enjoy making films with my parents little home video
camera. I am only 17, and I an thinking of maybe being
a filmmaker some day. Do you have any tips or suggestions
if you're not completely and utterly obsessed by movies,
go into something else. It's very difficult field to
get into, or to make a living, let alone to succeed
at in any way, shape or form.
finished reading your latest update on "Hammer." Once
you have the finished film in hand, what will your next
step be? Will you try to work out a deal with a distributor
for distribution to theatres? Is there any kind of "indie
film network" that might pick it up? Will you do a "premiere"
in LA? Or are you likely to approach videotape or cable
first stop will be the good folks over at Anchor Bay
Entertainment and a theatrical distribution company
they introduced me to, Castle Hill (they did a terrific
job re-releasing all of John Cassavettes' films a few
years ago). If they're not interested, I'll go elsewhere.
Hello Josh Becker,
have enjoyed your directorial chores with Renaissance
Pictures, and especially liked "Running Time" Do you
have any future projects inwhich you are working with
Bruce Campbell that you are at liberty to divulge?
than trying to get my film, "If I Had a Hammer," released,
that's all I've got going right now, with Bruce or without
him. I may go and hang with him for Thanksgiving, though.
"I didn't do the seminar since only five people signed
up. I'll try again at another time."
Next time, give us warning on the website, I know a
few people who certainly come if we'd have known about
it in time... you also missed the Austin film festival
by about a week (intentionally?), might be a good time/place
to coordinate it since so many film buffs & indie filmmakers
come from out of town.
on to my point. Someone passed me a few scripts last
week, and it's the first time I've gotten a chance to
read some in the "draft" state. My response was about
the same with both of them, right around page 40. Disappointment..
and somewhat suprised. The structure was terrible! These
were supposed to be "professionals" in the industry,
and they were making really, really simple mistakes.
first one took a wrong turn at the end of Act I (in
fact it seemed like Act I was pretty much the writer's
entire idea, forced into 120 pages.) The second script
was worse, because even with better dialogue, it just
sort of meander along behind the main characters, following
their lives.. only this had the opposite effect of what
the writer intended; instead of caring more about the
characters, I felt lost and bored. (At about page 60,
I recall thinking "shouldn't something interesting have
happened by now?")
you considered writing an essay on how structure and
character growth are interconnected? It seems to me
that breaking the structure is the wrong way add depth
to your characters. Don't we, as viewers, expect a certain
pacing to the "growth curve" of our characters as well?
And when this doesn't happen when we expect it to, is
the natural response of our audience to feel cheated?
what almost all of my screenwriting essays are about.
I just told the story in the essay "Monsterization"
of when the concept of character depth really hit me
while I was writing "Cycles." You simply can't have
deep characters if your structure is bad. If you haven't
spent act one setting up the character's issues that
will be confronted in act two, then resolved in act
three, your act one is wrong and basically worthless.
Screenwriting is about structure, and from the structure
comes everything else.
often do you watch new movies? If you just saw 3 Kings
not that long ago, on video I presume, it seems to me
that you might be missing out on a lot of really good
films that would be worth a look. There must be SOME
good new movies since hundreds are made every single
year...Not that 3 Kings was very good. It wasn't.
about the foreign scene? Herzog is doing his first feature
since the 1980's. Are you into his work?
any rate, I'm just curious.
saw "Three Kings" and it sucked. I see all kinds of
new movies--I have satellite TV and all the silly channels--and
should I ever see a good movie I'll let you know. I
liked a couple of Herzog's films, "The Mystery of Kasper
Hauser" and "Aguirre, the Wrath of God," which were
both 25 years ago. I wish him all the best on his new
picture, but I don't hold out a lot of hope.
I am a high school student struggling to complete a
research paper. Included in my paper i have to have
an interview. My paper is on directors and in West Virginia
there seems to be a sortage or directors. I wonder why?
Anyway, i was wondering if you could help me out. I
would absoulty adore it if you could respond and let
me give you my questions.
you think you have a good question, go ahead and ask
it. As far as your school paper goes, I could care less.
<< If you're doing a remake or a sequel, instead of
beginning with the idea of being "creative," you're
beginning with the idea of "money" and you are a whore.
it ever occurred to you that some filmmakers do sequels
to add to a story? Isn't there something creative to
be said at that? Was Raimi a whore for doing "Evil Dead
2" and "Army of Darkness?" Can't you accept the fact
that a filmmaker would *want* to do a sequel? A story
(with or without a message) sometimes benifits from
being expanded upon.
