Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Perfect Film: Dissecting Uni


I've often dreamed of making a film one day. In high school I took an introduction to media direction class we had (basically used for school news/morning announcements) to see if I had what it took. Much to my dismay, little to my surprise, did I find that I possessed no talent what soever for making film. I've often dreamed of writing a screenplay or book, but once again each effort ends in absolute disaster (one effort to write a book ended 20 pages in with Godzilla eating everyone). So as you can imagine I spend a good deal of my free time trying to figure out exactly how I would go about making a perfect film. Or what components would make up the perfect film for me.

So I went with it a little bit. If I was to combine all the elements of movies that I enjoy what would I come up with.

1. Director. If you know me at all you already know the answer to this question. It has to be Kurosawa. No director in all the ones I've encountered have I ever felt such a natural connection to the directing style of.

2. Writer. This is a tough one for me as I don't fall in love with writers often. But if I had to pick one person to write my perfect film then it would have to be: Quentin Tarantino. The guy just has a knack for action and dialogue, much in the same respect of those old Kurosawa classics. It just evolves so well.

3. The Actor. You gotta have the writer lead. For me there can be no other than Jack Lemmon. The guy just oozes charm, wit, and a real love for film in every scene he's in.

4. The Actress. It's gotta be Audrey Hepburn doesn't it? Sure she may not fit into the Kurosawa female mold, but she's got all the charm and beauty and true lover of cinema would want.

5. The Supporting Cast:
- Takashi Shimura: Best downtrodden character performer I've ever witnessed
- Jimmy Stewart: All films need a pure heart at their center
- Katherine Hepburn: We need a strong counter (and of course what film wouldn't be better with two Hepburns in it?).
- Christopher Lee: We're going to need a dynamic villain!

6. The Cinematographer: It's got to look right, you know. And while he may have passed on a few years back, Conrad L. Hall's work on films like Road to Perdition, American Beauty, and Cool Hand Luke puts him right at the top of my list.

7. The Genre: This is a toughy for me but if I'm going with this cast I'm gonna go: Western Crime Epic. I love epics, I love westerns, and I love cop and robber style films. I think that's the genre best suited for my perfect film. Kurosawa's samurai films were built on western mythos, did several amazing cops&robber films (notably Stray Dog & High and Low). I think it's the best fit, since sadly I can't sneak in a samurai.

Doing this does come with the acknowledgment that it could never truly exist. As well I'd never fully be complete even with such a film. I mean my tastes are far too varied. I'd want anime, war, robots, everything... and let's be honest that sounds more like a formula for a crappy Michael Bay film than anything else. It's an odd thing wanting to make a perfect film for yourself. That sort of movie you know you could watch over and over again without ever getting tired of. Yet we all know that's not real. Nor could it ever truly be.

There's something oddly pleasant about the flaws of a film that make it unique, and in some weird way, likable. The perfect film is an ideal, but it's a false ideal. Perhaps that's why trying to construct my perfect film is a fleeting cause. Yet somehow I find it a pleasant act. Constructing films in my head, as if I could combine my favorite performers and behind the camera guys to make a movie of my own choosing. Though the more I do it the more I realize: all I'm doing is re-creating their own work with new faces.

There's nothing original about my perfect film. Something I have to admit I find rather depressing. It's a reminder that what I really want is just their own movies. I don't need a "perfect" film, but rather to be once again absorbed in their art. As well to seek a single perfect film is selfish and horrid. Why the idea appeals to me so much is well beyond my own understanding. Then again, that's nothing new. In the end I'll likely continue trying to come up with some mad man formula for creating the perfect film for myself. Maybe one day I'll succeed in coming damned close, but it'll never be complete. Though of course that's not going to stop me anytime soon.

3 better thoughts:

Andrew: Encore Entertainment said...

I was actually supposed to revive the dormant prospective films feature I had. It is cool to imagine hypothetical films and what film wouldn't be better with two Hepburns in it? True and with Stewart and Lemmon. Why the hell not?

Alex said...

hmm this is an interesting question. Not sure offhand what mine would be like. I think yours would be a cool movie, and it's ok that it's not this new original thing. Everything's been done before anyway. You like western crime capers with phenomenal casts, and there's nothing wrong with that!

TJMAC510 said...

I actually think this is a pretty great idea. Maybe not the most original but neither was Avatar and it made a billion dollars. I like your picks and think if you made this (granted some people are dead NOW) it would be awesome. I like this kind of post.

Keep up the good work

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