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David Poland

By David Poland

The Male Director Challenge: 2003

2003 is the thinnest year for new directors with movies that hit the Top 50 at the domestic box office in this year-by-year survey so far. Only five newcomers to this level.

#18 Grosser – S.W.A.T. – Clark Johnson – Actor-turned-director came to this film with a strong TV resume and earned his way to a movie shot.

#28 – The Cat In The Hat – Bo Welch – One of the greatest production designers in the history of the business gets a shot behind the camera on a very stylish family movie.

#31 Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde – Charles Herman-Wurmfeld – A hot indie director coming off of Kissing Jessica Stein got the shot with this sequel… the sequel shot back.

#37 – The Texas Chainsaw Massacre – Marcus Nispel – This reboot from Michael Bay’s production company was handled by a friend with a massive history of big commercials.

#50 – Gothika – Mathieu Kassovitz – Very experienced French director coming off of the massive international hit The Crimson Rivers, who also happened to have some U.S. heat as an actor at the time off of Amélie. Joel Silver rolled the dice with him.

Studio experienced directors making films in the Top 50 in 2003 were: Jackson, Verbinski, Wachowskis, Shadyac, Singer, Favreau, Mostow, Wachowskis, Shankman, Bay, Levy, Segal, Lee, Singleton, Meyers, Ross, Rodriguez, Zwick, Waters, Wayans, Gray, Steers, Dylan, Carr, Johnson, McG, Minghella, Weir, Eastwood, Ronnie Yu, Linklater, Minkoff, Phillips, Tarantino, Davis, McNally, Burton, Norrington, deBont, Newell, Dobkin, Zwigoff, Curtis.

One Response to “The Male Director Challenge: 2003”

  1. leahnz says:

    while it’s true that i probably should have read all the segments of this thing before i smoked a bowl, it appears you’re basically listing all these dudes and then doing your darndest to rationalise why they got hired… how is this a thing, i mean as it pertains to the reason for lexi’s tweet, the methodology seems lacking (unless there’s a whole nother part of the ‘study’ yet to come, i’m not sure i understand the point of this exactly)

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“Well, actually, of that whole group that I call the post-60s anti-authority auteurs, a lot of them came from television. Peckinpah’s the only one whose television work represents his feature work. I mean, like the only one. Mark Rydell can direct a really good episode of ‘Gunsmoke’ and Michael Ritchie can direct a really good episode of ‘The Big Valley,’ but they don’t necessarily look like The Candidate. But Peckinpah’s stuff, even the scripts he wrote that he didn’t even direct, have a Peckinpah feel – the way I think there’s a Corbucci West – suggest a Peckinpah West. That even in his random episodes that he wrote for ‘Gunsmoke’ – it’s right there.”
~ Quentin Tarantino

“The thought is interrupted by an odd interlude. We are speaking in the side room of Casita, a swish and fairly busy Italian bistro in Aoyama – a district of Tokyo usually so replete with celebrities that they spark minimal fuss. Kojima’s fame, however, exceeds normal limits and adoring staff have worked out who their guest is. He stops mid-sentence and points up towards the speakers, delighted. The soft jazz that had been playing discreetly across the restaurant’s dark, hardwood interior has suddenly been replaced with the theme music from some of Kojima’s hit games. Harry Gregson-Williams’ music is sublime in its context but ‘Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots’ is not, Kojima acknowledges, terribly restauranty. He pauses, adjusting a pair of large, blue-framed glasses of his own design, and returns to the way in which games have not only influenced films, but have also changed the way in which people watch them. “There are stories being told [in cinema] that my generation may find surprising but which the gamer generation doesn’t find weird at all,” he says.
~ Hideo Kojima