Sunday, December 23, 2007

Rising Film Directors

Pulling this right from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia a director is a person who directs the making of a film.[1] A film director visualizes the script, controlling a film's artistic and dramatic aspects, while guiding the technical crew and actors in the fulfillment of their vision. However, film directors do not in all countries have absolute artistic control. The director can also be selected by the producer. The producer can in this case have veto power over everything from the script itself to the final cut of the film, often in anywhere from slight to extreme opposition to the director's vision.

Some of the best known current directors are Martin Scorsese, Joel and Ethan Coen, Quentin Tarantino, Robert Rodriguez, Steven Spielberg, Craig Brewer, John Singleton, Spike Lee, and Francis Ford Coppola . All of their films have impacted popular culture in a major way. They are filmmaking icons that many aspiring film directors respect and admire for their work. This article is not going to focus on these celebrated directors. Their work, success and awards speak for themselves. Instead I want to introduce some fresh new film directors that are hitting the scene with brash films that are really entertaining.

Director Michael D. Olmos gave viewers one hell of joy ride in his thriller-crime drama "Splinter" starring Tom Sizemore, Edward James Olmos, and Noel Gugliemi. The plot summary off IMDB.COM reads like this, On the mean streets of LA, two gangsters - - Dreamer (Almeida) and Dusty (Noel G.) - - unite over the mysterious murder of their brother. Dreamer, with the bullet that killed his brother still lodged in his skull, is desperately seeking revenge when he crosses paths with Detective Gramm (Atis), a confident rookie cop partnered with corrupt veteran Cunningham (Sizemore). Amidst a rising body count and the threat of an all-out gang war, the four characters lock themselves in a brutal end-game as they discover who among them is creating the brutal chaos. What made this film stand out was the way Michael D. Olmos was able to use dynamic camera angles to really capture the moment. The flashback scenes had this gritty look that gave the scenes more impact. It almost had that "Saw" type feel that was sinister. I was impressed with this film. Michael D. Olmos has a style that is only going to get better with each film he puts out.

Director Sid Kali delivers a powerful and gritty urban drama titled "Consignment", which is also his directorial debut. I rented this film at Blockbuster and loved it. Based on true events, Consignment is about Tommy Jones, a reluctant East Coast drug dealer on the run with his wife, Yolanda, after a rival kingpin's plan to have him ripped-off and murdered goes wrong. In need of fast cash to go straight, the pair head to Southern California, where Tommy hooks up with his cousin, a reckless, hot-tempered drug dealer. Tommy quickly gets in over his head, and is forced to take a large shipment of crystal meth on consignment from a ruthless Latino gangster. Double-crosses, a series of brutal murders, and an old secret from his wife's past foils Tommy's plans for a new start at life. Sid Kali delivers an authentic fast-paced urban action film that erupts into 14 on screen murders. While "Consignment" is heavy on action, drug dealing, and nudity it does have a deeper under current that runs through the film. That's brought out by the way the camera always seems to be in the right place at the right time to capture the human emotion on an actors face when they are dealing with harsh situations including drug use, murder and rape. He expanded the urban genre beyond what I expected in "Consignment". I really feel Sid Kali is a director to keep your eye on. His second film "In With Thieves" is supposed to be coming out early February.

Director H.M. Coakley gives horror film fans a whole new look with "Holla". It is the first black horror film independently produced and directed by African-Americans to be acquired and distributed by a major distributor like Lionsgate. That shows he is a director on the move. "Holla" Tells the story of a TV star who is stranded with seven of her friends in a cabin on the grounds of Camp Diamond Creek. Also trapped with the group is a murderous sociopath. This film has all the classic touches and suspense of past horror films but with a distinctly urban slant. The camera work was stunning. It followed the action bringing you right into the horror yourself. H.M. Coakley knows how to tell a scary story using moving images.

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