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Favorite directors?

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cinewest
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Re: Favorite directors?

#41

Post by cinewest » May 9th, 2020, 2:13 pm

Random responses to some of the responses

I thought of submitting a list of my own, but realized part way through making it that it was pretty much just a variation on the existing universal critical assessment, at least until the 1990's or 2000's, and that there are also some holes in terms of what I have seen from among the most lauded (none from Murnau or Dreyer, and only a few from Bresson and Ozu, for example).

Though I have often considered my own film taste pretty eclectic, my own list doesn't approach the variety or esoterica present in the lists by prodigal, Oldale, St.Gloede, and Tobias, for example. It also doesn't include what I might call "among the better B-level studio directors."

Prodigal, if you are going to dismiss top tier genre filmmakers like Ford (admittedly not a favorite of mine), Hitchcock, Kurosawa, and others, it's hard for me to swallow Jacques Tourneur, Raoul Walsh, and Anthony Mann, among others.
Kurosawa vs. Anthony Mann, for example, really isn't much of a contest. Kurosawa's Samurai films are among the best Westerns ever, and his noir films are also comparable with the best in their class. He also made a bunch of very good, classic dramas, and in his later period, he made some others that really stand out as unique. And his films are full of cinematic wonder, even those operating within genre types. I can still remember the first time I saw Seven Samurai (never mind that Magnificent Seven was one of my favorite westerns as a kid), the luscious black and white, the final battle scene in the pouring rain. How many filmmakers have gone on to copy his Samurai stories and characters, or play off of them?

As I was making my list, I realized that one common factor of every choice I was making had to do with the number of "outstanding" films I had seen by a given director (realizing, of course, that my own limited number of viewings had a very clear influence). In addition, I noticed that those I was putting near the top seemed to have the longest uninterrupted run of very high quality films. There are quite a few filmmakers who reach the "magic 3 essentials" for me, but very few that go too far beyond that.

Bergman has probably made the greatest number of high quality films that I have seen, and for that he would have to be my number 1, but quite recently Michael Haneke has had an amazing streak if his own, and up until recently I might have said the same about Von Trier.

Moving along to some of the filmmakers that have been mentioned:

I agree that Oshima's filmography deserves a lot more attention, as does Ophuls'

As for Angeloupolos, I absolutely loved Eternity and a Day, and Landscape in the Mist.

I Also loved Andrei Rublev, Last Year at Marienbad, L'aventura, Stellet Licht, and McCabe and Mrs. Miller is probably my favorite American Western (Dead Man is also top 5)

Add me to the growing list of Maddin Fans. And Kieslowski would definitely be high on my list.

I also share Mathew Scott's love for Llewyn Davis.

Share quite a few of St. Gloede's favorites, and think you might really like Nicholas Roeg (another filmmaker who deserves more attention. Kim Ki-duk is another)

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#42

Post by matthewscott8 » May 9th, 2020, 2:31 pm

prodigalgodson wrote:
May 9th, 2020, 4:06 am
Yeeah, the Matthew commentary!

Re: fun, I remember you making a similar comment on my list of favorite movies in the ago with regards to humor, and I've given it a lot of thought over the years. My tautological conclusion is that as much as I love laughing and good times, movies that focus on trying to convey that usually don't hit me like the stuff from these guys (I'd argue that a lot of them have a good sense of dry humor, but that's not exactly the same kind of fun). If I made a list of favorite TV shows, most of them would be comedies, and I love stand up comedy, but I don't really consider the specials I watch to be films (maybe that's an arbitrary distinction). But a list of films or books is not gonna be dominated by comedy, probably has to do both with my sensibilities and the fact that most of the people who (imo) have contributed the most to the medium haven't been overtly comedically inclined. Needless to say, I do find watching films by these directors fun in a way, but I know what you mean, they're not exactly rip-roaring good times for the most part.

