The Iraqi Education

A Real Master

Banana Oil:

One of the more intirguing might-have-beens in film history is David Lean's last planned film. When is final illness incapacitated him, Lean was in preproduction on an adaptation of Nostromo. If anyone was capable of bringing this story to film, it was Lean. A script existed (and, I believe, was even published by Faber & Faber). A few years after Lean's passing, the BBC made a miniseries out of it from an adaptation of that script. (Take note ladies: It starred Colin Firth!) I never saw it, nor read the script. Right now I don't want to. There is simply no way it could even echo the genius Lean would have brought it in the production.

True. Who else could have possibly directed The Bridge on the River Kwai, Lawrence of Arabia and Doctor Zhivago. I can't think of anyone today who is that gifted. No, not even Spielberg.



Nostromo is a fun book and has the capability of making a great movie.

paul a'barge

How about the Francis Ford Coppola?

Or, the young Michael Cimino?

Or, James Cameron?

Isaac Schrödinger

paul a'barge: I offer my comments on the three directors.

1. Francis Ford Coppola
I have seen the very impressive Godfather trilogy and Dracula. Though, that style is not suited for the visually epic movies made by David Lean. I am not saying Coppola is bad at it; only that he doesn't reach the sublime level of Lean.

2. Michael Cimino
Sorry, never heard of this guy. I checked IMDb for his movies and I haven't watched any of them.

3. James Cameron
Hmm, interesting choice. He certainly has the technical and financial pull to make Lean-scale movies. T2 and the Titanic were tremendous efforts. In a sense, Cameron is two-thirds there.

After some thinking, I remembered that there is one modern director who has the David Lean touch: Atom Egoyan. If you haven't watched The Sweet Hereafter, then please do. The way Egoyan captures the mood and the scenery truly reminds me of the master.

So, only two directors today can match up with Lean: Cameron and Egoyan. Lean, at the moment, still surpasses them. Cameron and Egoyan have plenty of years to showcase their work. The final verdict will be in in a few decades.

Ian Hamet

Have you seen Empire of the Sun? Spielberg's best, imo.

Egoyan is, by turns, amazing and maddening. But yes, he's got a hell of a lot of talent. I'd watch his take on Nostromo, that's sure.

Isaac Schrödinger

Empire of the Sun. Certainly one of the three best films Spielberg has made. The other two: Schindler's List and Saving Private Ryan.

Plus, Christian Bale, a truly incredible actor, was introduced to the movie world.

No doubt, Spielberg is a remarkable director. However, I still rate Lean higher. The level of sheer beauty that Lean consistently showcased on celluloid is what sets him apart.

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