Geeky Stuff Life Opinion

My Top 5 Favourite Directors

mostlylisacylon

I’m passionate about film. There are few things I love more than watching a great film. Even if a movie has a crap storyline or the acting is atrocious or the music is mainly comprised of midi horns, I’ll still learn something from it. Maybe it’s what not to do or maybe it’s just stunning visually.

I get a lot of my photo lighting and composition ideas from film. I’m actually just watching “The Assassination of Jesse James” and I have an uncontrollable hankering for tall wheat grass and dark and moody skies. … I’d take Roger Deakins over Mr Pitt any day. Well, maybe every other day :p

I also love learning all about the people who make films and their process. And yes, I watch all the special features. Yup, even the lame ones with just written credits or extended scenes. I do, however, hate watching deleted scenes. The scene was cut for a reason. Just leave it be. If you disagree, let’s argue! Ha! Cuz for me, you can’t beat hot n’ heavy, super geeky discussion about film.

When I was in Vegas for the NME, I ended up at a very swanky party with some of New Media’s top dogs talking/arguing about great directors. It was super fabulous. It went something like this.

What are your top 3 favourite directors?

The 19 year-old shaggy blond intern & film school n00b said, “Michael Bay. Dude. Transformers was seriously awesome!”

The 30 year old film school veteran & top dog retorted, “Michael Bay??? Scorsese. Hands down.”

The intern then shot back, “but dude… that car chase scene in Bad Boys 2 is like the best EVER!”

There was much back and forth discourse, until the fast-talking, smooth, good-looking agent, also a film school grad, gave a detailed and analytical description of his favourite directors, David Fincher, Tony Scott, Ridley Scott & James Cameron. I totally gave him a high five and we talked about how wikkid awesome James Cameron’s 3-D movie “Avatar” will be.

Then I threw in an awkward “they mostly come out at night, mostly” and waited for someone to get the film reference, but no one did, and it hung in the air like a hovering fly or perhaps something larger and more uncomfortable like a pelican.

Thankfully, the quiet intern with the dark framed designer specs broke the silence with, “I know that everyone is gonna say this lately because of Batman, but… Christopher Nolan.” I totally gave him an air high-five, because I wasn’t close enough to high five and I felt like we hadn’t reached that level of comfort yet. Eye-contact had been made, but no “safe zone” had been established.

And then the power mane loving intern pointed at me and said, “Now you! Go!”

  1. Tony ScottPeriod. Some people say Tony is hit or miss. I say, he’s a visonary. He takes risks and takes jump cuts to the next level of awesome. Top Gun!? Classic. It was my absolute favourite movie when I was a kid. I even plastered my room walls with F-14 Tomcats. No Goose!!!!! Also, Spy Game (2001) is one of my top 10 movies. You know that one sequence with Brad and Robert Redford on the roof and the helicopter circling around? Yeah! That’s the stuff. The Last Boy Scout (1991), True Romance (1993), Crimson Tide (1995), Enemy of the State (1998), Man on Fire (2004)? Awesome. I love his visual style and how he always highlights sweet tech stuff and loads of gadgets. I know a lot of people didn’t like Deja Vu (2006), but seriously, it was a high tech visual orgasm of awesomeness.
  2. Christopher Nolan knocks my socks off. His movies are so darn good. Every scene is meticulous and melts into each other. No one else could have captured Memento like Nolan. His awareness of time, structure, and lighting is insane. The Dark Knight (which I haven’t seen yet… forgive me) The Prestige (2006), Batman Begins (2005), Insomnia (2002), Memento (2000) & Following (1998).

Gosh only one more… But there’s Terry Gilliam, Paul Greengrass, Alfonso Cuarón, Sam Mendes, Francis Ford Coppola, Scorsese, Sofia Coppola, Mike Nichols, Oliver Stone, Ron Howard, Michael Mann, Steven Soderbergh, Wes Anderson, Jean-Pierre Jeunet, Pedro Almodovar, David Fincher, Christopher Guest, Gorge Clooney (who is so ridiculously talented)… Ack…

