Unfinished Films by Famous Directors

Discuss films and filmmakers of the 20th century (and even a little of the 19th century). Threads may contain spoilers.
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adeeze
Joined: Thu Jul 17, 2008 4:56 pm

Re: Unfinished Films by Famous Directors

#77 Post by adeeze » Thu Nov 13, 2008 2:55 am

I saw something where Terry Gilliam was talking once, where he was talking about the difference between Hollywood films that give you answers, and art films that make people question. He was comparing the differences between directors like Spielburg and Kubrick. But anyways, he said that somebody who had worked on set of Eyes Wide Shut with Kubrick (forgive me for not knowing the man's name), had asked what Kubrick thought of Schindler's List. And Kubrick supposedly replied "The thing about Schindler's List is that it's a story about success, but the holocaust was all about failure." Ever since I heard that quote I've wished so dearly that he could have made Aryan Papers.

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Oedipax
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Re: Unfinished Films by Famous Directors

#78 Post by Oedipax » Mon Nov 17, 2008 1:37 pm

There's a variation on that Kubrick quote in Fredric Raphael's Eyes Wide Open:
"That was about success wasn't it? The Holocaust is about six million people who get killed. Schindler's List was about six hundred people who didn't."

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Ovader
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Block Notes of a Director: The Actor

#79 Post by Ovader » Sun Dec 28, 2008 2:29 am

I was reading past articles on Fellini in the New York Times and read the November 1, 1993 article of Fellini's death and noticed he was making plans for a feature film called Block Notes of a Director: The Actor. This is the first time I have read of this project but there were no details and I could not find anything in my books of Fellini nor anything online at the present. The similar title as his Block-notes di un regista would lead one to believe it would be a similar production but if anyone has more information feel free to share.

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Lamourderer
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Re: Unfinished Films by Famous Directors

#81 Post by Lamourderer » Wed Jan 21, 2009 10:56 pm

In the 60s, Billy Wilder was about to make a film with the Marx Brothers, A Day at the United Nations which was about to be a political satire in a "marxist way", so to speak. The production was already about to start, the first draft of the script was written and negotiations were well under their way, when Harpo had a heart attack and the insurance companies withdrew from the project, so the film never got made. Wilder instead turned the failure in to a victory and made the similarly themed One, Two, Three! with Jimmy Cagney which I think is a masterpiece, neverthless it being a "plan b".

Adam
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Re: Unfinished Films by Famous Directors

#82 Post by Adam » Thu Jan 22, 2009 2:49 pm

REDCAT screened the other night a scene from Paradjanov's unfinished final film, as part of the Bruce Posner "Manhatta" show. Brilliant section. Posner said that he took it from a doc on Paradjanov. He's included it before in a touring show about a decade ago, where I originally saw it. From the program notes:

Sergei Paradjanov: Confession (1990, 9 min.), a fragment of the great Georgian filmmaker’s last unfinished project.

“This awesome fragment, literally made on [Paradjanov’s] deathbed, easily surpasses his last two features and deserves to be ranked alongside his sublime Sayat Nova; it centers mainly on a long take juxtaposing a group of musicians (whose music is unheard), an apparent funeral, and various ritualistic activities–all happening at once in the same hallucinatory space in a way that recalls juxtapositions in medieval paintings”
– Jonathan Rosenbaum

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Antoine Doinel
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Re: Unfinished Films by Famous Directors

#83 Post by Antoine Doinel » Fri Mar 20, 2009 12:27 pm

The Guardian laments great screenplays that never got past the producer's desk.

