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Why Was DGA Wrong This Year?

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    m844
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    #1203343505

    2002 was a crazy year for Director, as only BAFTA matched the Oscar.

    GG: Martin Scorsese, Gangs of New York

    CC: Steven Spielberg, Catch Me If You Can

    DGA: Rob Marshall, Chicago

    BAFTA/Oscar: Roman Polanski, The Pianist

    For 2000 and 2019 films:

    GG/DGA/BAFTA:
    Ang Lee, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
    Sam Mendes, 1917 (also tie for CC)

    CC/Oscar:
    Steven Soderbergh, Traffic
    Bong Joon-Ho, Parasite

    I was wondering if anyone would ever pull a Soderbergh or Polanski ever again. We had our answer two nights ago. I suspect this is also an anomaly, but I really want to see the Oscar NOT match with DGA more often, and for them to go more for the passion picks. I was really bummed when BJH lost the DGA, and hopefully, he wins the DGA in the near future. I suspect that the GG and DGA Director results were much closer than expected, with only the BAFTA being the runaway pick for Mendes.

    I also don’t really feel bad for Mendes because he already has an Oscar, but I can’t help but wonder whether some people really didn’t want him to win a 2nd Directing Oscar before Tarantino won his 1st or Scorsese won his 2nd. If that was the case, only BJH could theoretically beat him.

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    LBC1
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    #1203343549

    Passion has led to some upsets in the best picture race but not as much in the directory category. Even in years where Moonlight or Spotlight won by passion, their directors lost to the more technical achievement movie. I think the only big difference I see is that maybe the passion was even stronger for parasite and I think even more importantly: passion and a love for Bong-Joon Ho grew over the awards season as well. He became kind of endearing in many of the precursor speeches and luncheons. I think this is truly a case of more than just passion but passion + he won over the hearts of the voters for him personally as well. This is even more clear when you see that Parasite did not win editing in what was probably a close race with Ford v Ferrari. But in that category they were not voting for the person that had come to love, so they defaulted to the more traditional big editing choice despite having more passion for Parasite than Ford. I think Bong would have lost director in a close vote if he had not personally won over the voters during the awards campaign.

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    Babygirl
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    #1203343638

    Winning PGA + DGA and sweeping the precursors yet going home with none of the big 5 is arguably the biggest slap in the face that happened this decade. It’s almost surreal and way worse than the La La Land treatment 1917 is now a new standard, lol

    Yup, atleast La La Land took home Actress and Director. Whew chile….

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    JackO
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    #1203343727

    I’m only looking at this from a statistically level, so bear in mind:

    I feel that 1917 could’ve won BP w/o a Film Editing nomination (like Birdman did), but it didn’t even qualify for SAG in either individual, ensemble, or stunts (which even Birdman had support from SAG). Roma had the same issue too last year: no Film Editing nomination & no support from SAG. I think from now on: if you’re having a tough time calling BP, look for the film who has been recognized by SAG, has a Screenplay nomination @ Oscars, a DGA nomination, and (most especially) look for that Film Editing nomination from the Oscars.

    It would have won stunts if it was eligible. Universal screwed up bigtime there.

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    Emil Petrov
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    #1203343875

    The DGA is voted by Directors only and they appriciate what an amazing feat and achievement is making 1917. And they awarded it.

    The Oscars are voted by all members and those people vote for what they like best, not what was best.

    Please note, that Parasite is my top 5 movie of the year and it is an amazing film, but Directing was UNBELIVABLE in 1917. It was pure directing. Parasite won on passion.

    The right thing to do was to give Director to 1917 and Picture to Parasite. Not both.

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    ArtIsntEasy
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    #1203344107

    I do understand the rationale by wanting to reward Sam Mendes’ direction because he did achieve the flashier and more technically wowing final results.

    I still do feel that Bong Joon-ho was worthy because he did something quite incredible in his own right: he was able to make those sudden twists in tone within the storytelling work so magnificently without feeling jarring in the worst possible way. The tension and pacing was practically perfect (which the editor deserves credit along with him), and on top of that, he helped create such a captivating atmosphere with amazing cinematography (and he is known to be a devoted storyboard director like Hitchcock).

    Had Mendes won, I certainly wouldn’t have called him one of the worst winners ever but I do think Bong’s direction was of a certain mastery that doesn’t get recognized as much anymore.

    “The art of making art is putting it together...”

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    happysad
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    #1203344620

    The DGA is voted by Directors only and they appriciate what an amazing feat and achievement is making 1917. And they awarded it. The Oscars are voted by all members and those people vote for what they like best, not what was best. Please note, that Parasite is my top 5 movie of the year and it is an amazing film, but Directing was UNBELIVABLE in 1917. It was pure directing. Parasite won on passion. The right thing to do was to give Director to 1917 and Picture to Parasite. Not both.

    Can you explain to me how unbelievable the direction in 1917 is? Cinematography was clearly the best feature in the movie. But I found the direction to be “one note”.

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    m844
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    #1203344666

    I do understand the rationale by wanting to reward Sam Mendes’ direction because he did achieve the flashier and more technically wowing final results. I still do feel that Bong Joon-ho was worthy because he did something quite incredible in his own right: he was able to make those sudden twists in tone within the storytelling work so magnificently without feeling jarring in the worst possible way. The tension and pacing was practically perfect (which the editor deserves credit along with him), and on top of that, he helped create such a captivating atmosphere with amazing cinematography (and he is known to be a devoted storyboard director like Hitchcock). Had Mendes won, I certainly wouldn’t have called him one of the worst winners ever but I do think Bong’s direction was of a certain mastery that doesn’t get recognized as much anymore.

