Wednesday, September 30, 2009

FotM: New Mexican Cinema - Alejandro González Iñárritu

Thus far, Alejandro González Iñárritu has only made 3 films. This makes him a rather unique subject for our blog. Traditionally, we tend to write about filmmakers who’ve become well-established and have a body of work that’s been proven out over time. What sets Iñárritu apart from many other filmmakers is that, only 3 films in, he’s a major international director and has built up an impressive resume, often working with some of the biggest and best actors in the film industry today.

Ironically, before getting into the movie business, Iñárritu was a famous DJ on WFM in Mexico. Later, he began writing and directing television commercials. It was during this part of his career that he met Guillermo Arriaga.

To discuss the work of Alejandro González Iñárritu to date, one must also discuss Guillermo Arriaga. There is no separating the two. The creation of each of Iñárritu’s films is only made possible through their collaboration. Arriaga was teaching classes in Media Studies at Ibero-American University in Mexico City when he met Iñárritu. The two originally set out to make a series of 11 short films about all aspects of life in the Mexican capital, but after 3 years and a total of 36 drafts, the two decided to focus their efforts on 3 of their ideas, and expand them into what would become Amores Perros, their debut feature. The two followed up the international success of that film with 21 Grams, and, most recently, Babel, his most ambitious film.

These three films have become known as the Death Trilogy. In an interview about 21 Grams, Iñárritu said that the subject of death and eternity was one that fascinated him. While I don’t doubt this, I don’t really think that these three films are preoccupied with death so much as they are preoccupied with the transformational power present within a single moment in time. Within each film, there’s an incident that is the pivotal point around which the narrative revolves, which is commonly known among screenwriters as the “inciting incident.” What sets these three films apart, however, is the fact that Iñárritu and Arriaga’s stories revolve around these moments in a way that continually brings them back to the viewer’s mind. In each film, each of these incidents is the single event that the narrative works its way back and forth up to time and again, showing its ramifications in the lives of a diverse group of people. In Amores Perros, it’s a car crash. In 21 Grams, it’s an accident in which an ex-con runs over a man and his two daughters. In Babel, it’s a childish game gone awry in which two Moroccan boys inadvertently shoot at a passing bus and hit an American tourist.

The interplay between time and space that exists within these films puts them under the umbrella of what’s known as “hyperlink” cinema. In this style of filmmaking, the concern is not necessarily one of traditional linear storytelling. Instead, a hyperlink film takes a collection of seemingly unrelated material and shows how the pieces connect. This is most evident in 21 Grams, which I would argue is Iñárritu’s best film. All points in the narrative are almost simultaneously accessible to the viewer in a clearly non-linear fashion. For example, the first shot of the film takes place somewhere near the midpoint of the story, then it moves to the beginning, and, from there, all around the narrative timeline. This makes the experience somewhat fascinating, because the viewer has a tremendous amount of information, but no framework with which to organize it. For example, the car crash doesn’t “happen” at the film’s onset, although its influence is felt almost immediately. Similarly, it’s apparent that the 3 main characters will find themselves in a confrontation in a motel room, but the viewer has no idea how or why this will happen. As the film progresses, the framework emerges, and the viewer “discovers” it, which I think is an approach that is pivotal to the film’s success. Were the story told in a more straightforward fashion, it would play as a conventional melodrama and, while I believe that it would still be effective as such, it is the use of the hyperlink format that really brings out the best in the story.

Iñárritu uses other tools to help the viewer stay oriented. Even though his work often involves non-linear storytelling, he often cuts from one storyline to another by cutting between things that have either visual or thematic similarity. For example, a sequence in Babel that ends with cries of grief is followed by another that, although set in a completely different time and place, ends with a similar outpouring of emotion. In other instances, he cuts between different locations that parallel each other visually. In 21 Grams, a character asks another for help with some glasses, and the next thing that is seen involves, you guessed it, glasses. He’s very subtle in the way that he does this and I didn’t really notice it until I watched these films again.

