Splitsider

Posts tagged as directors

Applying the Auteur Theory to Kevin Smith

In the early '90s American Indie boom, auteurs like Quentin Tarantino and Steven Soderbergh emerged into the zeitgeist with personal, low-budget projects that ultimately  came to inform a larger body of work that made them the important film personalities they are today. In this same Sundance-fueled era, a 24-year-old Kevin Smith premiered his first film, Clerks. With the industry support of Harvey Weinstein and the critical support of the New York Times and Janet Maslin, Kevin Smith bullied his way into the rising star director conversation. His follow up films, Mallrats, Chasing Amy, and Dogma led to the creation of a connected Kevin Smith universe, or, the "View-Askewniverse" as [...]

Paul Feig Producing and Possibly Directing a Comedy Starring a Cast of Ethnically Diverse Actresses

Paul Feig, director of Bridesmaids and The Heat, is keeping busy with a ton of movie projects. His latest is an untitled comedy written by Melissa Stack, who wrote the upcoming Cameron Diaz/Leslie Mann movie The Other Woman, Deadline reports. Stack based the script off an original idea from Feig. He will produce the film and is considering it as a potential directing project.. The plot of the potential film is currently being kept under wraps, but it is said to be "a vehicle for a group of ethnically diverse comic actresses." Feig said, "I’m always looking for an excuse to gather a bunch of funny women together, [...]

Paul Feig, 'Bridesmaids', and Comedy with a "Feminine Sensibility"

Starting with the creation of his breakout sitcom, Freaks and Geeks, and the lead character of Lindsay Weir, Paul Feig has said publicly and shown in his work that he prefers a “feminine sensibility” in his comedy. His role as the auteur for the female comedic actress has been cemented in recent years with his back-to-back critical and box office successes, Bridesmaids and The Heat, and has helped to launch the careers of his stars and supporting players, particularly Melissa McCarthy. So then what is it about Feig’s storytelling and directing style that is so suitable for women performers? Primarily, the answer is that Feig is actively rebelling against [...]

The Auteur Theory of Judd Apatow

More than any modern day comedy director, Judd Apatow can be considered an auteur.

Auteur Theory, first written about by Francois Truffaut in the 1950s as a way to show the value of the lesser-respected American Hollywood filmmakers in comparison to the more artistically respected French filmmakers (later popularized by American critic Andrew Sarris), states that the director is the primary artistic visionary behind a film and that a consistency in his vision over a series of projects proves greatness.

In the most basic sense, Apatow falls under this definition not only because he's created a visual style that is distinctly his own and consistent throughout his directorial efforts, but [...]

Woody Allen: "I Might Have Been Happier If I Was a Novelist"

"I might have been happier if I was a novelist. So instead of having to raise millions of dollars to put on these stories, the novelist sits at home; you write, if you don't like it you throw it away. If I throw something away, I'm throwing away $100,000 every time I take a scene out. So that might have been a better thing. Or music might have been a better thing."

-Woody Allen to The LA Times about the career path he should have chosen.

The 'Lego Movie' Sequel Gets a New Director

The Lego Movie already had a sequel greenlit before the first one even came out, and the second film has now found a director. Deadline reports that Chris McKay, who's directed a ton of episodes of Robot Chicken and Moral Orel and also served as the first Lego Movie's animation co-director, has been hired to direct the sequel. Phil Lord and Chris Miller, who directed the initial film, are staying on as producers. The new movie is being written by Jared Stern (The Internship, Mr. Popper's Penguins) and Michelle Morgan (Girl Most Likely). Plot details are being kept under wraps.

Mel Brooks and His Wonderful Rejection of Subtlety

Back in a time when our primary source of film-watching outside the movie theatre involved a trip to a video store, it was much harder to be a young boy curious about what might exist beyond the G-rated family comedies we would watch on Sunday nights (my family would do this “picnic style” which meant putting down a dirty blanket in our suburban finished basement, ordering chinese food, and eating on the floor while we watched). One day my parents allowed me to attend a friend’s birthday party where we would be watching Mel Brooks’ R-rated film, Blazing Saddles, perhaps just pleased that we weren’t going to watch one [...]

