Age, Achievement and Creativity: European Vs. American Filmmakers (Young, Old, Middle-Aged?)

Seen from the perspective of mainstream Hollywood, the program that has defined the Festival de Cannes over the past few years must have appeared as the cinema of senior citizens. Indeed, up to 2002, the competition was typically composed of international filmmakers in advanced phase of their careers, well into the autumn of their lives.

For starters, the combined age of the three directors who made the strongest films in the 2001 edition of the festival was 235: Manoel de Oliveira, 92, Jacques Rivette, 73, and Jean-Luc Godard, 70. If Eric Rohmer’s “The Lady and the Duke” had been included, the collective age would have jumped to 316; Rohmer turned 81 in April 2001.

Other major directors, whose new work premiered in Cannes, included Chilean-born and Parisian-based Raul Ruiz, 60, whose “Savage Souls” was released by Paramount Classics. Also represented were Japan’s vet director, Shohei Imamura, 76, and Italian Ermanno Olmi, 69, both of whom have won the Palme d’Or for previous efforts.

What’s exciting about these directors is not only that they’re still alive and kicking–though, that’s an achievement, too–but that they have made their most mature, subtle, and poignant work.

This double achievement is an anomaly in Hollywood these days. With the notable exception of Robert Altman (still active at 79) and Sidney Lumet (less active at 80), it’s hard think of other elderly American filmmakers who still enjoy viable careers, let alone make vital pictures. What has happened to Sidney Lumet, Arthur Penn, Blake Edwards, all talented directors at the forefront of American cinema two decades ago, but now in severe decline–or out of work.

In a 1995 article in W magazine, titled, “Aging in Hollywood,” Oscar-winner actor Michael Douglas, then 50, was quoted saying: “I’m lucky still to be standing.” Following suit, Susan Sarandon, then 48, proudly stated that she was the “oldest sexual person onscreen.”

But it was Shelley Winters, then 72, who outdid them all by noting: “After 50, you may as well commit suicide in Hollywood!” It’s a known fact that agents lie about their actors-clients, and revise their resumes, even when they’re still in their 30s.

Hollywood’s obsession with youth has always been the bane of aging performers, particularly women. But over the past two decades, that shadow has fallen behind the camera as well, onto both directors and writers. Commercial American cinema has become extremely cruel to its aging practitioners, even the gifted and ambitious ones. In contrast, it’s no coincidence that the three aforementioned directors who excelled in Cannes are all European.

The enduring career of Portuguese Oliveira is one of the wonders of the modern film world. At 92, he still makes a film almost every year, a productivity level matched by only one American filmmaker, Woody Allen. Roughly the same age, Billy Wilder hasn’t made a film in decades; his last, “Buddy Buddy”, was in 1981.

In “Voyage to the Beginning of the World” (1996), Oliveira coaxed a touching autumnal performance from Marcello Mastroianni as a Portuguese director who revisits his childhood. In the new film, “I’m Going Home”, the eloquent French thesp Michel Piccoli, who many believed should have won the Cannes Festival’s acting prize, brings similar understatement and subtlety to his portrayal of Gilbert Valence, a dignified actor who has devoted his entire life to the theater. There are autobiographical elements in the story of an aging ethical actor, who sadly realizes that the world is slipping from his grasp.

A quick look at Cannes’ program of recent years shows that the only veteran American director to have been in competition over the past decade is Robert Altman, whose “Kansas City” was in the main line in 1996. Altman has had an erratic career, but he’s still working, every once in a while making an intriguing movie such as “The Player” or “Short Cuts” (1992 and 1993, respectively).

The American movie scene is extremely youthful, which is reflected in the impact of demographics on the box-office. Indeed, directors who’re past the age of 60 have hard time finding backing for their projects or even practicing their skills. Few professions are as cruel to their practitioners as the film industry.

This may explain why most of the publicity that George Cukor generated while directing what turned out to be his swan song, “Rich and Famous”, was the fact that he was the oldest, 82, studio director.

Similarly, a lot was written about John Huston’s age, when he made his last three pictures: “Under the Volcano” (1984), “Prizzi’s Honor” (1985), and “The Dead” (1987), which are among his very best.