There are also other themes that are explored time and again in Iñárritu’s work. For one, he’s fascinated by the relationship between parents/caregivers and children. This is particularly evident in Babel. In the film, Amelia, a Mexican woman working in San Diego as a nanny, takes Mark and Debbie to her son’s wedding across the border. Watching the reactions of these two children to all that transpires is a revelation. They are the two most innocent characters in the film, and they respond most instinctively to each new situation. They’ve never been to Mexico, much less to a Mexican wedding, but soon they’re running around trying to catch chickens, beaming with happiness as the bride and groom dance, and cutting quite a rug themselves on the dance floor. The joy on their faces is genuine as they immerse themselves completely in their new environment. Later, when they encounter problems re-entering the United States with Amelia and her nephew, their terror is palpable and their tears real. Iñárritu also often has a character that is almost like a medieval flagellant, consistently seeking punishment and hoping that it will develop into a kind of redemption.

I feel as though I have much more to write, but I think it will be best served by waiting for another day and another article to go further into depth on one of his films. Currently, Iñárritu is hard at work on his latest film, Biutiful. Unfortunately, it’s a film that he’s working on without Guillermo Arriaga, due to the deterioration of their collaborative relationship. I can only hope that they will eventually look past their personal differences and come back together to write another chapter in their extraordinary partnership.

Much has been made about the difficulties of breaking into the film industry and much has been said about the challenges inherent to making people listen to a new voice. So far, Alejandro González Iñárritu has been nominated for two Academy Awards, both for Babel, and won the Best Director prize at the Cannes Film Festival, also for Babel. Just think, all of this has happened to a man who’s only made 3 films. The future is bright, my friends, to those who look toward the horizon with hope.

Starting Point: 21 Grams.

"And it is said that the princess returned to her father's kingdom."

You must know you’re doing something right when it’s announced that you’re taking the reigns of one of the most critically and commercially successful franchises in the history of film and no one even bats an eye. In fact the moment it was announced that Guillermo Del Toro would be directing THE HOBBIT a collective cheer swept through the fanboy community because everyone knew that if anyone had to step in for Peter Jackson, Del Toro was the guy you wanted. I think that right there may tell you more about Guillermo Del Toro than I could ever hope to relate, but by God I’m filled with that annoying can-do spirit so I’m at least gonna try.

There is more imagination in any ten minutes of a Guillermo Del Toro film than most directors can hope to conjure in their entire careers. His movies were made for the picture-perfect, freeze-frame capabilities of DVD. Every shot is a smorgasbord of rich ideas and fantastical notions. His films delight, challenge and inspire the senses in ways that almost no other filmmaker can and in the midst of it all the man knows how to tell thoughtful, heartfelt, entertaining stories that speak to us all.

I think the one scene in all of Del Toro’s movies that best sums up why I and so many other diehard movie fans love him like we do can be found in HELLBOY II. There is a scene towards the middle of the film where Hellboy and his best friend and partner Abe Sapien get drunk off their butt’s and begin lamenting their love lives. Despite the fact the scene involves two men in full-on monster suits, with about 50 lbs of make-up on I genuinely feel it was one of the most human and touching scenes of 2008, the same year that gave us the likes of GRAN TARINO, THE WRESTLER and RACHEL GETTING MARRIED. In this one scene alone Del Toro was able to peal these outlandish comic book characters back to their very core to reveal the humanity buried not so deep within them. If that’s not the sign of a “Class A” talent then I don’t know what is.

Guillermo Del Toro really is a modern fairytale weaver. He understands the intrinsic things needed in fantastical stories that titillate our minds and stoke the fires of our emotions whether they be joy, sadness or most especially fear. One of the great overlooked, Disney homogenized aspects of the tales of yore is the fact that they were scary; in fact they were sometimes downright horrific. They weren’t about singing animals and catchy tunes; they were meant to illustrate harsh truths and morals and effectively warn their readers. If you’ve seen PAN’S LABYRINTH or… well, pretty much any of Del Toro’s films you know that such notions are not lost on him. In fact he embraces and revels in them with almost sadistic glee.