Vic Pardo
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Re: Unfinished Films by Famous Directors

#84 Post by Vic Pardo » Fri May 08, 2009 10:34 am

I'm surprised no one's mentioned SOMETHING'S GOT TO GIVE by George Cukor, starring Marilyn Monroe and Dean Martin. AMC ran a docu on it that included all the footage that could be compiled--about 40 min. worth. What a film that would have made, with those two. Fox pulled the plug because Marilyn went to New York to sing Happy B'day to JFK, surely something they could easily have capitalized on for some free publicity for the film. When the film was started up again, Martin refused to do it because he'd only agreed to it in the first place because of Monroe. So Doris Day made it with James Garner as MOVE, OVER DARLING (1965), three years after Monroe's death. It's a remake of Garson Kanin's MY FAVORITE WIFE (1940), with Cary Grant, Irene Dunne and Randolph Scott. I would have loved, though, to have seen a Doris/Dean pairing. That would have been interesting.

beamish13
Joined: Sun Oct 14, 2007 5:31 am

Re: Unfinished Films by Famous Directors

#85 Post by beamish13 » Fri May 08, 2009 11:16 am

Tim Burton's "Conversations With Vincent", his series of chats with Vincent Price, was basically abandoned after Price's death, but apparently quite a bit of footage exists.

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Antoine Doinel
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Re: Unfinished Films by Famous Directors

#86 Post by Antoine Doinel » Sat May 16, 2009 6:33 pm

Well, production never really started, but Edward Gorey apparently wrote a silent screenplay.

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MichaelB
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Re: Unfinished Films by Famous Directors

#87 Post by MichaelB » Sun May 17, 2009 2:49 am

Shakespeare's The Tempest has been the subject of two unfinished films - I'm not sure if Michael Powell ever started his (themes eventually found their way into his 1969 Age of Consent), but I think the animator George Dunning (Yellow Submarine) had definitely fired the starting gun on his version before he died.

According to the BFI's Reference Guide to British and Irish Film Directors:
When he died in London on 15 February 1979, The Tempest remained sadly unfinished. The collated surviving material - black-and-white pencil tests, pose sketches, a few full-colour animation sequences - hints at a bold expansion of past techniques, with figures, landscapes, even the Shakespeare text, in perpetual flux.
There's also Dark Blood, the film River Phoenix was shooting when he died. It was at the worst possible stage - Phoenix hadn't filmed enough to make completion viable, but he'd filmed too much to make a reshoot affordable, so the completion bond company shut it down and wrote it off. It was an absolute disaster for George Sluizer, who was still just about able to summon up memories of the original The Vanishing, but the disastrously ill-advised remake (which Sluizer directed under the misapprehension that Hollywood wouldn't dare fuck it up with the original director at the helm) and the collapse of Dark Blood pretty much torpedoed his career.

rossen
Joined: Tue Jul 21, 2009 3:23 pm

Re: Unfinished Films by Famous Directors

#88 Post by rossen » Wed Feb 10, 2010 2:11 am

I don't know if she qualifies as a famous director, but Larisa Shepitko's last film Farewell was finished by her husband Elem Klimov after she died in a car crash. I've seen the movie a long time ago (in the 80's) but I remember that it was a haunting, very beautiful and sad film.

ethel
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Re: Unfinished Films by Famous Directors

#89 Post by ethel » Tue Feb 16, 2010 6:06 am

George Dunning (Yellow Submarine) had definitely fired the starting gun on his version before he died.
Yes the tests were compiled as Sketches for the Tempest (1979) shown as a short film at a few film festivals (including Melbourne) in the 1980s. An obvious candidate for an extra on the Yellow Submarine Blu, and should have been on the DVD - only runs a few minutes, sadly...

bamwc2
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Re: New Films in Production

#90 Post by bamwc2 » Wed Apr 14, 2010 10:35 pm

This is actually a really interesting article on films that never made it to production. I'm not sure if there's a more appropriate place to puut it. If so, then please move it mods.

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Morbii
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Re: New Films in Production

#91 Post by Morbii » Thu Apr 15, 2010 4:21 am

bamwc2 wrote:This is actually a really interesting article on films that never made it to production. I'm not sure if there's a more appropriate place to puut it. If so, then please move it mods.
Your link went to a 404 page for me.

