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Does this list piss anyone else off? 
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Post Does this list piss anyone else off?
So this is the Guardian's list of the Top 23 Directors working today: http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2012/sep/01/best-film-directors-world-2012

As their number one they have Paul Thomas Anderson, which may not be everyone's pick but it's a fairly unassailable one. Then they have Lynne Ramsay as #2 and my bullshit sensor started to go off. I mean, I loved We Need to Talk About Kevin but that feels like a "We're British, and so let's put a British woman in the second slot."

But it's at slot number 4 that they completely lost me. ...Joss Whedon? The man has directed two films in his entire life, and one was an expanded episode of a TV show. Even if you think The Avengers completely transcended comic book films and was a great movie (which I don't, though I liked it), you're putting a man who has directed two movies above literally everyone other than PT Anderson, Ramsay, and Refn? That's absurd. Things don't get much better after that. Edgar Wright cracks the Top 10, Lena Dunham is apparently a better director than Stephen Spielberg, Mia Hansen-Love trumps Terrence Malick, Gareth Edwards over Wes Anderson, etc. etc.

I know these things don't matter, but damn this angered up my blood!

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Sat Jan 12, 2013 10:31 am
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Post Re: Does this list piss anyone else off?
Yeah, I can see how you're angry with it, since the description...

Quote:
From The Master to Holy Motors, this autumn promises to be a strong season for director-led cinema. But who are the auteurs that are exciting us in 2012?


...pretty much indicates that it should only includes cinema stuff. While I love both of his directorial efforts (both 3.5 from me, though Serenity really needs a TV pretext to reach that), from a cinema standpoint, just looking a few quick scrolls down I would place Edgar Wright and Quentin Tarantino above him. It's just wrong for him to be so high at this time.

However, I can't really be pissed off at the list, because from consuming all Whedonverse stuff over the last two years, I know he has the talent and enormous potential to be there if he makes more films with the same boundary-pushing energy he did with all his best TV stuff (and his adaptation of Much Ado About Nothing seems to be going in that direction).


Sat Jan 12, 2013 11:42 am
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Post Re: Does this list piss anyone else off?
"The 23 best film directors in the world today"

You know, list, there are directors in the world that are outside of America and Europe. Here are thirteen: WONG KAR WAI, HAYAO MIYAZAKI, Jafar Panahi, Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Asghar Farhadi, Abbas Kiarostami, Jia Zhangke, Apitchatpong Weerasethakul, Hou Hsiao-Hsien, Aleksandr Sokurov, Park Chan-wook, Bong Joon-ho, and Hirokazu Koreeda. All of these, to me, are OBVIOUS directors who merit consideration, especially over some of the people on the list. I didn't even put Bela Tarr (who's retired, but the makers of this list probably don't know that) or Yorgos Lanthimos (who's Greek).

But hey, it's the Guardian.

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Sat Jan 12, 2013 12:15 pm
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Post Re: Does this list piss anyone else off?
I think they took a long time to decide a worthy #1, then thought fuck this let's go back to David's house and finish that rock.

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Sat Jan 12, 2013 3:55 pm
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Post Re: Does this list piss anyone else off?
wisey wrote:
I think they took a long time to decide a worthy #1, then thought fuck this let's go back to David's house and finish that rock.


Ha so true

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Sat Jan 12, 2013 4:31 pm
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Post Re: Does this list piss anyone else off?
I feel like this list would have been much better if it was just the names, no ranks. These rankings are subjective and idiotic. The lack of foreign film makers is troubling.


Sun Jan 13, 2013 10:51 pm
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Post Re: Does this list piss anyone else off?
darthyoshi wrote:
I feel like this list would have been much better if it was just the names, no ranks. These rankings are subjective and idiotic. The lack of foreign film makers is troubling.


Agreed on both counts. The rankings...ugh...if you really think Lena Dunham is better than Terrance Malick, then stop watching films

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Mon Jan 14, 2013 12:41 am
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Post Re: Does this list piss anyone else off?
"The 23 best film directors in the world today."

To quote Nelson Muntz, "I can think of at least two things wrong with that title."

First, there's the use of the word "best," which is immediately setting up the article for more scrutiny and mockery than it needs/deserves. When I look through the names on that list, I see plenty of filmmakers who have shown a good deal of promise but have only made a small number of films. Filmmakers such as Steve McQueen, Edgar Wright, Jason Reitman, Andrea Arnold. But this isn't a "most promising new directors in the world today" list, it's a "best film directors in the world today" list, and their inclusion means the dismissal of a countless number of more-established names that are more deserving. It's made worse by the fact that there's no consistency in the selections. Why do established veterans like Tarantino, Fincher, Soderbergh, Nolan, and Herzog make the list while Spielberg, Scorcese, and the Coen brothers, among many others, get left out?

Next, there's the use of the word "film." Maybe this is just me being snobbish, but three of the people on the list are more well-known for their contributions to television, rather than film. Lena Dunham may be a "director, writer, producer and just about everything in between," but she's made only one film, and is now preoccupied with television. Joss Whedon and J.J. Abrams are also relative newcomers, and despite the popularity of The Avengers and Star Trek, I think most people would still point to their television efforts as their best work. Right now, they shouldn't have any place on a list like this.

Lastly, as has already been pointed out, it's a list that's supposed to acknowledge a "world" of directors but only ends up acknowledging directors from the United States and Europe. Because it's an article from The Guardian, it's skewered heavily towards English filmmakers. Strange then that they would leave Danny Boyle off the list. Pedro ran off several more than worthy names, and I'll only add a couple more that immediately popped to mind: Guillermo del Toro and Alfonso Cuaron, anyone?

