The craziest directors


Being a director is not easy, but extremely interesting job. And the works of the best directors are seen and discussed by millions of viewers around the world.

To succeed in this field, you need to be a real individualist, focused on results. The best directors are real maniacs who, wanting to realize their vision, transcend all the laws of the genre and do what they see fit.

Of course, you also need talent for films to be really high quality. In the history of cinema, there have been many really insane directors, with a list of which we suggest you familiarize yourself with.

Howard Hughes (1905-1976). Howard Hughes is difficult to rank among the greatest directors, but in terms of creative madness, he was not equal. Enough stories about the last years of his life - Hughes grew his hair to the waist, lived a half-naked recluse in a penthouse, urinated in bottles and lined them along the wall. True, the oilman, millionaire, aviator and filmmaker was considered a madman even before that. It all started in 1927 when Hughes saw Wellman's film Wings. That tape even won an Oscar. But the millionaire somehow decided that he could make a film even better. Hughes created Wings of Hell for crazy money. The main roles in the film were played by 40 planes from the millionaire's personal fleet, while the stunts performed in the sky were so dangerous that during the filming three stuntmen were killed. The film became an event, but it didn't even pay off commercially. Soon the tycoon founded his own studio "RKO", where all his psychoses and phobias blossomed to the full. Scorsese's film "The Aviator" tells about it. And even if Hughes was not nominally the director of all the films of the studio, his influence is felt on everything that was produced there in the 40-50s. So, for example, in the 1957 film "Jet Pilot" the millionaire personally polished the scenes in which aviation was occupied for seven years. Only then did he release the film, and the director's opinion actually interested no one. The highest stage of Hughes' madness was the refusal of the pilot to perform a dangerous aerobatics in "Hells Angels". Then Hughes personally sat at the helm of the plane, but he could not get out of the dive, drove the car into the ground. And although the millionaire received a bunch of injuries and almost lost his eye, the next day he, as if nothing had happened, was present on the set.

Cecil B. DeMille (1881-1959). The director is often portrayed as a tyrant of the movie set with a megaphone in hand. This is exactly the image that Cecil Blount DeMille embodied. Once he told the entire film crew that its goal was to please the director himself, and everything else was unimportant. One day, while discussing with the boss about spending on extras for a battle scene, Cecil seriously suggested loading real bullets into the guns. After all, it was possible to reduce spending! When on the set of "Samson and Delilah" actor Victor Mature refused to fight the toothless lion, the director called the man "a pitiful coward." Actress Paulette Goddard never collaborated with DeMille again after refusing to star in a life-threatening fire scene in Invincible. True, to the director's credit, it is worth noting that he never asked his actors to do what he could not do himself. Already at the age of 73, DeMille climbed to a height of 40 meters during the filming of The Ten Commandments to check the correct installation of the camera. And although the man received a heart attack from this, he, barely recovered, returned to filming a week later. In one of his films, DeMille decided to shoot the shootout as accurately as possible. And for this he decided to use real bullets. When the actors hinted about the danger, the director said: “Well, of course! But this is a movie, how can we deceive the audience? Everything should be real here! "

John Ford (1894-1973). The director is proud that he did not attend any of his three Oscars. The first time he preferred fishing, and the third he just got drunk. Ford's colleague John Capra called him half saint and half devil. This Irishman was a tyrant, which did not prevent him from remaining a genius. Ford was trusted by everyone with whom he worked, but he himself demanded increased attention. With the actors, he talked like with his relatives. He could be with them either loving and generous, or a tyrant, like a drunken head of a family. John Wayne, the director just for the purpose of education weighed cuffs in the ass. And he brought Henry Fonda to tears with his curses on the set of Fort Apache. Maureen O'Hara, at the director's whim, beat John Wayne so hard in the fight from Quiet Man that she broke her arm. Wayne believed that all filmmakers' quirks were aimed solely at improving the skill of the actors. It is no coincidence that ten of them, who worked with John Ford, received an Oscar nomination. True, the director is also characterized by the rather eloquent characterization of Lee vanCleef: "John Ford was a complete bastard." A classic example of madness is the story of Henry Font on the set of Mr. Roberts. When she pointed out the mistakes to the director, he jumped up from his chair and hit the actress in the jaw with all his might!

