Author Topic: Top Ten Directors? (and now current)  (Read 23687 times)

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squints

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Re: Top Ten Directors? (and now current)
« Reply #150 on: July 21, 2005, 07:59:11 PM »
0
-robert atlman
-pta
-coen brothers
-sergio leone
-takeshi miike
-terry gilliam (especially for Brazil and Time Bandits)
-antonioni (if only for the couple of flicks i've seen from him)
-wes anderson
-lars von trier
-and, quite possibly the best director in the world: Bret Ratner
“The myth by no means finds its adequate objectification in the spoken word. The structure of the scenes and the visible imagery reveal a deeper wisdom than the poet himself is able to put into words and concepts” – Friedrich Nietzsche

modage

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Re: Top Ten Directors? (and now current)
« Reply #151 on: July 21, 2005, 09:53:01 PM »
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so when people say best director, do they mean 'currently'?  or 'overall'?  does their stinky movies factor into this decision or detract from their 'bestness'?  cause lots a best directors did some shitty movies.
Christopher Nolan's directive was clear to everyone in the cast and crew: Use CGI only as a last resort.

NEON MERCURY

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Re: Top Ten Directors? (and now current)
« Reply #152 on: July 21, 2005, 10:11:37 PM »
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here are my top 10 directors
and i will even post my favorite film by the director too.


lynch [mulholland dr.]
aronofsky [the fountian]
innaritu [amores perros]
scorsayze [casino]
kubrick [eyes wide shut]
malick [the thin red line]
soderbergh [solaris]
pta [magnolia]
cronenberg [dead ringers]
stone [jfk]

Brazoliange

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Re: Top Ten Directors? (and now current)
« Reply #153 on: August 10, 2005, 12:13:47 PM »
0
PTA
Ingmar Bergman
Stanley Kubrick
Terry Gilliam
David Lynch
Takashi Miike
Peter Jackson
David Cronenberg
Akira Kurosawa
John Waters

Lloyd Kaufman as the bonus
Long live the New Flesh

MacGuffin

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Re: Top Ten Directors? (and now current)
« Reply #154 on: April 28, 2006, 10:40:40 AM »
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Who Are The Magnificent Seven Directors?

Gerald Peary over at The Boston Phoenix asked readers to come up with their list of The Magnificent Seven -- the seven greatest living narrative film directors -- and the results are interesting. Not a single vote came in for Steven Spielberg, Spike Lee, Ang Lee, Pedro Almodovar, or any Italian, African, Spanish, or Russian filmmaker. So who's left?

Seven heaven 
Readers speak out on the best directors By: GERALD PEARY

Who are the world’s greatest living narrative filmmakers, what I call the Magnificent Seven? Several Film Cultures ago, I offered my elite — Ingmar Bergman, Michelangelo Antonioni, Jean-Luc Godard, Robert Altman, Werner Herzog, Roman Polanski, Claude Chabrol — and challenged readers to come up with alternatives. Well, e-mails poured in from as far as C.W. Post College on Long Island and as wide as Stoughton. I did attract a mix of amateur cinema fans and media professionals: curators, filmmakers, professors. Some 60 more filmmakers were nominated.

The biggest surprise? Not a single vote for Steven Spielberg, Spike Lee, or Ang Lee. Nada for Pedro Almodóvar or any Spanish-language filmmaker. Or any African, Italian, or Russian one. Jane Campion was the only woman filmmaker to get more than one vote. The other female directors who made ballots: Chantal Akerman, Elaine May, Claire Denis.

What, according to readers, were my biggest errors? Actually, no one complained about who I put on, only who I excluded. Six emails pointed me to Martin Scorsese. “Listing Scorsese comes off as a bit of a cliché, especially for a first-year film student,” wrote Christopher Godburn, 19, “but the fact of the matter is he makes great films.” Four votes went to Woody Allen, and, the most for non-American directors, three each to Mike Leigh and Wong Kar-wai. Of the latter, Harvard film-conservationist Julie Buck wrote, “His visuals are to be swooned over. His candy colors, the performances he pulls out of actors — Wong Kar-wai is simply brilliant.”

Other winners:

Stanley Donen. “The musical may be dead or at least moribund, but the man who had a hand in Singin’ in the Rain, On the Town, and Seven Brides for Seven Brothers should get consideration,” says Randy Steinberg, film teacher.

Clint Eastwood. “What makes a great director? To paraphrase Howard Hawks: two or three great movies, and no bad movies. Clint definitely qualifies here,” claims Richard Partridge, film fan

Mark Rappaport. “The best-kept secret in American cinema: The Scenic Route, Local Color, Chain Letters, etc. represent the greatest sustained cinematic achievement of the 1970s and 1980s.” So speaks Ray Carney, BU cinema professor and author.

