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Directors who have changed artistic direction (decided to go for the paycheck)

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Directors who have changed artistic direction (decided to go for the paycheck)

Old 02-02-07, 10:56 AM
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Directors who have changed artistic direction (decided to go for the paycheck)

Was just reading the scathing reviews of Michael Lehmann's latest film Because I Said So, and I started thinking about the praise he once received for directing Heathers. I was wondering how and why he decided to throw away any respect he had as a director years ago (I'm guessing the lure of $$$$ will do that to some directors).

Another director that comes to mind is Wayne Wang...he goes from Smoke and Center of the World to Maid in Manhattan and Last Holiday!!!!!!

Any others that come to mind?
Old 02-02-07, 10:57 AM
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Moderator: sorry, placed this in the wrong forum. Could you please move to Movie talk...thanks!
Old 02-02-07, 11:21 AM
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Moviefascist!


......
Old 02-02-07, 12:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Jaymole
Was just reading the scathing reviews of Michael Lehmann's latest film Because I Said So, and I started thinking about the praise he once received for directing Heathers. I was wondering how and why he decided to throw away any respect he had as a director years ago (I'm guessing the lure of $$$$ will do that to some directors).
You ever actually seen his output since Heathers? 40 Days and 40 Nights, My Giant and Airheads are not exactly films that set the comedy world on fire (never seen the much-reviled Hudson Hawk); maybe you should be giving the credit for Heathers to the movie's writer, Daniel Waters. Though looking at his IMDb entry, he seems to be doing edgier work on television ("Big Love," "Wonderfalls" and "The Comeback"). But I did like his completely underrated Meet the Applegates; please come out on DVD!

Another director that comes to mind is Wayne Wang...he goes from Smoke and Center of the World to Maid in Manhattan and Last Holiday!!!!!!
Maybe Wang is doing the "one for the studio, one for me" deal? You neglected to mention that prior to Center of the World, his last film was the Susan Sarandon/Natalie Portman film Anywhere But Here.

Last edited by GreenVulture; 02-02-07 at 12:05 PM.
Old 02-02-07, 12:14 PM
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Michael Bay!
Old 02-02-07, 02:57 PM
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You ever actually seen his output since Heathers? 40 Days and 40 Nights, My Giant and Airheads are not exactly films that set the comedy world on fire (never seen the much-reviled Hudson Hawk); maybe you should be giving the credit for Heathers to the movie's writer, Daniel Waters.
I never said he lost it a year ago. How about this...Since Heathers he's lost his artistic vision of picking out scripts

Maybe Wang is doing the "one for the studio, one for me" deal? You neglected to mention that prior to Center of the World, his last film was the Susan Sarandon/Natalie Portman film Anywhere But Here.
OK, he's doing 3 for the studio and one for him

Last edited by Jaymole; 02-02-07 at 03:03 PM.
Old 02-02-07, 03:07 PM
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John Woo?
Old 02-02-07, 03:10 PM
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Not really a fare thread. Alot of directors take up "popcorn movie" to get the funds / confidence to do the small artsy thing that they have there sights set on.
Old 02-02-07, 03:20 PM
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Not really a fare thread. Alot of directors take up "popcorn movie" to get the funds / confidence to do the small artsy thing that they have there sights set on.
That is fine...there are directors who even if they do a big Hollywood popcorn movie, still maintain some sort of artistic signature in their work.

I'm talking about directors who make a major stylistic & artistic change in the films they direct, no matter what the budget.

Last edited by Jaymole; 02-02-07 at 03:22 PM.
Old 02-02-07, 03:33 PM
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Zhang Yimou
Old 02-02-07, 03:51 PM
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Originally Posted by MartinBlank
John Woo?
Bingo! The man-of-a-thousand-squibs making PG-13 flicks here. Wasn't one of his winners even named "Paycheck"?
Old 02-02-07, 06:13 PM
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Michael Mann.