I love "The Godfather Part 2," so it's certainly possible,
just not probable. 99.9% of the sequels and remakes
suck because they were made with crappy intentions.
My favorite director, William Wyler, made a great remake
with the 1959 version of "Ben-Hur." Quite frankly, I
think Wyler took the job just to prove that a great
film can be made out of anything, including a remake.
My favorite Tarzan movie is the second one, "Tarzan
and His Mate," not the first one. But, for the most
part, remakes and sequels are, in my humble opinion,
the worst kind of shit and not worthy of a big defense
or a real discussion.
am looking into the career of beign a director and i
was wandring if you could answer a few questions for
me? First one, what do your salryies range form, second
what are some disadavntages and advantages? and what
type of education do you need? If you could answer these
for me i would be very greatful thankyou
P.s I love your website a lot
range from $00.00 per year to multi-millions of dollars
per picture, and everything in between. Learning how
to spell or form a sentence might possibly be helpful,
your rant on remakes... Looking through your list of
favorite movies, I see that a lot have been based on
novels. I don't see you bitching about them. When a
director or writer translates either to the screen,
they are still working with someone else's material...so
what's the difference? I've seen a lot of good remakes
where the filmmakers have taken the same idea (in many
occassions remaking their own material) and have taken
new approaches to it...exactly as if you were adapting
a novel. But why are films based on novels not crap?
A lot of the best ones are translated verbatim from
the source material...but are you gonna denounce them
because you read the book already?
on Earth have novels got to do with remakes? Novels
are a different medium. Movies can happily be made from
short stories, articles, novels, plays, and the interpretation
of taking a story from one medium to another is where
the originality comes in. But when you base your movie
on another movie, you've got no originality to start
with. I think it's even worse than that. As William
Goldman said of sequels in his book, "Which Lie Did
I Tell?" ". . . Sequels are whore's movies. And always
will be." So are remakes. If you're doing a remake or
a sequel, instead of beginning with the idea of being
"creative," you're beginning with the idea of "money"
and you are a whore. Plain and simple.
I am able to obtain a New Zealand work permit, who would
I need to get in contact with to work on Xena, either
as an actor or crew member? Thank you for your time.
has been cancelled and the the remaining shows have
taken a big budget cut. What job do you think you're
going to get? However, if you have actually gotten your
work permit and are there, call Pacific Renaissance
Pictures and see what they say.
got an email from someone saying you did a seminar here
in Austin about a week back... Why didn't you warn us?
Will you be doing any others in the area? I would have
certainly tried to come.
didn't do the seminar since only five people signed
up. I'll try again at another time.
am impressed with your resume and someday hope to be
a writer/director as you are. I read you story structure
article and couldn't agree with you more. As a contestant
in the Greenlight Project, I have had to read soem seriously
bad efforts. Two were good ideas that the writers didnt
know what the hell to do with. My question is, now that
I feel I have a legitimate shot at winning this thing
(based on what Ive had to read) I signed up as director
if I should actually win. My problem, I couldn't tell
you an Arriflex from a Bowflex. I am considering the
Dov SS Siemens 2 day class just to familiarize myself
with the equipment that will be used. Would you recommend
this class? I am a student of Robert McKee's Story Structure
classes -- I missed a car payment but I dont regret
it. I KNOW how to write as I hope my script Melanie's
Angel will attest.
info will be helpful,
thanks and have a great day,
of counting your chickens, aren't you? Anyway, I don't
know a thing about Dov SS Siemens. Check out my Recommended
reading list, but particularly "The Director" by Richard
L. Bare. Project Greenlight, is, in my humble opinion,
a stupid idea. C.B. DeMille did a thing just like Project
Greenlight in 1922 and it was a miserable failure. The
idea that you'll get better scripts from amateurs than
professionals is truly knuckleheaded.
the song " If I Had a Hammer" played in your movie "If
I Had a Hammer?" Thank you.
the song is played several times in the film, including
over the front titles. Other songs in the film are:
"Goodnight Irene," "This Land is Your Land," "Rock Island
Line," "In My Time of Dyin'," "Bourgeois Blues, "Darling
Corey" and "When the Saints Go Marching In."
wanted to know if you were born and raised in Isreal,
and if you were where were did you live?
only was I not born and raised in Israel, I've never
even been there. BTW, it's I-S-R-A-E-L.
think you were quite right when you answered by David
Lean question. (For me "Doctor Zhivago" is such a bore,
i find it very hard to watch.)