Hou Hsiao-Hsien. “With a single image, he can give you the difference between city and country, past and present, while keeping a subtle character and story development in motion.” That’s the opinion of Mike Bowes, president of the Brattle Theatre’s board of directors.

Patrice Leconte. “In the category of making fabulously enjoyable films, my vote goes to the versatile Leconte. No other director — living or dead — do I so consistently admire and love,” chimes in Bruce Kingsley, Web film critic.

Gus Van Sant. “For the balls to experiment with an inspirational series of near-silent, minimalist films — Gerry, Elephant, and Last Days.” That’s how filmmaker Garth Donovan sees it.

Atom Egoyan. “My favorite director! His films are cerebral explorations of identity, voyeurism, which become ever more layered and accomplished.” This vote comes from Michael Colford, president of the Chlotrudis Awards.

Lars von Trier. “He makes provocative, relevant films that reaffirm my faith in the medium, even when I disagree with him.” A tribute from Ted Barron, programmer for the Harvard Film Archive.

David Lynch. “For originality, intelligence, craftsmanship, and consistency of quality, Lynch stands above the rest.” The choice of Adam Roffman, program director for the Independent Film Festival of Boston.

David Cronenberg. “Intellectualization is OK if you’re a genius,” concludes filmmaker Andrew Bujalski.


The Guardian had a list recently that picked the top 40:

The world's 40 best directors
The Hollywood blockbuster may be in crisis, but the art of the cinema is as healthy as ever. Our panel of critics picks out the film-makers who are leading the way

1. David Lynch
After all the discussion, no one could fault the conclusion that David Lynch is the most important film-maker of the current era. Providing a portal into the collective subconscious, the daydream nation conjured up in tales such as Blue Velvet, Lost Highway or Mulholland Drive is by turns frightening, exasperating, revelatory and wild. Nobody makes films like David Lynch. He is our spooky tour guide through a world of dancing dwarves, femme fatales and little blue boxes that may (or may not) contain all the answers. We wouldn't want to live in the places he takes us. Somehow, we suspect, we do.
Substance 17
Look 18
Craft 18
Originality 19
Intelligence 17
Total 89
 
 2. Martin Scorsese
Scorsese's influence is impossible to overstate. His red-blooded canon has spawned a generation of copycats while his muscular style has become a template. That said, opinion is divided over the man's recent output. Some regard his monumental Gangs of New York as a classic to rank alongside Taxi Driver and Raging Bull. Others worry that the heavyweight champion of American movies is no longer quite punching his weight.
Substance 17
Look 18
Craft 18
Originality 17
Intelligence 18
Total 88
 
 3. Joel and Ethan Coen
Their latest film, Intolerable Cruelty, may have marked a new, "commercial" phase in their career, but no one could ever accuse the Coen brothers of selling out. The Coens' special mix of arch, sculpted dialogue, film-history homage and scrupulously-framed cinematography has never failed them yet, and through their associations with Sam Raimi and Barry Sonnenfeld, have exerted a powerful, if unacknowledged, influence on mainstream event cinema. Until Fargo, they seemed content to mess about in their own particular corner of the film industry; that film's stunning popular success suddenly catapulted them into the Hollywood big league.
Substance 14
Look 18
Craft 18
Originality 18
Intelligence 18
Total 86
 
 4. Steven Soderbergh
Steven Soderbergh is a one-off: an independent-minded film-maker who has forged a happy working relationship with Hollywood. This is thanks to a brilliant balancing act. Soderbergh soothes the studios with expert, intelligent crowd-pleasers like Erin Brockovich and Ocean's Eleven then shifts gear for more esoteric, personal projects (Solaris, Full Frontal). His ongoing alliance with George Clooney, moreover, is the most reliable director-star double act since Scorsese found De Niro.
Substance 16
Look 17
Craft 18
Originality 16
Intelligence 18
Total 85
 
 5. Terrence Malick
The lofty ranking of Terrence Malick just goes to show that it's quality, not quantity, that counts. Renowned as a ghostly, Garbo-style recluse, this fabled figure has made just three films over three decades. Even so, the wild beauty of his 1973 debut Badlands casts a formidable shadow, while his sprawling 1999 war epic The Thin Red Line at least proved that the master had lost none of his magic. Next up, apparently, is a biopic of Che Guevara. But don't hold your breath.
Substance 16
Look 18
Craft 17
Originality 17
Intelligence 17
Total 85
 
