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Genesis should really pertain to the origin, the coming into being. Whether religion or not, everything has a beginning.

For film it was two brothers in France over one hundred and thirty years ago. By pasting a series of photos of a horse, in different versions of movement, side by side, they could create the illusion that the photograph was coming to life. “A living photo,” gasped the late nineteenth century French peasants, “…that is definitely some Harry Potter shit” they would say as they stared in disbelief.       

France was not only the setting for film to start and gain popularity but over the course of thirty years special effects would be thrown into this new illusion in an ever more growing intrigue in entertaining people.  His name, Georges Méliès, the father of special effects in film. If the moon landing in 1902’s “Voyage Dans La Lune” isn’t iconic then you just don’t know what I’m talking about. It’s okay, it’s from 1902 for crying out loud I fully understand. 

If you’re interested. This is the closest (not the sound) to the original  as possible – in colour. Hard to believe because colour film was not yet possible however Méliès hand painted each shot to achieve the colour effect. The genesis of colour correction.

Lets power through some fantastic directors with a long career in filmmaking and have a look at their first feature films.

Kathryn Bigelow

Where might you know her from? She won two Oscars for “The Hurt Locker” in 2010, which makes her the first and only woman to win an Oscar for Best Director and was nominated in 2013 for “Zero Dark Thirty”.

 How did she grab my attention?   “Strange Days” where she also won a Saturn Award for Best Director becoming the first woman to win the award. “Strange Days”, is a very kiff little science-fiction film set in futuristic 1999 – something interesting to swallow, a futuristic history lesson. Ms. Bigelow’s genesis in terms of film was back in 1981 with a dramatic biker film called “The Loveless”. It’s a cool little road flik that favours mood over story, so there’s fantastic emotions without much of a plot. 

F.Gary Gray

Where might you know him from? ”The Fate of the Furious” and “Straight Outta Compton”

How did he grab my attention? 

“Set it Off” from 1996 with Jada Pinket pre botox and Queen Latifah when she was more King. “Set it Off” is one of those films on my list of the most rewatchable films ever.  F.Gary Gray reminds me of David Fincher. They both started out in the music video world and went onto make massive budget feature films – sidebar, “Fate of the Furious” is one of the top twenty highest grossing films ever – and they both scored massive acclaim for films that I couldn’t really care for.  “Straight Outta Compton” is like “The Social Network” so overhyped it struggled to impress. However, Mr Gray’s genesis when it comes to feature filmmaking was a triumph. “Friday” from 1995 is one of the funniest movies ever made and includes Chris Tucker’s best R-rated performance.

David Fincher

Where might you know him from? Nominated for an Oscar for “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” in 2009 and then again for “The Social Network” in 2011. “Fight Club”, “Se7en” and “Gone Girl”.

How did he grab my attention? “Se7en” from 1995 and “The Game” from 1997. 

David was a music video guy.  He was busy making popular videos for pop stars of the early nineties. His film genesis  in terms of feature film making was “Alien 3”. The film is ok. Ask David and he probably won’t answer you. He hates it. In line with his other work its really far removed from his particular style but it’s not his worst film in my opinion. That film about the social media developer nerd who stole an idea to go on and be an evil rich pseudo-genius. That movie was painful to sit through and yet is his most acclaimed. I’m sure there’s a conspiracy around this but like the movie I think its too boring to see it through to the end. That being said David Fincher is consistent with putting out gripping films time after time.

Wes Craven

Where might you know him from? “Nightmare on Elm Street” from 1984 and “Scream” from 1996.

How did he grab my attention? “Nightmare on Elm Street” from 1984 and “Scream” from 1996. Mr Craven was one of the masters of modern horror, part of the slasher film renaissance that took flight in the early eighties and it’s easy to see why when you watch his film genesis, “Last House on the Left”. The entire film seems more akin to the torture porn genre of the 2000’s which tells you Wes was on the pulse of horror before the audience even realised that’s what they wanted. Mr Craven went from being a teacher to filmmaker in one swoop which he hit it out of the park. A shocking and gut wrenching impression that’s difficult to swallow in its opaque indie quality of the time. It’s worth a watch even if it’s a dry pill to swallow. One might even imagine the dated low budget quality would dissuade viewers from engaging but it only amplifies the dread of the horror on display.

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Struggling to find a way to end off this article – lets face it it all about beginnings, not endings – fortune would throw me a bone in the form of a directors debut.  This year. 2020. Edward Drake really made an impression on me with his fantasy horror flik “Broil”, it’s odd with a fantastic pace and a hard to pin down story but the payoff was well worth it. Unexpected, light and heavy, gory and sentimental, serious and cheesy. Fantastic fun mixed in with good family sentimentality. I’m keeping my eye on Edward Drake’s next move. On that note I’m gonna end with two more recommendations, “Freaks” from 2018 is worth the watch. Strange sci-fi that’s heart warming. “Cop Car” from 2015 is unexpectedly funny.

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IMAGE SOURCE(S):
KATHRINE – METRO.CO.UK
WES CAVEN – SLATE
DAVID FINCHER – VANITY FAIR
F GARY GARY – ALCHETRONĀ 

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