Posts Tagged ‘Brian DePalma’

“There Will Be Blood”: Jack Torrence is “Shining” Through

February 19, 2008

There Will Be Blood Oil

While “There Will Be Blood” hasn’t been a box office stud it’s being called a movie that will never be forgotten, which it may become, whether anyone has seen it or not.

The ShiningThe people that do never see it will think that it has something to do with milkshakes and bowling pins. Of course those that never saw The Shining will always remember that movie being something about an axe and Johnny Carson. It’s no surprise to me that Blood has entered into the public consciousness as The Shining did, as through my eyes I can confidently say that the former has influenced the latter exponentially.

Aside from quotable lines some of the other similarities include a larger than life performance by a highly regarded actor; performances that while the films were still fresh people complained they were perhaps too exaggerated. Then there’s the unsettling Bowling Pinwide shots and long takes with drawn out silences and the post modern music that heightens the tension; some incidental moments are even by the same composer. When P.T. Anderson claimed his movie was more like a horror film in last week’s issue of Entertainment Weekly it’s obvious he wasn’t lying.

It’s one of the things I love about Blood. Its willingness to really let loose and unhinge itself from anything human. These character’s represent the worst of their kinds.

Over at Jim Emerson’s Scanners (“Biggest Acting, Best and Worst; Over the Top, Ma!”) there’s talk about over acting and when it’s applicable and when it isn’t. (He also makes comparisons to The Shining.) I responded to the article with this: “If there’s a level of truth in the performance, and when I say truth, I mean emotional truth, then as far as I’m concerned the actor can be as over the top as he wants.” In some instances it’s left up to the viewer to find that truth. It doesn’t help if the creator of the films cheats…will come back to this. Being truthful and unlikable are two different things. Truth can sometimes be even more poignant when the character isn’t likable in the least.

(more…)

Sam Raimi “Haunted” by his past, others influenced

August 27, 2006

We all know that in cinema there are those directors who are strongly influenced by films they grew up on… strongly, Tarantino is one of the biggest ones. He’s not genre busting, he’s a melting pot of genres that are important to him as a person. And he deals with all of it well. I love his movies, probably because I also love the movies that influenced them. Images from Lady Snowblood and Kill Bill; the Villains looking over their victims.
lady snowblood villianskill bill villians

Brian DePalma is another. It’s obvious that his work is strongly influenced by Hitchcock, even when his films are less than mediocre.

evil dead 2But then there are those Director’s who’s visions are unique … or are they? If one searches around enough one can find examples of where influences have been drawn from. Let’s look at Sam Raimi; director of the wonderful “Spider-Man” films and the brilliant “A Simple Plan”. “Evil Dead 2″ was one of the first films that affected me as a youngster. It was viscerally so exciting and created a tangible world for me that existed outside of my own. That was the same night I saw “Bladerunner” for the first time ever. It was a good night in my childhood; and the world of cinema opened up to me. But I digress… Sam Raimi’s style has always felt so authentic to me, so entirely different from anything else out there. Until I saw something the other night – a movie.

The Haunting PosterThe original “The Haunting” from 1963; Black and white film, directed by Robert Wise, rated G. And it felt at times like Raimi was directing it. The camera tilting back and forth as sounds from other sides of walls are heard, dutch angles on doorways and mounted heads of animals, cameras flying at the faces of potential victims. I was watching it thinking to myself, Raimi saw this when he was 10. He had to have! “The Haunting” is worth checking out for any of you die hard horror Raimi fans.

And look what a little hunting got me… the truth.

http://mp.aol.com/video.index.adp?mode=2&pmmsid=1205128

The Innocents

The Others
Another one to see is “The Innocents” which basically became “The Others”. It’s funny because within the movie “The Innocents” the spirits are referred to on several occasions as the Others. It’s quite an obvious update. Both films very creepy and a little melodramatic towards the end, but very different at the same time. There’s even something that draws on familiarity between the posters! (more…)


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.