Del Toro is quite literally a new practitioner of an age old art. He is a talent almost without parallel and scariest of all one can’t but feel he’s just getting started. As the geniuses like George Lucas and Ray Harryhausenn move into the twilights of their careers and visionaries such as Stan Winston move on to that great film set in the sky it’s nice to know that talents such as Guillermo Del Toro exists, because without a doubt it is men like him that will continue to spark my imagination, and the imaginations of those that come long after me.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Feature content is imminent . . .

I wanted to pop in and let you know a little bit about our feature series for September. While it's clearly labeled as "New Mexican Cinema" in the sidebar, it's important to define that a little more clearly so you can understand the angle we're going to be taking.

In the past 20 years, filmmaking in Mexico has undergone a renaissance that's commonly known as Nuevo Cine Mexicano. We're going to focus our feature series on the work of the "Three Amigos:" Alfonso Cuaron, Guillermo del Toro, and Alejandro González Iñárritu. Each member of this triad of friends and collaborators has become a major international director, with a reach far beyond his home country.

In the end, the testament to any filmmaker is in his/her work, not in any number of words that we might pen on the subject. It's our hope that you not only enjoy the series but are, most importantly, inspired to watch their films.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

What the Hades Happened to Festivals?

I love film festivals; I think festivals are a wonderful venue for films, filmmakers & film lovers. However, my horizons are being broadened as I try to get my own film into festivals. Something has changed and I’m not quite sure why it did.

Festivals used to be the breeding ground for new films and by new I mean films that broke new ideas, new sub genres, new stars and new talent. The schedules were filled with diamonds in the rough that mass audiences had never heard of, even if the films became a hit at the festivals and the talent behind them were picked up the films would be hard for audiences to see until home video. El Mariachi, Reservoir Dogs, Swingers, Clerks, In the Company of Men and so many more films were all discovered on the festival circuit and the careers of the people in the films & behind the films were launched by the festivals selecting those films. Though we are now familiar with all the titles I listed, it took months, even years after those films were screened in festivals for them to become commonly discussed films – they were hard to find – rare gems not backed by studios or distributors until after the circuits.

Fast forward to the last few years. People have begun to grumble that big festivals like Sundance have gone “commercial” and we count a film like Juno as an independent film – a film that has millions of dollars behind it, a studio and recognizable stars. My question is what changed?

Suddenly films like Public Enemies, Kill Bill, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, Zombieland & Up In the Air are getting play at film festivals. Major studio films are having premieres at festivals around the globe, and major films are being screened, films that are going to come out in theatres worldwide – sometimes less than a month after the festival concludes.

As someone that made a feature film with no access to the amenities of these films, this trend upsets me. My film is damn good, especially when one looks at the fact that I pushed, pulled and pried to make a high quality micro-budget film and didn’t have the convenience of any of the luxuries most moderately budgeted independent films now have. The problem is that when my film, or any film like mine is held up against a film like Men Who Stare at Goats there is no way our little films can hold up; we don’t have the polish, the recognition, or the appeal that a film with that kind of pedigree could have.

This creates a fundamental problem: how do small films get recognized? I truly think we live in a day where a Quentin Tarantino or Robert Rodriguez would be ignored if they were just starting out. Their films would be pushed aside for one staring an A-List celebrity who got paid scale to make a gritty, “little” film that would bring the festival press.

I still hope to be proven wrong. I still hope that the real independent, rebellious film & filmmakers will come and blow everyone away, even the big guys. Until that happens I’m having a hard time reading film festival coverage, after all, if I’m patient I can just read the reviews a little while later when the films are released nationwide.

Aren't the Swiss supposed to be neutral?

