The Mission of Submission

So I’ve devoted a few entries to championing directors who embrace film as a form. When the director embraces film as a form, the result is often a unique style. Then the audience will often associate the style with the personality of the director.  I prefer these directors and I prefer these types of films.

However, I do have one very fundamental personal issue with this approach. A director could make  creative choices for reasons that have nothing to do with making a good movie. He may make those creative choices to be the center of attention. How so? A given creative choice may ignite a thought like “That’s such a Coen brothers thing to do.” So the audience’s attention is on the Coen Brothers instead of the story and characters (no slight against them, just an example).

Now I want to clarify that if a director makes a choice that provokes the audience to think about the director, the director’s choice is not creatively inferior. Some viewers will talk about how a specific creative choice “took him out of the movie,” but if that was the intent, then there’s nothing wrong from an artistic point of view. There are many reasons to detach the viewer from the story.

Here’s the issue. If a creative choice provokes the audience to think about the director instead of the world of the film, then the creative choice was potentially prideful. I think pride is at the root of all the problems in the world, so I can’t tolerate it in any film. I actively try to live humbly and vocally encourage others to do the same. I can’t say I always succeed…SEE HOW HUMBLE I AM??? Just kidding.

I should point out that the director is the one who ultimately controls audience attention too. The actors can try their hardest to hold onto the audience, but the director can always change the editing or throw in a piece of voice over and foil the actor’s efforts. Jean Luc Godard reminds you of his existence every 5 seconds when you watch one of his films. So the director deserves complete responsibility for whether or not his film is prideful.

So how do I deal with this? What is an example of a film that undeniably demonstrates no prideful creative choices. A logical place to start is where directors have no interest in film as a form. Here, they would make no creative choices, demonstrate no distinct style, and consequently create no moments where the audience thinks about the director instead of the film.

A good example of this would be any of the 80 romantic comedies that have been released in the last 5 years. The one distinction you can make between any of these movies is whether they star matthew macoughnahey or hugh grant. Ohterwise, they are all the same.

Indeed, despite the completely trite and derivative nature of these films, they don’t indicate any type of pride on the part of the director (I mean, what director could be prideful after making one of these).

So then, now my quandary might be more apparent. What path should I take? Pursuing the mindless endeavors of Sandra Bullock and Sarah Jessica Parker, thereby becoming the mother teresa of directors? Or making films like “The Evangelist,” the way I want to make them, and securing my position next to Judas in the 9th circle?

I could try to rationalize the creative choices in “The Evangelist,” that they were purely for the sake of the film and had nothing to do with shoving my personality into the audience’s face. I think that’s probably the truth, but I’m not a hundred percent sure.

So, I’ve conceived a project that allows me to maintain artistic creativity while abating all possible self-absorptive filmmaking. I’m calling it “The Mission of Submission.” I can’t tell you what it specifically entails, but I believe it will be something like a cinematic baptism. More details will be revealed later.

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3 Responses to The Mission of Submission

  1. I thank my lucky stars to have worked with a director like you.

  2. How fortunate I am to have worked with a director like you.

  3. Well what do you know? The first time I posted through my BlackBerry and Word Press said it couldn’t post it. Now that I’ve succeeded in posting the message again from my home computer, I see that it had all along. No matter. The message bears repeating.

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