on the subject of "Ryan's Daughter", i kept thinking
to myself it has good cinematograpy but then realized
your number one rule of film-- THE STORY. Everything
else doesn't mean a damn thing.
the subject of your films: the only one I have seen
is "Lunatics: A Love Story". (but this is because I
live in a small town and can't find them. We have no
good independant films, foreign films,etc. It is pretty
crappy). Anyway, I really enjoyed "Lunatics" and the
plots of "Thou Shalt Not Kill... Except" and "Running
Time" are very intriguing, and i am going to order them
on DVD from the US next week.
guess I should ask a question: What is your opinion
of Fellini ?(again I have only seen very few of his
films because of this damn town!) I watched his "Toby
Dammit" in "Spirits Of The Dead" last night and kind
of enjoyed it. But most of his films never go anywhere.
It would be nice to hear your favorites of his films
so I'll know what ones to order. (But not before I get
"Thou Shalt Not Kill" or "Running Time"- which i'm sure
will be great).
not much of a Federico Fellini fan. I've seen "8 1/2"
quite a few times, and parts of it are wonderful, but
the whole film I find troublesome. I love the look and
milieu of "La Dolce Vita," but it ultimately bores me.
"La Strada" is a creepy, interesting film (and fairly
short) , but the dubbing of Quinn's voice tortures me.
I like the neo-realist films of Vittorio DeSica and
Roberto Rossellini ("The Bicycle Thief," "Open City")
much better (BTW, Fellini co-wrote "Open City").
wanted to ask, when you get an idea in your head for
a movie, do you start writing the screenplay right away
or wright a story first? Why do you have a bunch of
short stories, how come you haven't written screenplays
for them? Is there really a difference between a story
and a screenplay? It just so happens a screenplay has
its own form? Thanks
often when I get an idea for a movie I noodle it around
in my head for the rest of my life and never actually
write it. If it sticks and begins to solidify, I write
it down in my journal. If I keep coming back to it,
then I'll write an outline. If the outline makes sense
I'll then write a treatment, or short story version,
if you will. If I can make that make sense and the idea
still interests me, then I'll write the script. I'll
never write a script I haven't worked out all of the
structure for first. If you don't know your structure
you can't write a decent script--no way. As I was just
discussing with my webmaster, Shirley, short stories
are a different, looser form than the screenplay, and
don't necessarily have to have three acts or a resolution,
meaning, without a lot of adaptation, most stories won't
automatically make good scripts. If I write something
as a short story it's because it seems like a short
story to me.
wondering since you've done some work on Xena. You obviously
know Renee O'Connor so I was wondering if you were invited
to her wedding, or maybe even lucky enough to attend.
I read somewhere that even though there are many nude
scenes in Xena, that as a rule Lucy and Renee never
do any actual nudity on set. Since you've directed several
episodes, is this true, and if so how did you go about
shooting nude scenes in your episodes?
I was not invited to Renee's wedding, nor would I have
expected to be, as I'm sure most of the "Xena" directors
weren't. I've enjoyed working with her every time, but
we're not really friends. As to nude scenes, most of
the scenes where they are supposed to be nude, they're
not, they're wearing flesh-colored wet suits. At the
beginning of "If The Shoe Fits . . ." where Renee is
showering, it's a body double in the wide shots and
Renee in the close shots. Of course, any time it's wide
enough so you can't make out their faces, it's not them,
I read somewhere that you directed Hercules and the
Maze of the Minotaur. I like this movie a lot and I
was hoping that you might be able to tell me where I
could buy it. Thanks!
pretty sure it's never been for sale in the U.S. I have
an Australian version that I saw in the stores in New
Zealand, but I've never seen it here. I guess you'll
just have to tape it the next time it pops up on TV.
at the main page I guess it would be fair to say that
you're not voting for Bush. But is Gore all that much
better? OK, yea, no question he's better. But I've still
got some major problems with his views on certain issues.
The whole attack on Hollywood bothers me, and while
Gore may back off a bit IF he wins, Lieberman strikes
me as the kind of guy that will actually get MORE involved
in the attack. There's some others things, like Gore's
tendency to exaggerate or just plain make shit up. And
some of Bush's points about Gore not being particularly
effective in bringing together the Reps and Dems is
somewhat true. Honestly, I've almost considered voting
for a third party, like Harry Browne or Nader. But I've
decided to vote for Gore and I'm encouraging my friends
on campus to do the same. Bush winning the presidency
scares the shit outta me, and I do happen to agree with
Gore on alot of issues, including the environment; plus,
I suppose a vote for Nader or Browne is a vote for Bush
anyway. So I'm gonna go Gore, and just pray that the
public wakes up before November 6th. What do you think?