Ok. I need 3 more. I know it’s cheating, but…

  1. Ridley Scott is Epic. Everything he does is big, bold, and beautiful. Give this man an Oscar, seriously. That fact that he didn’t win best director for Gladiator (2000) was so totally lame. Uh! I don’t think I even have to tell you why I love Ridley. I’ll let the plethora of awesome Ridley Scott films speak for themselves. My personal favs are American Gangster (2007), Black Hawk Down (2001), Blade Runner (1982), Alien (1979) (my favourite of the Alien Quadrilogy) . I can’t watch Hannibal (2001) as it scares my pants off. Also, if you haven’t seen Ridley’s first movie, The Duellists (1977), go rent it and watch the last scene. One shot. It’s intense.
  2. Paul Greengrass
    is gritty and real. His four films have all been incredible. Two of them even make it into my top 10: The Bourne Ultimatum (2007) & The Bourne Supremacy (2004). And that’s something. United 93 (2006) & Bloody Sunday (2002) are also stunning. I can’t wait to see what he does next.
  3. Steven Spielberg:is like a perfect hug. Smothers you in visual perfection and endings that make you just love the world. How could you not say Spielberg.

What are your Top 5 Favourite Directors?

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47 Comments

  • Reply
    Rick Boyer
    September 2, 2008 at 5:25 PM

    Hi there,

    I looked over your blog and it looks really good. Do you ever do link exchanges on your blog roll? If you do, I’d like to exchange links with you.

    Let me know if you’re interested.

    Thanks..

  • Reply
    Jandy
    September 2, 2008 at 6:39 PM

    Wait, currently working directors, or all-time? I’ll do both. But first off…Michael Bay? For serious? And second off. This is impossible. Just so you know.

    Current:
    Joel & Ethan Coen – Except for a couple of misfires in the early 2000s, everything they’ve done is solid, quirky, innovative, and exciting. From Fargo to O Brother to No Country, shot for shot and line for line the best writing/directing going on in or around Hollywood right now.
    Wes AndersonThe Royal Tenenbaums. That’s really enough right there, though his other films are almost as good. He strikes a perfect note of uncertainty that’s at once grown-up and not quite mature. His dialogue can get a little precious, but that’s all part of the charm.
    David Lynch – Lynch and Hollywood have been at odds for years, and to my mind, Lynch wins, and good on him. He refuses to give us what we want (narrative closure, causal relationships) but instead gives us things far more interesting and bizarre, and yet somehow beautiful, than we could even imagine.
    Richard Linklater – Two examples. Before Sunrise. Two people meet in Paris and talk all night. We watch them. Nothing else happens. It’s fascinating and I could watch it over and over. Waking Life. Rotoscoped animation. People talking about philosophy while the animation slips fluidly, sometimes uncomfortably around them. Again, can’t take my eyes off of it. The man has honed the difficult craft of writing/directing amazing movies without plots, and for that I salute him.
    Guillermo Del Toro – I liked Hellboy when I expected to hate it, because I’m not that big a fan of comic book movies, especially obscure ones that I, as a non-comic reader, haven’t heard of. Then I saw Pan’s Labyrinth and realized why…Del Toro is a visionary, and his ability to imbue even studio-produced blockbusters with his incredible visual sense is staggering.

    Honorable mentions: Tom Tykwer, Sofia Coppola, Pedro Almodovar, Martin Scorsese, Christopher Nolan (you’re right, Lisa, probably one of the best directors currently working mostly within the Hollywood system), Woody Allen, Alfonso Cuaron, Brad Bird (thanks Pasquale for reminding me of animation directors!), David Fincher, Sam Mendes, Steven Soderbergh, Steven Spielberg (heh, I can not say Spielberg – he’s certainly a great storyteller and it’s hard to top his best, but recently he’d benefit from a stricter editor and a less sentimental tone), Danny Boyle, Clint Eastwood, Tim Burton, Baz Lurhmann, Lars von Trier, David Cronenberg, Noah Baumbach, Michel Gondry (interesting even when he’s disappointing), Quentin Tarantino, Michael Mann, Rian Johnson (on the basis of Brick alone; really hoping The Brothers Bloom is good).