 6. Abbas Kiarostami
The highest ranking non-American, and one of the most respected film-makers working today - by his peers if not the general public. Operating mostly in rural Iran, Kiarostami has often concealed potentially life-threatening political commentary within films of simplicity and compassion. But he has complicated his medium, too, by mixing drama and documentary, and actors and non-actors, to dizzying effect. His recent in-car drama Ten provided a daring Tehran exposé as well as a radical new film-making technique - one that almost does away with the director entirely.
Substance 18
Look 15
Craft 16
Originality 17
Intelligence 18
Total 84
 
 7. Errol Morris
Morris is the joker in this top 10, in that his position is solely down to his documentaries. Put simply, Morris is the world's best investigative film-maker. He possesses a forensic mind, a painter's eye and a nose for the dark absurdities of American life. High points include The Thin Blue Line (which unearths the nightmarish truth behind a Dallas cop killing), Mr Death (a treatise on execution-device inventor and Holocaust denier Fred Leuchter Jr), and the forthcoming Fog of War, his compelling autopsy on the war in Vietnam.
Substance 17
Look 16
Craft 17
Originality 17
Intelligence 17
Total 84
 
 8. Hayao Miyazaki
It's about time the rest of the world came to appreciate the genius of Japanese animator Miyazaki, whose films have been breaking box-office records in Japan for years. He's now in his 60s, but as this year's Spirited Away proved, the work just keeps getting better. His films create the world anew, literally. Each is set in an intricate, self-contained fantasy world that's been built from scratch and drawn with devotion. Miyazaki's stories are frequently considered children's fare but they are deeper than they look - like the best fairy tales, they conceal dark, very adult themes beneath their surfaces.
Substance 15
Look 18
Craft 17
Originality 18
Intelligence 16
Total 84
 
 9. David Cronenberg
Few directors have ploughed such distinctive furrows as Cronenberg. And now in his fourth decade of film-making, he is still at the cutting edge. Crash set the entire film world agog with its bizarre sexual constructs; eXistenZ examined the implications of the virtual world more thoughtfully than most; and Spider superbly summoned up a bleak, decaying Britishness (largely forgotten by our own film-makers). His next film, with Nicolas Cage playing a plastic-surgery fetishist, is already inducing shudders.
Substance 16
Look 17
Craft 16
Originality 18
Intelligence 16
Total 83
 
 10. Terence Davies
Our highest-placed British film-maker is here because of his uncompromising and unique cinematic vision; but, with painful irony, it's also made him the highest-profile victim of Britain's commercial film industry revival. Emerging from the state-sponsored art-film sector in the mid-80s, Davies completed a trilogy of short films and two features - Distant Voices, Still Lives and The Long Day Closes. But, in a more cut-throat environment, the sensitive Davies has suffered, making only two films in a decade - one of them the international hit The House of Mirth. So it seems a shame - and somehow scandalous - that his current project, an adaptation of Lewis Grassic Gibbon's Sunset Song, should be facing major funding obstacles.
Substance 17
Look 17
Craft 16
Originality 16
Intelligence 17
Total 83
 
 11. Lukas Moodysson
You would assume that the surest way to hobble a young Swedish film-maker is to label him "the new Bergman". Fortunately, Lukas Moodysson seems immune to such pressure. His 2001 hit Together - about hippies living communally in 1970s Stockholm - was warm, witty and altogether disarming. By contrast, his follow-up, Lilya 4-Ever (about a Russian teen dragooned into prostitution), was a social-realist vision of hell. Heartfelt and uncompromising, Moodysson treads his own path.
Substance 17
Look 16
Craft 17
Originality 17
Intelligence 16
Total 83
 
 12. Lynne Ramsay
Ramsay, the second highest-placed Brit - and the highest woman of any nationality - has trodden a distinctive path through the lottery-fuelled sludge of modern British cinema. Her first film, Ratcatcher, set during the binmen strikes of 70s Glasgow, was the anti-Billy Elliot; her second, adapted from Alan Warner's novel More about Morvern Callar, confirmed her promise. Morvern is an authentic modern classic, with an actress, Samantha Morton, whose blank-faced performance is a perfect complement to Ramsay's studied camerawork.
 
