5 Projects That Prove Frank Darabont Is An Absolute Genius
Frank Darabont may be the most underrated director of our time. The effect his films have had on audiences around the world allows them to be transfixed by his style, passion and ultimate genius without even knowing it. He taps into our subconscious and this makes him a true genius in his time.
1. The Shawshank Redemption – Director.
Not only is The Shawshank Redeption the most highly rated film on Rotten Tomatoes, it is one of the most beautiful films about hope and friendship that you will ever see. Astonishingly, it was not successful when it was released in theaters. It quietly drifted off the screens and onto the shelves of video stores without much hype. However, after it was chosen in video stores as the “pick of the week”, more and more people saw this sensational film. Darabont’s use of narration is what links the cinematography, exceptional acting and writing to create his finest masterpiece.
2. The Mist – Director.
The genius that is Frank Darabont is exemplified in his 2007 horror The Mist. Darabont wrote the screenplay and directed The Mist which was adapted from the Stephen King novel of the same name. On the surface, the film revolves around a mysterious mist that encapsulates a small town. From the mist comes the most horrifying monsters. Underneath, however, the film revolves around human reaction to fear, which is much more terrifying. “The story is less about the monsters outside than about the monsters inside, the people you’re stuck with, your friends and neighbors breaking under the strain.” – Frank Darabont. Led by Thomas Jane, this stellar cast is palpable in their terror and we applaud Darabont for bringing these actors to the brink of method acting and the perception that they are not acting at all. “The end will come, not in flames, but in mist”.
3. The Walking Dead – Creator/Executive Producer.
The Walking Dead is an epic horror television series with similar themes to Darabont’s The Mist. The Walking Dead centers around a zombie apocalypse in America, a description that often invokes eye rolling. Yet, it is the apocalypse that plays a supporting role to the main story about humans being stripped down to the core of their humanity, and discovering who they truly are. Darabont was incredibly passionate about The Walking Dead but after creative differences with the producers of the series he subsequently left the project. His contribution should never be forgotten and his hard work and creative instinct are reflected in the television series even in the seasons after he left.
4. The Green Mile – Director.
The Green Mile revolves around a group of death-row guards who unexpectedly become friends with a man convicted of murdering two little girls. Tom Hanks leads an amazing troupe of actors that all give authentic performances that are worthy of Oscar nominations. Darabont recalls a time when Tom Hanks and Michael Clarke Duncan had a very emotional scene in which Duncan had to tell the story of what happened the day he was arrested for the murders. Although Tom Hank’s face was off camera, Darabont stated that he has never seen an actor more committed to supporting their screen partner as Hanks was on the day he had to shoot this emotional scene with Duncan. Darabont’s appreciation and respect for the art of acting allows him to see the world from the actor’s point of view, which is key in a successful film making.
5. Goodfellas – Source of Inspiration.
People become geniuses over time because they build on the foundations of someone else’s hard work. Martin Scorsese’s Goodfellas was a huge source of inspiration for Darabont in making the character of Red narrate The Shawshank Redemption. This spark of influence enabled Daradont to make his film stand out and contributed to the audience understanding his characters on a different level. Goodfellas in itself is an incredible gangster film and you can see it influence the style of how Darabont directs all of his films.
BONUS: He’s The ultimate Actors’ Director.
Frank Darabont is renowned in Hollywood for using the same actors repeatedly in his projects. His loyalty for the artistry of acting shows in his selection of sometimes not the most celebrated in Hollywood but certainly the most talented. One of the reasons why he left The Walking Dead was because he felt the producers didn’t care about the cast and the crew. Actors who have worked with Darabont over the years have mentioned his professionalism, passion and his empathy for his fellow man. “Empathy is at the heart of the actors’ art”.