The problems of mainstream American cinema go beyond allowing vet directors the sheer ability to work. Various institutional and demographic factors, some dictated by the marketplace, limit the kinds of films they’re given to direct. Indeed, unlike most American directors, who reach the peak of their creativity in the first decade of their careers, European directors continue to develop their skills and refine their singular visions up to their death.

Take Luis Bunuel, an innovative filmmaker who got better and sharper as he grew older, leaving at his death (at age 83) a rich body of films. Most of Bunuel’s films were made in exile, in Mexico and France, under less than optimal conditions, but he continued to make provocative satires that attacked the Church and middle-class morality with ferocity, irony, and humor.

In the last decade of his career, Bunuel’s biting criticism has mellowed, but he still spoke with a bold voice. “Tristana” (1970), the Oscar-winning “The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie” (1972), “The Phantom of Liberty” (1974), and “That Obscure Object of Desire” (1977), made at age 77, helped maintain his long-standing reputation for integrity and courageous candor.

The scholar Robin Wood has observed that visual style in American movies has become more assertive, but no more personal. For him, the average American movie is no less anonymous than it was during the studio system. Indeed, “The Day After Tomorrow”, “Van Helsing”, “Troy”, “I, Robot”, and even “Spider-Man,” all display aggressive style, but their directors are interchangeable, because their movies are impersonal products lacking distinctive vision.

This may be the most significant contrast between American and European cinema, which tends to be more personal and expressive. Take French filmmaker, Robert Bresson, who made great, personal films at old age. Bresson never made films casually: “L’Argent”, directed at the top of his idiosyncratic form, was only the 13th feature in a four-decade career. At 76, Bresson became one of the world’s oldest active directors and one of its most rigorous.

Perhaps the best example of a tenaciously creative director, who refuses to succumb age, is Italian master Michelangelo Antonioni. A stroke felled Antonioni in 1985, but instead of sinking into despair, he went back to work, reaffirming his motto, “To direct is to live.”

At 83, Antonioni showed his creativity in “Beyond the Clouds”, a film that flaunted a young glamorous cast and dealt with tangled sexual relationships. What made “Beyond the Clouds” notable was the fact that Antonioni directed it in the first place. When insurance companies refused to guarantee the project, the producers hired director Wim Wenders as a standby. But from the very first day, Antonioni was in full control, angry at any interference. It became a totally Antonioni film, reflecting his uncommon vision, detailed camera setups, unique sense of color, and distinctive frame composition.

Like Antonioni, Oliveira, Rivette, and Godard demonstrate in their new works that cinematic creativity defies age boundaries. Functioning as philosophers with a camera, they have uncompromisingly cultivated what has become a rare sight in Hollywood: A subtle yet entertaining cinema of ideas.

