Distinct Voices in Film

My last post about Vicky Christina Barcelona created some conversation about writer/directors who have distinct voices in film. My friend Sari came up with the Sorkin analogy to Woody Allen and it got me thinking about who else there is. Here’s what i came up with:

Quentin, Robert Altman, and Kevin Smith
  • Robert Altman. Talk about a distinct tone. Overlapping conversation everywhere. Sometimes it’s awesome (Mash, The Player, Gosford Park), sometimes it just sucks (Dr. T and the Women) and sometimes it doesn’t one way or another and it just is (Nashville).
  • Kevin Smith. His movies all have the fast talking, pop culture, sexual references. Mallrats and Clerks could have been the same movie. It’s fitting that his last movie was just a continuation of his first (Clerks and Clerks 2) because they are all basically the same. That said, Chasing Amy wasn’t fairly normal.
  • Quentin Tarantino. He’s the most like Woody Allen to me because he likes to have people talk like him in his movies. He also likes to have people talk like a total badass (Samuel in Pulp Fiction and Uma in Kill Bill) which i completely appreciate. I do love how he uses dialogue instead of action in his movies. I mean Kill Bill’s final scene – a samarui movie – was not a long sword fight but rather a convesation between Uma and Bill. Only Quentin could pull that off. Very cool
  • Who am i missing?

Now whether it’s a good thing to be able to identify a writer by watching a film is another whole post. Sometimes i love it (Tarantino) but sometimes i wish they would just write a story without needing to feed their ego.

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