Re: women, I know, I know, it's not a good look. Lynne Ramsay was probably closest to making the list. Varda was also close, but there's something, how to put it, a little cloying about her sensibilities overall to me. My favorites, Vagabond, Le bonheur, and Cleo don't exhibit this, but her shorts, La Pointe Court, and especially The Gleaners and I do. Maybe that's a basic read? I definitely want to see more though, and revisit some. India Song is one of my favorite movies, but other than that I've only seen one short from Duras, something I'd love to remedy -- I wish her stuff was more widely available, still bummed SMz went down. (I also love Duras as a writer. I had a one night stand a few years ago call me out for not having any women on my bookshelf. I was like, what about Duras? And she was like, what, one author? I was embarrassed and since then have tried to remedy that, and though I have a long way to go, Middlemarch has now replaced Gravity's Rainbow as my favorite book.) I've only seen Meek's Cutoff from Reichardt, but River of Grass and Wendy and Lucy are leaving the Criterion streaming service at the end of the month, and I'm definitely planning to watch those. Other than Duras, Lucrecia Martel and Claire Denis seem the most up my alley, and I definitely need to see more from them both.

Demy - only seen Cherbourg and Rochefort, like the former but not as much as when I was younger, the latter didn't do much for me; I'll gladly take any recommendations though
Wilder - I love The Apartment and Ace in the Hole, haven't seen much else that's stood out, though he's definitely more than competent
Visconti - he made it farthest on this list with fewest seen, only 5, and Ludwig and Conversation Piece on both on that to-watch list, but Senso blew me away recently
Kubrick - hey, Strangelove's the most fun movie I have on here (well, after Lebowski); Eyes Wide Shut would've been in the top 3 if I hadn't rewatched it and liked it less a while ago, A Clockwork Orange is something else, great stuff but maybe would benefit from a rewatch
Fassbinder - haven't seen Eight Hours but want to! I missed the touring print; World on a Wire is probably the aesthetic high point of their collaboration, but it doesn't feel like a cinematographer's movie the way Petra von Kant does; you might like it, it's thrilling, highly watchable, and vaguely philosophically substantive in a proto-Matrix way
Benning - only seen El Valley Centro to my shame!
Coens - didn't know Llewyn Davis meant that much to you, but yeah, it's easily the best thing they made in the last decade; they've made a lot of really good movies in their careers, damn
Peckinpah - I have, maybe on your recommendation, and I must've loved it since I rated it a 9, but unfortunately I don't remember it well at all; maybe time to check out an alternate cut :D
Ophuls - indeed it's not; funny story with La ronde, it's the first of his I saw and I loved it, but I remembered it having a perfect tragic ending which I think I somehow copied and pasted from Rossellini's Paisan, so when I saw it the second time at a retrospective I was disappointed and confused, haha
I think, and I hope I didn't say the same thing those many years ago tehe that comedy films are a lot harder to do successfully, it's a higher bar, if a joke falls flat it's pretty bad. You can see how worried Pasolini is at the start of Hawks and Sparrows where it contains a mediaeval style preface craving the indulgence of the viewer. And it's not funny either lol. Jokes also date very quicly and badly, whereas it's not the same with aesthetics. I don't necessarily know who to recommend, as this is a directors' thread. Dumont has tried it with mixed results. Pagnol is pretty undeniably great, and his films are funny as fuck, Marseilles Trilogy means Pagnol lives forever. In terms of individual films "Panique au village / A Town Called Panic" (2009 - Stéphane Aubier & Vincent Patar) is my highest rated funny. It's energy levels and laughs are through the roof. Blake Edwards is another thought, A Shot in the Dark (1964) the second Clouseau movie, is pretty damned funny.

I actually had the same comment, although on my top movie list, when I posted in on CFB many years back, I think from Cat, I'm still working on it, it's hard! My top comedy list is very short.

Senso is great, especially with some red wine, I just think Ludwig is a massive movie, and A Conversation Piece personally hit me like a brick although lower key.

Welt am draht doesn't feel like a cinematographer's movie, them circular dollys ain't easy prod!! I think I read an interview with Ballhaus saying he had a lot more credit for that one than usual.

With Major Dundee, there's basically versions with two different soundtracks, and I actually love the tv version that Peckinpah hated. The TV one feels more formal because it has this eerie trill every time some statement is made that means they are basically getting in deeper schtuck.

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#43

Post by prodigalgodson » May 10th, 2020, 12:30 am

cinewest wrote:
May 9th, 2020, 2:13 pm
Random responses to some of the responses

I thought of submitting a list of my own, but realized part way through making it that it was pretty much just a variation on the existing universal critical assessment, at least until the 1990's or 2000's, and that there are also some holes in terms of what I have seen from among the most lauded (none from Murnau or Dreyer, and only a few from Bresson and Ozu, for example).