 13. Bela Tarr
In just a few years, the Hungarian director has emerged from obscurity to be revered as the Tarkovsky of his generation, with his dark and mysterious monochrome parables, shot with uncompromisingly long, slow single camera takes. His recent Werckmeister Harmonies was a dreamlike film: compelling and sublime. From 1994, Satantango has cult status on the festival circuit, not least for its awe-inspiring length: seven hours. He is now developing a movie at least partly set in London.
Substance 16
Look 16
Craft 16
Originality 18
Intelligence 16
Total 82
 
 14. Wong Kar-wai
Hong Kong has become synonymous with action cinema, but Wong Kar-Wai is one of few exceptions. His trademark portraits of quirky urban longing have influenced Asian film as a whole, but the delectably sensuous In the Mood for Love proved that Wong is still improving (and that he has one of the best cinematographers in the business in Christopher Doyle). Next up he's making a sci-fi movie - should be interesting.
Substance 14
Look 18
Craft 17
Originality 17
Intelligence 16
Total 82
 
 15. Pedro Almodovar
Post-Franco Spain needed Almodovar like a desert needs rain. His early films were gaudy, bawdy and loud; drunken celebrations of the country's new-found social and sexual freedoms. But Almodovar is much more than some posturing agent provocateur. He spins soulful, spellbinding stories and creates characters that ring with life. All About My Mother and Talk to Her were exotic masterpieces that confirmed their creator as the most important Spanish director since Luis Buñuel.
Substance 15
Look 16
Craft 16
Originality 18
Intelligence 16
Total 81
 
 16. Todd Haynes
In retrospect, it seems such a simple idea - take your favourite director (in Haynes' case, Douglas Sirk) and faithfully imitate their style and meaning, subtly changing things enough to throw a whole new meaning on an entire historical epoch and film genre. In 1996 Haynes had made an earlier masterpiece, Safe; few directors could have topped that, but Far From Heaven managed it.
Substance 16
Look 16
Craft 16
Originality 16
Intelligence 17
Total 81
 
 17. Quentin Tarantino
The jury may still be undecided on the virtues of Kill Bill, but no one can deny the massive impact the former video-store clerk has had on cinema across the world. The chewy, minutiae-obsessed dialogue and abundant bloodletting of Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction catapulted him to era-defining stature and influence beyond the wildest dreams of any director; had this poll been taken in 1995, he would have been top three, no question. But Tarantino has since been the victim of his own success: he took three years to make his third film, Jackie Brown, and another six to make his fourth. Perhaps inevitably, neither of them made the splash of his first two, but whatever else, Tarantino can still make the simple act of watching a film seem oh-so-exciting.
Substance 14
Look 17
Craft 18
Originality 18
Intelligence 14
Total 81
 
 18. Tsai Ming-Liang
One of the least well-known names on the list, but a director who has steadily refined his own gentle, bittersweet style. Using his native Taipei as a backdrop, Tsai distills the complexity and alienation of city life into films that are austere, unhurried and emotional, but also comical. His pre-apocalyptic The Hole included 1950s musical numbers, for example, while What Time Is It There? paid homage to Harold Lloyd in a movie about death and loneliness. In his latest, Goodbye Dragon Inn, he has almost done away with dialogue altogether.
Substance 15
Look 16
Craft 16
Originality 16
Intelligence 17
Total 80
 
 19. Aki Kaurismaki
Cinema needs the occasional breath of fresh air, and you can always rely on Kaurismaki to provide it. Coming from Finland, he had a head start, but where other quirky directors last a film or two, Kaurismaki seems to have a bottomless pool of eccentric ideas to draw from. His films are an acquired taste, but they never pander to good taste. For a supposed director of art films, he's more interested in the world out on the street, or in the gutter. And his most recent, The Man Without a Past, saw him re-emerge into the global spotlight after some years at its fringe.
Substance 15
Look 15
Craft 16
Originality 18
Intelligence 16
Total 80
 
 20. Michael Winterbottom
Winterbottom's career presents a study in motion. His films spirit us from Hardy's Wessex (Jude) to war-torn Bosnia (Welcome to Sarajevo), and from post-punk Manchester (24 Hour Party People) to the asylum-seekers' "silk road" out of Pakistan (In This World). As well as being technically brilliant and a seeming workaholic, Winterbottom is arguably the most politically astute director in the business, with an unerring eye for the stories that matter. British cinema would be lost without him.
Substance 16
Look 15
Craft 17
Originality 16
Intelligence 16
Total 80
 
 21. Paul Thomas Anderson
There is something wonderfully fearless about 33-year-old Paul Thomas Anderson. His two best pictures (Boogie Nights and Magnolia) are works of gob-smacking ambition in one so young - lush, multi-layered ensemble pieces that spotlight the damaged souls of his native San Fernando Valley. But let's not forget the recent Punch-Drunk Love, starring Adam Sandler and Emily Watson. Smaller in scale but no less turbulent, this undervalued effort is like a nail bomb in the guise of a romantic comedy.
Substance 15
Look 16
Craft 16
Originality 17
Intelligence 15
Total 79
 
