Friday, November 25, 2005

Top 10: Directors



I've been agonizing over this one since starting Cinevistaramascope, employing a variety of formulas that always returned unsatisfactory results. I finally had to go with my gut, and this list is made up of the directors whose films I've gone back to over and over, rewatching, discussing, and thinking about. Each has a consistent vision, and while almost every one has a few failures, none of the filmmakers below has ever directed a film that feels like it was made by a committee. This list is limited to directors who have made at least five films; a list of the best new directors may follow in the future. Rather than arguing the case for any director, I've provided links to definitive images from their work that explain better than I could why they belong on this list.

1. Stanley Kubrick
2. Martin Scorsese
3. Werner Herzog
4. David Lynch
5. Steven Spielberg
6. Ingmar Bergman
7. John Carpenter
8. Akira Kurosawa
9. Alfred Hitchcock
10. Quentin Tarantino

10 comments:

Doug said...

Good list. Your mentioning of one of the reasons that made a director your favorite is by noting that their films you come back to time and again to discuss and think about. I've been thinking alot about that lately with pieces of art I really enjoy; they keep me coming back to them, generating new insights, or just reminding me of the value of insights from previous viewings.

It's always interesting for me to see what people think my favorites are, and what they actually are.

Bemis said...

That last point about what people assume of your tastes is very interesting. A few weeks ago, Janet (a coworker at Images) asked if I would do projection for a screening of Palindromes because "you're a big Todd Solondz fan." I can't remember ever mentioning Todd Solondz, or writing about his films in my Images column. But I am indeed a fan of his. I guess maybe she picked up on my little-seen misanthropic side.

Max said...
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Max said...
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Max said...
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Max said...

I had posted a list, but revisions were made. Here is the final product:

1. Akira Kurosawa
2. Terry Gilliam
3. Stanley Kubrick
4. Martin Scorsese
5. Alfred Hitchcock
6. David Lynch
7. David Cronenberg
8. Quentin Tarantino
9. Wes Anderson
10. Werner Herzog

There's more, but this list is the most definitive one I can produce now.

Greg said...

andrew these list invitations are so damn enticing...

1. david cronenberg
2. alfred hitchcock
3. werner herzog
4. akira kurosawa
5. george romero
6. david lynch
7. richard linklater
8. luis bunuel
9. brian depalma
10. todd solondz

the thing i like about this list is that altho the films of these directors might not pop up on my top 50 list more than directors not on the list, they all consistantly put out interesting work (at least the ones still alive), even when they make a bad/flawed film.

Bemis said...

Max & Greg -

Great choices all around. Good call with Gilliam, Cronenberg, and Bunuel. Wes Anderson will definitely be on my "new directors" list. De Palma would reside directly outside my top 10 - Phantom of the Paradise is seriously underrated, and Carrie is a masterpiece.

Anonymous said...

1. Stanley Kubrick
2. Woody Allen
3. Werner Herzog
4. David Lynch
5. Steven Spielberg
6. Martin Scorsese
7. Quentin Tarantino
8. Robert Altman
9. John Carpenter
10. Alfred Hitchcock

Sorry for the lateness. It has taken me this long to make my list in the proper order.

-Jess

Bemis said...

Ah yes, Altman was the one that was really painful to cut. Very cool list.