Kobe Bryant and Larry Holmes have a lot of similarities, both of them are great athletes that suffered from the same thing, being a copy of an original. Larry Holmes defended his title 20 times! Kobe won five N.B.A. titles and two finals MVPs. But the trouble is that they came after arguably the two most transcendent athletes to ever grace our planet, Ali and Jordan. Holmes was a boxer that could move around the ring, he wasn’t as graceful as a prime Ali but he was efficient. Outside of the ring. Holmes used to talk in rhyme like Ali but he was more bitter. Kobe played the same position as Jordan and had similar moves, he was a better copy than Holmes but still would always be compared to Jordan.
Writer Harold Bloom’s book The Anxiety of Influence talks about Shakespeare’s influence on all of the writers that came after him. Ali and Jordan are legendary, you will never be greater than them by trying more Ali-like or Jordan-like. It’s impossible, as a filmmaker I won’t be greater than Hitchcock by making a Hitchcock film. I have to take things from other masters of this field and expand on it or try and make something new. I love Coen brothers’ films, I know I can’t make a film the way they do but I can take small parts of what they do and bring it into my work. That’s how I will become a better filmmaker, not by copying, but stealing and repurposing. Kinda like hip-hop.