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Windwalker
03-16-2008, 02:15 AM
I've been watching a lot of Miyazaki films lately (latest one is Laputa: Castle in the Sky), and it seems quite evident that the man is absolutely obsessed with flying. He not only includes flight sequences in almost every movie he makes (Mononoke being the one exception I can think of), but manages to so lovingly capture the details of how things blow in the wind, and how it must feel to soar through the air. There's always an element of wildness to it, and every film seems to have take-off sequences where characters thrusts themselves into the air as if making a leap of faith, which inevitably becomes the magic of flight.

Miyazaki also has other themes running throughout his movies, such as female coming-of-age, the environmental vs. industrial clash, and the complexity of multi-sided conflicts, but flight seems to be his greatest love.

I'd be interested in hearing about other little obsessions that creators have...

Promethea
03-16-2008, 02:47 AM
A high proportion of Spielberg's movies feature difficult father/ son relationships or where the father is absent and the impact that has on the child left behind.

For examples:

ET
Catch Me If You Can
Indiana Jones & The Last Crusade
Minority Report

And there are more.

Tuckerfan
03-16-2008, 03:50 AM
Disney seems to have a thing about orphans. Lucas's obsession with handectomies is well known and at such a level that it makes me wonder if he wasn't caught at an awkward moment as a kid, if you know what I mean.

mobo85
03-16-2008, 05:52 AM
Disney seems to have a thing about orphans.

If there aren't orphans in a Disney film, then the main character either has one parent or one of the parents dies. Walt Disney's mother was killed in 1938 due to a faulty furnace in a house that Walt bought for her, something he always regretted. This probably isn't why this traditon came to be, but it's interesting to note.

coffinjumper
03-16-2008, 05:52 AM
Joss Whedon's love for strong young super-powered women kicking ass. And his really bad father issues. (Does any character other than Fred have a good relationship there?)

Hodge
03-16-2008, 06:37 AM
Hitchcock is pretty famous for his movie obsessions with mistaken identity and the falsely accused man. In fact, it's interesting to note that the accused men in his movies are almost never really guilty. These obsessions are said to have stemmed from real life phobias.

Prominent examples of these movies are "Saboteur", "The 39 Steps", "Strangers on a Train", "North by Northwest", "Frenzy" and many others.

GuanoLad
03-16-2008, 07:36 AM
Quentin Tarantino has an obsession with portraying graphic violence realistically and then treating it like it's entertainment.

Illuminatiprimus
03-16-2008, 07:40 AM
Quentin Tarantino has an obsession with portraying graphic violence realistically and then treating it like it's entertainment.

Maybe his parents beat him a lot whilst filming it and then played it back with him watching encouraging to see the funny side of it so that child protection services weren't called in.

Otto
03-16-2008, 08:07 AM
Hitchcock is pretty famous for his movie obsessions with mistaken identity and the falsely accused man.
And is equally if not more famous for his obsession with icy blondes (Kim Novak, Tippi Hedren, Grace Kelly, to name just a few).

Hey, It's That Guy!
03-16-2008, 09:30 AM
Kevin Smith: Star Wars, comic books, "dick and fart jokes," and drugs.
Quentin Tarantino: shocking violence and women's feet.
Joss Whedon: ass-kicking young heroines.
Warren Ellis: the latest in high technology, cell phones, body modification, heroes with substance abuse problems.

Student Driver
03-16-2008, 10:00 AM
Also for Kevin Smith: hockey.

Michel Gondry explores human perceptions of reality pretty heavily among his various music videos and films, especially perceptions concerning memory and dreams. Half the time, I think he's exploring the boundary between reality and perception, the other half of the time, I think he just likes to recreate favorite dreams and images (like his recurring growing hand image), but either way, it's fun stuff.

Tom Tykwer seems to like stories that show how insignificant incidents can dramatically alter the course of one's life-- the three variants of Lola's story in Run Lola Run change direction based on slight changes in timing, and the characters in the Princess and the Warrior seem to live lives that change direction only based on otherwise coincidental intersections.

Otto
03-16-2008, 10:17 AM
Much of David Cronenberg's work revolves around themes of radical body modification through natural ("Crash") and unnatural ("Videodrome," "The Fly") means.

Argent Towers
03-16-2008, 10:43 AM
Speaking of Crash, I would say that from watching that movie (and reading the novel,) and watching Empire of the Sun, J.G. Ballard definitely has a fixation on aircraft, cars being damaged, and the idea of nonchalantly witnessing atrocities and disturbing events and not being surprised or scared, and he seems to have had this since early childhood, if Empire of the Sun is actually autobiographical.

David Lynch usually has characters with amnesia or some other kind of brain damage or memory loss.

MrDibble
03-16-2008, 12:24 PM
Much of David Cronenberg's work revolves around themes of radical body modification through natural ("Crash") and unnatural ("Videodrome," "The Fly") means.

I'd say Cronenberg had a thing for sphincter-like orifices, as well - Naked Lunch, eXistenZ.

Lakai
03-16-2008, 03:09 PM
Quentin Tarantino has an obsession with portraying graphic violence realistically and then treating it like it's entertainment.

