"It seems very pretty," she said, "but it's rather hard to understand."
Nice article - a recent example that comes to mind is of Spike Jonze.On a side note, something that I would love to read from you, or for that matter anyone, is an in depth piece about the directors who were also script writers.Is writing your movies yourself a necessary condition for auteurship? Is it sufficient?Does script writing make you a "better" director?Stuff like that.
Can't resist adding another one-Werner Fassbinder.
One more. Steven Spielberg as himself in Austin Powers - Goldmember.
Jai, Polanski's cameo in Chinatown is a significant one too. I found Ghai's cameos grating & self-aggrandizing. When I compare that with Hitchcock, it makes my blood boil!Rahul, writer-directors who immediately come to mind are Terence Malick, Francis Coppola, Billy Wilder & Satyajit Ray. I will take a chance with a roster like that :-)
Guys, this wasn't an attempt at a comprehensive listing, as I'm sure you'll all appreciate :D It's just a selective and personal look at a few notable director-performances.Tipu: I had something written about Polanski's little role in Chinatown (about how different it was from his mousy roles in the two films mentioned here) but left it out of the final piece. But as we discussed earlier, Chinatown also has John Huston in one of the most notable performances by a major director.
"Is writing your movies yourself a necessary condition for auteurship? Is it sufficient?Does script writing make you a "better" director?"Rahul: yes, this is such an interesting subject - I've been wanting to write something along these lines for a long time, but just haven't got around to collecting examples and properly formulating my thoughts. In short: I wouldn't think writing your movies yourself is a necessary condition at all for auteurship - many of the greatest, most individualistic directors wouldn't be regarded auterus in that case. But it's also important to recognise how directors like Hawks or Hitchcock (not writers in any conventional sense of the word) would select source material and then encourage their screenwriters to take it in a certain direction (and make changes/additions to the script). Lots more to be said about this, of course.
The other end of the camera exists no more. We may very well be at a funeral.
Cross-posting the comment I made under the PoV column here:.....................Jai,Thanks for a well-researched and yet fluid piece - I would think this particicular piece would have taken a bit more time and effort compared to your other PoV pieces given that they are more reflective in nature (that is to say, there are comparatively lesser data points in the other pieces and more opinion)....thanks for putting in the effort. In this context, I would urge you to watch two recent movies in which Rituporno Ghosh has acted - "Aro ekti premer golpo (Trans:Just another love story)" and "Memories from March". He has given brilliant performances in both and won strong critical acclaim - the movies are strongly recommended for your viewing, in this context as well as excellent filmmaking efforts. He is also directing and acting in the title role of a movie named 'Chitrangada' - his modern day interpretation of the story of the manly Manipuri princess who fell in love with Arjuna and got back in touch with her feminine side (Tagore had written a dance drama on the same story)-should be quite a watch.I am amused to note that the first comment is from a marriage portal and the substantial comments (only in terms of number of words expended in expressing their opinion) are from people with significant comprehension problems :-) Clearly, a formal 'Film Studies' training can only help that much :-)
Thanks for a well-researched and yet fluid piece - I would think this particicular piece would have taken a bit more time and effort compared to your other PoV pieces given that they are more reflective in nature (that is to say, there are comparatively lesser data points in the other pieces and more opinion)Sudipto: actually, no - this column took me less time to write than most of my other pieces of comparable length. And on some level I think of this sort of piece as more facile, and less satisfying as a writer.To begin with, it wasn't at all difficult to think of many relevant examples (including from films I had rewatched recently), and then it was just a matter of stringing them together. Also, you may be underestimating the difficulties of expressing an opinion in a carefully thought out and detailed way. An "opinion" piece like the one on Satyakam (for example) was much, much more difficult to write. But thanks very much for your comment. I'm very annoyed with Yahoo for leaving comments on in that column (have made it clear to them in the past that I don't want this), and in the midst of all the trolling it's nice to see a comment like yours.
I'm reminded of John Huston's turn in Preminger's Cardinal. Huston plays a pragmatic priest in a very unusual film. My favourite performance by a director (not principally an actor) is Martin Scorsese's manic turn in Taxi Driver. Those five minutes rank among the most frightening and yet hilarious passages of film I've ever enjoyed!
@Jai: Brilliant article Jai :D Did you see either of Anurag Kashyap's acting roles recently? (In Onir's "I Am" and Tigmanshu Dhulia's "Shaagird" respectively) This is especially ironic because Anurag and Imtiaz Ali both started off as actors in the same DD Telefilm :) However, my favorite "directorial" performance would be Werner Herzog in Harmony Korine's "Julien Donkey-Boy" .. a film which deserves a far wider audience than it has had..
Aditya, Herzog has a good cameo in Harmony Korine's "Mr. Lonely" too. Jai, Polanski also has significant acting roles in the past - Wajda's Kanal & his own Knife In The Water, that I can remember. Would he perhaps be a contender as an actor-director like Guillaume Canet or Warren Beatty?Btw, the original piece at Yahoo has some very very strange comments.
The piece suggests that you've been struggling, what do they call it? Ah, the writer's block! Given that your primary source of income is the POV articles, you must have better topics to write about. Let's face it it, 'Seriously Funny...' will never be a best-seller, so why shoot yourself in the foot by degrading your writing?
Aditya: no, I haven't seen those two Kashyap performances, or Julien Donkey-Boy.Would he perhaps be a contender as an actor-director like Guillaume Canet or Warren Beatty?Tipu: undecided. His stock as a director is so high that it's easiest to see him as a really well-known director who also did some interesting acting roles. In fact, most people who have only a basic familiarity with the major Polanski movies probably know him best (as an actor) for the cameo in Chinatown. His roles in Vampire Killers, The Tenant and even Kanal are under the radar, relatively speaking.
Given that your primary source of income is the POV articles, you must have better topics to write about. Anon: actually I haven't received payment for PoV for a few months now. Perhaps they're trying to tell me something?More to the point: as I've told you many times, I've discontinued my year-end compilations of comments, so you're NOT going to get any prizes. Give up. Or meet me on the Tennis World messageboards where I spend most of my online time these days and where troll activity is rampant, so you'll feel right at home.
A review of your book, in Wide Screen no less: http://widescreenjournal.org/index.php/journal/article/view/108/157
wonderful read, chief. and thanks for the The Birds link. I have a Palika-procured DVD (singular one which has subtitiles, even trivia et al but surprisingly it doesnt have this Hitch dialogue). The youtube vid was a pleasure since it has fine videw definition and audio quality.Now, looking forward to watch de sica's role in Madame De.... Any clue, boss, where I can find it. Palika is impossible; one has to be 'lucky by chance' there.
Pankaj: you can borrow Madame De from me, or better yet come across and watch it at home - it's one of my original Criterions and one of their most beautiful packages, so I'm a bit reluctant to let it out of my sight.We really should plan a movie-watching get-together anyway!Just Another Film Buff: thanks, yes, I saw that review - will link to it soon.
Truffaut almost playing himself in Day for Night. And his cameo in Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Jean-Pierre Melville in Godard's Breathless - he's the glib author at the press conference.John Huston in Chinatown, one of the all-time great screen villains.
Uday: yes, have mentioned Huston in one of the comments above. I thought his tiny role in Treasure of the Sierra Madre was very interesting too.