Martin Scorsese.
Old 02-02-07, 06:34 PM
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Steven Soderbergh. He has said that he does the Ocean movies to get funding for his smaller movies such as Bubble, Full Frontal, The Good German and Solaris.
Old 02-02-07, 08:56 PM
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Originally Posted by DVD King
GEORGE LUCAS, don't try to fight it
I KNOW!! He helmed so many great flicks, then sold out to the man in Episode I.
Old 02-02-07, 09:13 PM
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Spike Lee
Tim Burton w/ Planet of the Apes (although he might be returning to form)
Old 02-02-07, 09:15 PM
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Michael Mann.
Seriously? Mann has more or less been making the same type of films since Thief back in '81. What film of his makes you think otherwise?

Martin Scorsese.
Them's fighting words. Would you also care to expand on that?
Old 02-02-07, 09:17 PM
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Francis Ford Coppola is the first one that came to my mind. He goes from The Godfather I/II, The Conversation, and Apocalypse Now in the 70's, to some films in the 80's which I feel are underrated, but then he did stuff like Jack and The Rainmaker, which there isn't really any excuse for.

Good call on John Woo. Hard Boiled, Bullet in the Head, The Killer, etc. are all classic, but then he came to Hollywood and hasn't done anything worth a damn since.

John Hughes
is another one, if we're allowed to do screenwriters in this thread as well. He was behind some of the most intelligent comedies of the 80's (The Vacation series, The Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles, Ferris Beuler, Pretty in Pink, etc.) but look at his output in the 90's, with stuff like Flubber, Beethoven and its endless sequels, etc.

Mike Nichols had a sharp change in direction starting with Silkwood, which he made after about a ten year hiatus from filmmaking. After making stuff like The Graduate, Carnal Knowledge, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, etc., he turned to really light romantic comedies and other much less artistically successful films after Silkwood, but recently he seems to have shifted gears again (Wit, Angels in America, Closer).

Jonathan Demme, after more than a decade of making some pretty quirky and influential smaller budget films (Melvin and Howard, Swing Shift, Stop Making Sense), he hit big with The Silence of the Lambs, which was probably his last great film. He's just doing terrible remakes now, like The Manchurian Candidate and The Truth About Charlie.

I'm holding out hope that the Coen Brothers haven't shifted gears and their last two films (The Ladykillers and Intolerable Cruelty) turn out to be anomalies in their catalogue.
Old 02-02-07, 09:26 PM
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Kevin Smith!!

His films have royally stunk since Chasing Amy. ALL OF THEM. But lots of $$$

Sellout.
Old 02-02-07, 09:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Jackson_Browne
Jonathan Demme, after more than a decade of making some pretty quirky and influential smaller budget films (Melvin and Howard, Swing Shift, Stop Making Sense), he hit big with The Silence of the Lambs, then made Philadelphia, which was probably his last great film. He's just doing terrible remakes now, like The Manchurian Candidate and The Truth About Charlie.
Fixed.
Old 02-02-07, 10:04 PM
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I never said he lost it a year ago. How about this...Since Heathers he's lost his artistic vision of picking out scripts.
So by your own admission, Lehmann is a one-hit wonder in your eyes. So why did you even mention him in the first place?

OK, he's doing 3 for the studio and one for him
Just because a movie has popular actors and is bankrolled by a major studio doesn't mean that the director has become a hack just looking for their next paycheck. Maybe the director felt some kind of personal connection to the material, or maybe the script was radically different when they signed on, and then decided to be a pro and stay on when it underwent significant rewrites to meet the demands of a studio and/or star. Or maybe you were right and they just wanted to collect a paycheck. We just don't know the whole story.

I'm curious if you're saying this because of the actors involved, or because of the material. Because whatever you might think of Maid in Manhattan and Last Holiday (and for the record, both films don't rise beyond the level of mediocre), the material fits a bit with themes that have been established in his earlier work, such as class struggles and women and their survival in a male-dominated world.