Russ Meyer (1922-2004). The entire career of this strange director was marked by an obsession with large female breasts. He even used to say that if the right actress with such parameters is not found, then he will have to play cards. Perhaps the reason for such a love for a woman's bust lies in Russ's childhood - his mother breastfed him almost until the first grade. The director's films were highly social, had deep philosophical overtones, and presented female sexuality in a revolutionary way. But the director remained in his memory precisely because of his love for big breasts. Meyer even insisted that on his tombstone be written: "King of the nudity, and I was happy to do it." And for the first time such a strange craving for a director appeared when, in the midst of World War II, he lost his virginity with a busty prostitute.

John Waters (born 1946). They say that if strangeness could be measured with an instrument, then Waters would simply go off scale. What is just his desire to be a woman in order to get the opportunity to have abortions. John received his first camera as a gift for 16 years. On it, he shot his debut picture with the colorful title "The Old Witch in a Black Leather Jacket". And after being expelled from New York University for drinking weed, Waters returned to his native Baltimore. His childhood friend, a huge transvestite Devine, became the director's muse. Waters began writing, filming and acting in truly arthouse, thrash, enchanting and wacky films. The director became famous for the fact that on the set of the film "Pink Flamingos" he convinced his friend Devine to eat dog excrement. This made the scene more convincing.

Sam Peckinpah (1925-1984). Sam admitted that all his life he felt like a loner and an outsider. The director filmed calm elegies about people like himself, people from another time. Peckinpah's life was a continuation of his films, and his films were a reflection of the vision of the world around him. But the director had a lot to tell - he saw the dark scenes of death in the fields of World War II. In his films, this has been transformed into a kind of ode to violence, which proceeds in a slow rhythm. Sam said that for himself, at such moments, time seemed to stop. The director fought tirelessly against producers, star actors and the dictates of the studios. On the set of Major Dundee, the director even attacked Charltor Heston with a sword. Everyone was afraid to get in the way of Peckinpah, and after drinking, he became even more unbearable. And what if the doctors threatened him with death if the director did not give up alcohol? He stated that he had already made his choice in favor of wine. A classic example of the wildness on the set of Wild Gang, Peckinpah wanted to really shoot a horse to make it look more natural when shot under the rider. Naturally, the director was drunk at that moment.

Kenneth Anger (born 1927). The director chose a difficult pseudonym for himself, because “anger” means “anger”. It is said that Kenneth decided to take such a surname at the age of five. It's hard to believe this, especially since the guru of experimental short films has always loved to compose fables about himself, even if it was an outright lie. How can you believe that Anger was offered to star in the 1935 film adaptation of A Midsummer Night's Dream as a child? Small films have become small masterpieces, they are saturated with unrestrained and complex homosexuality, in these short films there is an attraction to the mournful occult. How could you quarrel with the famous Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page? As a result, Bobby Busolel, a member of Charlie Manson's gang, wrote the soundtrack for Lucifer Rising. And as a result, music was written in general in prison, where the musician was serving time for murder.

Edward Wood Jr. (1924-1978). Wood made history in 1980 with the dubious title of Worst Director of All Time. But Edward himself, throughout his career, simply closed his eyes to his own shortcomings. And his "Plan 9 from outer space" remains the most incredible horror that ever made its way to the big screens. In this film, the director simply took and replaced his main star, actor Bela Lugosi, who died on the set, with his wife's doctor. Wood felt that the audience would not replace the difference. The director himself argued that the crowd considers those who only improve the incomprehensible to the majority crazy.