These kind of articles make me mad too, if only because I can't quite understand how it got published by a professional news organization. If stuff like this passes, can I have a job please? I guarantee I could do better.

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Mon Jan 14, 2013 1:31 am
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Post Re: Does this list piss anyone else off?
The publications says it all.

The Guardian - a newspaper so entrenched in its liberal bias that it has even been rejected by most of its own readership, and now exists forever on the brink of bankruptcy, kept afloat only by a trust fund that makes its money through a car magazine.

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Mon Jan 14, 2013 5:40 am
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Post Re: Does this list piss anyone else off?
I think it demonstrates that auteur theory is beginning to go too far. Joss Whedon is a perfect example of someone who is an auteur without being much of a director.


Mon Jan 14, 2013 5:42 am
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Post Re: Does this list piss anyone else off?
You have fallen for the "Guardian online headline trap". The headlines are made by subeditors, not the persons who actually write the article. They are often misleading and possibly spiced up with the intention of luring in clicks. The list is actually only concerned with "auteurs to watch in autumn 2012", i.e. directors who (at least) also write the screenplays and are about to release a movie in 2012. It's not about the 23 best drectors working today.

Anyway, this is a fairly ludicrous list, but it is worth pointing out that none of the writers are actually regular Guardian film critcs.

Perhaps the interns had a field day on this one.

MGamesCook wrote:
I think it demonstrates that auteur theory is beginning to go too far. Joss Whedon is a perfect example of someone who is an auteur without being much of a director.


I don't understand how the description of a filmmaker as an auteur should have anything to do with the quality of his work. As far as I understand it (and the way the term is used in German, French and by many English-language film critics) the distinction is made between auteur cinema and producer cinema, depending on who has the main input into the filmmaking process. That doesn't say anything about whether a film (or filmmaker) is any good. Til Schweiger fits the definition of an auteur, for Heaven's sake. Oh, I forgot that you wouldn't know him. That's all the better for you.

If you are referring to the auteur theory as it was used in 1950ies French film criticism (by Barzin, Truffaut and others), it states that a film should reflect the movie director's vision, but it still realises that filmmaking is an industrial process. How does this list show that "auteur theory is beginning to go too far"?

NotHughGrant wrote:
The publications says it all.

The Guardian - a newspaper so entrenched in its liberal bias that it has even been rejected by most of its own readership, and now exists forever on the brink of bankruptcy, kept afloat only by a trust fund that makes its money through a car magazine.


Erm, The Guardian calls itself "the world's leading liberal voice" right on the frontpage. Consequently, your statement that it is rejected by its readership due to a liberal bias isn't very convincing. The Guardian has actually been owned by a charitable trust since the 1930ies (I believe it has been changed to a Ltd. relatively recently), with the aim of ensuring editorial independence irrespective of financial profit.

Do you think that the ownership model of The Times, which are owned by Rupert Murdoch's News International Ltd. (a subsidiary of News Corp, which, inter alia, own Fox News), is more conducive to sound journalism? The News Int'l phone hacking scandal would indicate the opposite. (Btw, it was The Guardian's investigative journalism which uncovered much of it.)

And how do the political leanings of a newspaper affect the film criticism and movie news on their website? Particularly when it comes to a list like this?

Sorry, I'm in a grumpy mood. Here I am defending a newspaper I don't even read - apart from their football website, which his pretty good (but also suffers from the "Guardian online headline trap".


Mon Jan 14, 2013 8:52 am
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Post Re: Does this list piss anyone else off?
The Scott Trust own The Guardian and it uses profit from "auto trader" to offset its massive, massive losses.

I'm no cheerleader for Murdoch, but yes, The Times is far superior

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Mon Jan 14, 2013 3:52 pm
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Post Re: Does this list piss anyone else off?
Quote:
I don't understand how the description of a filmmaker as an auteur should have anything to do with the quality of his work. As far as I understand it (and the way the term is used in German, French and by many English-language film critics) the distinction is made between auteur cinema and producer cinema, depending on who has the main input into the filmmaking process. That doesn't say anything about whether a film (or filmmaker) is any good. Til Schweiger fits the definition of an auteur, for Heaven's sake. Oh, I forgot that you wouldn't know him. That's all the better for you.

If you are referring to the auteur theory as it was used in 1950ies French film criticism (by Barzin, Truffaut and others), it states that a film should reflect the movie director's vision, but it still realises that filmmaking is an industrial process. How does this list show that "auteur theory is beginning to go too far"?


Well, the whole fact that it is an industrial process means that the prominence of certain directors will often shift drastically over the course of time. And I think because of that, you can't really determine the ultimate value of a director's work until after his career is over. 6 or 7 years ago, M. Night Shyamalan probly would've been in the top 3 or so of this list, right? Now, for obvious reasons, he's nowhere to be seen. And despite the eagerness of many, it's simply far too early to be declaring anything significant about people like Nolan, Abrams, and Whedon. It would be tantamount to naming Hitchcock the best director of all time in 1939.

In other words, in more direct response, auteur theory was always meant to be a 20-20 hindsight approach to film evaluation; an analysis of the first 50 years of filmmaking. Now, it's like people try to make instant declarations. Sarris had a section in his book for "Oddities and Newcomers." The "Pantheon" was restricted pretty much just to people who'd been working since film's beginning (Welles was the youngest). Auteur theory has become too arbitrary.


Tue Jan 15, 2013 3:37 am
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