The Next Movie Judd Apatow Is Directing Is Amy Schumer's 'Train Wreck'

Judd Apatow is gearing up to direct his fifth movie. Back in August, we reported that Apatow is producing a movie written by Amy Schumer for her to star in, but now, THR says the Schumer movie will be Apatow's next directorial effort. Called Train Wreck, the film stars Schumer as a "basket case" trying to put her life back together. Apatow, Schumer, and producer Barry Mendel are currently casting the parts of the main character's boyfriend, co-worker/best friend, and parent.

If Train Wreck makes it into production, it could be ready to hit theaters as soon as late 2014. This will be the first project Apatow will [...]

How Louis CK's Directing Style Helps Him Translate His Standup to the Screen in 'Louie'

Louis C.K. is a filmmaker.

That is not to undermine his world-class abilities as a writer and performer, but rather to emphasize the role his direction and visual style plays in his comedy.

Historically, audiences have operated under a false perception that in comedy films and television, actors and writers are doing the heavy-lifting and directors set up a wide shot and let the magic happen. In dramas, nobody questions the role of the director in bringing out performances or employing the perfect close-up. They are, deservedly so, regarded as integral pieces of the storytelling.

When considering C.K. in this canon, it is important to look at his career arc. [...]

Splitsider's Power List: The 50 Top Writer/Directors in Comedy (and Their Next Projects)

There are more people working professionally in comedy now than ever before, and with so many talented funny folks running around, it can be a little hard to keep track of your favorite writer or director and what their next project is/when it's coming out. We've gone through and compiled all the known info on what 50 leading comedy writers/directors are working on right now, and when you can expect to see their new project hit the screen. It's a mix of the comedy industry's current top dogs (like Judd Apatow, Greg Daniels, and Tina Fey), the old guard (Woody Allen, Larry David, Chris Guest), cult favorites (Charlie Kaufman, [...]

Marc Maron Is Making His Directorial Debut with an Upcoming Episode of 'Maron'

Marc Maron announced on Twitter that he's directing an upcoming episode of his IFC comedy Maron, which he stars in and created. The episode, a part of the show's second season, will mark Maron's directorial debut. Maron premiered its 10-episode first season on IFC last May and was renewed for a second season in July. Season 2, which will consist of 13 episodes, is set to premiere sometime this spring.

'Arrested Development' Creator Mitch Hurwitz to Direct His First Movie, 'Guinea Pigging'

Arrested Development creator Mitch Hurwitz is preparing to direct his first movie. He's attached to direct a comedy called Guinea Pigging that The State/Reno 911! duo Tom Lennon and Ben Garant are going to script, THR reports. The film is based on a 2008 New Yorker article by Carl Elliott about the community of people who work as medical test subjects, and the film, described as "a sophisticated comedy," will follow a guy who starts guinea pigging for a drug company and experiences strange side effects. This is the first movie project for Mitch Hurwitz, as well as the first movie he's directing. He started directing TV recently, [...]

How Director Peter Atencio Acts as the Unsung, Essential Third Member of 'Key and Peele'

How Peter Atencio (@Atencio) acts as the unsung, essential third member of 'Key and Peele' #url#

Talking to Writer/Director Maggie Carey About Her New Movie 'The To Do List'

This past weekend saw the release of writer/director Maggie Carey's first movie, The To Do List. Set in 1993, the film stars Aubrey Plaza, who's been collaborating with Carey since her web video days, as an overachieving high school grad who goes on a quest to become more sexually experienced before college. The To Do List features a stellar supporting cast that includes Alia Shawkat, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Andy Samberg, Donald Glover, Adam Pally, and Maggie Carey's husband Bill Hader. I recently had the chance to talk to Carey about The To Do List, how she got the movie made by pretending it was happening even though it wasn't at [...]