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Top 10 Favorite Directors? 
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Post Re: Top 10 Favorite Directors?
I generally like the films of Michael Mann however there is a theme of cold detachment running through what I have seen.

Rob


Thu Jan 29, 2009 12:42 am
Post Re: Top 10 Favorite Directors?
Vic wrote:
May sound a bit lame after reading the lists made above with some bona-fide film legends, but have a soft spot for Michael Mann.

After I posted my ten, I realized I left Michael Mann off my list. Shame on me! He is great at telling a story. Heat is one of my favorite movies. Hell, I even liked Miami Vice, despite its confusing and convoluted plot. He may not be the flashiest of directors, but he knows how to tell a story. Say what you want about his films, his plots are never underdeveloped.


Thu Jan 29, 2009 3:03 am
Post Re: Top 10 Favorite Directors?
Jeez, I just reread the topic and I forgot all about Hitchcock. His films aren't nearly as resounding with me as others, though he's had a definite influence on how I look at the suspense genre. Psycho's definitely my personal favorite, though I really liked the underappreciated Strangers on a Train.


Thu Jan 29, 2009 4:39 am
Post Re: Top 10 Favorite Directors?
I've just read through all posts so far, and at one point I started thinking, where's the Michael Mann love? Needless to say, I was not disappointed in the end. ;) Ordering favourite directors would be even more difficult than ordering favourite films, so here they are in no strict order:

Christopher Nolan (Memento)
Michael Mann (The Insider)
David Fincher (Fight Club)
Steven Spielberg (Schindler's List)
Clint Eastwood (Mystic River)
Paul Thomas Anderson (Magnolia)
Martin Scorsese (The Departed)
James Cameron (Terminator 2: Judgment Day)
Steven Soderbergh (Traffic)
Robert Zemeckis (Back to the Future)

Yes, very much contemporary directors and films. I've made an effort to catch up on quite a few classics from the 70s and earlier, but for some reason, as much as I can and do appreciate them, they just don't seem to, er... resonate with me like newer films do. Is anybody else the same?

Seeya,
nuxx.


Thu Jan 29, 2009 5:44 am
Post Re: Top 10 Favorite Directors?
nuxx wrote:
Yes, very much contemporary directors and films. I've made an effort to catch up on quite a few classics from the 70s and earlier, but for some reason, as much as I can and do appreciate them, they just don't seem to, er... resonate with me like newer films do. Is anybody else the same?

Seeya,
nuxx.


That's how I am nuxx. I remember when I first saw Sunset Blvd. I understood why it was great, having studied its development and the controversy surrounding it, but for some reason I just didn't see what made it more than just a good film. Were good films so few and far between in those days that a film like Sunset Blvd which is at best *** in my book, could be hailed as one of the greatest films to come out at the time?


Thu Jan 29, 2009 9:28 pm
Post Re: Top 10 Favorite Directors?
Shelobfan wrote:
nuxx wrote:
Yes, very much contemporary directors and films. I've made an effort to catch up on quite a few classics from the 70s and earlier, but for some reason, as much as I can and do appreciate them, they just don't seem to, er... resonate with me like newer films do. Is anybody else the same?

Seeya,
nuxx.


That's how I am nuxx. I remember when I first saw Sunset Blvd. I understood why it was great, having studied its development and the controversy surrounding it, but for some reason I just didn't see what made it more than just a good film. Were good films so few and far between in those days that a film like Sunset Blvd which is at best *** in my book, could be hailed as one of the greatest films to come out at the time?


Hi Shelobfan and Nuxx

Maybe we are in a world where attention span is limited, editing and cutting is faster across all media and people are being brought up on a very different diet. You only have to watch the news and see rarely more than 2 minutes devoted to any story.

This makes it more difficult to access films from a different era. their pacing, cutting, style and color are all different.

I'm 50 and have the opposite view to what you said. I think that there were many great movies in the 50's and specifically Sunset Boulevard is an all time favorite. I find the film so rich that i can almost luxuriate in it. It's like a rich cup of freshly brewed coffee or a great wine. I know this all sounds a little pretentious but I really do feel that we rarely produce great films any more.

Maybe I'm older and older people tend to look back? I don't know.

The first time I saw Citizen Kane I was underwhelmed. It was on the BBC and I was about 15. I saw it again at college in a film club and saw a different movie that was much more interesting. I watched it again a few years later and it was much better. A few years later I gave it another try and was blown away. It probably took 15 years for it to become my personal favorite movie.

