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PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2007 7:55 pm 
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Hi guys. I'm new here, so I thought I'd find an excuse to make a second post. :) I remember reading that Kurosawa's Dreams is one of Kazu's inspirations for his work. How bout the rest of you? What movies have an influence on your work or your life?

Reasons for them are optional.

1. Seven Samurai
2. Yojimbo - these two because Kurosawa is a hero of mine and it portrays characters who strive to do the right thing.
3. Chungking Express - it tells you can survive a broken heart
4. Rain Man - that a man can change for the better
5. Before Night Falls - emphasizes the power of creating
6. Waking Life - inspires deep thinking and shows some cool trippy animation.
7. Twilight Samurai
8. Tokyo Story - these two because they show the importance of family
9. Cafe Lumiere - because they show people who turn to art to curb their loneliness...I can relate
10. The Sweet Hereafter - because it shows that life is precious

These are sincere reasons, but I apologize for the corny presentation. Oy. :P

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2007 9:14 pm 
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I think all the films I watch color my work one way or another, because I love cinema so much. Here is a list of films, however, that immediately come to mind...

- Akira Kurosawa's Dreams - it's like watching an art gallery exhibit on the screen, and my reading of the film changes as I grow older. Another film that does this for me is 2001: A Space Odyssey.

- The Lord of the Rings Trilogy - I probably think about these films more than any others for pretty much all aspects of quality filmmaking and storytelling.

- Forrest Gump - This film is pretty much perfect. So is Who Framed Roger Rabbit. I hope Zemeckis eventually returns to live-action filmmaking, because he's one of the very best live-action directors working today.

- Jaws - awe-inspiring storytelling with a real grit to it. And on the subject of Spielberg, E.T. amazes me every time I see it. I think these two films are Spielberg's best, but I love pretty much everything he directs.

- Mission to Mars - A terrible film that has a good soul; an unintentional tragic comedy. It's one of the films that reminds me that even seasoned storytellers are only human. And it cracks me up. Plus, it has a beautiful score by Ennio Morricone. Man, just thinking of this film makes me smile.

- Seven Samurai - During High School, a bunch of my brother's friends (none of them are film buffs) were staying over at our place before we all headed out to go snowboarding the next morning, and we LOVED to go snowboarding. They noticed I had rented Seven Samurai (I was on a Kurosawa binge), and out of boredom, they asked me to pop the first tape in the VCR. I warned them that it's over 3 hours long and that it's a black and white film from the fifties. They said we should just watch the beginning of it. By the time the Intermission sign came up at the end of the first tape, everyone was so hooked that we canceled the snowboarding trip and watched the rest of the awesome film. I am so grateful for films that can bridge my love of cinema and my love of family and friends.

- Laputa: Castle in the Sky - probably my single biggest source of inspiration for the work that I do these days. It's definitely not Miyazaki's strongest work, but I can watch it again and again and again, and I do. All the time. The film has a sense of wonder and excitement that's so difficult to find in anything these days. It's perfect for leaving on in the background while drawing.

- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban - Alfonso Cuaron's fantasy masterpiece. It helps that the source material is strong, but Cuaron really injected some much-needed life into this franchise by creating what I think is the most well-crafted standalone fantasy feature film. I've seen this film so many times. It's a great example of creating a world with visuals and very little exposition.

- Children of Men - Another Cuaron-directed film, the best I've seen in a long time, and one of the very few in recent years that I think will stand the test of time. It is both immensely generous and technically brilliant. Another example of efficient world building. The story moves along at a rapid pace and exposition is kept to a minimum.

- Finding Nemo - I'm a sucker for good father-son dramas, but I think this is my favorite by far (I also love seeing marine life on screen). It has such a great understanding of the parent-child relationship, it makes me glow with warmth every time I see it. The Thomas Newman score is also magical. I listen to it on a loop when I work.

Man, I can do this all night, but I'm realizing I have work to do. Nice thread, though! I may add to it later, since there are just so many films to talk about! :D

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2007 9:09 am 
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Quote:
I warned them that it's over 3 hours long and that it's a black and white film from the fifties. They said we should just watch the beginning of it. By the time the Intermission sign came up at the end of the first tape, everyone was so hooked that we canceled the snowboarding trip and watched the rest of the awesome film.