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domino harvey
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Re: Unfinished Films by Famous Directors

#92 Post by domino harvey » Thu Apr 15, 2010 4:44 am

Salon's just down

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Ovader
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Re:

#93 Post by Ovader » Wed Jul 24, 2013 1:59 pm

Dylan wrote:Another that immediately comes to mind is Federico Fellini's "Journey of G. Mastorna," which Fellini himself believed may have been his greatest film, but during pre-production he fell ill (in part due to an uncontrollable feeling that something bad would happen to him during the production). Sick for many weeks, he closed it down indefinitely, and never returned. A documentary by Fellini himself was made about it (and can be found on disc two of the "8 1/2" DVD), and around a year before Fellini died, he produced a graphic novel of the screenplay (which I haven't been able to find, but I'd love to have it).
Finally a book about this fascinating project by Federico Fellini! I contacted film scholar Peter Bondanella in January 2010 about any additional information of this project and he replied he read a very good translation by an American living in Italy, but the rights problems are very thorny, and it may well never be printed. Very pleased everything has worked out!

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jindianajonz
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Re: Unfinished Films by Famous Directors

#94 Post by jindianajonz » Wed Jul 24, 2013 3:08 pm

I posted something about this in the Comic Book thread a while back, but the Fellini graphic novel is widely available as part of Dark Horse's Milo Manara Library, specifically Volume 3.

Not to be confused with Manara's Erotica vol 3...

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mistakaninja
Joined: Thu Aug 15, 2013 5:15 pm

Re: Unfinished Films by Famous Directors

#95 Post by mistakaninja » Sat Oct 26, 2013 1:43 pm

The Greatest Movies You'll Never See is out on Aurum in the UK. Features pieces on about seventy unmade or unfinished films, including Bresson's Genesis, Fellini's Mastorna, Kubrick's Napoleon, a ton of Welles stuff, Hitchcock's Kaleidoscope, Cukor's Something's Got To Give, Chaplin's Return From St Helena, Dali's Giraffes On Horseback Salads, Lean's Nostromo, Eisenstein's Que Viva Mexico, Jodorowsky's Dune, Kaufman's Star Trek picture etc, and a host of more recent ones.

They commissioned original posters for every project too.

Clouzot's L'Enfer

Image


Malle's Moon Over Miami

Image



Hitchcock's Kaleidoscope

Image



Coppola's Megalopolis

Image


Pretty decent coffee table volume.

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feihong
Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2004 12:20 pm

Re: Unfinished Films by Famous Directors

#96 Post by feihong » Sun Oct 27, 2013 5:17 am

Adam wrote:REDCAT screened the other night a scene from Paradjanov's unfinished final film, as part of the Bruce Posner "Manhatta" show. Brilliant section. Posner said that he took it from a doc on Paradjanov. He's included it before in a touring show about a decade ago, where I originally saw it. From the program notes:

Sergei Paradjanov: Confession (1990, 9 min.), a fragment of the great Georgian filmmaker’s last unfinished project.

“This awesome fragment, literally made on [Paradjanov’s] deathbed, easily surpasses his last two features and deserves to be ranked alongside his sublime Sayat Nova; it centers mainly on a long take juxtaposing a group of musicians (whose music is unheard), an apparent funeral, and various ritualistic activities–all happening at once in the same hallucinatory space in a way that recalls juxtapositions in medieval paintings”
– Jonathan Rosenbaum
Picking this out from 2009, I saw this at the Redcat screening and, like pretty much all of the audience, was blown away. It was startling, great Paradjanov, packed with this extraordinary amount of visual detail. We seem to see a man being born, married, dead, and then ascending to heaven, all in one long, horizontal tableau. The camera moves from left to right across the scene, and layer upon layer of it are revealed to us in dazzling succession.

But my memory of how this fragment was included in the show is different than what the previous poster said. Posner was not familiar with the fragment, and not necessarily familiar with Paradjanov. He was unable to provide an eager group of questioners any information on the film during the Q&A. The selection had been added to the show by co-curator Steve Anker, who told us he had screened it previously and thought it would be a good selection for an experimental short mashup.

ClaudeNorth2014
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Re: Unfinished Films by Famous Directors

#97 Post by ClaudeNorth2014 » Sun Jan 19, 2014 8:03 pm

She's not famous for being a director, but Faye Dunaway has been working on her feature film directing debut, an adaptation of Terrence McNally's Master Class, for several years now. IMDB.com lists it as being in "post-production," but I've also read reports that she hasn't completed filming. It could see the light of day eventually, but it also seems like the sort of project that could join the ranks of the permanently unfinished.

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