I cannot imagine what I would have thought of Ozu's Tokyo Story or Bresson's Au Hasard Balthasar as a younger person. Tokyo Story is the antithesis of the modern rapid cut movie. Au Hasard Balthazar is a parable built around the life and times of a donkey for god's sake!

The great joy of cinema is surely the discovery of the new :-)
Rob


Thu Jan 29, 2009 10:33 pm
Post Re: Top 10 Favorite Directors?
nuxx wrote:
I've just read through all posts so far, and at one point I started thinking, where's the Michael Mann love? Needless to say, I was not disappointed in the end. ;) Ordering favourite directors would be even more difficult than ordering favourite films, so here they are in no strict order:

Christopher Nolan (Memento)
Michael Mann (The Insider)
David Fincher (Fight Club)
Steven Spielberg (Schindler's List)
Clint Eastwood (Mystic River)
Paul Thomas Anderson (Magnolia)
Martin Scorsese (The Departed)
James Cameron (Terminator 2: Judgment Day)
Steven Soderbergh (Traffic)
Robert Zemeckis (Back to the Future)

Yes, very much contemporary directors and films. I've made an effort to catch up on quite a few classics from the 70s and earlier, but for some reason, as much as I can and do appreciate them, they just don't seem to, er... resonate with me like newer films do. Is anybody else the same?

Seeya,
nuxx.


Wait a minute
I'll grant you PTA, Nolan, Spielberg, hell, even Soderbergh. But this is one messy list other than that.

First, you cite a lot of directors' lesser films here: The Insider certainly isn't Mann's best film (Heat is), Se7en is easily a better film than Fight Club (the latter's ending is broken), Mystic River is one of Eastwood's lesser dramas (why you would select it over Unforgiven, The Outlaw Jesse Whales, Letters from Iwo Jima and Million Dollar Baby is inexplicable). You even cite Terminator 2 as Cameron's best film over the impeccably crafted Aliens. And, most obviously, you list The Departed of all Scorsese's films. To suggest The Departed is better than Goodfellas, Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, and even Mean Streets is borderline criminal.

None of those are terrible sins though. The most obvious thing is including Robert Zemeckis. Zemeckis does not belong on a top 10 list of directors. He doesn't belong on a top 100, or a top 1,000, or a top 5,000. Back to the Future and Who Framed Roger Rabbit were very good, I'll grant you, but other than that he's cranked out unbelievably awful crap like Forrest Gump, Beowulf, Contact, and Cast Away. Certainly he didn't have any remarkable or unique input on his best two films to distinguish him from any other director.

And even if you do prefer modern films, how can you leave out directors like Wong Kar-Wai and Alfonso Cuarón in favour of Mann and Zemeckis?


Last edited by worstofreel on Tue Feb 03, 2009 11:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Tue Feb 03, 2009 11:48 pm
Post Re: Top 10 Favorite Directors?
Shelobfan wrote:
nuxx wrote:
Yes, very much contemporary directors and films. I've made an effort to catch up on quite a few classics from the 70s and earlier, but for some reason, as much as I can and do appreciate them, they just don't seem to, er... resonate with me like newer films do. Is anybody else the same?

Seeya,
nuxx.


That's how I am nuxx. I remember when I first saw Sunset Blvd. I understood why it was great, having studied its development and the controversy surrounding it, but for some reason I just didn't see what made it more than just a good film. Were good films so few and far between in those days that a film like Sunset Blvd which is at best *** in my book, could be hailed as one of the greatest films to come out at the time?


So what you're saying here is that the clever satire, eye-popping cinematography, fantastic editing, countless classic lines of dialogue, wonderfully self-aware score, brilliantly contrasted yet perfectly meshed performances and above all insane direction weren't enough to make it more than just a good film?

That film isn't just hailed as one of the best films of its time. It's hailed as one of the best films of all time. So what you're saying here is that back in the 50s there were very rarely good films, and that Sunset goddamn Blvd. has survived with its overwhelming critical appreciation to this day just because it was good and that good movies were rare?

I wanna know how many stars those three stars are out of. Because if it's out of more than three I weep for your children.


