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such a nasty woman | by maryann johanson

cinematic roots of: ‘Justin Bieber: Never Say Never’

No movie springs from a vacuum. There are always influences from past examples of the genre, from the previous work of the filmmakers and stars, even from similar films that don’t quite work. If you want to understand where a movie is coming from, take a look at where it’s coming from.

In Justin Bieber: Never Say Never, the reincarnation of an ancient demigod of music casts a spell over entire nations, and promises to bring peace to the planet, if only all those teenage girls would stop rioting. This flick sprang from (among other films):

The Tin Drum (1979), the classic satire of German cinema in which a young buy quite literally refuses to grow up, and bangs on his toy drum whenever the world gets to be too much for him.

Citizen Kane (1941), Orson Welles’ masterpiece about a creative despot who makes life a living hell for all around him.

Breathless (1960), for more of that nouvelle vague feeling; Jean-Luc Godard’s film is about a feckless young man who carelessly seduces a young woman while on the run from decent civilized folk.

The Battleship Potemkin (1925), the silent Russian classic renowned for its masterful propagandistic qualities, as well as the famous scene featuring a crowd getting slaughtered.
Where to buy:
The Battleship Potemkin [Region 1/U.S.] [Region 1/Can.] [Region 2]
Breathless [Region 1/U.S.] [Region 1/Can.] [Region 2]
Citizen Kane [Region 1/U.S.] [Region 1/Can.] [Region 2]
The Tin Drum [Region 1/U.S.] [Region 1/Can.] [Region 2]

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