In our ever-evolving urge to present unique film-related topics and subjects to you, we’ve come up with our “First Features” column. The idea behind “First Features” is that every director has to start somewhere. Typically the first film they’re ever asked to helm isn’t one that rises to mass popularity. At least that’s the case for the majority of directors. It’s normally the later films a director is tasked to do, once they’ve established a name for themselves, that they and their films rise to prominence. You know Steven Spielberg. You’ve probably seen Jaws, E.T., Saving Private Ryan and Minority Report, but have you seen his first made-for-theaters feature, Sugarland Express? It’s far less known than any of the aforementioned films, mainly because it was his first. Our mission is to visit those unheralded, vastly unseen first features of major directors working today and compare them to their more popular works to gauge how they’ve grown into shaping their craft.
Not all first features are unknown or underseen of course. Sam Mendes’ first film was American Beauty, which won five Academy Awards, including Best Director and Best Picture. We’ll let those films stand on their own two feet, but hope to unearth some hidden gems from this process.
This will be a semi-regular column, most likely written on a monthly basis and always to coincide with a newly released film by the directorial subject. With that set in place, we will get the ball rolling for Ron Howard’s new film, Angels & Demons and take you back to 1977 when he made his directorial debut with Grand Theft Auto. Check back here tomorrow (5/11) for that.
We hope you like this new column and the objective we hope to convey. Please let us know what you think of the idea and execution in the comments section. We’d love to hear your thoughts.