If a director is no longer making good films or having trouble getting funding for his/her next project, there’s almost always a good reason for that.
Usually it’s because he/she has simply aged out and has therefore (a) lost the ability to hear and respond to the cultural current, (b) has nothing new to say or (c) has simply run out of gas. Then again you have to remember the case of the 82-year-old Sidney Lumet rebounding with Find Me Guilty (’06) and Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead (’07). Lumet’s comeback was a thing of absolute wonder.
If I could magically re-ignite the creative fires of any big-name ’80s director so that he/she could make one more really good or great film, I would choose John Carpenter, Rob Reiner, David Lynch, Terry Gilliam or Bertrand Blier. But it’s a silly idea. Artists tend to lose their strength and vision when the fire goes out — period. Some are long-game players but most are not.
From “Visual Maestro, Yes, But A Sworn Enemy of Logic,” posted on 4.20.16:
Posted on 9.10.15: “My view is that Brian DePalma was a truly exciting, must-watch director from the late ’60s to mid ’70s (Greetings to The Phantom of the Paradise to Carrie), and an exasperating, occasionally intriguing director from the late ’70s to mid ’90s (Dressed To Kill, Scarface, The Untouchables, Carlito’s Way, Mission: Impossible, Snake Eyes).
“But he’s been over for years. I used to love the guy but then he made Mission to Mars (’00), Femme Fatale (’02), The Black Dahlia (’06), Redacted (’07) and Passion (’12)…forget it. Baumbach and Paltrow surely understand this. They surely made this doc in hopes of restoring DePalma’s rep as well as educating Millenials and reminding the old-time fans what a legendary helmer he was in his day.
“It sounds as if the doc is brimming with flavor and great anecdotes. DePalma, 75, is reportedly honest and amusing about many of the aspects of his 50 year-career, and for this quality alone I can’t wait to see it.
“De Palma is nonetheless one of the most committed and relentless enemies of logic of all time. For a great director he has an astonishing allegiance to nonsensical plotting and dialogue that would choke a horse. I tried to re-watch Blow Out last year — I couldn’t stand it, turned it off. The Fury drove me crazy when I first saw it, although I love the ending. I found much of Dressed To Kill bothersome when it first came out 35 years ago, and to be honest I haven’t watched the Criterion Bluray.”