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Great Directors (2009)

6.4
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 243 users   Metascore: 49/100
Reviews: 3 user | 30 critic | 15 from Metacritic.com

Great Directors, directed by Angela Ismailos, features conversations with ten of the world's greatest living directors: Bernardo Bertolucci, David Lynch, Liliana Cavani, Stephen Frears, ... See full summary »

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Great Directors, directed by Angela Ismailos, features conversations with ten of the world's greatest living directors: Bernardo Bertolucci, David Lynch, Liliana Cavani, Stephen Frears, Agnes Varda, Ken Loach, Todd Haynes, Catherine Breillat, Richard Linklater and John Sayles. The film documents Ismailos' voyage of discovering the creative personalities behind the camera. She explores the filmmakers' artistic evolution and personal identity, the role of politics and history on their work, and the agony and dilemmas in the creative process. It also examines the challenges of being an artist in an age of commercialism and globalization. The film traces the influence of cinematic movements and iconic directors on these directors' work-from the role of Neo-Realism in Bertolucci's evolution to the influence of Federico Fellini on David Lynch, Ingmar Bergman on Catherine Breillat and Rainer Werner Fassbinder on Todd Haynes. Written by Anonymous

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30 September 2010 (Greece)  »

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Great Directors  »

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$2,418 (USA) (9 July 2010)

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$17,921 (USA) (30 July 2010)
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Pomp without circumstance
21 September 2010 | by (Greece) – See all my reviews

Watch how 'Directors', then 'Great', then blah blah by Angela Ismailos appears on screen, accompanied with the hollow percussion to big, really big and banging effect, then watch how the director wanders in slow-mo in almost irrelevant, then, as usually in the final glimpse we realize she "wanders" in something the director previously appearing has just mentioned, to a trivial, ridiculous outcome, just after Bertolucci mentions his "Last Tango" was banned by the Vatican, she appears to our confusion, only to supposedly restore the procedure when we get a glimpse of the Vatican! It is difficult, as the other reviewer mentions, not to make a pun on the title.

And why not? Richard Linklater sharing his detriment, rather than a critical response, on what coming from a poor family means for the industry, appears unfortunately irrelevant, if not ridiculed, by the director's narcissistic, posh, bragging (chin up!) appearances. Here and there, and by means of a researched but terribly imbalanced footage of the directors' films, we have some quasi-meaningful transitions from words to images to words, but devoid of any structure.

Why should we have the dead Fassbinder in the discussion? Just because the director and Haynes share a devoted following? And John Sayles? He says how he pops from serving Hollywood by writing big scripts, then returns to what he really wants to articulate, with the money he earns in that switching procedure, then disappears from screen for the rest of the film. This is absurdly inconsequential. The film is not saved even by Vardas' quiet charm, a sense of sharing with the uncompromising

  • and favored, in terms of screen-time - Breillat, or Lynch's -
actually edited - fervor, and Bertolucci's relaxed and inviting manner.

Remember how in "Broadcast News (1987)" the famous interview is exposed as fraud, since there was one camera involved, so the interviewer could not have possibly shed a tear as a seemingly parallel shot shows? The director's parallel appearances during the interviews, at certain unfortunate moments have the same melodramatic feeling, only purposeless here.

A somewhat informing film, but barely insightful.


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