    All-time:
    Jean-Luc Godard – I’m going only on his 1959-1967 oevre, so he’s here even though he’s still working. The early films are so playful and yet so rewarding on multiple viewings. The combination of stylistic innovation, postmodern sensibilities, modern angst, and, oh yeah, Anna Karina, rarely fails to delight me.
    Alfred Hitchcock – No one makes thrillers like Hitchcock. Heck, no one makes films like Hitchcock. No one can combine mise-en-scene, blocking, and editing like Hitchcock. He’s probably really my all-time favorite; I’m just on a Godard kick right now.
    Krzysztof Kieslowski – The visual style, oh my God. Particularly in the French films, like the Three Colors trilogy. Still working on his Polish ones, which I don’t like as much, but I’d pretty much pit Red or The Double Life of Veronique against any film ever as far as sheer beauty goes.
    Howard Hawks – He can make classics in every genre, from comedy (His Girl Friday) to western (Rio Bravo), musical (Gentlemen Prefer Blondes) to action (Only Angels Have Wings).
    Billy Wilder – And so can Billy Wilder, but with perhaps slightly less panache. But how can you argue with Double Indemnity, Some Like It Hot, and The Apartment?

    Honorable mentions: Charlie Chaplin, Stanley Kubrick, Federico Fellini, John Ford, Nicholas Ray, Ingmar Bergman, Vincente Minnelli, Francois Truffaut, Orson Welles, Michelangelo Antonioni, Ernst Lubitsch, Stanley Donen, F.W. Murnau, Bob Fosse, Samuel Fuller, Fritz Lang.

  • Reply
    Duane Storey
    September 2, 2008 at 6:51 PM

    Your facebook said three, so I’m rolling with that :)

    Peter Jackson, Alex Proyas, Martin Scorsese

  • Reply
    Travis
    September 2, 2008 at 6:57 PM

    1. Quentin Tarantino – Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction, Kill Bill

    2. Martin Scorsese – The Departed, Casino

    3. Kevin Smith – Clerks

    4. Frank Darabont – The Green Mile, The Shawshank Redemption

    5. Michel Gondry – Just cause…

    I’m not much of a movie buff, but anything directed by the fellas above tends to be a gem.

  • Reply
    Jorge
    September 2, 2008 at 7:03 PM

    Quentin Tarantino: I like his style. He has not done many great movies but the ones he’s done are epic. He’s style is not the most commercial or popular but i like the touch he puts to his stories and the way he makes movies look. Pulp Fiction was the greatest and Reservoir Dogs a Close second.

    Cohen Brothers: Those 2 rock. They made a great No Country for Old Men adaptation and i liked the style of portraying the history well by not letting us know what the main plot was until the end.I heard many friends that study film making in a discussion on who was the actual main character of that film.

    Steven Spilberg: Because of the great animated and real movies done. He has trully done lot’s of great movies and specially Pinky and the Brain.

    James Cameron: James Cameron did some great movies. Titanic was one of the best specially because of how he manage to tell the 2 stories without losing much of any of them.

    Martin Scorsese: He has done many great movies. Specially Taxi Driver. Also his last movies have been good. He deserved an Oscar since long ago.

    Finally these are my top 5 but not in that order. And a special mention to Christopher Nolan. He will probably replace some of those 5 in my next list.

  • Reply
    John Hays
    September 2, 2008 at 7:19 PM

    Love movies. Love them. All my friends know me as a movie buff/geek, depending on who you talk to. I just went to see my best friend in Atlanta and had him watch two films he’d never seen: Tron and The Game, both great.

    1. Alfred Hitchcock. The master of suspense. Hitchcock once talked about how a director can take you through a scene and suddenly explode a bomb at the end of the scene, but that’s a cheap shock. Suspense is when you know the bomb’s there the whole time, but you don’t know if or when it will go off. Vertigo is in my top 3 films of all time.

    2. Tim Burton. The guy’s a creative genius. He single-handedly reinvigorated the superhero film franchise with Batman, giving it more serious respect that ultimately led to films like Dark Knight. I’m just a huge fan of his quirky fantasy style – Beetlejuice, Edward Scissorhands, Nightmare Before Christmas, etc…he also single-handedly reinvigorated Johnny Depp’s career.

    3. Frank Capra. My favorite film is It’s A Wonderful Life. The emotion, the vision of a better life. Capra instilled it in all of his films. He also brought out the best in a young Jimmy Stewart, both in Wonderful Life as well as Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.

