The ramblings and musings of author and musician Geoffrey Young Haney.
Much more coherent and loveable fare from his wife, Michelle.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Inspirations Week Day 3: The Movies [part 1]


So inspiration week is turning into the longest week on record. I began with good intentions on Monday, April 11 with a post about indie author rockstars Joe Konrath and Amanda Hocking. "Day 2" was actually a date late, on Wednesday the 13th. In it I gushed about my huge man-crush on writer/director Kevin Smith. Today on this "Day 3", a solid 11 days since this alleged "week" began, I have again found time to post on another one of my inspirations: The Movies.

Now I was going to focus on one or two filmmakers whose work has impacted me the most, but I honestly couldn't narrow it down. Those of you who know me can testify to the veritable Blockbuster my wife and have in our living room (cue 10-year-old asking "Mommy, what's a Blockbuster???") We love movies. Love love love movies. So how could I talk about only one flick or only one director when there's such a large well of cinema from which to drink?

So we shall drink deep, my friends, and toast to good movie-watching health, as I highlight a few directors and films from a list of many. Some you'll agree with. Some might make you question my movie-loving credibility (I really will watch and love pretty much anything.) Oh, and I left Smith off this list here because the dude got his own damn post! So hopefully he won't take offense to this (when he surely reads it later. Trust me. He'll read it....)

So without further delay...


TOP FIVE (OR SIX... OR SEVEN...) FILMS and/or FILMMAKERS [part 1]


1. Christopher Nolan
Favorite film: Memento

The list of reasons I love Nolan could fill about 20 posts, so I will keep it short and sweet. The guy is original. He wraps a story tighter than any director I've ever seen. He has a great eye for detail. And he's a guy with a totally independent heart working completely within the studio system. I know its "cool" to be indie guy, and I get it. But this dude is in Hollywood and making his own rules. Hollywood needs more cats like Nolan. His first film, Following, is brilliant, The Prestige was a wonderfully taut flick, and of course, there's Inception. What can be said about Inception that hasn't already been said? It's an amazing piece of cinema. The fact that Nolan wrote the script, juggled that ensemble cast, nailed all those special effects shots (most of which done with CGI), and didn't get Best Director award is kind of insane to me. But then again, I didn't see The King's Speech. Neither did 80% of the country. :D But anyway, for my money, Memento will always be my favorite Nolan film. It really is stunning how the narrative is wound together so well while told in such a bizarre, reverse-linear fashion. Not to mention Guy Pearce gives a hell of a performance.

Oh, and Nolan also made those tiny little Batman flicks all the kids are talking about. I think they did pretty well in the box office.... just maybe....


2. Fight Club
Directed by: David Fincher (based of the novel by Chuck Palahniuk)

I switch over to the film for #2 here. I have nothing against Fincher, but I am not in love with him enough to include his entire cannon here in my list of inspirations. His Fight Club is what takes the cake for me. This film changed me as an artist. Seriously. I will never again write a film without thinking of how I can make it more like Fight Club. It taught me so much about the unreliable or false narrator (Memento as well) and its a character trope I always love exploring. The screenplay I'm writing right now for my short film Dreaming Jack Gray wouldn't exist without Fight Club. I give Palahniuk the props for infusing the film with such memorable bits of narrative and dialog and giving it its tone and message, but its Fincher that brought it to life for me. I actually couldn't finish the book. I really wanted to, but I have a big problem with the first-person perspective anyway and to have the narrator of a book so limited in their scope was distracting. On film I think the story worked much better, and I won't say that often.


3. Terry Gilliam
Favorite film: 12 Monkeys

I haven't seen all of Gilliam's work. I'm sort of new to my love for him. But what I have seen I find completely compelling. Gilliam is my favorite kind of director: one who let's his enormous imagination run wild on the screen. His films know no limit (both in scope and in budget, which admittedly makes him hard on studios.) From The Adventures of Baron Munchausen to Time Bandits; from Fear and Loathing to The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnasus, Gilliam has taken me to worlds beyond my wildest dreams. And I have pretty wild dreams. Always exciting, always different, always quirky, Gilliam is a man who seems to want nothing more than to make you remember what its like to love imagination - like a kid, back when anything was possible and adventure and intrigue were ours to obtain.

12 Monkeys, a much more serious film tonally than some of his other works, stands as my favorite of his. Its a mind-bender of a sci-fi flick featuring great performances by Bruce Willis and Brad Pitt. Its a film I can watch again and again, never to grow sick of it and always finding something new. There are a few Gilliam films I have yet to tackle (The Fisher King is sitting on my DVD shelf right now) and I'm looking forward to seeing more.

Plus, how can you dislike the guy behind that other Grail movie. Total comedy classic!


So there's the first 3! I will discuss my last 4 choices in a later post. For now I leave you with the most inspiring film I've seen in a long time: My son Carter taking his first steps!


video


Until next time...

G

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