Focus on Directing: My Influential Directors

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The question of which directors have influenced me has come up recently over the past few film festivals. It's something that I have been thinking about as it has shifted over the past decade. In the early 2000s, it was Krzysztof Kieslowski, the Polish filmmaker responsible for The Three Colours trilogy, whom I fell in love with. Blue, my favourite of the three, is a portrait of a woman (Juliette Binoche) whose life unravels after the death of her husband and child. She tries to cut herself from the pain by isolating herself, but realizes she's unable to set herself free of human connections. Kieslowski takes us into her world through perspectives I had not seen in Hollywood cinema.

Late 2000s, Ang Lee became an influential director for me. I identified with him because he was of Asian decent, but was able to tell character driven stories that transcended different groups. The Ice Storm is one film I admired the most because he took an ordinary event (an ice storm) and transposed its effects on the lives of several people. Everybody in the film was effected regardless of status, creed or gender. It spoke to how I could tell a story. 

In 2013, I became influenced by John Hughes, the American film director, producer and screenwriter who died in 2009. Responsible for influencing a generation, his films were populist fare. As my work connected with more people, I looked back at my favourite films in the 80s and wondered why I loved them so much (i.e. Ferris Bueller's Day Off). John Hughes reminded me of simpler times (pre 9/11 era) that I missed where movies were not serialized and themes were timeless.  

About the author


Jason Karman is a Vancouver-based director and producer. He has created 15 shorts. His drama, I'm in the Mood for Love, won the Gerry Brunet Memorial Award at the 2011 Vancouver Queer Film Festival. His past works show universal appeal having screened on LOGOTV, HBO on Demand, WNET PBS, and…

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