The masters have spoken

Best of the best in film-making share problems with modern-day cinema in an intimate discussion

News Desk January 05, 2016
Directors David O Russell, Tom Hooper, Quentin Tarantino, Danny Boyle, Alejandro G Inarritu and Ridley Scott strike a pose. PHOTO: FILE

As the awards season draws closer and closer, excitement for filmmakers and cinephiles only seems to be mounting. With movies like Jobs, The Hateful Eight, Revenant, Joy and The Martian already being tipped as some of the favorites; The Hollywood Reporter got them together to talk about the state of cinema and round-up the year in films, reported Indie Wire.

Dubbed as the Director’s Roundtable, the panel discussion is an annual feature of the film publication. This year’s panel consisted of Danny Boyle (Steve Jobs), Tom Hooper (The Danish Girl), Alejandro G Inarritu (The Revenant), David O Russell (Joy), Ridley Scott (The Martian), and Quentin Tarantino (The Hateful Eight).

With some of Hollywood and independent directors as part of the panel, the hour-long discussion was never going to be a dull affair with the agenda of the meeting varying from development in filmmaking to the state of television.

Not one to be kept quiet Tarantino was the first to get the ball rolling noting how cinema these days was plagued with a variety of “philosophical” problems.

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“I mean, frankly, I have to tell you the truth, a lot of films that 10 years ago I would have actually [gone] out to the theaters and watched, I can wait for them to get to the cable channels. I’m watching them six or seven months later, and I’m perfectly enjoying them, but I didn’t really miss that much,” Tarantino stated.

Offering an even more grim assessment of the current state of affairs, veteran filmmaker Ridley Scott felt that with the quantity of movies increasing with each passing year the assessment bar for quality films seemed to be dropping lower. “Maybe there’s too many [directors] in the field and therefore the general quality [is worse],” remarked The Martian director.

Ever since Marvel introduced cinemagoers to the revised franchise format with their singular universe, Marvel Cinematic Universe, several production houses have shown a keen interest in applying the same formula to their movies; thus reducing the room for experimentation in the motion pictures medium.

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Alegandro G Inarritu, who has become synonymous with the experimental filmmaking, believes that with the quality of programming on television having improved over the past few years the medium may become a preference for storytellers.

“Independent filmmaking has [been] transported to TV. There’s great stories, great things. And in a way, the screens are now full of films that look like TV, just on the big screen. There is no revelation, there is no mystery. I need the mystery of it,” he said.

“What has happened in the economy in the world is happening to film: the 99% and the 1 % division. Now there are super-expensive films or just very tiny-budget films. The middle-class films are disappearing,” added Inarritu.

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The roundtable sessions are not just restricted to filmmakers in particular with similar sessions being conducted with actors, writers and producers. Guests tend to discuss everything from individual projects to personal experiences.

A similar session featuring female actors Carey Mulligan (Suffragette), Jennifer Lawrence (Joy), Cate Blanchett (Carol, Truth), Jane Fonda (Youth), Brie Larson (Room), Helen Mirren (Trumbo, Woman in Gold), Charlotte Rampling (45 Years) and Kate Winslet (Steve Jobs) will be held on January 10.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 6th, 2016.

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