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David Poland

By David Poland

The Male Director Challenge: 2006 (Year 7 of 15)

Seven new directors whose films made it into the domestic Top 50 in 2006.

Grosser #10 – The Pursuit of Happyness – Gabriele Muccino – Experienced, successful Italian director.

Grosser #16 – Borat – Larry Charles – Seinfeld producer, came to the project with Sacha Baron Cohen.

Grosser #29 – Nacho Libre – Jared Hess – director of Napoleon Dynamite gets first studio assignment.

Grosser #31 – Eragon – Stefen Fangmeier – FX-turned-director.

Grosser #32 – Monster House – Gil Kenan – his UCLA animated short drew Robert Zemeckis’ eye and this job.

Grosser #36 – V for Vendetta – James McTeague – The Wachowskis’ 1st AD.

Grosser #40 – Step Up – Anne Fletcher – Adam Shankman protégé, former dancer/choreographer.

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One Response to “The Male Director Challenge: 2006 (Year 7 of 15)”

  1. Joshua says:

    MONSTER HOUSE was animated; if you’re only discussing non-animated films, you can skip this one.

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“But okay, I promise you now that if I ever retire again, I’m going to ensure that I can’t walk it back. I’ll post a series of the most disgusting, offensive, outrageous statements you can ever imagine. That way it will be impossible for me to ever be employed again. No one is going to take my calls. No one is going to want to be seen with me. Oh, it will be scorched earth. I will have torched everything. I’m going to flame out in the most legendary fashion.”
~ Steven Soderbergh

I feel strongly connected to young cinephile culture. The thing about filmmaking—and cinephilia—is that you can’t keep hanging out with your own age group as you get older. They drop off, move somewhere. You can’t put together a crew of sixty-somethings. It’s the same for cinephilia: my original set of cinephile friends are watching DVDs at home or delving into 1958 episodes of ‘Gunsmoke,’ something like that. The people who are out there tend to be young, and I happen to be doing the same thing still, so it’s natural that I move in their circles.

In terms of the filmmaking, there was a gear shift: my first movies focused on people around my age, and I followed them for three films. Until The Unspeakable Act, I was using the same actors, not because of an affinity for people at a specific age, but because of my affinity for the actors. I like to work with actors a second time, especially if I don’t feel confident casting a new film. But The Unspeakable Act was a different script, and I had to cast all new people. Even for the older roles, I couldn’t get the people I’d worked with before. But when it was over, the same thing happened: I wanted to work with Tallie again in the worst way, and I started the process all over again.

I think Rohmer did something similar around the time of Perceval and Catherine de HeilbronnHe developed new groups of people that he liked to work with. These gear shifts are natural. Even if you want to follow certain actors to the end of their life (which I kind of do) the variety of ideas that you generate makes it necessary to change. And once you’ve made the change, you’ve got all these new people around.”
~ Dan Sallitt