David Cronenberg (born 1943). The director stated that one should not look for morality in his tapes, because he is a Canadian. Cronenberg's films feature human biomachines, mutant flies, and reproductive parasites. The director's main obsessions are death, sex and high technology. They say that after the films "Mad" and "Convulsions" Martin Scorsese himself wanted to meet with their creator in order to participate in several joint projects. It is interesting that outwardly, Cronenberg looks like a pretty and pleasant man, very smart. But he is able, with the help of cinema, to shed light on everything that is happening in the darkest corners of the human mind. The contrast itself is insane - the well-bred and eloquent director shoots films filled with unhealthy violence. At one time, Cronenberg refused to shoot "Top Gun", maybe it's for the best, otherwise we could see completely different main characters.

Michel Gondry (born 1963). As a child, Michelle had some rather strange dreams. Once he decided that it is quite possible to make money on this. In Gondry's films, there are many romantic fantasies that are based on the theme of dreams and memories. For many years, the French director recorded his dreams, trying to match his vivid but fragmentary images with reality. It is possible that he is simply filming his night visions. In the films, the director uses self-made effects, using them to show logical bridges between the anxieties and hopes of his unusual characters. Gondry says that much remains unspoken in matters of human relations. However, this does not mean that emotions are left aside. In his films, Gondry tries to show how people become when they fall in love. Madness for the director can be considered a necklace from the nails of a deceased beloved, made by him as a keepsake.

David O. Russell (born 1958). According to colleagues, David Russell is just a nutty egoist. In his film "Three Kings", he just mocked the future star George Clooney. And while filming the comedy Heartbreakers, the director seemed to have gone crazy. He bared himself on the set, rubbed against men and women and loudly demanded to change lines right during the takes. The director's recklessness was reflected in a video on YouTube, where he quite vigorously curses actress Lily Tomlin. And once Russell even grabbed Christopher Nolan by the breasts, who wanted to lure Jude Law out of Heartbreakers for his Prestige.

Terry Gilliam (born 1940). Gilliam is skeptical about the modern film business, openly contemptuous of the generally accepted system in Hollywood. For a long time, the director fought with Universal for the right to finalize Brazil. He compared the "rescue" of the tape by the bosses with murder and attempts to cut off his child's arm or leg. As a result, then the director won. But with "The Adventures of Baron Munchausen" he was less fortunate. The cunning Gilliam fell into the hands of even more cunning producers, the Weinstein brothers. So the picture came out rather strange. Gilliam's insane act is to order an ad in Variety magazine, where he asked the producer a question in big letters: “Dear Sid Scheinberg, when will you publish my film Brazil?

Roman Polanski (born 1933). It is strange that the most famous refugee of the world cinema generally retained at least the outward signs of prudence. But Roman lost his mother in a concentration camp, and his pregnant wife died at the hands of the maniac Charlie Manson. Now the director is motivated exclusively by his salary. His love for work comes first, overtaking even a passion for sex. He ruined Polanski's reputation. In 1977, he was accused of raping a 13-year-old girl, but after being sentenced, the Polish director fled America for Europe. He never received a permit to enter the United States. Of the director's insane actions on the set, one can recall the case when he ripped an extra hair out of Feng Dunaway's head on the set of Chinatown. True, the actress later repaid Polanski in full by throwing a mug of urine into him.

David Lynch (b. This director was able to show that a wonderful place is the human mind, sometimes it can turn into a black hole. Outwardly Lynch is quite cheerful, friendly, albeit eccentric. He has the hands of a jazz musician and a strange habit of wearing a pair of ties at once. But Lynch's films reveal him as a mentally unstable somnambulistic fetishist. Although the director practices transcendental meditation, in his films he delves into the very depths of human consciousness, exploring the various forms of fear and desire. Maybe it's not so bad that Lynch's Dune turned out to be like this gray, which scared him away from the mainstream. The director has his own absurd theory, “duck's eye.” He claims that when working on a film, the torso, legs and beak can be removed millions of times, but the eyes are a problem. and the best films of Lynch are difficult, but questions remain in my head. ”Lynch’s insane desire to nominate Laura Dern for the Oscar led to the appearance of a banner on a cow:“ If not for cheese, there was no Inland Empire (film title).