I was going to reply to this, but then I remembered it was already explained (http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=292915&highlight=pulp+fiction) to you why this is not entirely accurate.

He does have an obsession with violence and feet though.

David Lynch looks like he has a thing for deformity and dreams.

gallows fodder
03-16-2008, 03:52 PM
David Lynch also has a thing for long still shots of machinery.

RealityChuck
03-16-2008, 05:48 PM
Ingemar Bergman had an obsession about movies about God for awhile. He later turned to dysfunctional relationships.

Woody Allen, of course, deals with neuroses.

Two and a Half Inches of Fun
03-16-2008, 05:52 PM
And is equally if not more famous for his obsession with icy blondes (Kim Novak, Tippi Hedren, Grace Kelly, to name just a few).

And he even made a movie, Vertigo, that used obsession with an icy blonde as a theme.

Lust4Life
03-17-2008, 08:57 AM
Heinlein had a strong recurring theme where the hero was a gifted kid who had a weak drama Queen mother,a hen pecked father and a spoiled brat younger brother.

Philip K.Dick had an obsession with the nature of reality as a result of his heavy amphetamine use.

Tuckerfan
03-17-2008, 09:01 AM
Heinlein had a strong recurring theme where the hero was a gifted kid who had a weak drama Queen mother,a hen pecked father and a spoiled brat younger brother.

Philip K.Dick had an obsession with the nature of reality as a result of his heavy amphetamine use.
I wouldn't say it was solely inspired by amphetamines (LSD, pot, and nearly every other drug you can name figure in there somewhere).

Annie-Xmas
03-17-2008, 09:08 AM
John Irving & bears.

Dr. Rieux
03-17-2008, 12:55 PM
John Irving & bears.
...and prep schools and New England and rape and abortion and feminism and wrestling and writing and Vienna...

GargoyleWB
03-17-2008, 01:21 PM
Joss Whedon: ass-kicking young heroines.


Similar with Luc Besson (in addendum to his Milla Jovovich obsession that we mutually share). All of his films are either kick-ass hotties, or hotties irrevocably drawn into a kick-ass violent world.

Tuckerfan
03-17-2008, 01:25 PM
Similar with Luc Besson (in addendum to his Milla Jovovich obsession that we mutually share). All of his films are either kick-ass hotties, or hotties irrevocably drawn into a kick-ass violent world.
Um, where does this (http://imdb.com/title/tt0110413/) film fit in those two categories?

GargoyleWB
03-17-2008, 01:51 PM
Um, where does this (http://imdb.com/title/tt0110413/) film fit in those two categories?

Heh, I suspected that would come up after I posted :smack: Maybe we could trade "hottie" for "innocent female archetype" in my preceding post. Then I think my revised theory holds true...

Zebra
03-17-2008, 02:04 PM
Will Smith seems to be obsessed with taking great sci-fi books and making radical changes to them.

kelly5078
03-17-2008, 02:20 PM
John Irving & bears.And wrestlers.

Edited because Dr. Rieux beat me too it, and more, and I wish now I'd never posted.

Elendil's Heir
03-17-2008, 02:25 PM
Woody Allen. Soon Yi. 'nuff said.

OneCentStamp
03-17-2008, 03:11 PM
Stephen King has a thing for young kids with special powers, and childhood friendships.

Dean Koontz likes dogs a lot.

Frank Herbert is all about ecology and religion, sometimes in the same work (Dune).

Annie-Xmas
03-17-2008, 03:13 PM
Stephen King has a thing for young kids with special powers, and childhood friendships.



He is also an expert in wife abuse.

OneCentStamp
03-17-2008, 03:15 PM
He is also an expert in wife abuse.
Do you mean in his writing, or is that an oblique reference to his personal life? (I don't know; it's an honest question!)

RealityChuck
03-17-2008, 03:34 PM
AFIK, just in his writing. If there ever were any allegation of real spousal abuse, the irony would put it right on the front pages.

Howard Hawks usually featured competent people (usually male, but a few females) dealing with life.

In addition to the dead parent theme in Disney films, the live-action films usually portrayed bankers as villains (in the main exception -- Mary Poppins -- the father only becomes redeemed when he tells off all the other bankers).

Charlie Chaplin dealt with poverty a lot. His character was nearly always struggling to survive financially (with a few exceptions).

Frank Capra often used the theme of "one sane man" -- usually a regular guy who shows others by example (e.g., American Madness, Mr. Deeds Goes to Town, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, It's a Wonderful Life). He also had quite a few evil bankers -- as well as some good ones.

Zebra
03-17-2008, 04:00 PM
Terry Gilliam uses the idea of the 'lone dreamer' vs the harsh reality quite a bit.


Brazil
Fisher King
Baron Von Muchtoweirdnameformetospell
Time Bandits

Annie-Xmas
03-17-2008, 04:13 PM
Do you mean in his writing, or is that an oblique reference to his personal life? (I don't know; it's an honest question!)

Only in his writing. He and wife Tabitha have been married for decades, and their relationship has survived poverty, parenthood, fame, celebrity, enormous wealth, Stephen's drinking & drugging & horrific accident. Their three children are fine.

The Kings have a model marriage. Maybe Stephen knows so much about spousal abuse that he knows how to make a marriage work.

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