xosotin chelseathông tin chuyển nhượngcâu lạc bộ bóng đá arsenalbóng đá atalantabundesligacầu thủ haalandUEFAevertonxosokeonhacaiketquabongdalichthidau7m.newskqbdtysokeobongdabongdalufutebol ao vivofutemaxmulticanaisonbethttps://bsport.fithttps://onbet88.ooohttps://i9bet.bizhttps://hi88.ooohttps://okvip.athttps://f8bet.athttps://fb88.cashhttps://vn88.cashhttps://shbet.atbóng đá world cupbóng đá inter milantin juventusbenzemala ligaclb leicester cityMUman citymessi lionelsalahnapolineymarpsgronaldoserie atottenhamvalenciaAS ROMALeverkusenac milanmbappenapolinewcastleaston villaliverpoolfa cupreal madridpremier leagueAjaxbao bong da247EPLbarcelonabournemouthaff cupasean footballbên lề sân cỏbáo bóng đá mớibóng đá cúp thế giớitin bóng đá ViệtUEFAbáo bóng đá việt namHuyền thoại bóng đágiải ngoại hạng anhSeagametap chi bong da the gioitin bong da lutrận đấu hôm nayviệt nam bóng đátin nong bong daBóng đá nữthể thao 7m24h bóng đábóng đá hôm naythe thao ngoai hang anhtin nhanh bóng đáphòng thay đồ bóng đábóng đá phủikèo nhà cái onbetbóng đá lu 2thông tin phòng thay đồthe thao vuaapp đánh lô đềdudoanxosoxổ số giải đặc biệthôm nay xổ sốkèo đẹp hôm nayketquaxosokq xskqxsmnsoi cầu ba miềnsoi cau thong kesxkt hôm naythế giới xổ sốxổ số 24hxo.soxoso3mienxo so ba mienxoso dac bietxosodientoanxổ số dự đoánvé số chiều xổxoso ket quaxosokienthietxoso kq hôm nayxoso ktxổ số megaxổ số mới nhất hôm nayxoso truc tiepxoso ViệtSX3MIENxs dự đoánxs mien bac hom nayxs miên namxsmientrungxsmn thu 7con số may mắn hôm nayKQXS 3 miền Bắc Trung Nam Nhanhdự đoán xổ số 3 miềndò vé sốdu doan xo so hom nayket qua xo xoket qua xo so.vntrúng thưởng xo sokq xoso trực tiếpket qua xskqxs 247số miền nams0x0 mienbacxosobamien hôm naysố đẹp hôm naysố đẹp trực tuyếnnuôi số đẹpxo so hom quaxoso ketquaxstruc tiep hom nayxổ số kiến thiết trực tiếpxổ số kq hôm nayso xo kq trực tuyenkết quả xổ số miền bắc trực tiếpxo so miền namxổ số miền nam trực tiếptrực tiếp xổ số hôm nayket wa xsKQ XOSOxoso onlinexo so truc tiep hom nayxsttso mien bac trong ngàyKQXS3Msố so mien bacdu doan xo so onlinedu doan cau loxổ số kenokqxs vnKQXOSOKQXS hôm naytrực tiếp kết quả xổ số ba miềncap lo dep nhat hom naysoi cầu chuẩn hôm nayso ket qua xo soXem kết quả xổ số nhanh nhấtSX3MIENXSMB chủ nhậtKQXSMNkết quả mở giải trực tuyếnGiờ vàng chốt số OnlineĐánh Đề Con Gìdò số miền namdò vé số hôm nayso mo so debach thủ lô đẹp nhất hôm naycầu đề hôm naykết quả xổ số kiến thiết toàn quốccau dep 88xsmb rong bach kimket qua xs 2023dự đoán xổ số hàng ngàyBạch thủ đề miền BắcSoi Cầu MB thần tàisoi cau vip 247soi cầu tốtsoi cầu miễn phísoi cau mb vipxsmb hom nayxs vietlottxsmn hôm naycầu lô đẹpthống kê lô kép xổ số miền Bắcquay thử xsmnxổ số thần tàiQuay thử XSMTxổ số chiều nayxo so mien nam hom nayweb đánh lô đề trực tuyến uy tínKQXS hôm nayxsmb ngày hôm nayXSMT chủ nhậtxổ số Power 6/55KQXS A trúng roycao thủ chốt sốbảng xổ số đặc biệtsoi cầu 247 vipsoi cầu wap 666Soi cầu miễn phí 888 VIPSoi Cau Chuan MBđộc