Is Gore a good candidate? And what the fuck are we gonna
do if Bush wins? (which unfortunately seems very much
voted against Bush, which meant voting for Gore. I vote
almost straight Libertarian otherwise. I am considerably
less comfortable with a Republican in the white house,
since I think they are just itching to get us into wars
because they're ostensibly good for the economy. I think
that Clinton-Gore have done a fine job over the past
7 years and if Gore could just keep that up, and I think
he can, that would be great. Whereas, Bush, Jr. just
seems like a snivelling little wimp me, without an ounce
of backbone or real character. I actually don't mind
that Bush spent from 18 to 40 doing little else but
getting drunk and snorting cocaine, but now he's a reformed
drunk and coke-head and they're the worst.
want to thank you very much for responding to my letter
so quickly. I found your help very valuable and now
started to read my dialogue out loud. (This is very
the way, I just watched David Lean's Ryan's Daughter,
I thought it was a pretty good film and I liked Christopher
Jone's performance. I was wondering what your opinion
of this would be? Do you feel that like Kubrick, Wilder
and Hitchcock that Lean lost his touch later in his
career with this film and A Passage To India? or do
you think that these two films were worthy to his whole
thanks again. I really appreciated your help.
feel like David Lean had lost his touch a film earlier,
with "Doctor Zhivago." Although I think both Robert
Mitchum and John Mills are terrific, I believe that
"Ryan's Daughter" is nearly a disaster and dramatically
lays a big egg. So does "A Passage to India." However,
from "Lawrence of Arabia" back is all well worth seeing,
particularly "Great Expectations," "Oliver Twist," "Brief
Encounter" and "Hobson's Choice."
found a copy of GoreZone from 1991 that had a great
interview w/ you. If you'd like I'll send you a copy.
Whatever happened to the termite sci-fi flick?
for my 2nd Annual Halloween inspired question: name
5 flicks that you would recommend for Halloween night.
The jack-o-lantern will be carved w/ a candle burning
inside throwing luminous shadows on the walls, now what
should be in my VCR?
have a copy of that GoreZone somewhere. What ever happened
to "Insectoids?" They are terrorizing Shelfville and
Drawertown, where most of my scripts and stories live.
So as not to repeat myself, let's go to some lesser
known scary films.
"Dead of Night" (1945)
2. "Bedlam" (1946)
3. "Five Million Years to Earth" (1968)
4. "Repulsion" (1965)
5. "The Tenant" (1976)
discovered your site very much by accident, but am now
very glad to have discovered it. I absorbed all of your
articles in one day, and found them to be quite helpful.
It seems to me that you live and breathe film, and to
me that is very encouraging. I also look up to that.
I am an aspiring writer/director (who isn't these days)
but I feel like this is something I have to do with
my life. I live in a very small town in Canada and figure
on going to film school next year in the US, basically
just to help develop my craft and also to meet similar
people. I have also have made a couple "little" films
in my home town with the encouragement of family and
friends. (mostly they just humored me, they don't really
care about film that much).
my question is concerning dialogue. For me it is very
hard to write. I was just wondering if you could tell
me a little bit about the way you come up with dialogue
for your screenplays?
ideas or methods you like to use would be much appreciated
and once again, terrific site and I have learned a great
deal from it. (I definitly share your opinions of where
film is today... utter crap).
your dialog is good you ought to be able to cross out
the names of characters and still know who's speaking.
To achieve this you must know who your characters are,
they can't just be names on paper. If you know what
they really want in life, then that's probably what
they're talking about. If you know what the character's
big problem is, then you'll also know what they're not
saying. If you know your theme then you will know what
every conversations ought to be about. It's really an
issue of then personalizing the theme to the character.
I also think it's important to read the dialog out loud
just to see if a human being can actually say the lines.
Also, a line of dialog should generally not exceed five
or six sentences or two to three paragraphs, tops. Really,
the shorter and more succinct the better.
are the most important things to know and remember if
i wanna become a director?
story and story.
you watch your own movies do they feel like "real movies"?
Just curious. Made a feature and it still looks and
feels, to me, like one of my video shorts I made in
you serious when you say the last great movie you saw
was Unforgiven? If that's right, how in the world, as
a filmaker and movie lover, do you stay sane?
