Have you ever watched a film and could tell exactly who the genius behind it was? Like singers and other creatives, directors have their own distinct ways of bringing stories to life, be it through soundtracks, sound effects or filming style, many of which have forever changed the landscape of the movie industry. And that’s why we’re telling you about it today. Keep reading to learn about the distinct styles of iconic movie directors.
1. Quentin Tarantino
Inglourious Basterds, Kill Bill, Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs are just a few films that have Quentin Tarantino written all over it: casual and lots of fighting that end in the floors and walls painted red. Let’s not forget about the underlying dark humor, nonlinear storylines and his love of profanity. People believe this makes him a one-trick pony due to his go-to aggressive scenes but oh well, it’s what he does best. Also, it wouldn’t be a Quentin Tarantino film without Samuel L. Jackson in it.
2. Spike Lee
Spike Lee is the industry’s most renowned African-American director, who is known for pretty much inventing the double dolly shot scene. A dolly is a camera mounted on a cart that travels along tracks which allows for smooth and non-shaky filming. But with the double dolly, the actor too is mounted and this gives the effect of a motionless central character who appears to be floating as the background glides past him. Other times, the double dolly shot can be trippy and disorienting, indicating that the character is struggling to get a hold of a situation. Lee also has a knack for controversial views like his infamous HBO documentary.
3. Stanley Kubrick
A common theme in many of Stanley Kubrick’s films is his seeming lack of faith in humanity. This is inferred in many of his masterpieces such as “2001: A Space Odyssey” which highlighted the downsides of a technological competition that led to the creation of an AI that outsmarted humans. Kubrick isn’t a fan of nukes either. As seen in Dr. Strangelove, General Jack D. Ripper’s paranoia led to a full on war that obliterated much of civilization. Kubrick’s overall message seems to be that mankind can be their own hubris-driven worst enemies.
4. Martin Scorsese
Like Tarantino, Martin Scorsese has a penchant for violent undertones where protagonists and antiheroes navigate their way through shady underworlds. The mafia seems to be a recurring theme in many of his movies like Goodfellas, Casino, Raging Bull and The Departed. Another tactic of Scorsese is the use of protagonist voice overs, especially at the beginning of a new scene. This is a great way to catch up on things and cut down on screen time, something Scorcese is guilty of. This takes us to the last point – really long movies. The Irishman, anyone?
5. Alfred Hitchcock
Alfred Hitchcock wasn’t nicknamed the “Master of Suspense” for no reason. He took horror movies to a whole new level by placing emphasis on the psychological aspect of fear, rather than the physical. Hitchcock mastered the art of pacing and build-up to hook his audience into the storyline. He also understood the concept of less is more as he managed to frighten the pants of moviegoers without relying on gory special effects. Like that scene in the 1951 “Strangers on a Train” where the character Miriam emerged unharmed after screaming in the Tunnel of Love, only to be surprised by the stalker who silently gets a hold of her.
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