The actors-directors for the better and sometimes for the worse…

The actors and filmmakers for the better and sometimes for the worse…

The output room of Lost River by Ryan Gosling (read the review) allows us to make a point about a fascinating subject : the actors who move behind the camera.

The passage behindera camplar a rêve risky,e

We know implementation is not an easy task for an actor. He must face the criticism, seeing in him an opportunist, not to mention all the trial the legitimacy of the accompanying generally the release of his film.

A key point to not lose sight of : we are never by chance behind the camera. The cinema is an industry of (very) heavy in terms of logistics and administrative burdens and a director must exercise an enormous force of persuasion (or sign a huge check, follow my eyes…) to pass to mount his project.

Let’s take the example of one of the actors-the well-known directors in the world : Clint Eastwood. It comes to fruition in 1971 with the film A thrill in the night. At the time, Clint Eastwood is far from being a young, first, he was already 41 years old and has behind him a career as a major actor, and, above all, worked with two giants of the cinema, which have without doubt learned 2 or 3 things : Sergio Leone and Don Siegel. And yet, he had to fight hard with the laying of the studio Universal to get their green light, they never led in its approach than a whim of the star. In order to have their agreement, he agrees not to be paid a minimum wage as a director and only with a very limited budget (about 725 000$!). And yet, Universal has not transferred by the means of Don Siegel, himself, supporting Clint Eastwood in his approach and agrees to act in the film as… an actor. The loop is looped ! Eastwood manages to complete the turning 2 days before the scheduled date and even managed the feat of not spending all the budget. It was not necessary any more for our dear actor southerner “get the map” and to be quiet until today… examples, like the one below, of actor-directors of the career too long, there is little in the history of cinema. We can mention : Woody Allen, John Cassavetes, Robert Redford, Kenneth Branagh, it is almost everything.

One thing is for sure, there are even less actors from behind the camera. We can mention Angelina Jolie, of course, but we’re not going to lie, his films are rather academic to remain polite. Rest Drew Barrymore , who made the charming Bliss in 2009, a film that is quite interesting happening in the world of roller derby. This does little, I grant you…

That is what makes a player one day decides to go behind the camera ? Broad question, isn’t it ? But, it is very personal and, in my opinion, depends on the individual journey of each actor.

However, it is much more interesting to ask if an actor can be a good director. And even, to go further in the perversity (ah ah I like torturing me mind !), one might ask if a good actor is more likely than another to become a good réalisateur.


A good actor he more likely thananother to become a good réalisateur ?

Already the first part of the answer, an experienced actor has knowledge is very valuable, how does a painting : this is going to the organization, the filming schedule for the preparation of the teams.

In fact, we’ve often heard, sometimes even from the mouth of actors passed to the realization : “after all, it is normal, who better than an actor knows what happens at a shoot ? “Certainly, but if one follows this logic, one could say that a formula 1 driver would make an excellent mechanic or an air hostess would be a good airplane pilot. We can not count the number of great actors who have directed films medium : Marlon Brando (The Revenge at the two faces, blah blah), passing by Al Pacino (Looking for Richard, well but not top) or Robert De Niro (He was once the Bronx, nice but very educational, thanks, dad, Sergio Leone…)

Moreover, we do arises never the question in reverse : a good director makes a good actor ? No, of course.

So what, it stops there and returns sipping a mint in cold water with real mint leaves inside ? Not more. What is interesting in this debate is to ask what bring the actors when they move to completion.

In the first place, they should bring their sensibility actor. This is really positive but which, when not mastered, can give rise to movies puffy good feelings or, worse, scenes grandiloquentes to the excesses of neo-baroque kitchs and hysterical. The perfect example of these actors-directors falling sometimes in through the slush, of course, is Sean Penn in the Crossing Guard (released in 1995), and especially problematic The Pledge (released in 2001). Luckily, Sean Penn was caught up with the sensitive and beautiful Into The Wild (released in 2007).

Sensibilité against mawkishness

In recent times, one has the impression that the latest actors to be spent behind the camera, too, have learned the lesson and do not want to fall into the trap of the actor demiurge wanting to reinvent the cinema. I think of George Clooney, for example, that in his films has especially wanted to stage a simple, exciting stories rather than heightened emotions. In Confessions of a man dangerous (film released in 2003), the story is more important than the staging. Like in Good Night and Good Luck, The Steps of power , or in Monuments Men, his latest film. I found that it cares less about the direction of actors that make films compelling, some will say clean on them. We feel that the weight of these projects still weighs on his shoulders and he tries to “do well” to avoid criticism, which are, unfortunately, inevitable.

Guillaume Canet has experienced the same thing with his early films. Even if the director of the Small Handkerchiefs, and began making short films well before being known by the public, his fame sudden fact that his early films have been expected with a degree of mistrust on the part of the press.

Same thing for Ben Affleck who has directed three very good movies (I have a little something for The Town that came out in 2010), but has clearly refused to do in the emphasis and mawkishness in favour of a cinema, dry, even rough, and controlled end-to-end. It is obviously that these players who are expected in turn prefer to avoid the criticism easily and choose to go to the film with the sensitivity required or even tenuous…

Yet, in my opinion, the players should let go much more and do not be afraid to quench their thirst for grandiosity. The best films made by actors that have been done in spite of good common sense. Often, no one believed it and nobody gave expensive skin of their authors. I want to talk about those films that are as much proof that sensitivity as a weapon against the format, and must not be afraid to the actors engaging in the realisation. The sensitivity we disposed of may be a day of the slush that floods our cinemas.

My top films (sensitive) réalise d by actors :

1 – Murder ofa bookmaker chinese of John Cassavetes (1976)

2 – the Night of The hunter by Charles Laughton (1955)

3 – Dance with wolves by Kevin Costner (1990)

4 – Easy Rider by Dennis Hopper (1968)

5 – The Prey bare of Cornel Wilde (1966)









This article has been proposed by Doc Film, creator of the blog Doc Movies

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