Sunday, December 2, 2012

The Great (film) Debates vol. 63

I'm told that directors have some influence on how films turnout. Frankly, I can't see it. But let's run with this silly idea.

Who is your favorite director?


Panelist: T-Rav

I have to go with the Coen brothers. Some of their stuff I really like (O Brother, Where Art Thou?), and some of it I don't (Burn After Reading), but I'm willing to give them credit for making their movies in an outside-the-box kinda way. And at least they manage to avoid being obsessed with huge explosions and other distractions (*cough* Michael Bay *cough*).

Panelist: Tennessee Jed

All time is Hitchcock. I can't think of a bad film he ever did. I suppose I am partial to the genres he tended to use. Current crop would be a tie between Scorcese and Tarantino. Scorcese may be the "best" ever, but since the question is favorite, the other two are in definitely in play.

Panelist: ScottDS

I'm tempted to say Spielberg but, while I absolutely love at least six of his films, I just don't know if he's my favorite. At the end of the day, my favorite director just... might... be... Tim Burton. He was the first director whose name I could identify not to mention the idea that films are "directed" by people who can have their own unique style (this blew my mind as a kid). Even his lesser films feature interesting visuals and ideas. But when he's on, there's no one like him. I consider Pee-Wee's Big Adventure, Beetlejuice, Batman, Edward Scissorhands, The Nightmare Before Christmas, and Ed Wood to be modern classics and Sweeney Todd might just be his masterpiece. On a personal level, while Spielberg is the nerd who made it big, Burton is still the shy geek and I guess I identify with that on some level. (P.S. I don't blame Burton for his imitators or the Hot Topic merchandise.)

Panelist: AndrewPrice

This is really difficult because sometimes the best directors don't make the best films. David Lean is awesome, and his films are great, but they aren't my favorites. Spielberg deserves a nod for making very enjoyable, but never great films. In the end, I need to go with Quentin Tarantino. He's had a couple serious misses, but he's also had a strong series of really top notch hits that were both great films and enjoyable.

Comments? Thoughts?

94 comments:

Patriot said...

Andrew.................Current favorite Joss Whedon (no kidding). While he might be a flaming lib in real life, I think he understands timeless human desires such as freedom and fighting overweening power. His humor can be pretty subtle at times too:

Steve Rogers: Stark, we need a plan of attack!
Tony Stark: I have a plan: attack!

Bruce Banner: I don't think we should be focusing on Loki. That guy's brain is a bag full of cats. You can smell crazy on him.
Thor: Have a care how you speak! Loki is beyond reason, but he is of Asgard and he is my brother!
Natasha Romanoff: He killed eighty people in two days.
Thor: He's adopted

Capt. Malcolm Reynolds: [shouting down into the vault] We're coming down to empty the vault now!
Vault Guard: [calling back up] You'll have to give me your authorization password!
[Jayne fires a burst from his automatic rifle]
Vault Guard: Uh... okay!

Kaylee Frye: Goin' on a year now I ain't had nothin' twixt my nethers weren't run on batteries!
Capt. Malcolm Reynolds: Oh, God! I can't *know* that!
Jayne Cobb: I could stand to hear a little more

Mr_Severus_Snape said...

(Yes, I finally came around to setting up a Blogger account, so it's easier for me to comment.)

I have to agree with Jed. Hitchcock is the best! He has made a plethora great films, like Rear Window (my fav), North by Northwest, Strangers on a train, Shadow of a doubt, Notorious, and so on. Even his non-classics are entertaining (To Catch a Thief, The Man Who Knew Too Much, I even enjoied Family Plot!).

My runner-up has to be Preston Sturges. It's a shame he didn't make more movies. The guy can direct a great movie under any budget! Plus he knew how to geniously work around the production code.

My fav current director is probably Christopher Nolan. The guy is on a role! He hasn't made a bad film yet.

I have to disagree with Scott. Other than the 1989 Batman, Pee-wee's big Adventure, Ed Wood and Beatlejuice. Tim Burton is one of the most overrated directors. He's just too freaking weird for my taste -- and I quite weird myself! Plus he has a very unhealthy obsession with Johnny Depp...




ScottDS said...

