Rus Articles Journal

Forward in the past or back in the future? To anniversary of the director Robert Zemeckis

Robert Li Zemeckis was born on May 14, 1952 in Chicago, the State of Illinois, grew up in the neighborhood of the city, in the town of Makgenri. The father had it Lithuanian, and mother - the Italian origin, both of them were Catholics and “blue collars“.

The film director admitted that in his family there was no place to art and the television was a source of inspiration. Once young Zemeckis found parental 8 - a millimetric video camera and was fascinated once and for all. In the beginning he removed family holidays, and then together with friends passed to movies in a narration genre where there was both a doll animation, and many other special effects. Zemeckis kept love to the last also at mature age. Finally decided on future profession and resolved to be admitted to cinema school after watched the movie “Bonnie and Clyde“ though parents did not believe that it will manage to become the director.

Not at once, but Zemeckis managed to be admitted to school of cinema art at University of South California. During study he got acquainted and made friends with the writer Bob Gale with whom at it it appeared much in common. Both wanted to shoot the real Hollywood film, both liked Clint Eastwood, James Bond and Walt Disney, both did not seek to look intellectuals. The tandem turned out very productive, and as a result they created a set of movies in a co-authorship.

Being trained, Zemeckis managed to get the Student`s Academic Award for the movie “Field of Honour“, and after it Steven Spielberg`s attention. The master counted this study fascinating and decided to become his mentor and the executive producer of the two first movies of the young film director. They cooperated later, for example, in creation of the trilogy “Back in the Future“ and “Who Set Up Roger`s Rabbit“.

The first two movies of Zemeckis, “I want to hold you by a hand“ and “Second-hand cars“, critics apprehended with a bang, and here the audience did not hurry to vote for them dollar. The picture “1941 - y“ (which director was Spielberg, and Zemeckis and Gale - screenwriters) was unprofitable too. Whether it is worth being surprised that this union earned reputation of the people who are writing tremendous scenarios, but not creating cinema which is pleasant to public. Possibly, from - for it pragmatic American studios did not hurry to hire Robert and Bob and rejected their general project about the teenager who incidentally got to the past - 50 - e years of the 20th century. And in vain.

And it stayed the unemployed until Michael Douglas employed it in 1984 for shootings of “The novel with a stone“. And here what nobody expected turned out - the movie was very popular. In addition, Zemeckis was expected at this time by one more fatal meeting - with the composer Alan Silvestri who became the author of music of all his subsequent pictures.

Here also time to shake off dust from the old scenario about travel in time called “Back in the future“ came. The cinema turned out so successful that people demanded continuation. And as the client is always right, two more sequels which were released in 1989 and 1990, respectively were shot. In intervals between them Zemeckis worked with Walt Disney and removed “Who set up Roger`s rabbit“ where applied an interesting combination of animation and live action. The picture gained recognition both the audience, and critics, left quite expensive (70 - the million budget) and Oscar-winning (4 awards).

Then there was a black comedy “Death to It to the Person“, “Forest Gump“, “Contact“, “Derelict“ (Robinson Crusoe`s history in a new way), “What hides lie“...

At the moment Zemeckis became the director of 18 movies, one of which - “Flight“ - will leave in 2013, wrote scenarios to “1941“ and “Others territory“, was a producer of 16 tapes. And it apart from works for television. Zemeckis became the owner of a set of awards, including received the Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame behind number 6925. Made a big contribution to modernization of the film industry, spent $5 million for the Center of digital art of a name of at University of South California. Today this Center includes many classes of film school among which and student`s television station which officially is considered No. 1 in the country among all such stations. He managed to marry two times, to once divorce, grow up the son. To combine private life and work to it, by its own recognition, it was difficult.

Any original and talented director (and Zemeckis such is) is distinguished by own handwriting. What it, in this case?

If Robert Zemeckis did not become the film director …

From it, in my opinion, the quite good psychologist would turn out. Or the priest (with an ulterior motive he removed “Christmas stories“). Or tutor. On the first place it always puts not a situation, and the person. His identity, the personality, its choice if you want. Let`s tell, the same fantasy can be removed differently. It is possible close to the text, showing equipment of the future so that the audience had an effect of presence (Stanley Kubrick in “A space Odyssey“ so made). It is possible to pile on gradually the pressure up to turning point like a meeting with aliens as it occurred at Steven Spielberg, it is possible to create the atmosphere of secret and a riddle.

And when you watch Zemeckis, there is a feeling that all fantastic or mythical reality for it only surroundings. And it is unimportant in what year there is Martie, he will make the main thing, what choice and as it will affect his life further. As a result it turns out that only one ability not to react to a type podnachivaniye “you that, the coward“ rescues it and from a car accident, and from dismissal in the future.

Not essentially, really Eleonor Errouey (the main character of “Contact“) came into contact with brothers on reason or it was the mystification organized by the missing rich man (in favor of the first testify only 18 - hour hindrances). It is more important that this contact at this stage was not necessary to people in the majority. Did not ripen. Did not grow.

At the same time director fair moralist. Practically these morals are present at each movie. Here to you and responsibility of people for the sins (“Beowulf“), and the choice between external and internal beauty (“Death to it to the person“), and comparison of “the American dream“ with universal values (“Forest Gump“), etc. And original “Beowulf“ - it is simple - naprosto the heroic epos without special edification. In the book Forest Gump is much more rough and more cynical, than in the movie where he, in my opinion, gains some similarity to the prince Myshkin. (Zemeckis shot this movie only because Eric Roth`s scenario appeared.)

the Director`s receptions peculiar to Zemeckis

Is visible that he loves repetitions. Let`s tell, the same phrase from “Contact“: “If we are lonely in the Universe how many in vain vanishes spaces“, - is mentioned both in the beginning, and at the end of the movie. The same plumelet flies at the beginning and at the end of “Forest Gump“. The attentive audience will find still a set of such moments.

Still Robert Zemeckis likes the open finals. We do not know where Doc with the family on a new time machine went. It is not aware as Forest Gump - the senior will be died further. In the picture “Beowulf“ it is not shown, won against everything - Viglaf the demoness or agreed with it as it was made by two previous governors. The director prefers that we finished thinking about it. Special effects carried away …


, recently it is even too strong. So, in the movie “Polar Express“ he used equipment in which the movements of actors are taken in a digital form and are used as a basis for animation characters. The newspaper of New - York Tayms called this movie capable to become “a turning point in gradual transition from analog cinema to digital“. The same technology was used also in “Beowulf“. Zemeckis even planned to open new film company whose activity will be accented on computer graphics and 3d - effects.

But, whatever fancy equipment and special effects were used in its creations, the most important that to the director in movies still was what to tell the viewer. What it would also be desirable to wish sincerely in day it 60 - the anniversaries.