Friday, May 18, 2007

The Director Report Card (The Truth of Accountants)


WARNING: The following ongoing project is very dry, statistic-heavy, and generally boring and pointless.

Anyone left? Alright. This post will be a continuing project logging my personal "rankings" of directors assigned based on their overall mean averages. While consistency is not always synonymous with excellence (Robert Altman is an example of this), I hope this will give a broad picture of where my loyalties lie. The criteria for inclusion is as follows: directors who have made at least three features, of which I have seen a substantial amount (50%, or at least 5 with directors who have made more than ten features). The rankings will be constantly changing as I add more directors and see more films, so check back often. Not that I'd blame you if you didn't. As I said, this is really, really dry stuff. But I find it fun, and maybe you will too. Or not, in which case, feel free to ignore this completely, as I promise more nudity will be forthcoming (welcome to our new friends who came here from Google, incidentally).

A+
Luis Bunuel
Federico Fellini
Terrence Malick

A
Paul Thomas Anderson
Hal Ashby
Ingmar Bergman

Brad Bird
Charles Chaplin
Sofia Coppola
Vittorio De Sica
John Ford
Bob Fosse

Jean-Luc Godard
Todd Haynes
Werner Herzog
Jim Jarmusch
Alejandro Jodorowsky

Buster Keaton
Krzysztof Kieslowski
Stanley Kubrick

David Lean
Sergio Leone
David Lynch
Roman Polanski
Martin Scorsese
Todd Solondz
Quentin Tarantino
Francois Truffaut
Wim Wenders
Billy Wilder

A-
Pedro Almodovar
Robert Altman

Wes Anderson (A)
Michaelangelo Antonioni
Dario Argento
Darren Aronofsky

Warren Beatty
Bernardo Bertolucci
Tim Burton
James Cameron

Jane Campion
Joel & Ethan Coen
David Cronenberg
Cameron Crowe
Alfonso Cuaron (A)
Michael Curtiz
Brian De Palma
Guillermo Del Toro

David Fincher (A)
Terry Gilliam
Michel Gondry

David Gordon Green
Paul Greengrass
Mary Harron
Howard Hawks
Jim Henson
Alfred Hitchcock

John Huston (B+)
Peter Jackson
Jean-Pierre Jeunet
Akira Kurosawa
Philip Kaufman
Ang Lee
George Lucas
George Miller

Hayao Miyazaki
Errol Morris
Greg Mottola
Christopher Nolan
Sam Peckinpah
Godfrey Reggio
Nicolas Roeg
George A. Romero

David O. Russell
Steven Soderbergh (B+)
Steven Spielberg
Robert Wise
Terry Zwigoff

B+
Woody Allen

Peter Bogdanovich
John Boorman
James L. Brooks
Mel Brooks

Frank Capra
John Carpenter
Francis Ford Coppola

George Cukor
Jonathan Demme

Clint Eastwood
Milos Forman

Stephen Frears
Savage Steve Holland
Neil Jordan
Wong Kar-Wai (A-)
Spike Lee
Richard Linklater
Michael Mann

Anthony Minghella
Michael Moore

Jack Nicholson
Alan J. Pakula
Trey Parker

Alexander Payne (A-)
Sam Raimi
Rob Reiner

Bruce Robinson
Robert Rodriguez
Ken Russell
Paul Schrader
Bryan Singer
Oliver Stone
Gus Van Sant (A-)

David Wain
Peter Weir

Michael Winterbottom
Robert Zemeckis (A-)

B

Dorothy Arzner
Richard Attenborough

Danny Boyle (B+)
Michael Cimino
Don Coscarelli
Joe Dante

Frank Darabont
Blake Edwards
Peter & Bobby Farrelly
William Friedkin
Mel Gibson
Christopher Guest

Lasse Hallstrom
Curtis Hanson

George Roy Hill
Tobe Hooper
John Hughes
Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu

James Ivory
Mike Judge
Lloyd Kaufman

Stanley Kramer
Richard Lester
Baz Luhrmann (A-)
Sidney Lumet

McG
John McTiernan
Adam McKay
Takashi Miike
Mike Nichols
Frank Oz
Alan Parker
Wolfgang Petersen

Leni Riefenstahl
John Schlesinger
Ridley Scott

Don Siegel
Kevin Smith

Ben Stiller
Julie Taymor
Gore Verbinski
Paul Verhoeven
Larry & Andy Wachowski
John Waters

John Woo
Fred Zinnemann
Rob Zombie

B-
Alejandro Amenabar
John Badham

Jay Chandrasekhar (B)
Wes Craven
Danny DeVito
Richard Donner

John Frankenheimer
Lewis Gilbert
Stuart Gordon
Norman Jewison
Terry Jones
Lawrence Kasdan
John Landis
Barry Levinson

Herbert Ross
Eli Roth
Alan Rudolph
Tony Scott

Zack Snyder
Barry Sonnenfeld

Peter Yates
David Zucker
Jerry Zucker

C+
John G. Avildsen
Martin Brest

Roger Corman
Jan De Bont
Renny Harlin
Ron Howard
Randal Kleiser

Neil LaBute
Michael Lehmann
Adrian Lyne
Penny Marshall
Harold Ramis
Carl Reiner
Ivan Reitman
Michael Ritchie
Brad Silberling
J. Lee Thompson
Ron Underwood

C

Gurinder Chada
Larry Cohen
Chris Columbus

Richard Fleischer
Marc Forster
Amy Heckerling

Walter Hill
Joe Johnston
Jonathan Lynn
Steve Miner

Donald Petrie
Joel Schumacher

Tom Shadyac
M. Night Shyamalan (C+)
Sylvester Stallone

C-

Paul W.S. Anderson
Dennis Dugan
Roland Emmerich
Stephen Herek

Peter Hyams
Gary Marshall
Michael Winner

D+
Michael Bay

3 comments:

Paul C. said...

This isn't all that crazy, to be honest. I actually do something similar. For the last few years I've kept a spreadsheet of all active filmmakers I've seen 5 or more movies by, grading the films on a 4-star scale, and ranking the filmmakers by average rating. I'm up to 226 directors. The top 5 are (in order)- Peter Watkins, Jacques Rivette, Jean-Luc Godard, Ingmar Bergman, and Quentin Tarantino. #226 with a bullet is Dennis Dugan, director of HAPPY GILMORE. Don't ask me why I watched 5 of that clown's movies. I may expand the spreadsheet to include deceased and inactive filmmakers, but who knows.

Bemis said...

I found the idea of applying such a formula to directors interesting until I started seriously considering the work of directors like Stephen Herek, which is quite disconcerting. To know that there's a precedent for this sort of thing is encouraging - thanks. A fine top 5, and yeah, Dennis Dugan is probably near the bottom of the barrel.

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I completely agree with your point of Luis Buñuel is the best!