I'm kind of ticked off right now. Yesterday, Roman Polanski was arrested upon his arrival in Zurich. His intention was to attend the Zurich Film Festival and receive a lifetime achievement award. Unfortunately, that's now impossible.

Some of you might not know who Polanski is by name. If that's the case, I'm sure you're familiar with his films. They speak for themselves. Chinatown. Rosemary's Baby. The Pianist. Ironically, I watched his version of Macbeth only yesterday. You can imagine my surprise to wake up this morning and see what had transpired.

Polanski's 32 year exile from the United States had evolved into one of quiet predictability. After fleeing the country after his carefully negotiated plea bargain was reneged upon, he's spent most of his time in France. Up to this point, he's been especially careful to avoid traveling to countries that would extradite him back to the United States.

I'm not in any way dismissing his crime. What he did was wrong. I doubt that anyone will disagree with me on that front. However, the trial was conducted under somewhat dubious circumstances, and the fairness of that trial has, particularly in recent years, been severely called into question. Polanski has requested to have the case dismissed and what's more, his accuser has publicly stated that it is her desire that the case against him be dismissed.

Apparently, both the Polish and French governments are all over this already and are going to do everything that they can to keep him from being extradited to the United States. Under Swiss law, Polanski has the right to contest his imprisonment and any decision related to his extradition in a court of law. This looks to be a long, lengthy process by any stretch of the imagination.

Maybe this is just me and perhaps I'm colored by the fact that I have a tremendous amount of respect for his work, but what will be accomplished by imprisoning a 76 year old man for a crime he committed 32 years ago that even his accuser doesn't think he ought to be locked up for?

Sunday, September 13, 2009


With the exception of Spielberg & Wilder I find it hard to rank my favorite directors. I know whose films and sensibilities I tend to like, and whose I tend to completely not get, but if you were to ask me to rank my ten favorite directors I would freeze up, it's impossible for me to do. However, I am beginning to think that Christopher Nolan is going to be edging his way continually up my list.

Those of you that jumped on the Chris Nolan band wagon when he blew into pop culture with Batman Begins need to seek out the rest of his films. I was fortunate enough to discover Nolan with Memento a movie that was not only absurdly well directed and acted, but took non-linear films to a new height. Any director that can get his cast and crew on board and able to make sense out of a story played from the end to the beginning - that's a damn talented director.

It was after two well crafted hits that Nolan got the Batman franchise handed to him. As intellectual as he is, Nolan somehow understands one of the biggest characters in modern literature. He has created two of the most amazing Batman stories that have ever been committed to film. However, Nolan does not want to solely be known for diretcing Batman. He wants to continue to do other films and as much as I want to keep seeing Batman's story on screen I am more than willing to wait for him to do a non-Bat film between each installment of the caped crusader if it keeps his creative juices flowing.

The Prestiege was Nolan's film between Batman Begins & The Dark Knight and it is one of the most startling and amazingly constructed films I have ever seen. I don't care if you have never heard of the film, if you know too much about the film, or if you just think that Nolan should to only Batman films - put The Prestiege on your Netflix or just buy it the next time you are at a store, you will not be sorry. Nolan proved that he's not only a bankable director, but that he won't sell out his style or artisic tendencies just to make a studio film.

We are now post Dark Knight and waiting for firm news on a third installment of the series so luckily for people like me another Nolan film is being put out by the WB - they may be doing it to keep Nolan happy and their coiffers full, but Nolan lovers like me are thrilled we get another slice of Nolan's imagination.

I don't know what Inception is exactly, but it looks like Nolan's attempt at sci-fi which I fully support, and something about the text in the teaser makes me think of pre-crime and Minority Report...that excites me too. Needless to say I will be watching this teaser over and over, waiting anxiously for the trailer and sitting on the edge of my seat until this movie gets to theatres.

I hope I am not alone here. I truly believe Nolan's talent is like a fine wine - it's getting better with age.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Another day that will live in infamy.