    Runners up: Robert Redford, Martin Scorsese, Stanley Kubrick, Steven Spielberg, Michael Mann, Sydney Pollack, Robert Zemeckis, Mel Brooks, Richard Donner, John Hughes.

  • Reply
    Fred Hill
    September 2, 2008 at 7:20 PM

    Michael Mann: I could watch “Heat” everyday.

    Christopher Nolan: Just keeps better and better with every movie.

    Steven Speilberg: One of the best and always will be.

    But only three there are some many… The Cohen Brothers, Quentin Tarantino, Kevin Smith, Bryan Singer, Peter Jackson, Wes Anderson

  • Reply
    Brousse Laine
    September 2, 2008 at 7:25 PM

    Chris Nolan. Intelligent AND entertaining movies. No misses for me yet.
    The Cohen brothers have a way of making surrealist situations so plausible and down to earth.
    Early Spielberg, when he sprinkled some cinéma-vérité in US Blockbusters.

    My cheat list
    Joss Whedon directed only one movie, but it’s one of my best sci-fi delight. That, and I wear brown coats. (heys, it IS a cheat list…)
    Luc Besson for Le Grand Bleu, Nikita, The Fifth Element and The Professional.
    François Girard Especially for Thirty-Two Short Films About Glenn Gould.
    David Lynch because his movies are never over and differs each time I see them again.

  • Reply
    greg2point0
    September 2, 2008 at 7:41 PM

    Haha, the argument between the intern and veteran film school grad sounds like a discussion that took place in one of my film school classes. We had to watch and discuss both the car chase scenes in Bad Boys 2 and The French Connection.

    As far as favourite directors go: Terry Gilliam, Stanley Kubrick, and Trey Parker (because South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut is hands down the funniest and most poignant movie ever).

  • Reply
    steelie
    September 2, 2008 at 7:43 PM

    I’m not as big on looking out for specific directors as most commentors will likely be. However, there are a few names that I will watch (and virtually always like) without fail:
    Jean-Pierre Jeunet, Joss Whedon (mostly TV, I know, but still…), Quentin Tarantino, Tim Burton and Frank Millar.

    I also really enjoyed David Fincher’s work on “Fight Club” and “Se7en”.

  • Reply
    GlutenBoy
    September 2, 2008 at 7:51 PM

    Nobody mentioned Guy Ritchie. So I would like to mention Guy Ritchie. Snatch, just the name makes me smile.

  • Reply
    Kevin
    September 2, 2008 at 7:54 PM

    In no particular order:

    Michael Mann: Did you see Heat? Enough said.

    Tony Scott: Yeah, what Lisa said. Good call on True Romance. I tell people True Romance is probably one of the best movies they have never heard of.

    Quentin Tarantino/Steven Speilberg/Robert Rodriguez/Michael Bay. I can’t pick the third one. Any of those four will work!

  • Reply
    John
    September 2, 2008 at 8:21 PM

    Coen Brothers: Watch “The Big Lebowski” a few times and you’ll agree.

    Ridley Scott: “Kingdom of Heaven” is a great movie that doesn’t get mentioned much. Plus, “Alien” is the scariest movie I’ve ever seen.

    Francis Ford Coppola: I haven’t seen him on anyone’s list yet. “The Godfather” and “Apocalypse Now” are two of his best.

    M. Night Shyamalan: I want to believe he can do a really scary movie. The first half of “The Village” was exactly what I wanted it to be. The second half? Not so much. But I haven’t given up on him yet.

    Guillermo Del Toro: He creates some of the most fascinating creatures. I am very much looking forward to “The Hobbit”.

  • Reply
    Dave
    September 2, 2008 at 8:41 PM

    Do you not also hate the ‘deleted scene’ that turns out to be a poorly scanned storyboard slideshow?! Also, if you have a movie that touts ‘Interactive Menus’ as a special feature, be sure to wear gloves when handling it, as it’s likely toxic.

  • Reply
    moe29
    September 2, 2008 at 9:06 PM

    Akira Kurosawa: Just watch Shichinin no samurai (Seven Samurai). A true masterpiece of film. I can’t believe it took more than 15 posts for someone to name him…

    Michael Gondry: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind – wow.

    Robert Rodriquez: Does it all for less money through creativity.

    Luc Besson: Opening scene of The Big Blue.

    Sergio Leone: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.