As I mentioned in my review of Batman Returns, I do think Burton needs to disengage the autopilot and, as much as I like Depp, it would be nice if Burton chose to work with someone else for his next film. (Hell, it'd be great to see him and Keaton together again.) With Burton, I suppose my choice is more out of sentimental value for the reasons above.

Having said that...

Great choices, everyone!

I've only seen a handful of Coen Brothers movies (and of those, I only liked one or two) but I won't write them off. I understand the acclaim but much of their work just doesn't interest me.

Hitchcock is the man! I suppose you can judge the success of a director by how much he's parodied and referenced by subsequent filmmakers and if that's the case, Hitch might be the most creatively successful of all. Even his lesser movies are worth studying.

Tennessee Jed said...

Seve!!! Uda man, although Preston Sturges has somehow managed to fly under my radar (Sullivan's Travels, indeed, l.o.l.) I agree with you about Christopher Nolan relative to the current crop.

One second while I throw out the insincere b.s. about how great everybody else's picks are (l.o.l.) "Hey, great choices everybody :)" Rav, seriously, I think the Coen Brothers are very talented, and I love most of their films--they just didn't make top of my favorites.

Scott - Spielburg I used to really love, but it is hard for me to make a person I think is a cop out a favorite. Sometimes, he would go for the obvious easy device, as well. Tim Burton is another great "controversial" director like the Coens. Great talent, but not universal love for him. I just happen to fall on the side of "his movies didn't speak directly to me" side, although I did love Ed Wood.

David Lean, Andrew? I have s.o.l.'ed on a couple of his films (snored out loud.)But then, that is really your point, isn't it. Good or even great does not necessarily equate with "favorite." We both agree on feloow Knoxville boy, Q.T. He is, in my opinion, a genius at shooting scenes just right, and in the end, isn't that what a director's most important job is?

Tennessee Jed said...

Patriot - Joss Whedon? Fair enough, but it sounds more like you are making a case for his screen writing abilities than directing per se.

ScottDS said...

Jed -

Are you impugning my customary debate line ("Great choices...!") :-D

The sentiment is sincere. So far, we haven't had a debate where I vehemently disagreed with someone's choice. (knock on wood)

Patriot said...

TJed.....True dat.

Not being as well-read into the film director world as you guys, I look at films as something to enjoy in full. That's what makes a great film for me...can it create realistic characters in a plausible world, usually with humor.

I don't have the technical acumen to determine which director embodies those abilities (Orson Welles anyone?)and moves the oeuvre forward. Its an all or nothing proposition for me.

But that's why I like coming here....to entertain and educate myself from the experts.

tryanmax said...

Haven't we had this one before? In any case, I know that ScottDS and I have tossed back and forth similar sentiments regarding Burton. He is the director that made me aware of directors simply b/c his style is blatantly aesthetic in nature.

That said, my favorite director is clearly Mel Brooks. I can't make a case for what he's contributed to film in general or even comedy in particular, but I love what he does. Brooks, IMO, is a one-man preservation society dedicated to the humor of Vaudeville and the Borscht Belt, and his museum is his films. When Brooks stops making movies, that brand of humor will stop going into them.

Just to reemphasize the question: this is my pick for favorite director. I'd never, ever say he's the best.

Outlaw13 said...

John Ford is my favorite old time director. More for his subject matter than his direction per se, but he did make some great movies.

I like the work Peter Berg is doing now. Can't wait to see Lone Survivor when it comes out. Friday Night Lights captured the feeling of West Texas High School Football exactly.

Floyd R. Turbo said...

Current crop... Christopher Nolen... besides his Batman magnum opus... Insomnia, Memento, The Prestige, Inception... not a bad one in the bunch. Even his debut "Following" is a tight noirish flick. (It's on Netflix Streaming).

John Ford... The Searchers, the cavalry trilogy, The Quiet Man, etc.

Tennessee Jed said...

Scott - more kidding all of us since pretty much everyone uses the line. It reminds me of the best supporting actress nominees at the oscar awards. ha! Of course, as is being pointed out, favorite is a different question than "best" so it would be impossible to quibble with anyone on this question.

Of course even a question "who is best" leaves ample room for creativity and diversity since criteria is up to each individual. But yes, this is, without question, a fairly erudite group taken as a whole.

Tennessee Jed said...