?!?!??!?!?!?!?

Dude, thats friggin' awesome. Samurai film over snowboarding. Hah!

My friend and I caught Seven Samurai on the big screen about a month ago. It was glorious.

I should watch Dreams again. Hopefully Criterion will re-release it one of these days. Lemme ask you......did that short film of the soldier ghosts in the tunnel come to mind when you were doing "The Iron Gate"?

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2007 2:56 pm 
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10 films huh?.. in no order, these are movies that I have watched/can watch over and over and over... my "go to" films... I bet I am forgetting something cool too...

10. Seven Samurai- just great. On the big screen, its even more incredible

9. League of Their Own- I love baseball, and this is tops

8. Royal Tenenbaums- perfect and quirky

7. Forrest Gump- perfect and touching

6. LOTR- epic... just epic

5. The Natural- Saw this for the first time two months ago... I have now seen it at least 10 times...

4. Toy Story 1&2- Toy Story 2 when Woody is falling outta the airplane, arm is coming undone, his hat flies off... Buzz's hand comes onscreen, cut to Buzz riding Bullseye and says "Whats a cowboy without his hat?!" Woody says "Buzz!"... get me every time.

3. The Wild Bunch- Great blood bath western. So amazing to see on the big screen.

2. Bull Durham- One of the best baseball films out there. Kevin Costner, Tim Robbins, Susan Sarandon at their best...

1. Field of Dreams- Costner again? On a "best of" list? Yeah well, he made two really good baseball flicks back-to-back... The final scene with father and son playing catch makes me cry.

Honorable mention--

Transformers Animated Movie- Changed my life when I was a kid, I have to give it props. I dont like watching it as much as I like thinking about it. Optimus kicking ass, and then dying... Ultra Magnus trying to open the matrix and getting smoked! All my childhood heroes died! ...man o man... changed me.

Apologies to Star Wars 4-6, The Indiana Jones Trilogy, Back to the Future, and almost all other Pixar films.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2007 3:16 pm 
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LetsMeetUpInParadise240 wrote:
I should watch Dreams again. Hopefully Criterion will re-release it one of these days. Lemme ask you......did that short film of the soldier ghosts in the tunnel come to mind when you were doing "The Iron Gate"?


Actually, no. But thinking back on the film, I can see the parallels. You see? That film is such a huge influence on my work when I don't even know it!

The short story was more inspired by the later works of Will Eisner, especially his book, To the Heart of the Storm. I also thought of Miyazaki's tank stories and even the film adaptation of Philip K. Dick's short story "The Second Variety". The film was called Screamers, and I thought it did a better job of capturing Philip K. Dick's thoughts on fear and paranoia (his bread and butter) than Blade Runner did, though Blade Runner is a more beautiful film.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2007 3:29 pm 
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I love Blade Runner. Though I don't know how I feel about that new director's cut that's supposed to come out later.

Quote:
3. The Wild Bunch- Great blood bath western. So amazing to see on the big screen.


I'm really mixed on Peckenpah. I've seen Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid and the Wild Bunch, and I think they're both great films, and I've heard a lot of great things about Straw Dogs and Alfredo Garcia. But they can be down right brutal and misogynistic. Wild Bunch had a lot of great moments, but some of the characters really bothered me.

That last gunfight battle was operatic though, wouldn't you agree? :D

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2007 8:18 pm 
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Ok here's my list.

10. Jaws - This movie is my favorite of all time. It so completely captures to me good storytelling, scares, comedy moments and adventure. Simply awesome. So much so that when you see that shark you don't care that it look ridiculous, you're just sure you never want to in the water again.

9. Unbreakable - This one has had a more profound impact on me and my thoughts on life than just about anything. It also is one of the best directed films I think ever to grace our eyes.

8. Signs - Much of the same reasoning as Jaws, only with a more centralized character conflict that has heart.

7. The Village - The last one in my M. Night romp. This film terrifies me because it is the reality of humanity in that we believe the evil is "out there" when really it's in all of us.