James Stewart said, "Movies are pieces of time," and
if you were there during the shooting, each shot represents
its own little hunk of time and effort that it took
to shoot it. Therefore, at least for me, my movies never
really flow together as a single flowing piece because
each hunk is its own deal. Regarding how I stay sane
because contemporary movies suck so bad, I watch mainly
old movies. I recently saw a cool film called "The man
Who Never Was," a 1956 British production based on a
true story about how the Allies fooled the Germans into
thinking they were invading Greece instead of Sicily.
I also just watched "Three Kings," which I found entirely
unbelievable, totally uninvolving, and pretentious as
a copy of Running Time on VHS, and really loved it.
With respect to your most recent letters, I got the
theme, and it made very clear some of the things you
say on story structure. I rarely go to films anymore,
myself, there's just no interest. Just saw the Sixth
Sense, and I agree that one did work...however, by reading
your letters I knew a little too much lol. Also, in
latest visit to LACMA, viewing the Dutch masters, I
really am drawn to that use of black myself, and it
made me think about you :) I'm working on a portrait
of Ted as Joxer at the moment...have you had any interest,
or has anyone done a portrait of you??
had three portraits painted of me by Don Bachardy, whose
new show I just saw at the Academy. He also has a new
book out, called "Stars In My Eyes," which are his beautiful
portraits of famous people that all actually sat for
him, like Bette Davis, Myrna Loy, Jack Nicholson, William
Wyler, and John Huston. I sat for him, too, but I didn't
make the show or the book. Each portrait took three
hours and I'm still amazed I was able to sit still that
believe you mention in your DVD commentary for Running
Time that the theme of the movie is trust.
regard to your comments about a writer giving the theme
to a film in the first two minutes, how do you establish
that in the first few minutes of Running Time?
favourite scene in RT has to be the entire tunnel/Carl
beats the crap out of Donny sequence. It was nice to
see a more fleshed out character arc for Donny than
what I had previously read in the script. I'm still
impressed you were able to go back and shoot that scene
two weeks later.
for a fun film,
is what Carl and the Warden are discussing, trust is
what Carl and the prison guard discuss, trust is immediately
the issue between Carl and Patrick--the theme is stated
pretty clearly I think.
essays I've read on your Web site have made me watch
movies much more critically lately. And the other day
I had the misfortune of seeing the type of Hollywood
crap you're always warning us about: "The Contender."
This is not so much a movie as a political tract on
film. But regardless of one's political views, it's
a lousy movie: It's got a main character who you never
care about and, even worse, who never DOES anything.
And the script has no three-act structure and piles
one unbelievable event on top of another. When "The
End" flashed on the screen, I heard several people utter
in unison what I had been thinking throughout the film:
now I feel better. What's this got to do with you? Well,
until I read all your essays, I would have probably
have just been disappointed in the movie. Instead, I'm
pissed off at the waste of money, talent (most of the
cast was good, especially Gary Oldman), my time and
my money. Thanks for the education.
been experiencing the exact same feelings toward most
Hollywood movies for about 20 years. I know within 2
minutes if the writers have a clue about structure because
a well-written script states its theme right away--if
the theme is not stated right away, the chances are
about 99% that there isn't one. I have a tendency to
bail out on most movies within the first 35 minutes
because that's when act one is supposed to end, and
if it doesn't, there's absolutely no reason to watch
the rest of the film because it's going nowhere.
much money did you get for selling "Cycles"?
received the Writer's Guild high-budget minimum, which,
at that time was about $48,000. I spent it all making
that Xena is going off the air, what are the chances
that Sam/Rob will develop a somewhat intelligent tv
series? I mean, Xena was decent entertainment I suppose,
but after a few episodes it bored the shit outta me.
Jack seems to have died, and Cleo has been awful from
the get-go. Any chance that Sam and Rob will develop
a smart, fun hour-long drama series? Maybe like a cable
network show? I know you're not much of a tv viewer,
but I think with the right talent in front of, and behind
the camera you guys could do something that adult viewers
could enjoy. Get the three of you guys together, write
the pilot, have Sam produce and you direct. See where
it goes. Seems like syndication is pretty much dead,
why not hook up again with those guys and try something
new? Make something worth watching? Maybe not even a
series show, just like individual movie-of-the-week
type deals under a shared premise.