    I think this is exactly right. I hope this is not an anomaly, but that they start awarding the more artsy type of direction rather than the pure technical achievement, which has been the recent trend for the Director Oscar. I suspect the final results were extremely close.

    Parasite, by its nature, could never be quite the technical achievement that a film like 1917 or Ford vs. Ferrari are because of the nature of its story, the character driven plot, the subtlety, and the fact that it takes place almost entirely indoors. BJH’s win is a nod for the more artsy films, with great subtlety and tension.

    I don’t think you would call Alfred Hitchcock a technical director in that sense, but a master of tone, subtlety, and suspense, things that in most cases, clearly wouldn’t win the Best Director Oscar today if it’s mainly considered to be a technical achievement Oscar. Hitchcock also is arguably the most influential director of all time. Same thing with Ingmar Bergman, Pedro Almodovar, and any other director who focuses on the character driven plots. They’re automatically at a disadvantage when it comes to these awards because it’s not overtly flashy or technical.

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    phenix714
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    #1203344670

    There’s a good article on Goldderby talking about how the directors of the Academy may never have favoured Mendes in the first place. They represent only a small percentage of the DGA voters, so it’s very possible they always picked Bong and were just outvoted by the others.

    Some recent examples seem to suggest this, like when Peter Farrelly and Bradley Cooper were nominated for DGA last year. The directors of the Academy, being probably more refined in their tastes, were able to see through the bullshit and nominated Pawlikowski and Lanthimos instead, who obviously are much more accomplished artists than the former two.

    I think something similar happened this year. The cinematography of 1917 had really beautiful moments and Mendes did a great job pulling it off, but I mean come on, Bong was the real master here. The work done on 1917 was more of a logistical feat that several other directors could have accomplished. Only Bong could have directed Parasite. His movie was a perfect marriage of all the elements of filmmaking beautifully coming together, and it had the personality of its director all over it. It was the work of a true auteur.

    I think Sam Mendes, despite having made several great movies by now, doesn’t really have an obvious personal voice, and it would have felt weird for 1917 to win both cinematography and director, when the directorial work was mostly all about the cinematography and the production design. So it feels like the cinematography win, on its own, already does a good job of acknowledging Mendes. Bong had much more to do in terms of directing the actors, creating all the compositions, and editing the movie.

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    John Berchmans
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    #1203344706

    The DGA is voted by Directors only and they appriciate what an amazing feat and achievement is making 1917. And they awarded it. The Oscars are voted by all members and those people vote for what they like best, not what was best. Please note, that Parasite is my top 5 movie of the year and it is an amazing film, but Directing was UNBELIVABLE in 1917. It was pure directing. Parasite won on passion. The right thing to do was to give Director to 1917 and Picture to Parasite. Not both.

    In my opinion the Best Direction should be determined by more than just the technical achievement of what a director is pulling off. 1917 is a phenomenal technical achievement for sure, but Sam Mendes does a clumsy job of setting up the story and trying to get us to care for these characters. There is no character development, the plot is riddled with holes, and the film’s themes are pretty one-note and surface level.

    Bong-Joon Ho, on the other hand, shows complete mastery over both the concept and execution of his story. The film blends so many different genres together it defies categorization, and it doesn’t even follow the typical 3 act structure. On these surface level it’s an entertaining story with lots of twists and turns, but underneath the surface there’s so much more going on: rich themes, metaphors, imagery, and visual storytelling. Bong lays out all of the pieces of the puzzle for clever viewers to discover, then puts it together so everyone can understand. It’s both an accessible crowdpleaser and an arthouse at the same time: a trogan-horse arthouse, if you will. The characters and their motivations are all perfectly set up and their actions foreshadowed, so nothing feels out of character and everything is realistically portrayed. And both the pacing of the film and the performances from it’s main cast are fantastic: two aspects the Director plays a huge part in. So I’d argue that while Parasite may not have been as difficult to pull off (though all the stuff they were able to go with just $11 Million is pretty crazy), it’s the better executed film overall, and Bong deserved the award for Best Director more.

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    mdf1960
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    #1203344714

    Well, first of all we don’t know how close the DGA vote was. Maybe Mendes won by just one vote. At any rate, everyone votes for Best Director at the Oscars (not just directors),  and there was a big surge of favorable Parasite sentiment towards the end.

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    John Berchmans
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    #1203344723

    Can you explain to me how unbelievable the direction in 1917 is? Cinematography was clearly the best feature in the movie. But I found the direction to be “one note”.

    I think people confuse great Direction with great Cinematography a lot, especially in the academy. Hammand Asif made a whole post on this.

    Stream After Hours and In Your Eyes (Remix)

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    larrya
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    #1203344861

    Sorry to be the voice of descent. 1917 is brilliant. To me Parasite was ok but nothing I haven’t seen before. Hitchcock, Trauffat, etc. 1917 took me someplace I’ve never been before. And the storyline was very emotionally compelling to me. I had a hard time relating and caring about the Parasite families. Nevertheless congratulations to all connected with both films.

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    phenix714
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    #1203344892

    I think it’s a bit crazy to say that a movie like Ford v Ferrari is more of a technical achievement than masterworks like Parasite, Vertigo and Fanny and Alexander. Bigger scale doesn’t mean more technical. But everyone is entitled to their opinions, I guess.

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    jsn
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    #1203345169

    Mendes had the most easily impressive, showy work. Bong had the better work and rightfully won.

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