Tryanmax - how can one not laugh one's butt off at Mel Brooks. What I like best about him is that he got great talent and coaxed the very best out of them.

Outlaw - Peter Berg is a terrific director. I even liked the Kingdom. The only thing he has done recently I didn't care for was his sojourn through the world of N.Y. Psychiatric hospital. I'm sure it was well done, just too depressing. And FNL was a rare treat.

T-Rav said...

Okay, I'll just say it....who's David Lean?

tryanmax and Jed, Mel Brooks is really, really funny. Blazing Saddles and Spaceballs had me rolling. :-)

T-Rav said...

Jed and Scott, I figure that's one of the risks of taking the oddball angle the Coens do--some of their stuff works, and some of it doesn't. Honestly, I could have gone with someone like Kubrick or even Nolan in that regard, who are also way up there in my book.

Tennessee Jed said...

David Lean was godfather of the big epic cinema. Lawrence of Arabia was his magnum opus, but I like Bridge Over the River Kwai best. I was teasing Andrew, mainly because of (pause to projectile vomit) "Out of Africa." he is a great director.

Tennessee Jed said...

Rav - anybody with the good sense to use Madeline kahn in so many films is a genius ;)

Tennessee Jed said...

Outlaw, vis-a-vis your John Ford comments, he is nothing short of a legend. Due to my love of films depicting the military, my personal favorites are "The Long Gray Line" about West Point, and "The Horse Soldiers" which romantically depicted the real raid on Newton Station, Ms. in the Cicil War

Tennessee Jed said...

Another guy who tends to fit the "controversial" label is David Lynch. Some stuff fantastic, other stuff "run awaaaaay!!!!) I am currently working on a review of Mulholland Drive, his best, and a truly great film

tryanmax said...

Another David who is a good director is David Fincher, though I feel like his work is becoming increasingly safe.

EricP said...

Scorsese's love for what he's doing makes him my all-time fave, and Hugo forgives him for the so-so output -- and Burton-esque obsession with DiCaprio -- in recent years (The Departed, which I love, excepted).

His inane politics aside, Robert Rodriguez has been a consistent fave since El Mariachi/Desperado. Love his DIY sensibilities, and like Scorsese, RR's love of his directorial job translates to fun for me, plus all the other production hats he wears garners my respect.

Side-1980s-props to John Hughes and Rob Reiner, both of whom batted 1.000 in the decade where my love of films took off.

AndrewPrice said...

Morning folks! Sorry I'm late. Excellent answers as always. When we came up with this question, I actually wondered if everyone would say the same things, but there really do appear to be a lot of great directors once you start thinking about it.

AndrewPrice said...

Patriot, Whedon is an excellent writer. I haven't really paid attention to him as a director though.

AndrewPrice said...

Snape, Welcome to the land of the account-ed. :)

Nolan is excellent. He's really got a tremendous grasp for story telling.

I have to agree about Burton. He's had some genius, but after that, he just kept making the same movie over and over.

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, The Coen Brothers are one of those things where I respect most of their movies and I see the brilliance, but I rarely enjoy them. I have the same issue with Kubrick. His films are so well done and display clear genius, but I don't like them.

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, LOL! Thanks for the insincere compliments. :)

I agree with you about Lean. That's the thing. Great directors don't always make enjoyable films. Look at Kubrick, the Coen Brothers, Burton and even Hitchcock... they all made brilliant films that often weren't very enjoyable.

AndrewPrice said...

Patriot, On the idea of seeing films "in full" I think you make an excellent point. Films ultimately get credited to one man -- "that's a Cameron film" or "that's a Whedon" film, even though they are always the product of separate writers and separate directors. I guess it comes down to whoever had the dominant style.

ScottDS said...

T-Rav -

I almost went with Kubrick and it's been so long since I submitted my answer that I forget why I didn't actually mention him. :-) Maybe I thought it was a cop-out answer? I have no idea!

A glance at my bookshelf reveals many movie-related titles but when it comes to specific directors, I have one on Spielberg, one on Lucas, one on John Landis, one on Nicholas (Star Trek II) Meyer... but none on Burton and two on Kubrick!

Kit said...

