When people ask me who my favourite filmmaker is, and I say Rian Johnson, they tend to look at me with a blank face. Despite releasing his first film in 2005, Rian Johnson is still quite unknown. Over the last eight years, he has released three feature films, as well as working on various smaller projects. His films tend to feature quite complex storylines and a range of mysterious characters, as well as being very interesting and visually impressive.
His first film, Brick, was released in 2005. Although it only had a really small budget it was regarded highly by film critics and won various awards. Admittedly, it is a rather bleak film, following Brandon, a student played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, as he tries to find out what has happened to his ex-girlfriend, Emily. Throughout the film he makes a number of shocking discoveries. The film's dialogue can sometimes be a bit tricky because of the characters' frequent use of slang. However I feel that it has everything you could want in a movie! Mystery, suspense, love and interesting characters.
His second film, The Brothers Bloom, was released in 2009. I love how Johnson has made everything about this film more extravagant than Brick. The plot is more elaborate, the characters are more eccentric and the cinematography much grander. The story of brothers Stephen and Bloom, two of the greatest con-artists in the world, spans the globe. Of course, their final con does not go to plan, often leaving the audience wondering whether what they just saw actually did happen or if it was yet another trick...sometimes with surprising results!
Looper, released just last year, is Johnson's most successful film. It is more of a blockbuster than his previous films and had a much bigger budget. Looper is a sci-fi film about time-travel. Although the film is set in the future, the world is not as high-tech as people would imagine (although they do have hover-motorbikes!) Again, the mysterious protagonist is looking for answers, and again he encounters a lot of intriguing people along the way. One of the things I love most about this film is that Johnson makes references to quite a few different film throughout. It is quite fun trying to spot the references and guess which film they are from!
If you get a chance I would strongly recommend watching one of Rian Johnson's films. Even if you don't enjoy it, it will definitely be an interesting experience.
Do you have a favourite filmmaker? Would you like to watch any of the films Regan mentions in his post?