“Of course, I’m an atheist” – artist/filmmaker Peter Greenaway
On another thread, FILMMAKERS WITH THE BIGGEST EGO someone made the unlikely claim that Peter Greenaway sees himself a God.
Yasujiro Ozu is also listed as having and oversized ego.
Personally, I prefer artists with oversized, far ranging egos – the bigger the better.
Can anyone name Filmmakers with tiny egos? Perhaps a top ten list?
John Ford, I guess.
Naruse. It’s why his cinema works.
Ford had an ego the size of a Sperm Whale. He was just a crusty old bastard who tried not to put on airs.
Naruse is probably a good choice. Everything I’ve read about him suggests someone who didn’t think highly of his own ideas or career.
How does one judge the ego of any given filmmaker?
“How does one judge the ego of any given filmmaker?”
Ego is a judgment, and thus meant to imply a negative connotation. Peabody brings it back around, this thread itself serves a good, “Fine, if big ego is a thing, then what is small ego?” A bit of tripping up the process so that we reconsider its usage.
Is a filmmaker egotistical because of his attitude, or the nature of his movies? Fincher’s movies come across as ‘egotistical’ in the pejorative sense, whereas from most accounts I’ve read the dude’s a sweetheart to most people he works with.
Also, why would we care ?
Harry Basil seems happy to just be making films, ditto Roger Corman or Kevin Smith
Ego is more about how you were raised and not how big yr talent is.
Malick seems very soft spoken and open to suggestion and Woody Allen is very judgmental of his work and willing to let actors say what they like instead of his words.
Kevin Smith can have an ego, but overall seems like a decent guy.
Greenaway doesn’t have an ego so much as a lack of respect for his own work. How anyone could find Ozu egotistical is beyond me.
Could you say Charlie Kaufman? I would say yes, but I suppose it is a bit of an ego issue to put yourself and your brother (i know) as the main characters. I suppose it couldn’t be because of how depressing a character he made himself. Regardless I’ve never seen or heard anything that made me think he is anything but a very weird, gifted writer.
I named Ozu in that other thread as a joke. For all he did and how controlling and exacting his method was, he seemed fairly humble (as did his films).
“For all he did and how controlling and exacting his method was, he seemed fairly humble (as did his films).”
Yeah, most of the filmmakers in Japan (and the U.S.) that began their careers in silent cinema, or at least pre-war, thought of cinema itself and their work in particular as a trifle.
Ozu probably though higher of himself and method than Mizoguchi, or Gosho, or Shimazu, Shimizu and Naruse, etc., but that would be because he was the only one of them that was actually intensely familiar with the history of cinema as an art form before he became a filmmaker and stayed knowledgeable for the entirety of his career. He was cinema’s first cinephile filmmaker.
But that brings in the question between the difference between confidence in method and egoism…
A bit of tripping up the process so that we reconsider its usage.
Apparently we are judging ego by personality.
Kevin Smith is a self promoter, but we like him; so, no ego?
One problem might be is separating the ‘personal’ from the work.
The work of Woody Allen and Charlie Kaufman seems to be personal, wouldn’t that suggest a larger ego there?
Corman’s influence makes him an interesting suggestion – he wrote: How I Made a Hundred Movies in Hollywood and Never Lost a Dime To be influential, wouldn’t that suggest a large ego?
ego is personality far as I am concerned
Smith promotes himself but often calls his work shit and knows his limitations.
most directors have to promote themselves in some fashion
also influence should not suggest ego, one can influence without wanting or meaning to.
kurosawa, wong kar-wai, araki, ang lee… oh wait, tiny EGO? nevermind…
Malick seems very soft spoken and open to suggestion
Malick went 20 years without making a film because he thought Hollywood was beneath him. He also had zero interest in making a film without stars and a big budget.
On the other hand, I programmed the first Austin 35mm screening of Days of Heaven in about 20 years, and Malick called afterwards because he was worried if the audience liked it.
Ego is not easily defined.
Raises an interesting question Jerry – Charles Laughton didn’t want to go through it again – does that mean not enough ego or an ego too large for the process?
if we are to believe Travolta
Malick left cinema because he could not cast him in Days of Heaven, not that Hollywood was beneath him but that he could not navigate it.
Alan Rudolph might be mentioned.
He gave up films because he hated the begging for money hustle, isn’t that lack of ego, believe yr films are not worth singing for yr supper
Robert, I think we should probably differentiate between personal ego and professional ego. Laughton was an old man when he directed his first film (by 1950s English standards). Maybe he was just tired.
Malick could have had a mid-sized Hollywood budget for the asking at anytime. As he proved with The Thin Red Line when he lined up $50 million and a phone book of Hollywood’s leading stars with final cut and no shooting script. Malick has had to do very little singing.
I was talking about Alan Rudolph
Malick left cinema because he could not cast him in Days of Heaven
Kind of proves my point- Malick threw a 20-year tantrum because he wasn’t allowed to cast the the biggest star in the world (at the time).
Oh, Rudolph- yes, he would have had to sinf.
I have no idea how he is on the set, but Soderbergh is by far the most ego-less director I’ve ever met in a personal setting. He was warm and friendly and humble with everybody.
Ford consistently made John Wayne break down and cry on set. That had to require a huge ego.
Neil Jordan doesn’t seem to be stuck up his own arse. Neither does Danny Boyle (but he may just be putting it on).
“Who ever heard of a film maker with a tiny Ego?”
“I don’t the fuck know!”
Two quotes from me mum.
“Malick threw a 20-year tantrum because he wasn’t allowed to cast the the biggest star in the world (at the time).”
And spent thousands moving a fucking tree for the perfect shot.