thủ desố miền bắcthần tài cho sốKết quả xổ số thần tàiXem trực tiếp xổ sốXIN SỐ THẦN TÀI THỔ ĐỊACầu lô số đẹplô đẹp vip 24hsoi cầu miễn phí 888xổ số kiến thiết chiều nayXSMN thứ 7 hàng tuầnKết quả Xổ số Hồ Chí Minhnhà cái xổ số Việt NamXổ Số Đại PhátXổ số mới nhất Hôm Nayso xo mb hom nayxxmb88quay thu mbXo so Minh ChinhXS Minh Ngọc trực tiếp hôm nayXSMN 88XSTDxs than taixổ số UY TIN NHẤTxs vietlott 88SOI CẦU SIÊU CHUẨNSoiCauVietlô đẹp hôm nay vipket qua so xo hom naykqxsmb 30 ngàydự đoán xổ số 3 miềnSoi cầu 3 càng chuẩn xácbạch thủ lônuoi lo chuanbắt lô chuẩn theo ngàykq xo-solô 3 càngnuôi lô đề siêu vipcầu Lô Xiên XSMBđề về bao nhiêuSoi cầu x3xổ số kiến thiết ngày hôm nayquay thử xsmttruc tiep kết quả sxmntrực tiếp miền bắckết quả xổ số chấm vnbảng xs đặc biệt năm 2023soi cau xsmbxổ số hà nội hôm naysxmtxsmt hôm nayxs truc tiep mbketqua xo so onlinekqxs onlinexo số hôm nayXS3MTin xs hôm nayxsmn thu2XSMN hom nayxổ số miền bắc trực tiếp hôm naySO XOxsmbsxmn hôm nay188betlink188 xo sosoi cầu vip 88lô tô việtsoi lô việtXS247xs ba miềnchốt lô đẹp nhất hôm naychốt số xsmbCHƠI LÔ TÔsoi cau mn hom naychốt lô chuẩndu doan sxmtdự đoán xổ số onlinerồng bạch kim chốt 3 càng miễn phí hôm naythống kê lô gan miền bắcdàn đề lôCầu Kèo Đặc Biệtchốt cầu may mắnkết quả xổ số miền bắc hômSoi cầu vàng 777thẻ bài onlinedu doan mn 888soi cầu miền nam vipsoi cầu mt vipdàn de hôm nay7 cao thủ chốt sốsoi cau mien phi 7777 cao thủ chốt số nức tiếng3 càng miền bắcrồng bạch kim 777dàn de bất bạion newsddxsmn188betw88w88789bettf88sin88suvipsunwintf88five8812betsv88vn88Top 10 nhà cái uy tínsky88iwinlucky88nhacaisin88oxbetm88vn88w88789betiwinf8betrio66rio66lucky88oxbetvn88188bet789betMay-88five88one88sin88bk88xbetoxbetMU88188BETSV88RIO66ONBET88188betM88M88SV88Jun-68Jun-88one88iwinv9betw388OXBETw388w388onbetonbetonbetonbet88onbet88onbet88onbet88onbetonbetonbetonbetqh88mu88Nhà cái uy tínpog79vp777vp777vipbetvipbetuk88uk88typhu88typhu88tk88tk88sm66sm66me88me888live8live8livesm66me88win798livesm66me88win79pog79pog79vp777vp777uk88uk88tk88tk88luck8luck8kingbet86kingbet86k188k188hr99hr99123b8xbetvnvipbetsv66zbettaisunwin-vntyphu88vn138vwinvwinvi68ee881xbetrio66zbetvn138i9betvipfi88clubcf68onbet88ee88typhu88onbetonbetkhuyenmai12bet-moblie12betmoblietaimienphi247vi68clupcf68clupvipbeti9betqh88onb123onbefsoi cầunổ hũbắn cáđá gàđá gàgame bàicasinosoi cầuxóc đĩagame bàigiải mã giấc mơbầu cuaslot gamecasinonổ hủdàn đềBắn cácasinodàn đềnổ hũtài xỉuslot gamecasinobắn cáđá gàgame bàithể thaogame bàisoi cầukqsssoi cầucờ tướngbắn cágame bàixóc đĩa开云体育开云体育开云体育乐鱼体育乐鱼体育乐鱼体育亚新体育亚新体育亚新体育爱游戏爱游戏爱游戏华体会华体会华体会IM体育IM体育沙巴体育沙巴体育PM体育PM体育AG尊龙AG尊龙AG尊龙AG百家乐AG百家乐AG百家乐AG真人AG真人<AG真人<皇冠体育皇冠体育PG电子PG电子万博体育万博体育KOK体育KOK体育欧宝体育江南体育江南体育江南体育半岛体育半岛体育半岛体育凯发娱乐凯发娱乐杏彩体育杏彩体育杏彩体育FB体育PM真人PM真人<米乐娱乐米乐娱乐天博体育天博体育开元棋牌开元棋牌j9九游会j9九游会开云体育AG百家乐AG百家乐AG真人AG真人爱游戏华体会华体会im体育kok体育开云体育开云体育开云体育乐鱼体育乐鱼体育欧宝体育ob体育亚博体育亚博体育亚博体育亚博体育亚博体育亚博体育开云体育开云体育棋牌棋牌沙巴体育买球平台新葡京娱乐开云体育mu88qh88
Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter