Hi! I am currently studying Shane Meadows as part of my film studies assignment and as part of my research, I would love to know what makes Shane Meadows the director that he is? what are his traits? and what you all love about his work? we are currently studying the French auteur theory that states that the director is key in making a film what it is, so how does he make his films what they are? it would brilliant to hear from you all! thank you very much! x
I think Shane seems to manage the chaos and order of filmmaking better than most, he seems to get the balance just right so to have that spontaneity and freshness but at the same time the order that a good story needs.
To understand Shane's style and process the best thing to do is to look at his short films and the way that style carries onto features.
I don't know much about film theory, but if the essence of an 'auteur' is a creative voice that is heard above all the noise surounding the production of a film (everybody else involved, censors, the demands of studios, sponsors etc), then I don't think there's much doubt that Shane Meadows is an auteur.
Shane is pretty explicit about his desire to tell particular stories and realise his vision in the telling of those stories in a very particular way. This applies in all respects; how it's shot, the music in the soundtrack, the actors he casts and so on. So even as there is a lot of improvisation involved, there is nevertheless a very definite thought and vision 'directing' this process. Add to this, the films are (usually) 'personal' in that Shane tells stories that have some personal resonance (as opposed to picking up scripts written by others because they might be commercial 'winners' etc) and, again, interprets those stories and realises/represents then visually in a very distinctive way.
I suppose a simple way of expressing this is that they are 'from the heart', which is not to say there isn't a lot of thought that goes into the process, but the intellectual effort is driven by an emotional 'connectedness' to the subject matter. Well, that's how I see them anyway. Put another way, if I was transported to a desert island for a while, disconnected from 'Meadowslands' and then shown a film which I didn't know had been made by Shane Meadows, I would know immediately, it was a Shane Meadows film because it would have that distinctive 'something' that others-in a similar style-do not have.
Interestingly, the one film that is often seen as somewhat 'out of kilter' with the rest of Shane's catelogue is Once Upon a Time in the Midland and that is the one film where the 'voice' did get crowded out by the 'noise' surrounding the process (it's still pretty good though )
Hope this reply isn't too obscure and is helpful. Good luck with your project.
This is fantastic! Thank you all very much, this is will be massive help for my project and I completely agree with you Jill, in my project I have to talk about Meadows' traits and what you said is very relevant x
I THINK FILM STUDIES ARE OK,BUT TO BE HONEST, Shane is Shane, if you listen to him in a interview his talks about his own experiences, his child hood, his mates, is family,,, life experience,,,, so most if not all his productions are going to flow, he don't need to keep flicking through some book to get his ideas or angles, he just sits back and probably relates to his own experience and films it, so what if some people don't like his style, being from that same time line I can relate to his stories, and truly love some of his work, well.... probably all of his work,,,keep it up pal
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