Christopher Nolan for his Batman Trilogy. His name is enough to make me see a movie*.
Spielberg 1975-1993 (Jaws-Schindler's List; his prime)
Coen Brothers.


*Though I haven't seen Insomnia, Prestige, or Memento. But I want to.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, Nope. Check out the list in the sidebar. :)

On Brooks, I liked him a lot more in the past, except so much of what he's done hasn't stood the test of time for me. At this point, I only see two films of his that I like and respect -- Blazing Saddles and Young Frankenstein. And while having two great films should him for greatness, I feel like his other films take away a lot of credit.

AndrewPrice said...

Outlaw, Ford is one of those guys who does direction right in the old school method -- his films were perfect for getting you into the story and he never interfered with that with his choices.

AndrewPrice said...

Floyd, Nolan not only does has a series of hits, but his films really stand out as courageous and different to me. He takes smart risks.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, David Lean is a BIG name from the past. He did films like Dr. Zhivago, Bridge on the River Kwai and Lawrence of Arabia.

Kit said...

Oh, and Zack Snyder as well.

Though I haven't seen Sucker Punch or Ga'Hoole, 300 and Watchmen were both great movies. Though Watchmen was a bit too dreary, the opening fight scene was amazing.
LINK

I am pretty confident that Man of Steel is in good hands.

Kit said...

Older filmmakers: Mel Brooks, Hitchcock, Lean, and Ford are all good.

re: Mel Brooks, though Blazing Saddles is far and away his best, his other ones such as the Producers, Spaceballs, and History of the World Part 1 are pretty good. Though I will admit a lot of the 80s references date Spaceballs a bit, it is pretty funny.
"LUDICROUS SPEED!!!"
"They've gone to plaid."

Kit said...

Oh, and the Late John Hughes, too.

Left him out.

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, I like Lynch a lot, but I rarely like his movies. I'm actually a fan of Dune... the Alan Smithee version.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, On Fincher, I thought The Game and Fight Club were great. I didn't like anything else he's done.

AndrewPrice said...

Eric, I liked young Scorsese much more than recent Scorsese. I think he's on autopilot these days.

Good call on Hughes. I don't think of him as a great director, but he defined a generation with his films, so I guess that counts.

AndrewPrice said...

P.S. Eric, I like Rodriguez a lot. I even thought Planet Terror was great.

ScottDS said...

Kit -

Don't bother with Sucker Punch - it's a clusterf---!!!

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, Is there even a book about Burton?

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, On Snyder, I only rank 300 as a solid film and it's not enough for me to consider it great. Sucker Punch is horrid to the level that it makes me question his judgment.

ScottDS said...

Andrew -

There's Burton on Burton by Mark Salisbury, which is a book-length Q&A. There are several "X on X" books including Martin Scorsese, Terry Gilliam, and Woody Allen.

There's a Cahiers Du Cinema book about him (also part of a series).

There are also a couple of books showcasing his artwork, including a short one published during his MOMA exhibit (which was great BTW) and a much larger coffee table book by a specialty publisher.

T-Rav said...

Kit, The Prestige is pretty good. I think the ending is meant to be a little more shocking than it actually is, but it's a well-made film throughout. I haven't seen the other two either.

EricP said...

Andrew (and Kit), try watching Sucker Punch as a series of music videos. Breathes a new and I think excellent life into a craptastic movie. Sorta Purple Rainish like that, though lacking any fantastically silly dialogue from Morris Day.

AndrewPrice said...

Eric, Maybe they should break up and re-issue it because in its present form it just reeks of dreary porn to me.

EricP said...

More Gugino! No, wait, I have Rodriguez's movies for that.

tryanmax said...

SuckerPunch could work if they released it in episodes through a streaming service like Hulu. Otherwise, yeah, yuk.

tryanmax said...

RE: David Fincher, don't forget about Se7en and Panic Room, I thought those were well directed, even if the latter wasn't particularly memorable from a narrative standpoint. I haven't seen Zodiac but I've only heard good things. And even though I don't care for Alien³ all that much, it's still good for a first feature effort.

shawn said...

James Cameron. Even the movie I didn't like (Avatar) was well directed.

tryanmax said...

Since there's been a little bit of Batman talk today, here's an article that came through twitter about all the Batmobiles LINK

Having seen the Tumbler at an auto show, I can attest that it is much smaller than it appears on screen.

