Jun 3, 2006

Speaking of filmmaking...

John Ford, upper left, directing his part of the 1963 Cinerama film "How the West Was Won"

The casual visitor to this blog could be forgiven for thinking that the only thing in my life and head is the work of Fred Moore, given both the recent James Walker collection posts and many of my other entries, and that's fine--I'm proud to be associated in any way with an artist of that talent, even if it's the most gossamer thread of fandom and employment that connects me. But as a film buff of many decades' standing I've got a lot of pet directors, actors, writers, and other that I hope to share my enthusiasm for here...and obviously in that I'm far from alone.

Off the top of my head, I'd mention that Mark Kennedy, Michael Sporn, Jeff Pidgeon and Jaime Weinman all write about film and other areas of popular culture and history, each of them managing to be both entertaining and eye-opening in their observations.

So, today I caught up with Jaime Weinman's latest, a short essay about John Ford's filmmaking style that's a must, so read it now!.
I don't know anything about Jaime--where he comes from, how he came by his extensive knowledge of the best(and worst)of pop culture, but this guy should be writing for Slate or Vanity Fair or the New York Times, as far as I'm concerned. He puts the lie to the mainstream media dismissal of bloggers as guys sitting in pajamas at their keyboards, ranting on about things no one wants to hear.

from "She Wore a Yellow Ribbon"(1949)
And Ford is so important, such a seminal influence on film, on the art of storytelling of any kind, that he really can't be overrated or over-discussed--or watched. He's a puzzle to me, as I'm damned if I can understand how he developed the eye for composition and action that he did--virtually out of the box. Yes, he started in silent film(a much misunderstood and undersung area for most animation folks), but so did many of his generation. He just got better--at everything. He deserves to be called an auteur, as even his earliest films have an incredibly strong personal style: you can see it, you can feel it(in the timing and overall pacing), and you can hear it.

Anyway, for a jumpstart, read Jaime's entry, and see if your interest in adding a Ford film to your Netflix queue isn't piqued.

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