Movie Trivia #6: 30 Harshest Filmmaker-On-Filmmaker Insults

Around a year ago, Flavorwire posted an entertaining and eye-opening list of insults made by famous directors against the work of their peers. While this may be old news to some of you, I’m posting it here because I think it’s a brilliant reminder of the imperfection of even those filmmakers considered to be among the greatest.

Steven Spielberg

Above all, what the post really highlights for me is that the quality of a film, and the talent of a director, is all based entirely on perspective. Which is very reassuring, since it can seem such a daunting task to aspire to the heights of such idolised directors; this list brings them back to Earth and reminds us that they are in fact, a part of the same human race as we are.

Here’s a few of my favourite insults:

6. Werner Herzog on Jean-Luc Godard:
“Someone like Jean-Luc Godard is for me intellectual counterfeit money when compared to a good kung-fu film.”

15. Jacques Rivette on James Cameron (and Steven Spielberg):
“Cameron isn’t evil, he’s not an asshole like Spielberg. He wants to be the new De Mille. Unfortunately, he can’t direct his way out of a paper bag. “

18. Tim Burton on Kevin Smith (after Smith jokingly accused Burton of stealing the ending of Planet of the Apes from a Smith comic book):
“Anyone who knows me knows I would never read a comic book. And I would especially never read anything created by Kevin Smith.”

19. Kevin Smith on Tim Burton (in response to “I would never read a comic book”):
“Which, to me, explains fucking Batman.”

For the full list, head on over to Flavorwire.

Comments
2 Responses to “Movie Trivia #6: 30 Harshest Filmmaker-On-Filmmaker Insults”
  1. Nancy says:

    Hey Alex, I’ve recently become interested in film theory, and other material similar to topics covered on your blog. I was wondering if maybe you could recommend any books about basic elements of film.

    I really enjoy reading your blog :)
    Nancy

    • Hi Nancy,
      Thanks very much for the comment.

      For a general overview of studying films in a theoretical context, I would recommend either ‘How To Read A Film‘ by James Monaco or ‘Film Art: An Introduction‘ by David Bordwell and Kristin Thompson, which is frequently the top of the reading list for UK film schools (and probably worldwide to some extent). Both are quite heavy thick books and I’ve read neither cover to cover, but they do contain a useful overview of what goes into filmmaking and are handy resources to keep around for reference.

      For a more practical overview about the specific techniques used in filmmaking, a good start is something like ‘Cinematic Storytelling‘ by Jennifer Van Sijll. ‘The Filmmaker’s Eye‘ by Gustavo Mercado is also great, and goes through camera angles and shot types along with how they impact upon the audience. Michael Weise Books publishes a great range of books giving an overview of filmmaking, usually in a, unconventional long rectangular shape.

      Finally if you want an insight into a specific craft such as directing, editing, costume design or cinematography the ‘FilmCraft‘ series published by Ilex is a great start, containing some great interviews with industry professionals both ‘mainstream’ and otherwise. I’m reading ‘FilmCraft: Directing’ by Mike Goodridge at the moment and finding it a very enjoyable read.
      Of course you may not want to read all of these books, but I hope that gives you a good starting point and if you have any more questions I’d be happy to help!

      Alex.

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