 22. Michael Haneke
No one, perhaps not even Gaspar Noé, delivers more hardcore horror than the German-born Austrian Haneke - even when his shocks are happening off camera, which they mostly do. After a long career in TV, Haneke graduated to the big screen in the early 90s and audiences quickly came to know they were in for a profoundly uncomfortable experience.The Piano Teacher, with Isabelle Huppert, was a disquieting study of a musician driven to agonies of despair and self-loathing. More recently, Time of the Wolf was an almost unwatchably horrible vision of post-apocalyptic Europe.
Substance 16
Look 13
Craft 16
Originality 17
Intelligence 17
Total 79
 
 23. Walter Salles
The godfather and trailblazer of the buena onda - the "good wave" of contemporary Latin American cinema, Salles's directorial reputation rests largely on two recent films, Central Station and Behind the Sun, which virtually on their own put Brazilian cinema on the map. Salles has just finished another road movie, The Motorcycle Diaries, based on Che Guevara's book, for Britain's FilmFour, and is finally going Hollywood with a remake of Hideo "Ring" Nakata's Dark Water. But Salles is equally notable as a facilitator for other Brazilian projects - most importantly the sensational City of God, which he co-produced.
Substance 16
Look 16
Craft 16
Originality 15
Intelligence 16
Total 79
 
 24. Alexander Payne
Payne came to prominence in 1999 with his stunning high school satire Election, the Animal Farm of American sexual politics in the Clinton era. From here, Payne went on to direct About Schmidt, which gave Jack Nicholson the best role of his late career. With these two movies, Payne has established an auteur distinctiveness: amplifying the disappointment and regret lurking within the peppy, can-do civic culture of middle America, while acknowledging the sweetness and innocence that is still there.
Substance 16
Look 16
Craft 16
Originality 15
Intelligence 16
Total 79
 
 25. Spike Jonze
Born into millionaire stock (and heir to the Spiegel mail-order catalogue fortune), Spike Jonze has installed himself as the genius jester in the court of King Hollywood. His 1999 debut, Being John Malkovich, was a delirious satire on celebrity culture, while Adaptation led the viewer on a slaloming joyride along the border between truth and fiction. Inevitably, though, one cannot celebrate Jonze without also crediting his scriptwriter - the ingenious Charlie Kaufman.
Substance 16
Look 14
Craft 16
Originality 17
Intelligence 16
Total 79
 
 26. Aleksandr Sokurov
The veteran Russian director is inexhaustibly prolific, making both features and documentaries, with 31 credits to his name over a 23-year career. His movies are powerful, poetic, often severe, and at their most accessible when they meditate on the nature of Russia. Sokurov had his biggest recent success with Russian Ark: a staggeringly ambitious single-take 90-minute journey through the Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg. His latest movie, Father And Son, is an enigmatic and often baffling study of a father-son relationship between two soldiers. His work gets a lively, mixed reaction in the west, but Sokurov's admirers revere the haunting, occasionally austere power of his films.
Substance 16
Look 15
Craft 16
Originality 16
Intelligence 16
Total 79
 
 27. Ang Lee
He may have taken a bit of a stumble with The Hulk, his elevation to blockbusterdom, but the Taiwanese-born Lee clocked up plenty of brownie points over the preceding decade for his dazzling versatility, if nothing else. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (a record-breaker for a subtitled film), The Ice Storm, The Wedding Banquet and Sense and Sensibility are all testament to a career of wonderfully fertile cinematic cross-pollination. Lee's proficiency at swapping genres, but retaining a purposeful humaneness, is his hallmark.
Substance 16
Look 16
Craft 17
Originality 14
Intelligence 16
Total 79
 
 28. Michael Moore
You could say it's Moore's blend of humour, righteousness and persistence that has made his documentaries so successful, but his political commitment would be nothing without the film-making skills to back it up. Bowling for Columbine has been one of the most influential films of recent years, affecting the public in a way that most directors on this list will never know, but it would never have become such a cause had it not been so rigorously researched, painstakingly constructed and broadly entertaining.
Substance 17
Look 13
Craft 15
Originality 18
Intelligence 16
Total 79
 
