“There was only one Saul Bass. He was a gentleman, a brilliant raconteur, a marvelous collaborator and, as I’ve said before, a truly great artist. And – let’s be honest – a giant.”
— Martin Scorsese
“Saul Bass wasn’t just an artist who contributed to the first several minutes of some of the greatest movies in history; in my opinion his body of work qualifies him as one of the best film makers of this, or any other time.”
— Steven Spielberg
“Bass fashioned title sequences into an art, creating in some cases, like Vertigo, a mini-film within a film. His graphic compositions in movement function as a prologue to the movie – setting the tone, providing the mood and foreshadowing the action.”
— Martin Scorsese
Academy Award-winning director Clint Eastwood in conversation with Academy Award-nominee Darren Aronofsky following the world premiere of Eastwood Directs: The Untold Story.
This unprecedented new film focuses on Eastwood’s directorial method thanks to producing partners and fellow actors sharing never-before-told stories of working with Clint. It explores Eastwood’s signature style, dissecting the skills that have ensured his four decades of success. Bringing together the insights of Martin Scorsese, Meryl Streep, Gene Hackman, Morgan Freeman and many others, the film creates the complete picture of the man, the colleague, the creator.
Martin McDonagh’s follow-up to 2008’s ‘In Bruges’ confirms his place as one of the freshest and strongest new writer/director’s in cinema. A clever, hilarious, layered, piece of work that keeps you enthralled from start to finish, teetering on the edges of parody and overkill but maintaining the all-important strong character connections.
The film follows ‘Marty’ (Colin Farrell), an Irish screenwriter in Los Angeles struggling to write his latest film. His best pal ‘Billy’ (Sam Rockwell right in his groove) is an out-of-work actor with a dog kidnapping scheme. The chemistry between Rockwell and Farrell (Marty) is superb, and Farrell once more shows he’s got just what it takes when he has inspired, strong writing to work from. Christopher Walken is refreshingly refined and delicate in his performance (strongest in years) as ‘Hans’, Billy’s 63 year-old accomplice. The group get mixed up in a hairy situation when it is revealed the Shih-Tzu Billy’s nabbed belongs to a psychopathic mob-man ‘Charlie’ (another brilliant Woody Harrelson role). And so the premise is set.
I found the film first-rate, it’s dialog once more a mix of comic interactions and truly affecting interactions between characters. It’s precisely this kind of clever, detailed writing that allows the filmmaker to tell his story with whatever form he fancies without the experience escaping (through overkill or absurdity) you, the viewer, because of how well connected to the characters you truly are. We’ve seen Quentin Tarantino inspire (to varied levels of success) a host of filmmakers since his early masterpieces but I think after about two decades we’ve finally seen something fresh, forward, and original built from the framework of what is ‘Tarantino’. His influence is felt but freshly translated. I felt genuinely elated from witnessing such a rich creation that I’d knew I’d never experienced before yet felt wholly familiar and personal. The films shooting style is contained yet compelling with some great transitions and effective editing. I thoroughly enjoyed every actors work, particularly the main trio of Farrell, Rockwell, and Walken, with a host of pleasant surprise roles including another Tom Waits gem. The violence and gore are almost always present, yet it never goes too far, and always serves it’s purpose.
It is certainly layered, with so much to say on the writing process, a parody on Hollywood and cinema itself, and on the varying ways and attitudes we go about living our lives and trying to find meaning and purpose. I applaud McDonagh for his work and eagerly anticipate his next adventure. I’d love to see yet another varied way he can expose Colin Farrell’s very appealing neurotic guise. I’m quite surprised and disappointed by the complete snub of awards attention for the film but I do believe in time we’ll only see it continue to garnish respect and praise. Another artistic piece of cinema that truly gives us a glimpse into the world of a film writer’s mind.