Tue Feb 03, 2009 11:57 pm
Post Re: Top 10 Favorite Directors?
worstofreel wrote:
nuxx wrote:
I've just read through all posts so far, and at one point I started thinking, where's the Michael Mann love? Needless to say, I was not disappointed in the end. ;) Ordering favourite directors would be even more difficult than ordering favourite films, so here they are in no strict order:

Christopher Nolan (Memento)
Michael Mann (The Insider)
David Fincher (Fight Club)
Steven Spielberg (Schindler's List)
Clint Eastwood (Mystic River)
Paul Thomas Anderson (Magnolia)
Martin Scorsese (The Departed)
James Cameron (Terminator 2: Judgment Day)
Steven Soderbergh (Traffic)
Robert Zemeckis (Back to the Future)

Yes, very much contemporary directors and films. I've made an effort to catch up on quite a few classics from the 70s and earlier, but for some reason, as much as I can and do appreciate them, they just don't seem to, er... resonate with me like newer films do. Is anybody else the same?

Seeya,
nuxx.


Wait a minute
I'll grant you PTA, Nolan, Spielberg, hell, even Soderbergh. But this is one messy list other than that.

First, you cite a lot of directors' lesser films here: The Insider certainly isn't Mann's best film (Heat is), Se7en is easily a better film than Fight Club (the latter's ending is broken), Mystic River is one of Eastwood's lesser dramas (why you would select it over Unforgiven, The Outlaw Jesse Whales, Letters from Iwo Jima and Million Dollar Baby is inexplicable). You even cite Terminator 2 as Cameron's best film over the impeccably crafted Aliens. And, most obviously, you list The Departed of all Scorsese's films. To suggest The Departed is better than Goodfellas, Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, and even Mean Streets is borderline criminal.

None of those are terrible sins though. The most obvious thing is including Robert Zemeckis. Zemeckis does not belong on a top 10 list of directors. He doesn't belong on a top 100, or a top 1,000, or a top 5,000. Back to the Future and Who Framed Roger Rabbit were very good, I'll grant you, but other than that he's cranked out unbelievably awful crap like Forrest Gump, Beowulf, Contact, and Cast Away. Certainly he didn't have any remarkable or unique input on his best two films to distinguish him from any other director.

And even if you do prefer modern films, how can you leave out directors like Wong Kar-Wai and Alfonso Cuarón in favour of Mann and Zemeckis?


I do believe the list is his FAVORITE directors, not him claiming fearlessly what the BEST modern directors are. If this was a topic asking what the BEST directors were, then everyone who posted in this topic would be wrong. His suggestions aren't criminal, messy, or obviously wrong. You're coming off as very disrespectful, sir; no one wants to come onto this forum and get their tastes baselessly criticized.


Wed Feb 04, 2009 12:31 am
Post Re: Top 10 Favorite Directors?
worstofreel wrote:
Shelobfan wrote:
nuxx wrote:
Yes, very much contemporary directors and films. I've made an effort to catch up on quite a few classics from the 70s and earlier, but for some reason, as much as I can and do appreciate them, they just don't seem to, er... resonate with me like newer films do. Is anybody else the same?

Seeya,
nuxx.


That's how I am nuxx. I remember when I first saw Sunset Blvd. I understood why it was great, having studied its development and the controversy surrounding it, but for some reason I just didn't see what made it more than just a good film. Were good films so few and far between in those days that a film like Sunset Blvd which is at best *** in my book, could be hailed as one of the greatest films to come out at the time?


So what you're saying here is that the clever satire, eye-popping cinematography, fantastic editing, countless classic lines of dialogue, wonderfully self-aware score, brilliantly contrasted yet perfectly meshed performances and above all insane direction weren't enough to make it more than just a good film?

That film isn't just hailed as one of the best films of its time. It's hailed as one of the best films of all time. So what you're saying here is that back in the 50s there were very rarely good films, and that Sunset goddamn Blvd. has survived with its overwhelming critical appreciation to this day just because it was good and that good movies were rare?

I wanna know how many stars those three stars are out of. Because if it's out of more than three I weep for your children.


Truthfully I weep for my children too, but lets not get into that conversation. I will give you clever satire - the film had surprisingly effective dialogue, even if the delivery wasn't exactly method. Eye-popping cinematography? The leaves on the street in the beginning are a great symbolic image, and the pool scene is great, and so are some of the shots in and out of the mansion, but those are the only examples I can think of - mostly a bland film. The editing was bad, even by early film era standards - you want good editing from the era - Fritz Lang films deliver. Only two classic lines of dialogue in this one, though they are good and pretty historic now so I'll give you that one. The score is bad, and over-the-top. It detracts from the action on screen. One of the worst film scores of the era. The performances are not examples of method acting which is what I'm used to so I'll give you that too since it is my limitation as a viewer of film that has caused me to dislike them. The direction is good, but what's so special? This is largely a script-driven film. Modern day filmmakers like Ang Lee and Clint Eastwood take a lot more chances an risks in their films than Wilder did.