Anthony said...

Hayao Miyazaki is amazing. I haven't seen all his movies yet, but I've seen most of them, and loved the ones I've seen.

I was deeply disappointed by the third Batman movie, but that aside, Christopher Nolan's work is very impressive.

I'm also fond of Guillermo del Toro. The Hellboys and Blade 2 are perfect popcorn fare and the dark fairytale Pan's Labyrinth is simply one of the most moving films I've ever seen.

ScottDS said...

tryanmax -

Zodiac is an excellent film, one of my favorites of recent times. It literally is an epic police procedural and Fincher's technical know-how is second to none. It's dark but not nearly in the same ballpark as, say, Se7en or Dragon Tattoo.

Anonymous said...

At first I couldn't think of anyone then Quentin Tarantino popped up, then they poured out.


Quentin Tarantino - The first directors that I actually followed, he wears his influences on his sleeve (and sometimes in his scripts), Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction, Jackie Brown, Kill Bill 1 & 2, Inglourious Basterds

John Hughes - I forgot him until someone mentioned him, I saw his movies as I was entering my teen years, The Breakfast Club, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Planes, Trains & Automobiles, plus the great movies he wrote but didn't direct.

Ridley Scott - For services to Sci-Fi and action movies, Alien, BladE Runner, Black Rain, Gladiator

The Farrelly Brothers - For services to comedy, Dumb and Dumber, There's Something About Mary, Me, Myself & Irene

John Woo - For services to martial arts/action movies (Hollywood action movies improved because oh him), A Better Tomorrow, The Killer, Bullet in the Head, Hard Boiled,

Hark Tsui - same as John Woo, Once Upon a Time in China 1 & 2

Ringo Lam - same as John Woo, City on Fire (Tarantino ripped this off to make Reservoir Dogs), Prison on Fire, Full Contact

Australian Directors (I like them just as much, just put them together).

George Miller - For services to Australian cinema, he has a varied resume, he bought us the Mad Max movies but also Babe!

Alex Proyas - For being original (and the fact no one knows he is Australian), The Crow, Dark City, I Robot

Bruce Beresford - For early services to Australian cienma, Breaker Morant, The Club, Puberty Blues,

Peter Weir - For being one of the first Australian directors to succed in Hollywood, Picnic at Hanging Rock, Gallipoli, Dead Poets Society, Fearless, The Truman Show, Master and Commander.

Scott.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, True, Seven was an excellent (though somewhat forgotten) film. I don't hate his direction on Alien³ and I see some touches of brilliance. But the film was such a mess...

tryanmax said...

I am a little biased against Fincher's Dragon Tattoo just b/c I thought the Danish one was so well done and the American one followed so closely. But without that comparison, it probably seems a lot better.

ScottDS said...

And we'll be discussing Alien 3 much more early next year. ;-)

Andrew, I wouldn't say Se7en is forgotten - it's just that everyone only seems to remember the last ten minutes of the film and not the two hours that precede it.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Favorites...hmmm, Billy Wilder and John Ford, of course.

Akira Kurosawa!

Clint Eastwood is perhaps my favorite from the 70's 'till now!

John Carpenter is a guilty favorite sub-genre director.

Up n' coming: Nolan, Christopher Smith, Whedon.

Do the guys n' gals at Pixar count? Pretty good track record.

T-Rav said...

Hey, you stick Gwyneth Paltrow's head in a box, people are going to remember it. (Er, spoiler alert.) I've seen most of Se7en and thought it was a pretty well-done movie. The killings of the other victims are--uh, memorable.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Nice list of directors. I heartily concur with most of youse guys.

When it come to favorites it's really difficult to choose. I tried to come up with the directors I like watching the most but it's still a daunting task since so many other directors made films which are also favorites of mine.

It's also not easy to choose because not all directors has/have equal opportunity to actually direct the films they were chosen to helm (kind of throws a monkey wrench in there with some films).
Just sayin'.

Kit said...

Whedon, as well.

Check out the episode of Buffy where they deal with the aftermath of her mom's death.
Powerful.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, I thought the American Dragon Tattoo sucked. I never saw the original.


