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"Directed by John Ford" (2006)


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#1 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 02 June 2009 - 12:04 AM

Did anyone catch this tonight on TCM? I've been trying to find this film for 8 years or so. It did not disappoint. I love the new interviews that Bogdanovich did with Spielberg, Scorsese, etc. Spielberg's anecdote was especially choice. He talks about how when he was in high school he snuck onto the studio lot and was directed to Ford's office.

Ford: (dressed as a big game hunter) I'll give you one minute. So you want to be a picture maker, eh?

Spielberg: Yes sir, I want to direct movies, yes.

F: What do you know about movies?

S: Well, I've been making my own 8mm movies for years now, and I want to go to film school.

F: What do you know about art?

S: I, uh, uh ...

F: (pointing to a Remington on his wall) See that painting there? What do you see?

S: I see a cowboy, and he's being chased by a bunch of Indians-

F: NO, NO, NO! Find the horizon! You know what that is, don't you? Where is it?

S: (points)...

F: NO, DON'T POINT! Look at the whole frame! Where is the horizon?!

S: It's at the bottom of the frame.

F: Yes, exactly. Now look at the next painting.

S: It's at the very top of the frame.

F: Right. When you can figure out why it would be better to put the horizon at the very top or bottom of the frame instead of right smack dab in the middle, then maybe you'll be a picture maker. Now, get out.

Mr. Ford, I think he figured it out. Great stuff. :)
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#2 kevin baggott

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Posted 02 June 2009 - 12:24 AM

Wow! Thanks for letting me know about this! I too have been waiting many many years for this film to be released. I wrote a feature script about Ford called: Silly Willy and The Savage Nomads Go Duck Hunting. lol - Yeah Ford is the best! What a character. Hepburn said he was the most complicated person she had ever met. And when you read about him you quickly realize she's not kidding. Anyway - thanks for letting us know about this! I wonder how I can see it now. I threw my cable box literally out the window many years ago. Wow.... it's finally released. Great news!
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#3 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 02 June 2009 - 02:36 AM

I always love how the geniuses of filmmaking have the facility to provide us with simple truths such as this.
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#4 Justin Hayward

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Posted 03 June 2009 - 03:39 PM

I thought Martin Scorsese summing up what makes compositions work and why John Ford’s are particularly good was fantastic. He said it’s not just pleasing aesthetic that makes a good composition, but also authenticity of the blocking and/or behavior of the actors. If the actors don’t look natural in whatever they’re doing, it doesn’t matter how well arranged the shot, the composition still looks bad. He used the opening of “The Searchers” as his example.

It’s a fantastic biography that I’ll watch over and over on my DVR.
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