  • Reply
    Caermon
    September 2, 2008 at 9:51 PM

    Tarentino, Rodriguez and Whedon.

  • Reply
    Scott
    September 2, 2008 at 9:53 PM

    Sam Raimi – Mostly for his creativity and ingenuity with his camera work. His early films using nothing but friends (albeit very talented and eventually famous ones) and a DIY aesthetic produced some great, fun movies.

    Hayao Miyazaki – I really love the pacing of his films, from the elegant moments of a plane slipping through the clouds to mad chases through a building every scene seems to be animated the exact length it needs to be to convey the mood needed.

    Orson Wells – Every shot in his films has the perfect lighting, from the perfect angle, for the perfect amount of time. His films are simply beautiful to watch.

  • Reply
    August
    September 2, 2008 at 11:39 PM

    All these previously mentioned (Perhaps not in order of appearance, though):

    Quentin Tarrantino

    Joel & Ethan Coen

    Wes Anderson

    Tom Tykwer

    Tim Burton

  • Reply
    Dan
    September 3, 2008 at 2:55 AM

    Thank you Lisa!! just, thank you! :D

    This is gonna require some thought… *gets fresh cup of coffee*

    I’ll have to give you these in no particular order because, for me, choosing a favourite is impossible.

    1. Ridley Scott – From the chilling bleak desolation of Alien through to the most realistic modern war movie of all time, in my opinion, Black Hawk Down Ridley Scott has proved he is one of the most innovative, dynamic directors working today. Despite his ability to adapt to pretty much any genre, his style remains a constant… and what a style!

    2. David Slade – A pretty new kid on the block but his two most recent films; 30 Days of Night and Hard Candy have had a very distinctive style that I’ve enjoyed very much. He uses harsh lighting and a fast frame rate to give a really raw visceral look to his films, particularly action sequences.

    3. James Cameron – Aliens, The Abyss, Terminator and Terminator 2… Oh, and I suppose that little, low budget film he did about some ship that sank… that was okay too. His movies speak for themselves. Are they full of subtlety and nuance..? Not really. But boy are they entertaining!

    4. Stephen Spielberg – Can’t really ignore him seeing as he’s responsible for three of my favourite films of all time; The original Indiana Jones trilogy. Lately he’s become a victim of mediocrity with his most recent offerings narrowly missing the mark, but his early stuff from the 70s and 80s secures his place in this list.

    5. The Coen Brothers – These guys are an enigma. They take big risks in terms of narrative but not with casting. One thing is clear however, they are super talented and know how to make one hell of an entertaining film. Fargo, The Big Lebowski and No Country for Old Men. If you’ve not seen all three, call in sick tomorrow and rent them.

    You should all check out my post about my 5 favourite actors and give your two cents…

  • Reply
    Jim Dorey
    September 3, 2008 at 5:10 AM

    1. James Cameron
    2. Alfred Hitchcock
    3. Peter Jackson
    4. Steven Spielberg
    5. Ridley Scott

    For a list of ALL 3D movies coming down the pipe up to 2012 including Cameron’s AVATAR, check out my blog: http://www.marketsaw.com

  • Reply
    Motion Groove
    September 3, 2008 at 7:04 AM

    I love Martin Scorsese (best mob/gang films of all times) and Stanley Kubrick!

  • Reply
    Metal Cracker dot com
    September 3, 2008 at 8:30 AM

    You HAVE to see the Dark Knight!I can’t guarantee whether you’ll LOVE it but you’ll LIKE it-it’ll largely depend on the way you look at it.But it’s one of those one can’t miss!!!

  • Reply
    Derek Bender
    September 3, 2008 at 8:56 AM

    1 Kubrick – Strangelove is an AMAZING film among top of many others
    2 Coen Brothers – No Country for Old Men made them jump up on my list
    3 Hayao Miyazaki – master of animation/ Pixar owes a lot to him
    4 Wes Anderson – even though he appears to to sliding downhill
    5 Akira Kurosawa – the original epic film maker

    Notables: Tarantino, Gondry, Nolan and Alfonso Cuaron just for Children of Men

  • Reply
    Wes Fierce
    September 3, 2008 at 9:10 AM

    – Zack Snyder

    – Gore Verbinski

    – Takashi Miike

    – The Wachowskis

    – Roar Uthaug

  • Reply
    ChrisG
    September 3, 2008 at 9:20 AM

    in no particular order: Jean Luc Goddard, Fritz Lang, Francis Ford Coppola, Federico Fellini, Ki-duk Kim