 29. Wes Anderson
No less an authority than Martin Scorsese recently tipped Anderson as the brightest hope for American cinema. Scripted in tandem with his actor buddy Owen Wilson, Anderson's work is literate, quirky and unexpectedly moving. His breakthrough picture, Rushmore, amounted to a poignant salute to high-school losers everywhere. More recently, the vibrant, Salinger-esque The Royal Tenenbaums charted the decline and fall of a precocious New York family.
Substance 13
Look 16
Craft 16
Originality 17
Intelligence 16
Total 78
 
 30. Takeshi Kitano
Few directors have ever made themselves look as cool as Kitano has. His shark-eyed gangster persona became a fixture of Japanese action thrillers in the 1990s, but behind the camera his controlled blend of visual slapstick and sudden violence has become a distinctive style. Recent efforts have seen him trying to diversify. Dolls was a subdued art film, but next year's Zatoichi is a sword-swishing crowd pleaser.
Substance 15
Look 16
Craft 16
Originality 16
Intelligence 15
Total 78
 
 31. Richard Linklater
Linklater is the grunge philosopher of independent cinema. Hailing from Austin, Texas, he casually defined an era with 1991's loose-knit, haphazard Slacker. The uproarious Dazed and Confused and the seductive Before Sunrise extolled the joys of footloose youth, while his animated Waking Life spun a woozy, bong-smoking rumination on dreams and reality. Incredibly, Linklater recently graduated to the big time when his School of Rock hit number one at the US box office.
Substance 15
Look 15
Craft 15
Originality 17
Intelligence 16
Total 78
 
 32. Gaspar Noé
Not bad for someone who's only made two features, but Noé has made as much impact as you can with them. There's nothing pretty about either his carnal debut Seul Contre Tous, or last year's backwards-told rape-revenge drama Irréversible - both have challenged boundaries of decency and induced reactions as extreme as nausea and vomiting. In a supposedly unshockable age, that's some kind of cinematic achievement.
Substance 15
Look 16
Craft 16
Originality 16
Intelligence 14
Total 77
 
 33. Pavel Pawlikowski
With only one substantial feature under his belt, Polish-born, British-based director Pawlikowski has arguably the slenderest claim of all to be on this list. But Last Resort, with its mix of heartfelt social insight (the then-radical subject of asylum seekers) and improvisatory, documentary-style film-making, has exerted an influence of gigantic proportions on a whole generation of British cinema. Where would In This World and Dirty Pretty Things, to name but two, be without it?
Substance 16
Look 15
Craft 16
Originality 14
Intelligence 16
Total 77
 
 34. David O Russell
Russell's natural habitat is the dysfunctional American family. He dished up a deadpan Oedipal comedy with 1994's Spanking the Monkey and then dispatched Ben Stiller cross-country in the freewheeling adoption caper Flirting With Disaster. Yet this tart, original talent adapts well to other terrain. On the one hand his big-budget Three Kings was an expert, high-concept war thriller. On the other, it can be read as a savage assault on bungled US policy during the first Gulf War.
Substance 15
Look 15
Craft 15
Originality 15
Intelligence 16
Total 76
 
 35. Larry and Andy Wachowski
Now that their Matrix trilogy is finally wrapped up, it's a good time to draw breath and appreciate the scale of the Wachowskis' achievement. Merging the techno-porn of the contemporary action movie with the artful ballet of the Hong Kong martial arts film, the sci-fi paranoia of Philip K Dick with the visual exuberance of Japanese anime, the Matrix phenomenon utterly redefined the nature of the blockbuster movie serial, as well as relegating such mid-90s action luminaries as John Woo and Roland Emmerich to the margins. Like, awesome.
Substance 13
Look 17
Craft 17
Originality 16
Intelligence 13
Total 76
 
 36. Samira Makhmalbaf
You could say Ms Makhmalbaf had it easy, being the daughter or one of Iran's greatest film-makers, but she's hardly taken any easy options. Her films get bolder and more confrontational every time - Blackboards took her into the Kurdish lands on the Iranian border; her latest, At Five in the Afternoon, was shot in the chaos of post-Taliban Afghanistan - but for all their political currency, there's still evidence of an artistic sensibility. And she's only 23 years old.
Substance 16
Look 15
Craft 16
Originality 14
Intelligence 15
Total 76
 
 37. Lars von Trier
To his fans he's the impish genius who redefined cinema with his Dogme doctrine. To his critics he's Jeremy Beadle with a degree in anthropology. Either way, there's no denying the impact of this phobic, Prozac-popping Dane. His most successful pictures (Breaking the Waves, The Idiots, the upcoming Dogville) are hazardous human dramas in which cruelty and compassion come equally blended. Happily there seems little danger of von Trier selling out and heading to Hollywood. He hates America and nurses a crippling fear of flying.
Substance 14
Look 15
Craft 16
Originality 17
Intelligence 14
Total 76
 