Originally Posted by JacksonBrowne
I'm holding out hope that the Coen Brothers haven't shifted gears and their last two films (The Ladykillers and Intolerable Cruelty) turn out to be anomalies in their catalogue.
Both of those movies had several hallmarks of a Coen Bros. production: exagerrated characters & accents, people who hatch schemes and quickly find themselves way in over their heads, conversations where almost everyone involved has diarrhea of the mouth, and a fairly dark sense of humor.

Seriously, people. Just because the dressing on the window is different doesn't mean directors have sold their souls to Hollywood.

Last edited by GreenVulture; 02-02-07 at 10:14 PM.
Old 02-02-07, 10:14 PM
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Jane Campion --In The Cut? WTF?

Robert Rodriquez --Spy Kids Trilogy

Luc Besson --CGI animation? Ugh.
Old 02-02-07, 11:54 PM
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Originally Posted by GreenVulture
Both of those movies had several hallmarks of a Coen Bros. production: exagerrated characters & accents, people who hatch schemes and quickly find themselves way in over their heads, conversations where almost everyone involved has diarrhea of the mouth, and a fairly dark sense of humor.
I think this post shows exactly what was wrong with the last couple of Coen brothers films. They just applied some of the elements of the recipe that made them famous to a couple of lousy scripts that seemed to be to be written in an attempt for greater mass appeal. They seem to have become parodies of themselves. You can't honestly tell me that those scripts were anywhere near as inventive as any of their previous work. However, I am optimistic about No Country for Old Men and also Hail Casear, which both sound like they could possibly be a return to form, at least based on the plot descriptions.
Old 02-03-07, 01:21 AM
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They just applied some of the elements of the recipe that made them famous to a couple of lousy scripts that seemed to be to be written in an attempt for greater mass appeal.
I know some people consider it a "lesser" Coen film, but I loved Cruelty, and thought it was a great update of the 40's screwball comedy. Ladykillers is certainly not among their best, but I enjoyed it. And I'm not exactly sure what you mean by mass appeal, as the plots for both are pretty dark, and the dialogue isn't exactly what you'd call standard. The movies might have been given more attention due to having people like George Clooney, Catherine Zeta Jones and Tom Hanks, but do you really think the Coens were trying to reach mass audiences by giving somebody like Hanks buck teeth, a dopey Col. Sanders appearance and a ridiculous Southern accent?

The title of the thread is "Directors who have changed artistic direction (decided to go for the paycheck)." The Coens applied their touches, their signature, to movies like The Ladykillers and Intolerable Cruelty, and just happened to get major stars to sign on. I'm not seeing how that makes them sellouts. It's obvious you didn't like either movie, but that's a totally different subject.
Old 02-03-07, 02:45 AM
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Originally Posted by GreenVulture
Seriously? Mann has more or less been making the same type of films since Thief back in '81. What film of his makes you think otherwise?
Collateral marked a point where I think Mann decided to re-approach his films in a less innovative way by recycling his characters, plot and set design. I haven't seen Miami Vice and it is too soon to judge but I still stand by my opinion that Mann has changed his direction both "artistically" and technically (camera) to more "commercial appeal."


Originally Posted by GreenVulture
Them's fighting words. Would you also care to expand on that?
It is mainly because I always considered Scorsese as an "auteur" but looking at his recent films, I couldn't help to feel disappointed that he has now reached to a point of re-making an already established film. However it is not to say that I disliked The Departed or dislike remakes.

They are just my opinions.
Old 02-03-07, 03:01 AM
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Originally Posted by PopcornTreeCt
Robert Rodriquez --Spy Kids Trilogy
I heard from an interview with him that Spy Kids and the sharkboy and lavagirl movies were all just experiments to work on animation to do movies like Sin City.

Heck, why not practice on something lame and make money in the mean time for something you really want to make?

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