that's what Rob Tapert or Sam Raimi wanted to do I'm
sure they'd let me know. I am an idea machine and I
sit here day in and day out dreaming up ideas for movies,
TV movies, mini-series, you name it. I'm researching
two ideas right now that I think would make great TV
movies: the 1876 presidential election, and the life
of Adolf Hitler. I pitched Rob the life of Julius Caesar,
as told at three different points in his life simultaneously,
so you'd have a 12-14 year old actor, a 20-25 year old
actor (like Karl Urban, who played him on "Xena"), and
a 40-45 year old actor. Anyway, it didn't seem to go
anywhere. I have a sit-com idea for Bruce. I've got
a TV movie script about young Teddy Roosevelt, with
a great part for Bruce. I have tons of stuff no one
is interested in. As Rob Tapert himself taught me, if
someone wants to get in touch with you, they'll find
for sharing all the info and your unique and individual
opinions. Although I may not always agree with you,
you're always unafraid to give your own two cents worth,
even when it may not be the most popular statment--and
I can respect that. Besides if we all thought the same
movies were good we would never have a truly thought-provoking
discussion which would allow us all to understand or
at least view different perspectives on movies. Film,
is a medium in which different interpretations and opinions
are to be expected and encouraged. Having said that,
I will now move on to the Questions part of my email.
Someone told me that a great way to learn the art of
screenplay writing is to read as many screenplays as
possible. Do you agree with this statement? If so, which
ones do you suggest I read?
Do you believe in/use script-writing software? If so,
could you give me a suggestion about which ones would
be the best for a novice, which ones are least expensive,
which ones give you the most for your money and which
one you use and why?
What/Who are your favorite foreign films/directors?
What is your favorite Hitchcock movie and why?
Do you like any of the films of Kurosawa and Spike Lee?
Whether you dislike or like any of their films, could
you please give your opinion on what you thought were
their best and worst films, and your reasoning behind
Out of curiosity, how many pages long is your Q&A section?
I find it very informative and amusing at times, but
I constantly have to sift through the Xena freaks and
I realize I asked a shit-load of questions, but if you
could at least briefly answer all of my questions I
would greatly appreciate it. Thanks for your time, and
I'll do my best. As to how long the Q&A section is,
I don't even know anymore. I must have answered at least
1000 questions in the past two years plus. All right,
let's take these questions one at a time:
When people refer to reading as many scripts as possible,
it kind of means becoming a script-reader to see what's
going at this time in the biz. Nevertheless, reading
as many scripts as possible is fine idea. I particularly
like Robert Bolt's script for "Lawrence of Arabia,"
James Clavell and W.R. Burnett's "The Great Escape,"
although I don't know where you'd get either one. You
can get Preston Sturges' scripts in published form and
they're all worth studying (but see the movies first).
The point here isn't just to read good scripts, it's
to read everything to see what's both good and bad.
I do not believe in script writing software and do not
use it. I began writing scripts on a manual typewriter
and the format is simply five tab stops. Other than
that, it's all got to come out of your brain and no
software will help. Strong coffee is more important.
I Like a lot of Luis Bunuel's films, particularly from
his 1950s Mexican period, like "Los Olvidados;" I like
the post-WW2, Italian neo-realist films, like DeSica's
"The Bicycle Thief;" I think Akira Kurosawa hit a terrific
run of pictures in the 50's and 60s, like "Ikiru" and
"High and Low;" there's a ton ( or, more appropriately,
a "tonne") of British pictures I love, like all the
Ealing comedies of the 50s, such as "The Lavender Hill
Mob" and "The Man in the White Suit," all of David Lean's
films, many of Carol Reed's, and of course, Alfred Hitchcock.
Many of the great "Hollywood" directors were actually
of foreign birth, like my favorite director, William
Wyler, who was from Austria, as was Billy Wilder, and
Michael Curtiz, who was from Hungary.
My favorite Hitchcock film is "Notorious," with "Psycho"
coming second, both of which have a lot more characterization
than most Hitchcock films.
What the hell have Kurosawa and Spike Lee got to do
with one another? And why on Earth would they ever be
mentioned in the same breath? (Name a Japanese director
and an African-American director that both shot films
on 35mm stock?) As I previously mentioned, I like many
of Kurosawa's films, particularly from the 50s and 60s
("Seven Samurai," "Yojimbo," "Sanjuro, "The Hidden Fortress,"
etc.), whereas I don't like any of Spike Lee's films,
which started off shitty and have gotten progressively
worse (if you paid me $20 I wouldn't see "Bamboozled").