“Auteur filmmaking”- a term used to describe movies which are the product of the sole vision of their director- has been used to describe the process and works of such masters of cinema as Alfred Hitchcock, Stanley Kubrick, and Martin Scorsese since the concept originated in France in the 1940s. The term “auteur” has since been reserved for directors whose approach is so signature and iconic that their works would simply be altogether different had they been directed by anyone else. While the “single-vision” concept has resulted in some of the greatest films of all time, the approach has since taken a back seat to the contemporary “filmmaking by committee” style employed by many major studios (which is why most of the Marvel superhero movies- with some notable exceptions, such as Guardians of the Galaxy– have mostly been directed by newcomers or hired guns with experience in completely different genres, yet they all have the same unmistakable market-tested sense of humor and mind-numbingly unimportant finales). Fortunately, this doesn’t mean that the auteur style is dead entirely. Some contemporary expert directors are currently turning in their best work, and any student of film knows them by name: Denis Villeneuve, Darren Aronofsky, Paul Thomas Anderson, Quentin Tarantino, Christopher Nolan, and David Fincher.
Quentin Tarantino has begun work on his next project! According to THR, he is putting the finishing touches on a script for a movie about the real-life Manson Family Murders. The script focuses on Sharon Tate, the actress and wife of director Roman Polanski who was murdered by the infamous cult in 1969.
As usual, Bob and Harvey Weinstein are involved in the project (likely in producer or executive producer roles), and the group plans on seeking a major studio to co-produce and co-distribute the film (à la the production method used for Inglourious Basterds). THR’s sources state that Brad Pitt and Jennifer Lawrence have already been approached to star in the film. The plan as of now is to begin shooting in the summer of 2018. read more
Michael Parks, who experienced a career renaissance in recent years, died Tuesday at the age of 77.
Parks, a well known character actor with over 100 television and movie credits to his name, caught the attention of some of the best directors of the 1990’s in the form of Quentin Tarantino, Kevin Smith, and Robert Rodriguez. Each director continued to use Parks in their films, in particular Kevin Smith. Smith gave Parks two starring roles in 2011’s Red State and 2014’s Tusk.
Smith praised Parks (through an Instagram post) stating that, “Michael was, and will likely forever remain, the best actor I’ve ever known” and that “He was, hands-down, the most incredible thespian I ever had the pleasure to watch perform.” read more
Anyone who knows anything about Kurt Russell- the legendary actor behind classic John Carpenter heroes like Jack Burton, Snake Plissken, and R.J. MacReady- must’ve jumped right out of their seat when it was announced that he would be playing Chris Pratt’s father in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. He recently sat down with io9 to discuss his role in the upcoming film and to draw connections between his early work and Pratt’s performances. Russell practically invented the “sometimes heroic/sometimes hilarious cool dude” archetype, so it makes perfect sense that he play “Ego” to Pratt’s “Star-Lord.” Turns out, Russell is just as aware of this as the rest of us. Here’s what he had to say: read more