Within the history of cinema is a history of some extraordinary artistic collaborations. Some of my favorite include Martin Scorsese/Robert De Niro (Director/Actor), David Lynch/Angelo Badalamenti (Director/Composer), and David Gordon Green/Tim Orr (Director/Cinematographer).
Usually, I try to keep away from discussing my contemporaries. I'm afraid jealousy, the competitive spirit, or something else altogether might cloud my judgment. David Gordon Green is actually a couple of years younger than me. But he's long been one of the younger directors that inspires and pushes me to try harder. He's a great case study, a guy that has made five features to date, starting with the $40,000 George Washington and most recently completing the Judd Apatow-produced Pineapple Express. He's remained an artist while breaking into Hollywood and has then given back to some of his friends to help their careers, too (serving as a producer on both Shotgun Stories and Great World of Sound).
For me, as he moves forward, his career will tell me, as much as anything, if it's still possible for a young filmmaker to make personal films in Hollywood.
What do I love about David Gordon Green? The images that he and Orr create are as earthy and lush as any team out there. Strong arguments for keeping film around a little longer. And the way they move the camera, steadily and fluidly, are nice alternatives to a medium that seems to be quickly moving towards more shaky, handheld aesthetics. I also think that, along with David Lynch and Michael Mann, Green has the best ear for sound and music of any American filmmaker.
Some find Green's films slow and frustrating. I simply think that they have great style and are as poetic as anything out there right now.
DAVID GORDON GREEN (in preferential order)
1. All the Real Girls
2. George Washington
3. Pineapple Express
4. Snow Angels
6. Physical Pinball (short)
7. Pleasant Grove (short)
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