Friday, April 3, 2009
A couple days ago my question of the day on Twitter "Who are your top five directors?" and I got some very interesting responses. I probably should have clarified the question - dead or alive, working or not working, objective best directors or personal favorites, etc. I think ultimately people decided I had asked "Who are you five personal favorite working directors?" with some exceptions. Here are the results!
Not a single mention of love (alive, dead, working, not working) for:
Jim Cameron, Chris Columbus, Mel Brooks, James L. Brooks, Wes Craven, Richard Kelly, Paul Greengrass, Robert Zemeckis, Baz Luhrmann, Richard Donner, Tony Scott, Richard Linklater, David Cronenberg, Akira Kurosawa, Farrelly bros, Francis Ford Coppola, Barry Sonnenfeld, Chris Weitz, The Wachowskis, Catherine Hardwicke, Nora Ephron, Amy Heckerling, Greg Mottola, John Carpenter, Terrence Malick, Hayao Miyazaki, Alexander Payne, Brett Ratner, Ang Lee, David O Russell, Gus Van Sant, Wolfgang Peterson, Orson Welles, Howard Hawks
And a bunch of others too, obviously, but these are the most well known snubs. No Coppola?! I mean, I didn't put Coppola in my personal top five, but...but...it's Coppola!
Directors who got one sole vote:
Woody Allen, Fassbinder, Kubrick, Snyder, Bryan Singer, Frank Miller, Ron Howard
Iñárritu, Capra, Kazan, Wyler, Lean, Michael Bay, Hitchcock, D. Gordon Green, Stone, Apatow
Rob Zombie, George Lucas, Soderburgh, Lumet, Marc Forester, Peter Jackson, Dassin, Fosse,
Mike Nichols, Preminger, Mamet, Spike Jonze, David Fincher, Verbinski, Hou Hsiao-hsien, Abbas Kiarostami, Hirokazu Kore-eda, Herzog, Hughes brothers, Proyas, Jarmusch, Gondry, Lars Von Trier, Guy Maddin, Patrice Leconte, Li Yang, Cameron Crowe, Brad Bird, Kevin Smith, Satyajit Ray, Wong Kar Wai, Pedro Almodóvar, Yimou Zhang, David Lynch
Granted, I'm sure if I'd specified living or dead/old or new, Hitchcock, Kubrick, Lean, Capra, Wyler & Kazan would have gotten way more votes. Pleasantly surprised or mildly offended to see Howard & Snyder on this list? david is jumping up and down, I'm sure. I would have liked to have seen a little bit more love for Jonze, Fincher, Almodóvar, Lynch or Jackson, but alas. Hey, according to this poll, Kevin Smith > James Cameron. I like it.
Now to the good stuff! 5th - 1st place after the jump!
5th place: Tarantino, Rodriguez, Ford, Sofia Coppola, Park Chan Wook, Romero, Edgar Wright, Sam Raimi, Chris Nolan, Tim Burton, Aronofsky, Michael Mann, Ridley Scott, Altman, Ritchie
Hmmm, interesting list. Practically all genre directors save three for four. These all sound about right for 5th place - many of these directors have a very specific fan base & cult followers. Some have been nominated for awards, some haven't. I bet more on this list have been nominated for Saturns than Oscars. How bout them apples?
4th place: Guillermo del Toro, Danny Boyle, P.T. Anderson, Wes Anderson, Clint Eastwood
Huh. Interesting. Every one of these directors has been nominated for an Oscar. In the case of del Toro/Wes Anderson, they got nominated for screenplay. Which brings up the fact that most of these directors often act as much more. del Toro and both Andersons produce and write their own movies and while Eastwood doesn't write, he produces, directs, acts and for some odd reason, composes. Danny Boyle is the odd man out here, having only produced one of his own films and writing none.
3rd place: Spike Lee, Jean Pierre Jeunet, Billy Wilder
Hrm. Hah. Well. You got the modern American director, the modern foreign director and the classic American director. Also, I think the universe has made a collective decision to ignore Alien: Resurrection as a unit, because why taint Jeunet and Joss Whedon if we don't have to? Also here we have another case of triple threat filmmaking - writing, directing and producing. Only Wilder was nominated for Best Director at the Oscars (nominated A LOT. Won for The Apartment & The Lost Weekend) while Jeunet has one Oscar screenplay nom & one Saturn award nom (Damn...can't ignore Alien 4 after all) and Spike Lee has two Oscar nods, one for screenplay, one for Best Doc.
2nd place: Alfonso Cuarón, Steven Spielberg
YES. The sexy tie. Sexy because Oh how I love them! Both of these directors know how to do any genre that comes their way, which not all directors are capable of doing. Cuarón is personally responsible for four of my favorite movies of all time. (By the way, I have a lot of favorite movies of all time. david makes fun of all of them.) But A Little Princess makes me cry every time I see it (Just watch it. You won't know what to do with yourself), Harry Potter & The Prisoner of Azkaban I've seen more than any other Harry movie (EruditeChick will not be happy about that statement), Y Tu Mama Tambien is just brilliant & amazing and if you disagree with me, you are strange, and Children of Men devastated my heart and deserved way more attention. Spielberg is Spielberg and has also been responsible for tons of my favorite movies. Where to begin? Indiana Jones: Raiders & Last Crusade, Hook, Jurassic Park, Catch Me If You Can - okay, so my favorite Spielberg films are probably very unique to me, but whatever, if you think you don't love Spielberg, you need to check yourself. Yes, I said that.
1st place, with the most love from my Twitter followers:
Martin Scorsese, The Coen Brothers
Surprised? Pleased? Pissed? Scorsese and the Coens are very specific to me in that sometimes I love their movies and sometimes, I just don't, but I never hate the films and can always appreciate how well made they are. Love O Brother Where Art Thou & Miller's Crossing. Thought There Will Be Blood deserved the Oscar over No Country & Intolerable Cruelty was pretty intolerable (get it?!) Love classic Scorsese (esp. Taxi Driver) and The Departed. Gangs of New York & The Aviator? Eh. They were fine. But overall, Scorsese & The Coens are obviously already on the list of indisputable greatest directors of all time and will remain there.