Ken Russell (1927-2011). Over time, the director came to the conclusion that he was simply tired of reality. Russell is called the director-king. He overwhelmed everyone with his talent, forcing everyone to submit to his heavy temper. As a result, the actors felt the urge to drop everything right on the very first day of filming, because their self-esteem changed dramatically.Russell was not afraid to leave the stars naked in the cold mud ("Women in Love") or set a herd of evil rhinos against them ("Other Faces"). The actors shaved their heads and drank absinthe until hallucinations appeared. Russell scared the bosses of Warner Brothers so much with his religious film "The Devils" that they still refuse to publish this movie. And in his insane short film "Kitten for Hitler" the director showed how a boy who sent a Christmas present to the Fuhrer turned into a lampshade.

Tim Burton (born. The famous director has always been attracted by those cultures where the cult of death is more important than life. Burton is famous for his gothic strange style. In fact, it is not just a desire to work in this direction. The director just does not seem to know how to make simple films. tried to work in the mainstream, then almost drowned with a simple remake of “Planet of the Apes.” Much better to create, embodying his cartoon vision of reality - it was not in vain that he worked at the Disney studio as an animator at the beginning of his career. Now the director creates unusual surreal worlds. Burton constantly turns traditional genres upside down, sometimes making parodies (Mars Attacks! and Pee-Wee's Big Adventure), or darkly stylizing horror (Sleepy Hollow, Sweeney Todd). However, the first part of the tetralogy is considered Burton's best film about Batman. In it, the director was able to combine the theatricality of the 60s and the sinister psychology of the original comic. As a result, a rather unconventional and a significant superhero movie like Hollywood has never seen. The pinnacle of madness for Burton was the teaming up with Johnny Depp for the filming of the obscurely corny remake of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. In it, Willie Wonka has turned into some kind of acid freak.

Francis Ford Coppola (born 1939). The great maestro said that it is impossible to create works of art without risking it. It's like trying to have kids without having sex. Coppola, on the one hand, is an exemplary family man, on the other, a narcissistic psycho genius. The director happily announced his madness after 16 months of filming Apocalypse Now. In the jungle, the large team had enough money and everything else, as a result, she began to slowly go crazy. Before filming this Vietnamese saga, Coppola set up his own company, American Zoetrope, in San Francisco. With her help, he broke through the studio wall, making way for the young geeks of the 70s. In the 80s, Coppola moved away from the mainstream, experimenting with stylizations ("From the Heart" and "Rumble Fish"). However, the public did not understand such attempts. So for the money, Coppola rented a poor "Jack". And it is too early to write off the director - in 2007 he returned with the film "Youth without youth". True, over the years, Coppola does not get better. The director's insanity, filmed entirely in the studio, is the romantic musical From the Whole Heart. So Coppola tried to minimize costs. But the budget still somehow grew from 2 million to 25 million, which made the director bankrupt.

William Friedkin (born 1935). Even before the release of the movie "Whore", in his best years, Fridkin was known as the difficult child of New Hollywood. He wanted to spit on the studio and criticism. While filming The Exorcist, Friedkin literally took the soul out of his actresses Linda Blair and Ellen Burstyn. And Reverend O'Malley actually got it in the jaw to depict the reaction needed in this shot. For the director, all sorts of special effects were unnecessary, he froze the bedroom in the film so that steam poured out of the mouths of all the film crew. But thanks to such effective methods, the film turned out to be really exciting. An example of insanity was the shot in the air on set, which also helped Jason Miller get a scared expression on his face. To shoot the chases with Fridkin was a real nightmare! For "French Svyaznoy", with the help of a banal bribe, he won the right to film a road-rail chase. As a result, almost the entire scene was filmed from a car speeding at 130 km / h for 26 blocks. The next time on the set of "To Live and Die in Los Angeles," the director spent a month and a half filming the maneuvering pursuit in the oncoming lane in the city traffic.