 38. Takashi Miike
If Miike had channelled his energies into making one film every year, rather than his customary six or seven, he could be a lot further up the list. Not that you'd want him to change. Miike's casual technical brilliance and total disregard for taste are what makes his best films such a joy. Sure, there are plenty of misfires and generic gangster pictures to his credit, too, but there's plenty of everything when it comes to Miike, surely that can't be bad?
Substance 14
Look 16
Craft 16
Originality 15
Intelligence 14
Total 75
 
 39. David Fincher
Heading the list of the pop-promo-and-TV-commercial wonderkids of the early 90s, Fincher successfully brought that world's visual inventiveness into the feature film world. In Alien 3, Seven, and Fight Club, he forged a string of visceral, unforgettable images; but his subsequent career has been dogged by aborted projects. Fincher's most recent film, the unremarkable Panic Room, saw him in a holding pattern - it's certainly cost him a few points.
Substance 12
Look 16
Craft 16
Originality 14
Intelligence 16
Total 74 
 
 40. Gus Van Sant
A casual observer would be forgiven for thinking that there are two Gus Van Sants at work within American cinema. The first makes gloopy studio fodder like Good Will Hunting and the odious Finding Forrester. The second is the visionary auteur of Drugstore Cowboy, Gerry, My Own Private Idaho and the Palme d'Or-winning Elephant (an elegant, ultimately devastating take on the Columbine tragedy). For the record, it is the second Gus Van Sant who gets the votes here.

Substance 14
Look 14
Craft 15
Originality 14
Intelligence 16
Total 73

The panel
Peter Bradshaw, Xan Brooks, Molly Haskell, Derek Malcolm, Andrew Pulver, B Ruby Rich and Steve Rose
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Re: Top Ten Directors? (and now current)
« Reply #155 on: April 28, 2006, 11:24:41 AM »
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I forgot this thread existed. My immediate first thought was: "Did I ever make a top ten list for directors here?" The sad answer, "yes".

Forget that these professional lists have blurbs to explain their choices and ranking. They still are lists and lists have always been shortcuts to thinking and actual criticism. Besides, the choices are as generic and as ridiculous as I'd expect any list of this nature to be. The usual bunch of "daring" filmmakers are again recognized. If a list is going to be made it should at least surprise me.

pete

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Re: Top Ten Directors? (and now current)
« Reply #156 on: April 28, 2006, 11:34:58 AM »
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wow, to my sad sad dismay, gus van sant is never going away.
there is just no way now, or ever, to convince people that he's an insightless studio director whose indie films are about 40 years past their prime and relevance.
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Pubrick

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Re: Top Ten Directors? (and now current)
« Reply #157 on: April 28, 2006, 11:36:22 AM »
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The usual bunch of "daring" filmmakers are again recognized. If a list is going to be made it should at least surprise me.
yeah i'm so sick of everyone gushing over terence davies..

anyway that second list was posted elsewhere years ago, or at least linked to.
endless 'nothing is what it seems'-isms

grand theft sparrow

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Re: Top Ten Directors? (and now current)
« Reply #158 on: April 28, 2006, 12:02:50 PM »
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The usual bunch of "daring" filmmakers are again recognized. If a list is going to be made it should at least surprise me.
yeah i'm so sick of everyone gushing over terence davies..

anyway that second list was posted elsewhere years ago, or at least linked to.

I was going to make both of these points.  Malick's next film after Thin Red Line is Che Guevara?  PTA is 33 again?

GT, you're forgetting how much you know about film.  To a 15 year old budding film geek, this list is gold.  To surprise you, or most of us for that matter, they'd have to dig into a group of filmmakers whose work has never really been exhibited anywhere and only barely written about, but it doesn't really do anyone any good to champion people whose work you can't find.  And anyone of comparable reputation and/or accessibility is on another list somewhere. 

This list is perfectly fine for what it is: a good place to start.  And honestly, it's one of the better lists of this sort that I've seen (Wachowski brothers' placement and unusual omissions notwithstanding).  It's not surprising to any of us because it's not supposed to be.  It's not for us.  This list is for the kids who will be us in 10 years.

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Re: Top Ten Directors? (and now current)
« Reply #159 on: April 28, 2006, 02:15:13 PM »
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That list was in the Guardian about 4 years ago, I think.

