Last month it was announced that Kirsten Dunst, in her directorial debut, will be directing Dakota Fanning in an adaptation of Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar. In an interview, Dunst has noted that her approach in adapting the seminal text has been to avoid the ‘didactic’ and instead ‘make a life of something … you really need to make your own scenes up’. Such an approach, while entirely refreshing for me, is one that regularly receives criticism from those that view the source text as somehow sacred, and thus static and intractable.
You may not know her by name, but you’ve definitely seen her face and are familiar with her work. She’s been on your small screen and silver screen starring along side Angelina Jolie, Christina Ricci, Zachary Quinto, and Natasha Lyonne to name a few. She may not look as glamorous as your traditional Hollywood starlet and she doesn’t often play the leading role, but Clea DuVall’s natural beauty and talent first grabbed my attention about fifteen years ago on a day I vividly remember.
You may be surprised to learn that David Fincher’s career almost never got off the starting grid. 1992’s Alien 3, a poisoned chalice if ever there was one, turned out to be a torrid experience for the former music video director (he had helmed videos for luminaries such as Jermaine Stewart & Madonna, most famously ‘Vogue’), to the point he genuinely considered giving up filmmaking. What a loss to cinema that would have been.
Baz Luhrmann, born Mark Anthony Luhrmann, grew up in the tiny village of Heron’s Creek in New South Wales, Australia, a township which boasted a population of just 312 in 2011. Since then, he has revolutionised the Australian cinema scene and is best known for The Red Curtain Trilogy, comprising of romantic comedy and underdog tale Strictly Ballroom, a modernisation of Shakespearean classic Romeo + Juliet, and Moulin Rouge!, the extravagant and no holds barred musical set in late 19th century Paris.
One of the most controversial directors currently working today, Nicolas Winding Refn is a provocative force to be reckoned with. He has an utterly distinctive voice that couldn’t ever be mistaken for anybody else. Each of his films is widely divisive, almost always opening to heated opinion from audiences.
In all production tools of filmmaking, using sound effects is a fundamental factor in capturing a film’s escapist experience and the audience’s reactions. Although sound is not seen on-screen, it does play a crucial role in how films work, and in how it progresses narrative, develops characters and addresses significance. John Williams is an example of a composer whose work has established the importance of music within cinema, and how they play a fundamental role in the entire experience.