Remember when terrorism used to be fun? Now please don’t think I’m trying to be purposely controversial or salacious. I’m genuinely asking, do you remember when terrorism was fun? Obviously terrorism existed long before I got here and it will exist long after I leave and no one will argue that it is a terrible thing, but if you’re like me, growing up terrorism was pretty darn entertaining. If it weren’t for terrorist we wouldn’t have movies like DIE HARD or RED DAWN or heck even BACK TO THE FUTURE (“IT’S THE LYBIANS”). The world as a whole, especially America has always needed a bad guy. They’ve always needed that dude in the black hat to fall back on so that the good guys, the noble heroes have someone to fight and overcome and we have someone to root against. For the majority of my life that’s exactly what terrorists were. They were something peripheral that wreaked havoc on other countries but mainly they served as whipping boys for the likes of Bruce Willis, Sylvester Stallone and the Governator. To most Americans they were the boogeyman, something you could use to tell a fun story but over all about as dire of a concern as anything else that goes bump in the night. Eight years ago, on a clear, crisp New York morning all of that changed forever.

September 11th is the defining moment of not only my generation but perhaps generations to come. It is our Pearl Harbor, our Kennedy assassination, that singular moment in one’s life that you will remember in crystal clear detail for the rest of your time here on earth. To this day I remember exactly where I was and what I was doing when I saw that first plane hit the tower. It is something seared into my brain, an image and a moment that will stay with me for the rest of my existence. In one fail swoop a group of psychotic, genocidal $#!+-heads forever changed our country and the world as a whole. In doing so they also irrevocably changed the artistic landscape of our nation as well.

The impact of the 9/11 attacks on the world of art is undeniable. In one fail swoop EVERYTHING changed. Suddenly megalomaniacal terrorists and ingenious super-villains weren’t the thing of fiction, they were a cold hard reality, so much scarier and evil that anything our imaginations could ever conjure. As a writer I can tell you that never in a million years could I craft villains or scenario like that which were carried out eight years ago. In fact I think that’s why it took so long to register for some people. What we were watching looked like something straight out of a movie. A movie that I’m sure we all would have lined up for and scarfed popcorn to so long as some badass American came along avenged all those deaths in a spectacularly Don Simpson / Jerry Bruckheimer kind of way. Sadly though at the end of the day those were real planes, crashing into real buildings, killing real people, conceived and executed by an enemy that we couldn’t just send John McClain after, armed with nothing more than a catchphrase and an Uzi.

Suddenly our art, our entertainment had to take on a much more realistic, much more hard-edged bent simply because the scars of the greatest tragedy in American history wouldn’t allow for anything else. Unbeatable, larger than life movie Gods such as Rambo were replaced by the likes of Jason Bourne and Jack Bauer. Heck even the venerable James Bond had to get a face lift because the runners of the franchise realized they’d get laughed out of the theatre if they went any further with their invisible cars and Denise Richards as physicists.

For the first time in my lifetime certain things became taboo, too hard to digest because of the fresh scars on our nation. Bill Maher got fired because of something he said, some psycho-loon fascist tried to have a list of several hundred songs and bands banned from radio play. Productions had to go back in reshoot, reedit or completely retool ideas simply because of the way they put fictional characters in jeopardy and all that was just the beginning.

What’s followed is the most unique, contentious eight years in perhaps the history of our country. Eight years in which we entered into a war that neither side could ever win. Eight years in which the rifts and divides amongst political party lines has grown so wide and vehemently opposed to one another that it’s completely changed the way our government is run. Eight years in which America has had to face the cold hard truths of reality that the rest of the world has known for years.

As is always the case these changes in our society, in our American mindset have been reflected through every form of media and art one can possibly imagine. This one singular event set the course that the artistic community has been following and most likely will be following for the next decade or so at least. BATTLESTAR GALACTICA, 24, NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN, THERE WILL BE BLOOD, THE DARK KNIGHT, MUNICH, the Bourne series and the last two James Bond films, none of these classic would exist if it weren’t for the terrible events of that fateful day in September.