Scott, I think Seven is forgotten in the sense that it's rarely on television and it rarely enters the discussion. I think the biggest problem is that ultimately, it's just another serial killer film in a wave of serial killer films.

AndrewPrice said...

Shawn, I can't disagree about Cameron, even though I don't like his politics. He makes very entertaining films.

I do hate Avatar though.

AndrewPrice said...

Anthony, Guillermo del Toro has a real eye for imagery. I think his stories can use some work, but are generally decent. But his real gift is in the visuals.

I don't know Hayao Miyazaki?

Nolan is impressive.

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, Excellent list! Ridley Scott -- good choice. John Woo is great. :)

I love your list of Australians! Alex Proyas was excellent with Dark City and I really liked Breaker Morant.

EricP said...

Heck yeah on the Pixar guys, especially Brad Bird and John Lasseter.

AndrewPrice said...

Ben, Akira Kurosawa is awesome. I love all his movies!

I love Carpenter too. His films are never great... they are B movies, but they are just great in my book!

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, Thanks for the spoiler alert! LOL1


Eric, That is true. Animation always gets ignored, but Pixar in particular has done some truly inspired work!

Anonymous said...

Andrew, I thought that Ridley Scott was the biggest director that I hadn't seen mentioned by then.

Alex Proyas is very distinct and Breaker Morant is a classic. Bruce Beresfords others movies that I listed The Club (about an Australian Rules Football Club and the best ever Australian sports movie) and Puberty Blues (a coming of age teenage movie) are both Australian classics.

Scott.

Tennessee Jed said...

Went to see the Lady Vols thump the Lady Tarheels this afternoon. BUT . . . so many great directors and films mentioned today. The notion about great directors making movies we don't like is an interesting one. There really shouldn't be a correlation. Somebody up thread mentioned it may be because they take chances. Perhaps, but there are a lot of directors who I like that happen to make films I mostly enjoy (Kubrick.) One of my criteria is a director who was successful in multiple genres like westerns, comedy, etc. At this, Kubrick simply excelled.

Mycroft said...

Just for Bev:
Victor Fleming - GWTW, Wizard of Oz
George Cukor - GWTW, Wizard of Oz, My Fair Lady, Philadelphia Story

Also,
Howard Hawks - His Girl Friday, Sargent York and numerous John Wayne movies.
Hitchcock
and the granddaddy of them all - Cecil B DeMille.

Personally, many of the recognized great directors (Kubrick, Scorsese, Coppola etc...)don't make movies that I particularly enjoy. The primary purpose of a movie is to entertain, so while I can appreciate technique, skill and style, I prefer directors that are entertaining.

Anonymous said...

Maybe I'm unsophisticated,but my favorite director is Sergio Leone.He had a small body of work,but he was extremely influential.Even today,in all kinds of movies-not just dramas-when two people square off the director will use the 360 degree pan or the first few bars from The Good,The Bad And The Ugly.
I like how Leone combined grit(the uglyness of the first guy Lee Van Cleef killed in For A Few Dollars More,the begging half soldier)with myth(the demigodlike confrontations between the main characters that always ended his films).Leone demytholigized and romanticized the west at the same time.
The theme of Leone's films was the struggle between good and evil.In Leone's films Good and Evil must confront each other.They cannot comromise.They cannot ignore each other.They cannot each agree to keep to their own sphere.Good and Evil must confront each other head to head,and one must live and one must die.
I like that.
I saw A Fistfull Of Dollars for the first time when I was 15.I'm 47.If any of the 3 Eastwood films or nce Upon A Time In The West comes on I'll still settle in and watch it.
For all these reasons Sergio Leone is my favorite director.
GypsyTyger

Anonymous said...

I also like Walter Hill,who doesn't really have a signature style but who made so many films that I enjoy.
After I saw Limbo,which is one of my favorites,I started looking up John Sayles' stuff.
GypsyTyger

AndrewPrice said...

GypsyTyger, Sergio Leone is awesome. I love his big trilogy. That redefined westerns actually and it did it with incredible style. :)

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, I haven't seen The Club or Puberty Blues, but I generally liked what he's done. Even Driving Miss Daisy was decent -- though not my thing.

K said...

