There are surprisingly few to choose from in the letter ‘E’. Because of that, I will only feature two film-makers in today’s post, hopefully leaving out enough for you to add your choices.
Sir Richard Eyre is a man of many talents. This English director is known for his work in stage productions, Opera, and television, as well as films. Highly regarded, he has won many awards, and received both a C. B. E. and a Knighthood for his achievements. Although he has not made many films, they have all been powerful dramas, and well-worth watching. The superb ‘The Ploughman’s Lunch’ (1983) looks at the machinations of the British media, during the heyday of Margaret Thatcher. ‘Iris’ (2001) told the true story of the life of the writer Iris Murdoch, and her battle with Alzheimer’s Disease, with a memorable performance by Judi Dench in the title role. Eyre worked with her again, in the 2006 psychological thriller ‘Notes On A Scandal’, where she starred alongside Cate Blanchett. He gets in close to his actors, and really manages to work with them to achieve standout performances.
Worth investigating, if you have never seen his films.
Back to my youth, and my early days of going to the National Film Theatre in London, where I developed my love of foreign films. The films of Russian director Sergei Eisenstein have become part of the very fabric of cinema. With their innovative techniques, and huge scope, they have generated endless imitators, and inspired film-makers all over the world too. You may not know his name, but you might have heard of his films. Following the turmoil of the Russian Revolution, he documented events in an often startling fashion, at a time when most films were still silent. ‘Strike’ (1925), ‘Battleship Potemkin’ (1925), and the wonderful ‘October: Ten Days That Shook The World’ (1927). He later went on to make the famous historical epics ‘Alexander Nevsky’ (1938) and ‘Ivan The Terrible’ (1944).
Here is a taste of his style, with the famous ‘Odessa Steps’ scene.