By the same turn as America has hit the bottom of the barrel and begun trying to claw it’s way back to the top we’ve been faced with no choice but destruction or optimism and hope, the later two emotions leading to current trends we’re seeing in the film industry. Films that are about fun. Films that are about dreams and striving to achieve greatness. Films like STAR TREK, UP and a whole slew of others that realize our only hope as a nation is to pull ourselves out of the quagmire of fear and pain that we’ve allowed our nation to spiral into.

Each of the above listed artistic endeavors and SO much more have mirrored the painful, ongoing and most likely never ending healing process that our nation has been going through over the past 8 years. For the most part there is not a single artist, a single creation that hasn’t been touched by that tragic day in some small way. Out of the terrible events of that day a nation’s resolve and the artistic community’s canvas were developed anew. Sadly such is the tragic way of history.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The Mighty Marty

I watched GoodFellas for the first time last night, and, as a result, have a bit of an observation about Martin Scorsese's work in general.
Is it possible that the man who's widely regarded as the world's greatest living director makes films that work as mental exercises but occasionally lack a beating heart? I've seen 6 of his films to date, and I've liked each of them. However, I haven't always felt an emotional connection to the characters on the screen. I wonder if this is something that is unique to me or if there are others who feel similarly.

I suppose that I need to qualify that observation. He's definitely got at least one film that I would consider a masterpiece. Raging Bull is an unqualified success on multiple levels, and, out of the Scorsese films that I've seen so far, is easily the best. There are reasons that this film is often considered in the discussion of the greatest movies ever made. I would not hesitate to consider this one of the greatest films of the 1980's, if not THE greatest.

It's important for me to get that out in the open. I don't want you to think that I'm at all dismissive of his work.

It's just that GoodFellas, while a good movie, doesn't really hit me on any real kind of gut level. Sure, there were moments where I was moved or felt that something in particular was fairly compelling, but, on the whole, it doesn't seem to add up to something particularly lasting. I marvel at those who say that GoodFellas is the cinema's greatest exploration of the mafia. I think that that honor belongs to The Godfather and The Godfather Part II. Case closed. No questions asked.

Here's the deal. Francis Ford Coppola and Martin Scorsese obviously have very different interpretations of the mafia. Coppola's interested in showing life as a gangster from the top down, and Scorsese's interested in it from the bottom up. That said, there are, by necessity, going to be stylistic and structural differences between the films made from these two perspectives. I think the edge easily goes to Coppola.

Here's an example. In both GoodFellas and The Godfather Part II, there's a scene in which the main character's wife reveals something to him that creates conflict and confusion. In Coppola's film, in that moment, the performances were pitch-perfect. The scene was pitch-perfect. My jaw literally dropped. My opinion of Diane Keaton's skill as an actress skyrocketed in an instant. In Scorsese's film, while I felt a certain level of sympathy for the characters, when the two of them are sitting on the floor crying, I couldn't help but feel that, in Lorraine Bracco, I was witnessing an actress try really hard to make me believe that she was broken up instead of embodying that emotion.

What's more, Coppola managed to make a piece of art out what was essentially a great pulp novel. He discovered depths to the material that made it seem almost Shakespearean in scope. On the other hand, Scorsese's film feels somewhat scatterbrained by comparison.

Here are a couple of things that distracted me from what GoodFellas seems to have been trying to do in painting a convincing portrait of the mafia. First off, the persistent narration seemed to be trying to keep me at arm's length, particularly during the first act. I was prepared to get into a real, honest-to-god MOVIE, but the voice-over seemed to be self-consciously reminding me that I was experiencing something constructed by a filmmaker. Recognizing what one is watching as artifice isn't necessarily bad, but, in this case, it was distracting. I wanted the narration to stop so that the narrative could actually start. Also, I found it odd that there were two narrators. I think the film would have been more tightly focused by only having one. The contrast seemed slightly jarring when it was first introduced.

