The New ‘New Wave’ of Today?
A while back I read an article on the group of four filmmakers who were dubbed the ‘New Wave’ of Cinema in the 1970’s saying how they changed cinema forever and collecting something near 38 Oscar nominations between them.
That was nearly 50 years ago and cinema, and the audience have changed immensely. So who would be the ‘New Wave’ of the 21st Century? Who are the four filmmakers that pop into your head when you think of the best directors in 2014? I think it’s safe to guess that the majority would think of at least one of these four.
I could make a whole other category of film makers for the time between Spielberg’s heyday and now that could include: Robert Rodriquez, Quentin Tarantino, Edgar Wright and Kevin Smith or another including James Cameron, David Fincher, Paul Thomas Anderson and Peter Jackson or Tim Burton however I’m talking as recent as film goes and the directors that have had a similar impact as the New Wave did in the ‘70’s.
Francis Ford Coppola is most famously known for his masterpiece and follow up: The Godfather and The Godfather Part II… There was The Godfather Part III as well but not many people know about that one. David O’Russell is most famously known for his unofficial trilogy that he has released over the last few years: The Fighter, Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle. Another similarity is the highly controversial and troubled war film productions of both Coppola’s ‘Apocalypse Now’ and O’Russel’s ‘The Three Kings’. Both directors also sharing a key trademark of brilliant period cinematography and getting unbelievably strong performances out of their cast, (here’s looking at you Marlon Brando and Jennifer Lawrence) making them stars and resulting in some unforgettable human stories.
George Lucas, love him or hate him, is undeniably one of the most influential director’s on the planet and undeniably genius. His product Star Wars has stretched it’s influence into every form of Pop Culture possible, like many of the ‘New Wave’s’ films, and is still my favourite film of all time today. JJ Abrams, needless to say shares similarities now announced and well under way with Star Wars Episode VII. He is also known for his wild imagination, lens flares and sometimes to some people ruining a beloved franchise with a sequel.
Steven Spielberg is one of the first men behind a camera to become as famous as the stars he puts on screen; He is a household name even today still churning out strong oscar nominated films. He brought cinema out of a dark place and made it fun again during the high point of the Hollywood glamour years. Some might argue that he be the best Director not only of his time but of all time. That’s where Christopher Nolan comes in. Nolan took a franchise that had been put through the ringer and not come out well and not only turned in a fantastic film but started a revolution of the way films are made and watched. Spielberg and Nolan both love to test the limits and boundaries of cinema and you can tell in their work that they to love to watch films as much as they do making them. They also share no shortage of twists, turns and moments of pure weightlessness in their work and with no shortage of demand for films from both these directors, they are both deserving.
Martin Scorsese once quoted that the next Scorsese would have to be Wes Anderson, so this one is not up for debate. However in saying that, it’s not like it’s not deserved. If you have ever seen a Wes Anderson film, which few sadly have, you will know it is his by his trademark cast, camera techniques and consistent cinematography. If you have ever seen a Martin Scorsese film, which is sad if you haven’t, you will know it his by his trademark cast, camera techniques and consistent cinematography. Whether it’s Bill Murray or Robert De Niro, a centred tripod or a tracking shot or a vibrantly coloured hotel or a shadow soaked city, you know that it’s going to be a good one.
There is an endless amount of directors and films out there, some good and some bad. There is also an endless number of groupings you could do with: The ‘Pioneers’ led of Charlie Chaplin or George Méliès or the generation coming just before the ‘New Wave’ with team captain Alfred Hitchcock. This could change quickly by a new kid on the block or a complete career turn around (M Night) but until the new generation rises this is what we have and I think it is safe to say that we are in good hands.
By Bryson Howe