Wed Feb 04, 2009 1:11 am
Post Re: Top 10 Favorite Directors?
Pedro wrote:
His suggestions aren't criminal, messy, or obviously wrong. You're coming off as very disrespectful, sir; no one wants to come onto this forum and get their tastes baselessly criticized.


Yeah, you're right Pedro. Sorry, Nuxx, that was pretty dickish.

Shelobfan wrote:
The film had surprisingly effective dialogue, even if the delivery wasn't exactly method.

Part of the point was that it not be method
Shelobfan wrote:
Eye-popping cinematography? The leaves on the street in the beginning are a great symbolic image, and the pool scene is great, and so are some of the shots in and out of the mansion, but those are the only examples I can think of - mostly a bland film.

Doesn't the majority of the film take place in the mansion? The lighting is pretty much uniformly fantastic; There's a reason the film is oft-cited as the pinnacle of film noir cinematography. There's not one shot that doesn't look good, and every scene has multiple great ones.

Shelobfan wrote:
The editing was bad, even by early film era standards - you want good editing from the era - Fritz Lang films deliver.

How was the editing bad? It was fluid, classical, and engaging. No misteps or poor cuts. It doesn't particularly draw attention to itself, but some of Wilder's use of montage is really great here. As for Fritz Lang films of the era being better edited... no. Fritz Lang's film released that same year, American Guerrilla in the Philippines, was pretty unremarkably edited, certainly well below Sunset Blvd. Same goes for his late 40s/early50s work as a whole.

Shelobfan wrote:
Only two classic lines of dialogue in this one, though they are good and pretty historic now so I'll give you that one.

Really? Only two?
1. "You used to be in silent pictures. You used to be big."
"I *am* big. It's the *pictures* that got small."

2. "Audiences don't know somebody sits down and writes a picture. They think the actors make it up as they go along. "

3. "Without me, there wouldn't be any Paramount studio."

4. "The stars are ageless, aren't they?"

5. "I didn't know you were planning a comeback."
"I hate that word! It's a return!"

6. "You don't yell at a sleepwalker. He may fall and break his neck."

7. "Wake up, Norma, you'd be killing yourself to an empty house."

8. "Alright, Mr. DeMille, I'm ready for my closeup."

And those are the famous ones. Off the top of my head, other great lines: "We didn't need dialogue. We had faces!" "There's nothing tragic about being fifty. Not unless you're trying to be twenty-five." "She'd sit very close to me, and she'd smell of tuberoses, which is not my favorite perfume, not by a long shot." "No-one ever leaves a star. That's what makes one a star." "Writing words, words, more words! You'll make a rope of words and strangle this business! But there'll be a microphone there to catch the last gurgles, and Technicolor to photograph the red, swollen tongues!"

I know I'm forgetting a lot. The dialogue is fantastic.

Quote:
The score is bad, and over-the-top. It detracts from the action on screen. One of the worst film scores of the era.

I don't know how I can convince you otherwise, other than to say the audience was certainly meant to be aware of the score when it was used. Even if I did think it was bad, it is far, far, FAR away from one of the worst film scores of the era.

Quote:
The direction is good, but what's so special? ...Filmmakers like Ang Lee and Clint Eastwood take a lot more chances an risks in their films than Wilder did.


More risks? What is more risks? More risks as in make films with more difficult subject matter? Because I'd argue that a suicidal, middle aged woman neglected by the world who SPOILERcommits murderEND SPOILER is pretty dark subject matter. More risks as in approach more technically difficult situations? Many of the shots of the film and camera coverage, particularly in the final scene, are pure virtuosity and showcase a director at the height of his talent. There are countless little stylistic flourishes and masterstrokes of mise en scene that neither Lee nor Eastwood have ever come near to equaling. His direction of the picture as a Hollywood insider film was absolutely genius: Beyond simply getting cameos reflecting the real peoples' situations (Buster Keaton as himself, Erich von Stroheim as the butler, and most obviously Gloria Swanson) he deliberately created a film in which in many respects the style of silent films and sound films are at war with each other. Beyond that, his structuring of each scene is brilliant and unique.

But maybe I just misunderstand you when you say "More chances and risks".


