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tcook

what's more important, direction or acting?

63 posts in this topic

Good post, tracey.

 

I think the director's instincts can save a picture and improve a mediocre script. A director's instincts can help guide the actors to tap into their own best instincts.

 

This is how I feel about AUDREY ROSE, a horror film from the 1970s. The story is rather routine as most pyschological thrillers go, especially from the period...but Robert Wise really takes the basic outline and pushes it to another level. He has Anthony Hopkins and Marsha Mason on hand, and he encourages them to step beyond with the material, and they do. Even the little girl is fabulous and would probably not have been as good with a less effective director.

 

By the way, Wise started as an editor at RKO in the early days. So with his experience, he is able to rely on a sense of cutting and shaping of material that other directors may not possess.

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> {quote:title=traceyk65 wrote:}{quote}

> The first two movies aren't terrible--they were competent--nothing spectacular or special, no sense of "magic" or of entering another world like you got from reading the books.

 

I am sorry to say that my feelings are not in agreement with yours.

 

I believe the first movie is the best because it conveyed the innocence of a boy thrust into a new world. I loved that with the exception of the shaft-of-light scene when he was in the wand shop that all of the magic and special effects were subtle and perfectly believable and that this went far to making it a very special world.

 

I felt the third movie was very workmanlike and professional but it lacked the sense of inner wonder which I believe is so very necessary to enjoyment of the movies. In the spirit of fairness I must admit that the storyline of the third book and movie does no set well with me and it is likely that it taints my judgement.

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> {quote:title=SansFin wrote:}{quote}

> > {quote:title=traceyk65 wrote:}{quote}

> > The first two movies aren't terrible--they were competent--nothing spectacular or special, no sense of "magic" or of entering another world like you got from reading the books. I am sorry to say that my feelings are not in agreement with yours.

>

> I believe the first movie is the best because it conveyed the innocence of a boy thrust into a new world. I loved that with the exception of the shaft-of-light scene when he was in the wand shop that all of the magic and special effects were subtle and perfectly believable and that this went far to making it a very special world.

Well, we all have our own opinions. I just did not feel like the characters "lived" in that world until I saw the third movie. With the kids especially, it felt to me as though they were just people in costumes and not real people. In the first movie especially, I felt as though the script/director was giving us a tour of Harry Potterland "Oh look, here's the pub where witches hang out...now straight ahead you'll see the magical entrance to Diagon Alley, the magical world's favorite shopping district...on your left you'll see the famous Eyelops Owl Emporium..." I don't know--it seemed very false to me. In the third movie, it felt like everyone was more comfortable with their roles and the language (which they probably were, especially the kids) and the sets didn't feel like sets, they felt like real places that could exist.

 

The third book was a bit of an anomaly--it's the only one that doesn't feature Voldemort as the bad guy in any form. It does give Harry a sort of inside view to his parents' lives that he didn't have before and really except for exposing Peter Pettigrew and getting Sirius out of prison, it didn;t really advance the story much.

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> {quote:title=traceyk65 wrote:}{quote}

> I just did not feel like the characters "lived" in that world until I saw the third movie.

 

I believe that this is a perfect example of how people take away different things from a movie. You saw this "tour of the magical world" as a flaw and I identified strongly with it as if I was seeing these things for the first time through the character's eyes.

 

> The third book was a bit of an anomaly--

it didn;t really advance the story much.

 

I believe it was truly written as a filler. She began it when the success of the first book guaranteed that there would be demand for the complete series. She knew the general arc and specific details which had to be included in order to reach the climax in the last book but there was little real purpose for the third, fourth and fifth books except to fill time.

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SansFin, fair enough. You have your favorite; I have mine... :)

 

 

The original point about the direction was valid, I think--the two movies are vastly different and the difference lies in the direction, as pretty much everything else was the same--the actors, the writer, the main producer and the soundtrack composer were the same for movies 1-3.

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> {quote:title=traceyk65 wrote:}{quote}

> The original point about the direction was valid, I think

 

I think that it was more than valid: it is definitive. It is as you said that all other factors were equal but the movies are vastly different. It is perhaps the best possible example of a series where each movie had common elements and the only difference was the directors.

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> {quote:title=SansFin wrote:}{quote}

> > {quote:title=traceyk65 wrote:}{quote}

> > The original point about the direction was valid, I think I think that it was more than valid: it is definitive. It is as you said that all other factors were equal but the movies are vastly different. It is perhaps the best possible example of a series where each movie had common elements and the only difference was the directors.

> >

> >

> >

> > I tried to think of a classic movie example that fit that well--maybe one of the "series" movies, like the Falcon or Tarzan movies? I'm not a big fan of those, so I can;t really comment...Anyone?

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Greetings All. Actor or Director, I think it depends on the film. To cloud the issue further let me cite "The

Old Man and the Sea". Not the smoothest directing job, chopped up with the mismatch of location and cheesy process shots but containing long passages of pure Hemingway spoken by a powerful actor. Actor saves film from sloppy direction/production. Now for an example going the other way...

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>Actor or Director, I think it depends on the film

 

I agree.

 

I posted this on a different thread yesterday, but I think it is a great example of the importance of a good director.

 

Here Lois Moran is only 16 years old, with no experience in films, and the director has her age from 10 years old to about 19 years old, during the film, with scenes of her as a teenager, first younger, then older, in the middle of the film. Her personality changes as she grows up and matures. This is the work of a great director, Henry King:

 

This is a case where the director was the most important, and the young actress followed all of his instructions. Note also how the Director put the 10 year old Lois in a kids dress when she was 10, and told her to dance around and act like a kid, and then later in the film, notice how the director told her to move slowly, turn her head slowly, which gives the impression of maturity. And remember, Lois is 16 years old during all of these scenes.

 

In this 1925 version of STELLA DALLAS, Lois Moran plays Laurel Dallas, starting at age 10:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=eDRELb9Z2RA#t=2109s

 

And then a teenager:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=eDRELb9Z2RA#t=2650s

 

And then an older teenager:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=eDRELb9Z2RA#t=3200s

 

And then older:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=eDRELb9Z2RA#t=3494s

 

And later in the same film she plays a young but grown-up Laurel who gets married:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=eDRELb9Z2RA#t=6083s

 

Edited by: FredCDobbs on Jul 13, 2013 8:04 PM

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Both are important of course but I guess it depends on the film. A great director can elevate a movie to a whole new level but some movies are desinged to be star vehicles and are made soley to showcase a particular actor or actors...

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