There was this guy named Billy Wilder

Some Like it Hot
1-2-3
The Apartment
Witness for the Prosecution
Stalag 17
Sunset Blvd
Seven Year Itch
Ball of Fire
Ninotchka

These are all classics in the only real sense. They're still considered milestones in cinema long after they were shown on the screen. Not to offend anyone, but some of today's directors
are so tied to one style/zeitgeist that there's a very good chance they'll be the King Vidor of future film histories.


Also, anyone criticizing "Sucker Punch" needs to work harder finding the deep meaningful meaning.

Just saying.

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, I don't like Kurbick at all. I don't like his films. They rub me wrong all around. BUT I see his brilliance and when I put my own tastes aside, I see what he was doing and it impresses me.

I think the thing is that most great directors challenge you by doing things that take you out of your comfort zone. So a lot of their movies are uncomfortable to watch.

AndrewPrice said...

Mycroft, I think to be considered great, there must be something about the stories that is compelling -- that makes you want to watch. Whether that's "enjoyable" or not, I can't say.

AndrewPrice said...

K, I agree about Billy Wilder. Stalag 17 is a film I watch almost every year. It's just so well done.

I'm not looking for meaning in Sucker Punch, I just think it's a horrible, horrible film.

Individualist said...

I have got to gop with Joss Wheedon

It's the Fanboy in me.

Anonymous said...

John Milius. As a writer, magnificent. As a director... Conan! Red Dawn! And a forgotten, but practically perfect gem... 'The Wind and the Lion.' Also, he makes Hollywood howl in agony, and if we Conservatives do not give him props, who will?

Anthony said...

Andrew,

Hayao Miyazaki is a maker of kid's animated films whom Pixar cites as an influence (like Pixar, Hayao doesn't talk down to kids). The best movie he has directed that I have seen is Spirited Away. My daughters prefer Ponyo though.

Mycroft said...

My favorite director and the all-time greatest, better than Kubrick, Spielberg and Hitchcock all rolled into one ...

Chuck Jones

Not everyone will recognize his name, but I promise that you are familiar with his work.

ScottDS said...

Mycroft -

Good call. Jones might actually be the most consistent director mentioned so far!

ScottDS said...

Anon -

I watched The Wind and the Lion for the first time a couple years ago. Not perfect but a wonderfully entertaining movie. I wish Brian Keith were still alive - I would've loved to see him play Teddy Roosevelt again.

Outlaw13 said...

Sucker Punch was soooo depressing.

Chuck Jones WAS the man. Although he became too sentimental toward the end of his career if you ask me. Fritz Freeling would be another fine choice. And speaking of cartoons...Brad Bird hasn't been mentioned.

K said...

Anthony: Miyazaki's work may have been brought over officially by Disney, but his work is not especially for kids. In Japan, animation is enjoyed by more adults than kids. Which is something Pixar shoots for. You don't get into the multi-100 million dollar gross aiming your story only at kids.

Outlaw13 - You are correct,sir. If all movies were required to be six minute long comedies, Jones would be numero uno and Clampet would be numero dos.


Sucker Punch depressing? Sure, just like Satre and Camus.


EricP said...

>>Brad Bird hasn't been mentioned. >>

Sure was -- 6:14 PM comment.

Anthony said...

K,

You're right, I didn't mean to say that Miyazaki is something only kids can enjoy.

Anthony said...

K,

You're right, I didn't mean to say that Miyazaki is something only kids can enjoy.

Outlaw13 said...

Eric, should have known you would have mentioned him...went right past it, sorry.

K, a lot of movies would be a lot better if they were only 6 minutes long. Jones did a better job with 6 minutes than most could do with 120.

I find Sucker Punch depressing because the lead gets lobotomized (sorry spoiler)...but that may be just me.

The topic was favorite directors, so I think people can have whatever favorite they want, unless Bob Costas wants that outlawed as well.

K said...

Outlaw13: There's no way I could finish my popcorn and 32oz soda in 6 minutes.

Sucker Punch is a great movie to pull people's legs with.

Anonymous said...

Andrew, both movies are Australian classics that never went further then our shores. The Club is about an Australian Football team (the only good Australian sports movie out there) and Puberty Blues was the first Australian movie to deal with teenage sexuality.

They are both dated now and even young Australians wouldn't recognize half the cultural references let alone people from overseas.

Scott.
Scott.

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