  • Reply
    Mike C.
    September 3, 2008 at 11:30 AM

    1. Spielberg (his movies are pure emotion, they never leave you)
    2. Fincher (incredibly unique style, pushes tech and film to the extreme and not just for the sake of “cool”)
    3. Scorcese

    Definitely check out the Dark Knight, even if it is just to see Ledger’s performance. He literally is the joker. It really seems like he lived the character. I totally have respect for Nolan, although I prefer his earlier work to the Batman films. I hope he tries something different the next time around.

  • Reply
    Dave
    September 3, 2008 at 1:02 PM

    @Pasquale touché, good sir

  • Reply
    Norlinda
    September 3, 2008 at 2:39 PM

    Top 5:
    Jean-Pierre Jeunet
    Alfonso Cuarón
    Peter Jackson
    Bryan Singer
    Scorsese

    I used to think the world of Spielberg, but that was before he made “The Crystal Skull”.

  • Reply
    Charles S
    September 3, 2008 at 2:49 PM

    Cameron Crowe, Quentin Tarantino, John Hughes

    Some others: Sam Raimi, Rob Reiner, Steven Spielberg
    Peter Jackson, Ridley Scott, Mel Brooks

  • Reply
    Erik Rolfsen
    September 3, 2008 at 5:16 PM

    1. Steven Soderbergh – Traffic, Erin Brockovich, Out of Sight…he can do it all.

    2. Spike Jonze – If Jonze/Kaufman films were all I could ever watch again, I’d be OK with it.

    3. Coen Brothers – Quality every time out.

    4. David Lynch – He’d almost crack it just on the strength of Mulholland Drive, but his ’80s films were great, too.

    5. Alexander Payne – Election and Sideways are just fantastic pure storytelling.

  • Reply
    browny182
    September 3, 2008 at 7:07 PM

    1. Stanley Kubrick

    2. Quentin Tarantino

    3. David Fincher

    4. Danny Boyle

    5. Martin Scorsese

    I can’t really be bothered to write reasons why I like each dire for as it is 3am and I’m about to slip into a coma, or, more likely, just regular old sleep. Nite nite x

  • Reply
    browny182
    September 3, 2008 at 7:14 PM

    It seems that in my tired daze, I didn’t realise that my iPhone took the word director and destroyed it, making me look like a right old plum.

  • Reply
    Spike
    September 3, 2008 at 7:19 PM

    I won’t bother with choosing or ranking, but I wanted to give some love to one of my favourites who hasn’t been mentioned yet: John Sayles. He’s done some films I don’t like (and some I haven’t seen yet), but “Matewan”, “Lone Star”, and “Eight Men Out” were simply brilliant.

  • Reply
    Mostly Lisa
    September 4, 2008 at 1:11 AM

    oh man you guys this is so awesome! i talk about this stuff everyday and i can’t believe i’ve never blogged about this. i never knew you guys/girls were such film geeks! i’m actually so excited i’m thinking about creating a podcast just to talk about all your comments!

    thanks everyone for sharing. i’ll give my 2 cents of sass on your choices soon! :D

  • Reply
    Erik Rolfsen
    September 4, 2008 at 4:23 PM

    I just want to add one thought: Directing is overrated and screenwriting is underrated. Of the directors on my list, only Lynch has pulled off great movies without the benefit of great screenplays, IMO. Credit to those directors who are equally adept at both, like the Coens, and to many of the others here for knowing great scripts when they see them and making great movies out of them.

  • Reply
    Clintus
    September 4, 2008 at 5:39 PM

    Robert Rodriguez
    Quentin Tarantino
    Tony Scott
    John Woo
    Guy Richie

  • Reply
    Dan
    September 5, 2008 at 2:56 AM

    @ Lisa

    Me… You… Hollywood game.

    That is all.

  • Reply
    Christina
    September 5, 2008 at 4:06 AM

    Dude,
    I was thinking about this and paring the list down to five is soooo freaking hard.

