Monday, November 08, 2010

The Zemeckis Metamorphosis

I've spent enough time watching (and discussing) the Back to the Future trilogy of late to know that a recurrent question among many fellow fans is why series director and co-scenarist Robert Zemeckis seems to have exiled himself from "traditional" filmmaking to concentrate instead on CGI, motion capture spectacles like The Polar Express and Beowulf.  On top of that, his last live-action output was the '00 double-pump of What Lies Beneath and Cast Away, both of which are a far cry from the timeless, old school whimsy that the Future films, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, and Forrest Gump all exemplify, and at which Zemeckis is second perhaps only to Steven Spielberg at pulling off so effortlessly.

While I have no desire to see a new Back to the Future flick (nor does another one appear to be in the offing, thank goodness), I do wonder what happened to the Robert Zemeckis who used to make those kinds of movies, and whether he'll ever come back (he even turned down the Chris Nolan-produced Superman project that Zack Snyder is now helming -- I'll let you ponder the possibilities there for just a second).  Well, Matt Zoller Seintz has asked this very question, and in his view, the roots of the metamorphosis from that Zemeckis to the current model can be traced directly to the second leg of the Back to the Future trilogy.  And, I gotta say, he makes a pretty compelling case!

No comments: