The apple does not fall far from the tree
Tom Jolliffe takes a look at directors who follow in their parents’ footsteps …
Without a doubt, the influence of your parents plays a big role in your formation as a person. In the almost surreal world of cinema and filmmaking, there will be a sort of magical appeal to the power that a director can wield. The director’s offspring roam the set, see superstars, and watch their parent in charge of the whole affair. In all walks of life, it is certainly not uncommon to find yourself following a career path that a parent did. It tends to work either that way or in active rebellion. Of course, the allure of becoming a filmmaker is inherently more likely to be popular than wanting to be a chimney sweep (without wanting to offend chimney sweeps).
What if your father was Francis Ford Coppola? Ask Roman Coppola, writer / director / producer (and Oscar nominee), but most importantly, ask Sofia Coppola, whose career as a director has seen resounding and rapid success. At a young age she gained a lot of praise for The suicide virgins. Proving with a confident hand and forging a style distinctly hers, that she was largely on merit. This place among his peers was even more cemented by the time Lost in translation won over audiences and critics alike and earned him an Oscar (along with two other nominations).
More generally, it would seem that the director of the next generation, following in the footsteps of his esteemed parent, will tend to follow the same specialty (or not to stray millions of kilometers away). For Lamberto Bava, famous Italian horror director of the 80s, he certainly had great inspiration in the genre in Mario Bava. Mario Bava will indeed galvanize an entire industry and popularize a sub-genre in cinema, with his revolutionary Giallo cinema. Lamberto did Giallo, but found himself skewing a bit what was more popular in the ’80s, and that was the characteristics of the creatures (notably Demons) or crusher. Meanwhile, in the world of Blaxploitation, Mario Van Peebles was inevitably destined to forge the same paths blazed by Father Melvin. He delivered cult hits such as New Jack City and Detachment, and still performs strongly today (in front of and behind the camera). He even went deeper into Baadasss a biopic of his father’s film Sweet Sweetback song Baadasssss, and also played his father as well as directing.
Hayao Miyazaki just turned 80, the year in which Abducted as if by magic will also be 20 (really? 20!). Studio Ghibli, designed by his artistic genius, has grown exponentially over the years, spreading in popularity across the world. Abducted as if by magic of course, greatly helped to skyrocket the popularity of Miyazaki’s studio in the stratosphere. Goro Miyazaki followed these illustrious steps by creating several films from the Ghibli catalog that fit perfectly into the company’s ethics (including From up there on Poppy Hill). We’ve seen many more examples over the years with the Scott family (Ridley, Luke, Jake, Jordan), the Eastwoods (Clint, Alison), the Reiners (Carl, Rob), the Cassavetes (John, Nick), the Reitman’s (Ivan, Jason), the Landis (John, Max), the Cuarons (Alfonso, Jonas) and more.
This brings us to some recent big announcements on cinema. Two horror directors who emerged with sophomore efforts that garnered cult and critical acclaim. The two also cast the magnetic and ethereal Andrea Riseborough. The first was Panos Cosmatos who put cult horror enthusiasts in a frenetic delight with its kaleidoscopic and fantastic horror, Mandy. If it were even necessary, the film also cemented Nic Cage’s status as a one-of-a-kind cult figure, able to take on a role in places only he can reach. Mandy is a horror masterpiece, which is a veritable nest of influences. Panos Cosmatos, who’s headed in a more decidedly arthouse direction than his father George P, has done something that looks like a unique (whether you accept it or not).
Then with one of the films of 2020, Brandon Cronenberg delivered the kind of film that amalgamates visuals, a style and an idea that only two directors could have done in the 80s. One was David Lynch, the other. David Cronenberg. Of course, given Brandon’s lineage, this style, and the extreme nature of practicality and violence, leans more toward his father’s work (including struggles with reality and identity and the bodily horror of people. as Videodrome, Dead ringtones and Fly). Owner: Uncut had so many characteristics of David’s iconic body horrors, but with a distinct style, that of Brandon too. He also pushed the boundaries of censorship and explored the darkest corners of human psychology that even Pappa C never really examined (often markedly more enigmatic or metaphorical, and certainly with films like Spider for example). As is, Possessor quickly gained a cult following and will undoubtedly magnetize more fans in the years to come. Meanwhile, Andrea Riseborough seems like the perfect actress to cast if you want an intricate presence to attract a cult horror audience on hold.
Who are your favorite director families? What did you think about Owner: Uncut? Let us know your thoughts on our social media @ flickeringmyth …
Tom Jolliffe is an award-winning screenwriter and avid movie buff. It has a number of films on DVD / VOD around the world and several releases in 2021, including Renegades (Lee Majors, Danny Trejo, Michael Pare, Tiny Lister, Ian Ogilvy and Billy Murray), Crackdown, When Darkness Falls and The War. of Worlds: The Attack (Vincent Regan). Find more information on the best personal site you have ever seen …https://www.instagram.com/jolliffeproductions/