    Alright, I’ll try:

    1. Martin Scorsese – I’m the 25 year old film student, but you know, it still fits with your earlier analogy. Taxi Driver changed my life. Raging Bull changed my life. Shit, The Departed changed my life.
    2. Steven Speilerberg – ET, Jaws, Schindler’s List, the man is a god.
    3. Steven Soderbergh – he is my favorite new-era directory and I think deserves most of the credit for forcing indie into the mainstream (Sex Lies and Videotape won the Palme d’Or at Cannes, which was so significant, I can’t even extrapolate in a blog comment)
    4. Francis Ford Coppola – his work in the ’70s was beyond compare, so it wins just for htat.
    5. David Fincher – Fight Club FTW. Fincher is so incredibly innovative and is so skilled as an artisan, he deserves more notice. Zodiac was so great, it is a shame few people saw it.

  • Reply
    Lauren
    September 6, 2008 at 2:11 AM

    WONG KAR-WAI!!! How come nobody’s mentioned Wong Kar-Wai?? He’s so gooood…..

    1. Wong Kar-Wai
    2. Pedro Almodovar
    3. Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu
    4. Woody Allen
    5. Michel Gondry

    Okay, so not really in that order, so I don’t know why I numbered them. And they’re not really my top favourite, they’re more like… my five favourite right now.

    @ Christina — you’re right, it’s way too hard.

  • Reply
    Timo
    September 6, 2008 at 11:30 AM

    I kinda miss James Cameron in your TOP5. He probably just made it into your TOP6 ;-)
    I mean, Terminator 2 is just the best movie ever. He did Titanic, which was great (well, in a way), and Dark Angel.

  • Reply
    Barend Onneweer
    September 8, 2008 at 5:47 AM

    1. Wong Kar-Wai (Chunking Express, Fallen Angels)

    2. David Fincher (Fight Club, and Se7en are good, but I think “The Game” puts him in the top 3)

    3. Paul Verhoeven (had to put a countryman in and Starship Troopers is a classic).

    Maybe I should have put Ridley Scott in third place though because of Blade Runner.

    I don’t see what everyone else sees in Nolan or Tarantino. Memento was good, but his Batman stuff was thin. Tarantino’s best work is True Romance ;-).

  • Reply
    michelle
    September 22, 2008 at 1:34 PM

    Christopher Nolan is hands-down the best. I worked with him on Insomnia and he has a very clear vision, does not waste anyone’s time, gets all his shots in time for people to re-familiarize themselves with their families, is open to ideas from all on set, connects with actors and makes them feel safe, and is just a really great guy. 100% has my vote.

    Michael Mann is up there.

  • Reply
    Steve Fishman
    October 16, 2008 at 12:45 PM

    My Favorite Directors are:

    Quentin Tarrentino

    Martin Scorsasey

    Micheal Mann

    Stanley Kubrick

    Sorry my spelling sucks.

  • Reply
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    subcorpus
    May 20, 2009 at 1:42 PM

    good article … great list …
    keep ’em articles coming … :)

  • Reply
    Justin Stark
    December 21, 2009 at 2:45 AM

    There is really only one Director:

    Stanley Kubrick.

    Photographer, Philosopher, Artist and Technician;
    Kubrick’s Films are works of Art. The rest, while
    talented in some areas (Kieslowski, Lynch, Coppola),
    turned out Product. Stanley answered to no one, and
    nothing, save his Vision (Kieslowski comes closest).

    When hardware did not exist to serve his purposes,
    he invented it. The low-level, natural lighting in
    “Barry Lyndon” is amazingly evocative, and had not
    been achieved, previously. It is taken for granted,
    now. But, he invented a lens to achieve it.

    His Films require more than one viewing, and some
    real analysis and study, like most Fine Art. Just
    as an example, one of the main themes involved in
    “Barry Lyndon” (considered a ‘failure’, by the way)
    is that the public ignores what it sees, in favor of
    being ‘told’ what is happening, right in front of
    them. In that Film, the Narrator lies, and distorts.

    We see the truth, but ignore it; after all, that IS
    a British accented voice describing the action.

    There are multiple layers of truth regarding the
    Human Experience contained throughout Kubrick’s Films;
    much of it is not pretty. Such is Life.

    He was, after all, a Still Photographer, and that is
    how he approached, and composed, his Work.

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