to make a comedy is a park, a policeman and a pretty girl.” — Charlie Chaplin

“The secret of Mack Sennett’s success was his enthusiasm. He was a great audience and laughed genuinely at what he thought funny. He stood and giggled until his body began to shake. This encouraged me and I began to explain … Continue reading

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“As a cinematographer, I was always attracted to stories that have the potential to be told with as few words as possible.” — Reed Morano

“I feel like directing is more about who the individual is rather than if they’re a man or a woman. It’s kind of hard to generalize and group all of us female filmmakers into one group, like we’re all going … Continue reading

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“It’s just one of the mysteries of filmmaking that sometimes you do something that you don’t even think it’s important, then it turns out to be.” –Lili Horvát

It’s the birthday today of Hungarian director Lili Horvát. I believe I made clear my love for Horvát’s Preparations To Be Together For An Unknown Period of Time, in a lengthy piece on my Substack. It’s been a while since … Continue reading

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“I don’t think you go to a play to forget, or to a movie to be distracted. I think life generally is a distraction and that going to a movie is a way to get back, not go away.” — Tom Noonan

Most well-known for playing supernatural-style “heavies” in movies such as Manhunter and Robocop 2, he got his start in the 1960s experimental theatre scene in New York City, and in many ways he’s never really left that scene. He established … Continue reading

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“The films I find boring are the ones that have no space for the audience’s misconceptions.” — Josephine Decker

Josephine Decker has only made six features (five of which I have seen) and most are marked by her very distinct gaze. Let’s define our terms. With all the talk about “female gaze” and “male gaze” – overused terms, to … Continue reading

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“I can take any empty space and call it a bare stage. A man walks across this empty space, whilst someone else is watching him, and this is all that is needed for an act of theatre to be engaged.” — Peter Brook

Peter Brook’s illustrious career earned him the right to be called a visionary. You’ll hear it a lot. He was one of the most influential theatrical directors of all time. Generations have learned from him, found inspiration in his work, … Continue reading

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“I think my cinema is minimalist because so is my gaze: I’m very interested in people.” — Joanna Hogg

It’s the birthday of director Joanna Hogg, who hasn’t directed that many films (comparatively) and yet what she has done really matters, so much so that when there are gaps between films, people who always have her on their radar … Continue reading

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“A good director must be able to inspire whoever he was coaching so that the actor would live the scene. Make-believe must become reality.” — Raoul Walsh

It’s his birthday today. Raoul Wash directed a number of great films (in a career as vast as his, the names stick out), but one also thinks of the great PERFORMANCES in these great films, often from actors who were … Continue reading

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“He is a good listener. When you have a good listener you have a good actor.” — Norman Taurog on Elvis

American director Norman Taurog was born in 1899, literally during the first gasps of cinema. What an improbable journey. He was born into a world before cinema had even cohered into an artform … and he ended his career helming … Continue reading

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“I should like to make even the most ordinary spectator feel that he is not living in the best of all possible worlds.” – Luis Buñuel

Today is Luis Buñuel’s birthday! From Luis Buñuel’s autobiography My Last Sigh: Connoisseurs who like their martinis very dry suggest simply allowing a ray of sunlight to shine through a bottle of Noilly Prat before it hits the bottle of … Continue reading

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