The Guardian had a list recently that picked the top 40:

I guess Cinematical's definition of "recently" is from another dictionary.  :yabbse-undecided:
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Re: Top Ten Directors? (and now current)
« Reply #160 on: April 30, 2006, 01:49:16 PM »
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Quote
Of the latter, Harvard film-conservationist Julie Buck wrote, “His visuals are to be swooned over. His candy colors, the performances he pulls out of actors — Wong Kar-wai is simply brilliant.”

dude I know her, she's a blond girl with a girlfriend, and they're both really really goodlooking.  her girlfriend used to drive me home from work all the time and we used to stop by this candy factory at night to smell the candies.  they're very attractive and very cool, together and separately.
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Re: Top Ten Directors? (and now current)
« Reply #161 on: April 30, 2006, 04:27:32 PM »
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The usual bunch of "daring" filmmakers are again recognized. If a list is going to be made it should at least surprise me.
yeah i'm so sick of everyone gushing over terence davies..


Yeah, people never shut up about Lynne Ramsay, either. It's always Ramsay this, Davies that. SO predictable!

It's a fine list, really. The presence of Haynes, Ramsay, and Davies are enough for me. I'm not sure how "daring" I consider anyone on the list to be, but it doesn't seem like that was the point (unless we assume that "great" is synonymous with "daring").

However, while I don't agree at all with GT that there's any lack of quality to the list, I do agree that lists are much more fun to make than they are really meaningful. It seems more and more apparent that we live in a "list culture," with VH1 and nonstop list-making nostalgia. Where I agree with GT is that that kind of inundation really does dull the need to consider things before attributing any value to them. Ranking by number is especially meaningless when it comes to any kind of art or aesthetic concern.
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Re: Top Ten Directors? (and now current)
« Reply #162 on: May 15, 2010, 03:50:45 AM »
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UPDATE TIME!

In no order, just a list of dudes making flicks now that I will always watch whatever they come out with. Current dudes only.

Haneke
Soderbergh
PTA
Almodovar
Lars Von Trier
Gus Van Sant
Chris Nolan

And well, that's pretty much all I can think of. These guys are always putting in quality work. In the case of Soderbergh and Van Sant, they make so many movies and are so active, they have some misses, but every one of their films has something you can take from it. Haneke just keeps getting better (minus the American Funny Games, which I refuse to see), PTA and Chris Nolan always deliver, as does Almodovar. LVT is the only one I was hesitant to put on here, but I can't deny I always watch what he does and I'm always entertained. He's ballsy and I dig that.

I REALLY wanted to put Spike Lee and Ang Lee on here, but so often they just fail to do it big. That Woodstock movie was pretty bad as was St. Anna. Spielberg was SO close to making my list. I love Spielberg when he's not in businessman mode. A.I. is one of my most favorite movies ever as is the first three quarters of Munich, but too often he's more preoccupied with entertaining a large audience instead of making a good movie.

I'll be honest -- I just wanted to bump this to see where everyone's tastes are now.

In the next 6 years, I could see myself adding Bong Joon-ho and Guy Maddin because they're entering that territory, but not yet. They're close.
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Re: Top Ten Directors? (and now current)
« Reply #163 on: May 15, 2010, 06:15:05 AM »
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UPDATE TIME!

In no order, just a list of dudes making flicks now that I will always watch whatever they come out with. Current dudes only.

Haneke
Soderbergh
PTA
Almodovar
Lars Von Trier
Gus Van Sant
Chris Nolan

10 most exciting and awesome current dudes who i will watch anything by

pta - despite being on the cusp of entering his dark days
terence malick - despite going AWOL for hundreds of years on any given day
james cameron - despite avatar's crap script, he always excels at sequels anyway
neil blomkamp - despite being the biggest newb on this list
jacques audiard - despite having just discovered him this year
carlos reygadas - despite being mexican
gaspar noe - despite being a filthy old soomka
darren aronofsky - despite the fountain
spike jonze - despite being "borderline illiterate"
david fincher - despite CCBB

and one extra..

david lynch if he pulls himself out of his own butt.

i would also like to mention pixar if they could be listed as the best director of all time. and tony kaye if his movies ever got released.
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Re: Top Ten Directors? (and now current)
« Reply #164 on: May 15, 2010, 08:23:03 AM »
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1. Paul Thomas Anderson
2. Quentin Tarantino  
3. Jean-luc Godard  
4. Jim Jarmusch
5. Stanley Kubrick
6. Wes Anderson
7. Darren Aronofsky
8. Anders Thomas Jensen
9. Sergio Leone
10. Werner Herzog

EDIT: Uh, oh, well, replace Kubrick and Leone with Roy Andersson and the Coens for a list with current directors working today. Pretty much the same, but still.

 

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