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The First Films of 10 Famous Directors [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2012-3-21 13:41:53 |Display all floors
This post was edited by angela627 at 2012-3-21 13:42

The surprising and surreal films that gave these iconic film directors their early starts

A poster for director Francis Ford Coppola's first film, Battle Beyond the Sun A.P. Dovzenko Filmstudio

Flea-market hero and filmmaker Gary Huggins recently unearthed director Robert Altman's first film—a documentary short called Modern Football. He found the gem at a Kansas City area sale, where he purchased several old film reels for a whopping ten bucks. Imagine his surprise when one of them turned out to be the Gosford Park director's lost movie. The early work is one of 27 sponsored shorts the filmmaker made for Kansas City company Calvin Communications, and no other print is know to exist. Every great filmmaker found their start somewhere. Although some would probably like to forget those early works, we've decided to pull a mom-breaks-out-the-old-school-photos moment and share them with you. Even in their younger years, these filmmakers were obviously destined for greatness—space creatures, rough-cut animation, and all.


David Lynch, Six Figures Getting Sick (1966)David Lynch wanted to create an organic, moving version of his paintings while studying at Philadelphia’s Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. The project grew into his first film, Six Figures Getting Sick, a looped and animated short that incorporated a sculptured screen and projector. The figures are casts of Lynch’s head and were created with the help of friend and Eraserhead star Jack Fisk. The director’s fire, vomit, and body horror experiment eventually transformed into the quieter kind of terror we know today.


Peter Jackson, The Valley (1976)Before Peter Jackson was making more money than the entire universe with his Lord of the Rings franchise, he was a 15-year-old film geek gawking at King Kong and dreaming about creating his own opus for the big screen while experimenting with a Super 8 camera. Jackson was influenced by FX genius Ray Harryhausen when he came up with The Valley. The time-travel tale found Jackson in his own movie, starring as one of four prospectors who battles for their lives in a post-apocalyptic world overrun by mythical beasts. You can catch a glimpse of Jackson’s first film in the documentary The Sci-Fi Boys (currently available on Netflix Instant Watch).


Roman Polanski, Rower (The Bicycle) (1955)Roman Polanski attended Poland’s Lodz film school and made his directorial debut with a short called Rower (The Bicycle) in 1955. It was based on a frightening, real-life experience the director had when he was attacked by a wanted murderer. Polanski attempted to purchase a bicycle from a criminal — whose criminality was unknown to the filmmaker — was robbed, and then beaten until his skull was fractured. The guy was eventually arrested, and Polanski was left with a wild story to tell. The film, however, is believed to be lost.


Wes Anderson, Bottle Rocket (1994)Wes Anderson’s film career has been closely tied to actor Owen Wilson. The star of The Royal Tenenbaums has collaborated with the director on numerous projects, but it was Anderson’s 13 minute short Bottle Rocket that marked their first co-writing venture. Shot in 1992 and released two years later, the black and white film shows two petty criminals bantering about and was the foundation for Anderson’s feature version of the same name, released in 1996. The short’s quirky, naturalistic performances are absolute Anderson — including the opening conversation about Starsky and Hutch.



George Lucas, Look At Life (1965)While studying at USC, Star Wars god George Lucas created several 16 mm cinéma vérité shorts. Look at Life was his first and combines photos of the 1960′s cultural landscape, with a doomsday ending. The animation course for which Lucas created the project required that the film run-one minute long. Snapshots of intense imagery — including pics of Martin Luther King Jr., the Ku Klux Klan, and war-ravaged soldiers — helped the young director make a grand entrance in a successful career.







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Post time 2012-3-21 13:42:17 |Display all floors
This post was edited by angela627 at 2012-3-21 13:43

Francis Ford Coppola, Battle Beyond the Sun (1962)Before Francis Ford Coppola was rubbing elbows with Vito Corleone, he was dubbing and re-editing a Soviet space movie about a race to colonize Mars. The young filmmaker was working for legendary producer Roger Corman at the time, who was aiming to release the film to U.S. audiences. Coppola’s early experience with creature features probably came in handy when transforming Gary Oldman into Dracula in 1992, but it must have been a frustrating project for such an ambitious filmmaker.


Martin Scorsese, Vesuvius VI (1959)The early works of Martin Scorsese contain a similar pacing and energy to his feature films. We’d love to be able to say the same about his very first movie, but the short doesn’t seem to be available online for confirmation. The famed director made the movie during his time at New York University’s film school. IMDb describes it as “a miniature epic set in Ancient Rome and ‘inspired’ by the then popular television series 77 Sunset Strip.” The show — which ran from the late ’50s to early ’60s — featured two wisecracking Los Angeles detectives with a love for the ladies. Sounds like the perfect framework for Scorsese’s future antihero wiseguys.


Stanley Kubrick, Flying Padre: An RKO-Pathe Screenliner / Day of the Fight (1951)Knowing how meticulous Stanley Kubrick was, he’d probably be cringing right now since we’re sharing his first film — or at least what we think is his first film, considering the number of hidden projects Stanley had stashed away in his archives. (Watch the documentary Stanley Kubrick’s Boxes and you’ll see what we mean.) After Stanley quit Look magazine — where he worked as a staff photographer throughout the 1940s — he became inspired to bring his images to life. Some sources cite a 1951 documentary short for RKO pictures called Flying Padre as Kubrick’s first film. Others say it was his day-in-the-life-of short about a boxer, Day of the Fight, also made that year.
Flying Padre follows a priest who delivers his sermon with the help of a monoplane. Kubrick’s signature style is better easily seen, however, in his boxing movie. Stanley’s first feature-length movie, Fear and Desire has been in the news lately as the dark war story is being revived on the big screen.


Kevin Smith, Mae Day: The Crumbling of a Documentary (1992)Kevin Smith’s slacker aesthetic started to take shape during a student documentary project about … a documentary project that didn’t work out for the director. He created Mae Day: The Crumbling of a Documentary with producer collaborator Scott Mosier while attending film school in Vancouver. Instead of a short about a transsexual singer, the filmmaker focused on his own directorial shortcomings — despite the subject apparently being fairly uncooperative. Sounds like a Kevin Smith movie, indeed.


James Cameron, Xenogenesis (1978)James Cameron was driving a truck before he made his first film, Xenogenesis in 1978. He felt inspired (and frustrated) after watching Star Wars, spent a lot of time reading and learning how to use camera equipment, and his experimental sci-fi short was born. He made the movie with friends, and it eventually helped him get a job with famed producer Roger Corman as an FX specialist. We think it’s safe to say the filmmaker has come a long way in that department given the job he did on the CG-heavy Avatar.






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Post time 2012-3-21 13:52:22 |Display all floors
Good old David Lynch. He stays true to himself and I wouldn't trade this wild and crazy kind of guy
for a thousand block buster directors.
If capitalism promotes innovation and creativity then why aren't scientists and artists the richest people in a capitalist nation?

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Post time 2012-3-26 03:32:21 |Display all floors
Otto Preminger..I think he had a thing with Gypsy Rose Lee or is it Li
Never Let Anyone Outside The Family Know What You're Thinking.

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