Trademark Styles of Hollywood Filmmakers – Part 2

Trademark Styles of Hollywood Filmmakers – Part 2

Trademark Styles of Hollywood Filmmakers – Part 2 has been edited by Suraj Zala.


Hello, all you movie buffs! We’re back with our promised list of ‘Trademark Styles of Hollywood Filmmakers – Part 2’. With some more filmmakers, some more styles, and hopefully some more movies to be added for a movie marathon, this weekend. Maybe you’ll see some familiar names below. Maybe not. Whatever the case may be, let’s see if we can surprise you.

Psst. You can just click on the movie titles to check our their official trailer. Yes, we went an extra mile for you this one time.

Caution: Spoiler Alert

Stanley Kubrick is undoubtedly one of the most enjoyed and revered filmmakers of all time, so why not begin with him? He has treated cinema lovers to some of the greatest movies ever, like The Shining, Lolita, Full Metal Jacket, and 2001: A Space Odyssey. Kubrick’s most obvious trademark is the symmetry he sets up in many of his shots. He likes to create a horizon of sorts onscreen, with a point that is the centre of focus, often called the ‘one-point perspective shot’, from which everything seems to pop outwards. Also a fan of practical effects, he created imagery that was far beyond his time, and his work continues to inspire filmmakers even today.

Don’t believe me? Check out the making of the space station, the docking scenes, and the accuracy of zero-G in Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar. Do look up for his inspiration for the same. (Hint: it’s 2001.) And of course, how can one miss the deadly ‘Kubrick Stare’? Being the disciplined filmmaker that he is, all of his movies reach its conclusion with the words “The End”.

*****

Wes Anderson is one of the best, and perhaps the most talked about directors in contemporary cinema.  Just like Kubrick, he uses long symmetry shots. Did I say ‘uses’? No, I meant ‘overuses’. You might notice a cast that re-occurs. The families shown in the movie might be a tad unconventional. His sets are very theatrical and grand, the score is brilliant, and of course, the sepia tone in between the scenes. And if you need more, his films conclude in slow motion! While you may feel anything ranging from mildly disturbed to quite a put off with the combination of colours (literally) and colorfulness (metaphorically) you see onscreen, please stick around, because a Wes Anderson movie is more of an experience than a mere flick.

*****

If you thought Stan Lee or Tarantino are the ones who did the best cameos, you are terribly wrong. Alfred Hitchcock is the — dramatic pause — the king of cameos. The greatest movie-maker when it comes to psychological thrillers, Hitchcock is also referred to as  The Master of Suspense. He had a penchant for casting blondes as the leads in his movies. “Blondes make the best victims. They’re like virgin snow that shows up the bloody footprints”, he said.

His movies are known to always have a charming villain. The better the villain, the better the film. Homicide is a common theme in Hitchcock flicks, enough for it to actually be considered as artwork! He also peculiarly liked to film in a studio, where everything – from the lights to the movements – could be controlled.

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M. Night Shyamalan is best known for his twist endings! Making something unpredictable happen, at the extreme climax of the movie, was his style. Just like his idol Hitchcock, Shyamalan also made frequent cameo appearances. Most of his movies are located in Pennsylvania, especially Philly. He uses colour symbolism to signify importance in the movie. The characters are often caught up in self-reflection. While his portfolio of late is full of little but disappointment, let’s take a moment to thank him for a cinematic masterpiece, The Sixth Sense.

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The Usual Suspects is one of the most brilliant movies with a very subtle plot twist at the end! I think we all fell in love with Kevin Spacey after that. But we have Bryan Singer to thank for this all-time favourite movie.  He has also made and is still making the X-Men franchise, one of the most polarising movie series of all.

Lovers love it and haters hate it, both do it with passion. One of his techniques is flashback storytelling, i.e. to begin at the end of the story. We can very well see it in The Usual Suspects and in X-Men. His movies are also known to have the hero-antihero complex, where one of the characters constantly swings from being our beloved to our hated. Admit it, didn’t you admire Kevin Spacey until he was Verbal Kint? And then bang did you not feel a little bit of a cringe when you found out he was Keyser Söze. Same with Magneto from the X-Men.

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Now, let’s talk about George Lucas.

*cue Star Wars main theme*

Old George has given us something to obsess about, so please do excuse me if I’m excited. You don’t just make the two of the biggest Hollywood franchises (Star Wars and Indiana Jones) without being legendary! The editing in the movies is very precise, following one simple rule: keep it straight forward. His movies have a simple and straightforward plot, where the flow is smooth. Basic plot twists are shown in a terrific manner to blow your mind like remember…“Luke, I am your father.”
Lucas also believes that the soundtrack is a vital part of a movie, and it adds to the experience of watching the movie.

Lucas obviously has a thing for sci-fi, CGI and special effects, having led an era of film-making revolving around the three. He’s probably just as fond of Harrison Ford too, to having cast him in both of his franchises as Han Solo and Indiana Jones. And well, we can all thank Lucas for Pixar!

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While many of these filmmakers works may seem a tad inaccessible—or maybe boring, too, we don’t judge—to a lot of people, perhaps the best reason to consider watching these movies is the fact that the makers decided to craft a genuinely unique experience for their audience, something which is hardly true of much of the media available at hand today. They went to great lengths of effort, paid attention to every single detail, to create something could unhesitatingly be called a piece of art. And art isn’t made to merely be seen or heard of, it is made to be experienced.

So, for the uninitiated, why not pick an experience for this weekend?

And if you know something we don’t know, please go crazy in the comments, and we’ll join right in!


In case, you missed ‘Trademark Styles of Hollywood Filmmakers – Part 1’, click here.

Rushi Joshi

I judge people based on what their favourite movie is.