6. Rear Window- In my opinion Hitchcock's best. He shows us what a great storyteller can do with minimal production. Not to mention its just great fun to watch.

5. Strangers on a Train- This one has one of the best plot devices ever: Swapping murders. It makes me think of all the crazy things that can work if just guided correctly.

4.The Empire Strikes Back- No film is so distinctly different yet so amazingly nostalgic as this 5th part of the Star Wars saga.

3. Pan's Labyrinth- This is such an amazing blend of fantasy and reality, character and action.

2. Ikiru- My favorite Kurosawa so far.

1.The Lord of the Rings- Actually the special features on the extended cuts inspire me the most. I've watched all of them more times than I can count. Weta is just amazing. This one encourages me to get off my butt and work.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2007 9:06 am 
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LetsMeetUpInParadise240 wrote:
I love Blade Runner. Though I don't know how I feel about that new director's cut that's supposed to come out later.

Quote:
3. The Wild Bunch- Great blood bath western. So amazing to see on the big screen.


I'm really mixed on Peckenpah. I've seen Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid and the Wild Bunch, and I think they're both great films, and I've heard a lot of great things about Straw Dogs and Alfredo Garcia. But they can be down right brutal and misogynistic. Wild Bunch had a lot of great moments, but some of the characters really bothered me.

That last gunfight battle was operatic though, wouldn't you agree? :D


Peckinpah is hit and miss with me. Wild Bunch I really think is good; while, Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid, and Junior Bonner were movies I enjoyed, they were watchable...

Straw Dogs was ROUGH, I had to fast forward alot of it, its a rough movie... the Getaway was boring if I remember... his movies are misogynistic and hyper violent, for me, thats tough to sit through and enjoy.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2007 3:40 pm 
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I kept thinking about which ten movies to post but I really couldn't come up with a list I felt totally satisfied with. There's so many movies that I love and affected me in various ways. Often, whatever good movie I see last influences me until I stop thinking about it. And there are movies that I love simply because they have experiences I could never have or utilize in my own life. And work influence wise, sometimes I'll just be influenced by style or other little bits that have nothing to do with the essence of the movie itself.

But, here's a few movies that probably inspired the way I think of my life.
- Ikiru - Live to give.
- Red Beard - Be humble. Love, kindness, patience can heal any wound.
- Kiki's Delivery Service - "We each need to find our own inspiration, Kiki. Sometimes it's not easy."
- Supersize Me - Overindulgence in junk food is bad for you. Eat healthy.
- Forrest Gump - Life is like a box of chocolates. If you're lucky, even an idiot can accomplish great things.
- A Better Tomorrow - "Brotherhood and ethics do not seem to exist in our world anymore."
- Pumping Iron - I wish I was as buff as Ah-rnuld.
- Rocky - The world's most inspirational bum is a LOSER!
- The Warriors - Camp can be cool, suckas. Can you dig it?
- Bruce Lee: the Man, the Myth - Chinese Gung Fu is superior to Japanese Karate. Bruce Lee will return in 1983!!

Could list more but I think that's enough.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2007 4:07 pm 
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Secret of Nihm: A noble mother seeks help for her kids and has to face her own fears through many trials. Love the art of this movie!
Goonies: Again a silly thrill ride but with a deeper reason for a quest. What kid hasn't wanted to help out the family in their own goofy way.
Labyrinth: ...Dance magic Dance...jeez, how can anyone not be impressed by this movie!
Stand by Me: Coming of age at its best, I'm not surehow much I consiously take from it, but deep in the back there somewhere ...
Star Wars: these movies deeply impressed upon me a deep and full love for the battle between good and evil. it condenses about 20 years of cinema and television ( serials) into an action packed trill ride.
Lord Of the Rings ( Peter Jackson): Epic in everyway. Another aspect I want for my stories.
Hobbit: God i love this movie, the songs i could live without. but the character designs are terrific.
My Sassy Girl: a great story of hating and loving someone at the same time. The romance side of it's not yet something I've broached, but soon...soon.
Abbot and Costello Meet Frankenstien: Oldy but a goody. Madcapped and full of 'normal' people interacting with the supernatural
Muppets from Space: the crazy interaction bleeds into my life/work everytime i watch that. The Henson crew are the only people i know that can keep a wacked out ensemble cast that funny and well timed.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2007 5:18 pm 
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Rear Window - Hitchcock's best, most visually interesting film. The story is told in visuals like no other film I've seen. A strong reminder of the "show, don't tell" axiom.