Additionally, I didn't think that Ray Liotta was entirely convincing as the lead character. This might seem like a minor complaint, but whenever Henry Hill laughed, it always struck me as seeming fake in some way. It may only be a slight nuance, but, if you're going to have guy laugh all the time in a movie, it's important that he doesn't look like he's faking it. On the other hand, Robert De Niro was solid, as was Joe Pesci, but the focus was clearly on Liotta, and I don't think he was up to the challenge.

What's more, by the time the final act rolls around, there's a change in tone that doesn't come across naturally. It's essentially one giant set piece that describes a day in Henry Hill's life, all that he must accomplish, and how he's going to go about doing it. Apparently, Scorsese was trying to portray the distracted, intensified mindset of someone strung out on cocaine, but at this point in the movie, Henry'd been on coke for a while and he'd never acted quite like that before. Scorsese's apparent intention is all well and good, but the sequence seemed inconsistent with the rest of the film.

I don't want to seem dismissive of GoodFellas, because I liked and enjoyed it. Unfortunately, I just didn't see the great film that I've heard about for so long. I'll watch more of Scorsese's work and see if other films of his have the same effect or if this is a somewhat isolated incident.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Bond... Jane Bond.

Every so often you hear an idea so good you just can’t help but share it. Over the past few days I watched the last two BRILLIANT James Bond films CASINO ROYALE and QUANTUM OF SOLACE. At some point I will do an in-depth post as to why I think these are not only the two best James Bond films ever made but also one of if not THE single most brilliant franchise reboot in the history of cinema. That’s not the point of this article though.

In bumming around online tonight I came across an article in Empire magazine in which they made a suggestion that I found so staggeringly genius I couldn’t help but pass it on to the rest of my film geek brothers and sisters. Mind you this isn’t a rumor or speculation or something as far as I know is even being discussed, this is just a suggestion they made as to a direction the producers of the Bond franchise should head in.

For years there have been lots of interesting names rumored and suggested as directors for whatever the next Bond film coming down the pike might be. I think the one that got the most press for the longest time was when Quentin Tarantino announced he’d love to take a crack at 007 and every geek in the world went into fanboy overdrive and declared with unequivocal certainty that Tarantino was signed onto make a badass hard “R” Bond film the likes of which the world had never seen. Obviously that never happened and while that would have been interesting it’s probably best for the franchise that it didn’t.

More recently Danny Boyle’s name has been thrown about. Mind you he would be the first ever Oscar winning director to helm a Bond film but it makes sense. Boyle is British, Bond is British and Boyle has had a very eclectic, unique career. He’s never directed the same kind of film twice and he is the kind of Oscar winning director that would tackle everyone’s tuxedo sporting, martini swilling secret agent, simply because he wanted to and he’d think it was fun.

While I would be first in line if either of the above mentioned directors took a crack at Bond, I don’t think either of them could stir up as much excitement at the sheer idea of a certain director taking the reigns of the longest running franchise in film history. Empire threw the name out there; I don’t think it will ever happen but by God would I love it if it did and if you’ve seen this director’s last film I think you’ll understand agree. The name Empire threw out there was Kathryn Bigelow.

If you’ve seen THE HURT LOCKER (EASILY one of the best films of the year) you know why they’ve suggested her. No female has ever stepped behind the camera for a Bond film and I know some of you will argue they shouldn’t because well… it’s BOND, THE man of all men, I’m not sure if I can think of any other director in Hollywood (Save maybe J.J. Abrams or Jon Favreau) who would make a more kick-ass James Bond film than Bigelow. Like I said I highly doubt it will ever happen but with the last two films the Bond franchise has shown it’s once again not afraid to take risks or be cutting edge. One can only hope that they’ll continue the trend and I can’t think of anyone better to do it with.