Wed Feb 04, 2009 4:03 am
Post Re: Top 10 Favorite Directors?
Good post, sir. I'll add something to the discussion of the score: regardless of what you think of it, the score one-hundred and ten percent supports what the film is trying to do. It's overdramatic, noticeable, and flawed... kind of like the main character. INTENTIONAL? You betcha! I love Sunset Boulevard for so many reasons (most notably, Norma Desmond), and worstofreel brought up many points about why the film is brilliant. At the end of the day, I totally get it if you're not emotionally resonating with it. Chinatown did that for me, though I still really liked it. (Chinatown takes itself wayyyy too seriously.) And believe me, most people look at me weird when I say I love this movie (especially the people who've seen The Player). Regardless, I think that even if you don't like the film, you have to admit that all of the filmmaking components are very successful on not only an individual level, but a complete level. It's kind of like how some people just don't dig Citizen Kane.


Wed Feb 04, 2009 4:27 am
Post Re: Top 10 Favorite Directors?
worstofreel wrote:
Wait a minute...

I'm curious to know why you edited your post six hours later. :) Thanks for the apology - all is forgiven - and saves me beating you down with my response - hehe... ;) Pretty much those are my favourite directors because they all have multiple films that I think are fantastic. Yes, I love Heat, Seven, Taxi Driver and Unforgiven too.

If it puts your mind at ease, Zemeckis was the last addition, and would be first to go. Dare I suggest that if I did bump him, it would probably be for Cameron Crowe (Almost Famous) or Ridley Scott (Black Hawk Down).

Seeya,
nuxx.


Wed Feb 04, 2009 5:48 am
Post Re: Top 10 Favorite Directors?
nuxx wrote:
worstofreel wrote:
Wait a minute...

I'm curious to know why you edited your post six hours later. :)


No one must ever know that I can make grammar errors...


Wed Feb 04, 2009 4:59 pm
Post Re: Top 10 Favorite Directors?
In no order and maybe more than 10:

George Romero
Dario Argento
John Ford
Takashi Miike
Sergio Leone
Martin Scorcese
Clint Eastwood
Oliver Hirschbiegel
Christopher Nolan
The Coens
Peter Jackson
Ridley Scott
Bob Clark
John Frankenheimer
William Friedkin

Probably more...but tired. :)

*Edit - David Mamet


Wed Feb 04, 2009 9:20 pm
Post Re: Top 10 Favorite Directors?
Tarkovsky
Wong Kar-Wai
David Lynch
Hsao Hsien
Linlklater
Campion(Just for The Piano)
Coen Brothers
Almodovar
Tarantino
Godard


Mon Feb 16, 2009 11:00 am
Post Re: Top 10 Favorite Directors?
Charlie Chaplin
Stanley Kubrick
Steven Spielberg
Martin Scorsese
Woody Allen
Hayao Miyazaki
Mel Brooks
Federico Fellini
The Coen Brothers
Trey Parker

Andrew Stanton is also slowly turning into one of my favourite directors, although we still need to see where he goes after Finding Nemo and Wall-E. Very much looking forward to John Carter of Mars.


Mon Feb 16, 2009 12:29 pm
Post Re: Top 10 Favorite Directors?
Like another post said, these lists are bound to repeat themselves, but still, here's my list of directors whose films I'd watch no matter what they're about:

- Tim Burton (Has a style all of his own; you just know when you're watching a Burton film)
- Ridley Scott (Could this man have a more diverse resume?)
- Tony Scott
- Quentin Tarantino
- David Fincher
- Clint Eastwood (Great storyteller)
- Martin Scorsese
- Guy Ritchie (Ok, so he's done some shit films, but the man has style; I still maintain his marriage to Madonna is what ruined his career, at least RocknRolla was a step in the right direction)
- John Carpenter (Knows how to create atmosphere. Even at his worst - Ghosts of Mars - his films have a certain something that makes them watchable)


Mon Feb 16, 2009 3:06 pm
Post Re: Top 10 Favorite Directors?
1. David Fincher
2. Christopher Nolan
3. Martin Scorsese
4. M. Night Shyamalan
5. Alfred Hitchcock
6. Steven Spielberg
7. Paul Thomas Anderson
8. Clint Eastwood
9. Ridley Scott
10. Mel Gibson


Last edited by PAG on Mon Feb 16, 2009 5:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Mon Feb 16, 2009 3:52 pm
Post Re: Top 10 Favorite Directors?
In no particular order...

Oliver Stone
Martin Scorcese
Steven Soderbergh
Steven Spielberg
Spike Lee


Mon Feb 16, 2009 4:02 pm
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