Stanley Kubrick (1928-1999). Kubrick became famous as an ardent perfectionist. He admired the actors' play, forcing them to make more and more takes. On the set of The Shining, Scatman Crovers prayed to receive 40 times from Jack Nicholson with an ax in the chest. The actors sighed that such a long work on scenes without any progress was simply demoralizing. It is no coincidence that Tom Cruise even developed an ulcer on the set of Eyes Wide Open. Kubrick himself had the rights to fly the plane, but he was afraid to fly, as he once overheard the conversations of air traffic controllers. The director did not travel faster than 60 km / h, and when transporting a film with a film, he even sat down behind the editor and hid behind him. During the 2001 Space Odyssey promotional campaign in America, not a single shot from the film was used - Kubrick doubted that black and white printing would be able to convey the shades of color to the desired degree. The director struck a lucrative deal with Warner Brothers, which resulted in 40% of all profits and unprecedented power to build huge pavilions or ban the distribution of his films in some countries. Although the actors complained about Kubrick, the end justified the means. The films of the great director became a complete reflection of his inner world, and those around him received invaluable experience. Malcolm McDowell recalled that he was hit in the ribs on the set of A Clockwork Orange and was nearly drowned in cold stew. I also remember the famous scene in which the actor was forced not to blink, clamping his eyelashes with terrible mechanical structures. As a result, McDowell got a scratched cornea and a spot under the eye, and the director asked to shoot a few more takes, "allowing" to use the other eye.

Werner Herzog (1942). This director calls himself a soldier of cinema. Indeed, over 45 years of his career, he visited the most different parts of the planet, in the jungle, on a volcano, glaciers. In search of his truth, Herzog went to extremes like no one else. In Aguirra, God's Wrath, he placed the boat on a tree, in Fitzcarraldo, he was already dragging the ship across the mountains. It seemed that the more difficult the task, the more interesting it is for the director. In his films, he seeks the truth, neglecting the bare facts and descending into unreal worlds. Herzog became the leader of the new German cinema of the 70s. He traveled a lot, and at 32 he even walked from Munich to Paris to visit a sick friend. Herzog is distinguished by indifference to danger. When he was shot in Los Angeles, he calmly stated that the bullet meant nothing. And when Herzog heard about a peasant refusing to leave the slope of the awakening volcano, the director immediately went to shoot a movie about it. It's good that there was no culmination, otherwise in the name of art the entire small crew of film crew could perish. The director even visited the South Pole, filming a documentary not about penguins, but about madness and betrayal. And the crazy director chose the actors to match. The best "enemy" was Klaus Kinski. He perfectly succeeded in the role of narcissistic maniacs, always muttering something. And what if the director and the actor constantly threatened to kill each other? During the filming of Aguirre, Klaus Kinski decided to leave the set, but the director pulled out a pistol and promised to fire 8 bullets at the actor, and the last at himself. And then Kinski realized that Herzog was not joking. He himself later added that that film was much more important than a couple of human lives. Herzog says that he is easy with gifted people, but most stars would not work with him. Who would agree to shoot in a low-budget tape, and even at the risk of their lives? But Christian Bale agreed to lose weight, like a skeleton for the "Machinist", and for "Saving Dawn" he was even ready to eat a live snake. It all ended with a serious struggle and an actor's bite on the shoulder. Bale himself says that Herzog can take him to hell and bring him back. It's amazing that the director tries to support his actors on this journey. Bale lost 25 kilograms, and Herzog, out of solidarity, 13!


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