In 1992, after almost forty years in the business, Clint Eastwood finally received Oscar recognition. Unforgiven brought him the awards for Best Achievement in Directing and for Best Picture, along with a nomination for Best Actor. Indeed, this strikingly powerful Western was nominated for no less than nine Academy Awards, Gene Hackman collecting Best Supporting Actor for his performance as the movie''s ruthless marshall, ?Little Bill? Daggett, and Joel Cox taking the Oscar for editing.
An ancient Chinese encyclopedia, according to Borges, divides animals into ?(a) those that belong to the Emperor, (b) embalmed ones, (c) those that are trained, (d) suckling pigs, (e) mermaids, (0 fabulous ones, (g) stray dogs, (h) those that are included in this classification, (i) those that tremble as if they are mad, (j) innumerable ones, (k) those drawn with a very fine camel's hair brush, (1) others, (m) those that have just broken a flower vase, (n) those that resemble flies from a distance.? One is tempted to add, (o) those featured in Peter Greenaway's films.
There is a trajectory that emerges from the shape of David Lean's career, and it is a misleading one. Lean first achieved fame as a director of seemingly intimate films, closely based on plays of Noel Coward. His first directorial credit was shared with Coward, for In Which We Serve. In the 1960s he was responsible for extraordinarily ambitious projects, for an epic cinema of grandiose effects, difficult location shooting, and high cultural, even literary, pretention. But, in fact, Lean's essential approach to the movies never changed.
Between the years 1942 and 1957, English director Michael Powell and his Hungarian partner, Emeric Pressburger, formed one of the most remarkable partnerships in cinema. Under the collaborative pseudonym ?The Archers,? the two created a series of highly visual and imaginative treatments of romantic and supernatural themes that have defied easy categorization by film historians.
References to Orson Welles as one of America's most influential directors and Citizen Kane as one of the great American films have become a simplistic way to encapsulate Welles's unique contribution to cinema. It is a contribution which seems obvious but is difficult to adequately summarize without examining his complex career.