Star Wars - World building at its best and a great example of using familiar archetypes in new ways. It also has a wonderful MacGuffin that propels the plot forward like no of the other film in the series.

Kiki's Delivery Service - A great reminder that story and character are often one and the same.

Raiders of the Lost Ark - The same thing that applies to Kiki applies here. I also think of this film every time I think about how important a great ending is to a story.

A Fish Called Wanda - A reminder of the importance of memorable characters.

The English Patient - Sublime non-linear storytelling and also an example of the power of sound in storytelling.

Casablanca - Simply a great story, wonderfully told. I'm about to re-watch it for the umpteenth time on HD DVD to recharge my storytelling batteries.

The Shawshank Redemption - An example of powerful, effective narration.

When Harry Met Sally . . . - Great dialogue, great characters and a unique use of a framing device to move the story forward through time.

The Godfather - A great film, but noteworthy for the use of unique lighting schemes to enhance the drama. I love creating different lighting in my comics to supply mood and character to the "sets".

-Otis

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2007 5:21 pm 
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It's good to see so many Kurosawa fans here. Can't create a story or a piece of art without thinking about one of his movies, can you? Well....as far as I'm concerned anyways....

Red Beard is collecting dust on my shelf. Think I'll be watching it tonight. :D

Whereas two other movies are concerned....I can't believe I forgot about A Better Tomorrow! Yeah, I've been in a little bit of a John Woo kick, watching The Killer on VHS and now I'm eagerly awaiting the new Hard Boiled DVD.

And Secret of the Nihm.....y'know I saw the first ten minutes of it when I had the Disney Channel a looooong time ago. I remember being intrigued by it, but the power went out and I never saw it again....I'll have to rent it one of these days.

Quote:
Peckinpah is hit and miss with me. Wild Bunch I really think is good; while, Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid, and Junior Bonner were movies I enjoyed, they were watchable...

Straw Dogs was ROUGH, I had to fast forward alot of it, its a rough movie... the Getaway was boring if I remember... his movies are misogynistic and hyper violent, for me, thats tough to sit through and enjoy.


Y'know, I kind of feel the same about Sergio Leone. I love the Good the Bad and the Ugly as well as Once Upon a Time in the West. But Once Upon a Time in America is where I sort of drew the line. There were a couple scenes in there which were really hard to watch (if you've seen it you'll know what I mean). It's a great film, but those moments keep me from wanting to buy the DVD.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2007 6:10 pm 
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The Secret of N.I.M.H. still holds up very well. I saw it again a few months ago and I really enjoyed it. It's definitely my favorite Don Bluth film.

Peckinpah is also a director I have a hard time with. I do like The Wild Bunch, but Straw Dogs is a film I can do without ever seeing again. I'm also with you on Once Upon a Time in America. Stylistically, it's cool, but I can't stand the characters in that film. Once Upon a Time in the West was walking a similar tightrope, but I think having Jason Robards in it helped tremendously. As works of visual inspiration, however, I do think about that film time and again.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2007 6:47 pm 
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I first discovered Kurosawa in High School through 'Ran' and it's still my fav. It's a bit special because it's one of the few Kurosawa works showcasing his sense of color, but unlike the others it's EPIC!!!

And just this doesn't turn into a Kurosawa lovefest, I'm also a Wong Kar Wai fan. At one point, my friends were turning me onto Hong Kong and Asian Cinema, but I couldn't find anything I really dug until I found 'In the Mood for Love' - incredible cinematography.

I find it so rare to come across a film I'm really into lately, but the two films that really surprised me from last(?) year were 'Babel' and 'Little Miss Sunshine.'

m.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2007 7:35 pm 
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I liked Red Beard so much, I wanted to dye my beard red. But then I found out that hair dyes costs too much.

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