Steven Spielberg’s first film was Duel, a mixture of action thriller and road chase story. Although it was shot with only one camera, two actors and three sets, it was already possible to see the distinctive features that made the director’s work famous. Shots from unusual angles accompanied by a soundtrack as a note to the most complex and important scenes. The young director managed to turn a seemingly simple story written by Richard Matheson into a vibrant creative work. Decades later, I would say that the film allowed him to experiment with all kinds of techniques without fear of judgment. Which made it one of the most interesting debuts in recent cinema.
Of course, this is not the only such case. Throughout the history of Hollywood, the first films of several of the most famous directors have demonstrated their ability for visual storytelling. At the same time, they turned these initial experiments into a model for a long road to success. The starting point for understanding artistic language in its entirety. and the possibilities of its most interesting characters.
We leave you with a list of five debuts by the most popular directors of our time. From a new take on the horror genre to showing how an action film can be more than just violence. A collection of games showing the evolution of some of the biggest names in the industry.
Witch (Prime Video)
Robert Eggers’ 2015 debut with a distinctly painterly feel, use of natural light, and dense atmosphere couldn’t be more interesting. Reinterpretation of the witch figure with a simple scenario, but filled with symbolism. and based on all sorts of oral traditions, this was surprising.
In particular, how the young director managed to construct a work based on the previously obvious. With a cast led by Anya Taylor Joy, The Witch is more interested in the intimate type of horror. At the same time, in the analysis of myths and legends through human and tragic nuance.
In one of the most talked-about horror endings in recent memory, the director demonstrates that his courage as a creator reveals extraordinary abilities. This was more than evident in his following films: Lighthouseturned into a cult film and Northerner, a flawless historical recreation of Viking life. In 2024, Robert Eggers will present his most ambitious play yet: Nosferatubased on the feature film of the same name by Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau.
Running! (Prime Video)
Jordan Peele has carved out a career as one of the most eccentric directors of his generation. Particularly in the way it uses cinematic language to highlight harsh social commentary. But the first of his small collection of feature films based on a collective obsession with race and discrimination was Running!, a visual and narrative challenge to both the public and specialist critics.
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This film is considered not only a film that surprises with its unconventional analysis of modern paranoia, but also a meditation on fear. Everything, in the middle of a story, half based on a story Lottery writer Shirley Jackson. The director managed to delve deeper into racism, using the codes of horror films and at the same time a tongue-in-cheek critique of the prejudices of American society.
The script, also written by Jordan Peele, delves into cultural appropriation and racial aggression in a provocative way. The use of allegories about what lies beneath the tranquility of the country’s middle class satirizes classism and discrimination. Although the director continued to develop some themes in his subsequent films, Running!by means of which he achieved a special study of any of them.
The Devil’s Legacy (Filmin)
Written and directed by Ari Aster, it is one of the most successful films in modern horror cinema. At the same time, it is a dark work that questions the limits of what can be told on screen and what is too awkward to do. This is one of the most brutal scenes of the modern genre. The film continues to spark debate almost six years after its release.
The plot tells the story of the Graham family, led by Annie (Toni Collette), housewife and artist, and her husband Steve (Gabriel Byrne). After the death of Annie’s mother, the family begins to experience supernatural events and uncover dark secrets about their family tree. As events escalate, the family is confronted with a sinister and frightening legacy..
But the most difficult plot point is the death of one of the couple’s children in an absurd and brutal incident, which Ari Aster captures with the air of a Greek tragedy. As the story progresses, grief and mourning become a vehicle for the supernatural and ultimately the manifestation of demonic forces. The director manages to convey the devastation of death and its mysterious nature. It is through a story that examines the roots of faith, belief and terror.
How to be John Malkovich (Filmin)
In 1999, Spike Jonze was a respected music video director. On the other hand, Charlie Kaufman was a writer of surrealist scripts who had some problems in the industry. The complicity between the two led to one of the strangest speculations in Hollywood history and a film debut like few others.
The plot, combining comedy and surreal drama, tells the story of Craig Schwartz (John Cusack), a disillusioned puppeteer. He discovers a secret portal at his workplace, the usefulness of which turns out to be unprecedented. It allows you to step into the mind of famous actor John Malkovich (playing himself). How Craig and other characters begin to experience life from Malkovich’s point of view, the modern concept of fame is put to the test. Especially when situations arise that explore personality, obsession, and human nature.
The film stands out for its original concept and metaphysical approach. It touches on themes such as the desire to escape everyday life and the exploration of artistic aspirations. All, combining elements of absurd comedy, drama and fantasy, creating a unique cinematic experience.
John Wick (HBO Max)
In 2004, the action genre was in decline. So the premiere of John Wick went unnoticed, in particular because it was directed by a hitherto unknown stuntman. Chad Stahelski took a simple concept and turned it into a notable box office and critical success. This film started a successful franchise. starring Keanu Reeves.
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In the story, the actor plays a retired former killer who is forced to return to his old life, driven by revenge. John Wick embarks on a brutal and ruthless journey to confront those who have wronged him, battling dangerous enemies in the underworld.
With stylized fight choreography, the film creates a dark and elegant atmosphere. In addition, special attention is paid to hand-to-hand combat and skillful use of firearms. What he brought to the film was a curious personality.
Source: Hiper Textual