Though I have often considered my own film taste pretty eclectic, my own list doesn't approach the variety or esoterica present in the lists by prodigal, Oldale, St.Gloede, and Tobias, for example. It also doesn't include what I might call "among the better B-level studio directors."

Prodigal, if you are going to dismiss top tier genre filmmakers like Ford (admittedly not a favorite of mine), Hitchcock, Kurosawa, and others, it's hard for me to swallow Jacques Tourneur, Raoul Walsh, and Anthony Mann, among others.
Kurosawa vs. Anthony Mann, for example, really isn't much of a contest. Kurosawa's Samurai films are among the best Westerns ever, and his noir films are also comparable with the best in their class. He also made a bunch of very good, classic dramas, and in his later period, he made some others that really stand out as unique. And his films are full of cinematic wonder, even those operating within genre types. I can still remember the first time I saw Seven Samurai (never mind that Magnificent Seven was one of my favorite westerns as a kid), the luscious black and white, the final battle scene in the pouring rain. How many filmmakers have gone on to copy his Samurai stories and characters, or play off of them?

As I was making my list, I realized that one common factor of every choice I was making had to do with the number of "outstanding" films I had seen by a given director (realizing, of course, that my own limited number of viewings had a very clear influence). In addition, I noticed that those I was putting near the top seemed to have the longest uninterrupted run of very high quality films. There are quite a few filmmakers who reach the "magic 3 essentials" for me, but very few that go too far beyond that.

Bergman has probably made the greatest number of high quality films that I have seen, and for that he would have to be my number 1, but quite recently Michael Haneke has had an amazing streak if his own, and up until recently I might have said the same about Von Trier.

Moving along to some of the filmmakers that have been mentioned:

I agree that Oshima's filmography deserves a lot more attention, as does Ophuls'

As for Angeloupolos, I absolutely loved Eternity and a Day, and Landscape in the Mist.

I Also loved Andrei Rublev, Last Year at Marienbad, L'aventura, Stellet Licht, and McCabe and Mrs. Miller is probably my favorite American Western (Dead Man is also top 5)

Add me to the growing list of Maddin Fans. And Kieslowski would definitely be high on my list.

I also share Mathew Scott's love for Llewyn Davis.

Share quite a few of St. Gloede's favorites, and think you might really like Nicholas Roeg (another filmmaker who deserves more attention. Kim Ki-duk is another)
This list is definitely highly personal and subjective, if I was gauging by impact and influence I'd have to include Griffith, Kurosawa, Ozu, Ford, Hitchcock, and Fellini at least. I don't think there's anything inherently absurd in including Tourneur, Walsh, and Mann instead of bigger names though -- it's kind of like Farber's termite vs. elephant art. If I had to take a chance on a random film from a director, I'd prefer something scrappy and rough-around-the-edges from one of them than an immaculate but cloying film from Ford. I think everyone on my list brings a unique personal energy and vision to their projects that's lacking in bigger name studio assembly-line overseers like Mankiewizc, Curtiz, or Wyler.

Kurosawa is definitely a one-of-a-kind maverick who pioneered a kind of dynamic filmmaking that's inspired some of the best craftsmen in the business (I think he'd have to be a favorite of many cinematographers and editors), but my appreciation for him has remained pretty scholarly over the years -- of the 11 I've seen, only Ran is a major favorite.

Oshima is a good example of what makes this list so personal -- he's the first director I saw a retrospective of on film, and his approach to the medium absolutely blew my mind as a high schooler, opening the doors to a wider world than I'd dreamed possible.

I'd like to see Eternity and a Day -- I definitely liked Landscape in the Mist more than The Traveling Players.

I've enjoyed what I've seen from Roeg so far, which I think is only Don't Look Now, Performance, and Eureka. I got super stoned before a showing of The Man Who Fell to Earth and fell asleep halfway though, which at the meta level seems like the perfect way to see a film about an alien who comes to earth only to have earthly indulgences distract him from his mission, but I'd still like to watch it properly. ;)

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#44

Post by prodigalgodson » May 10th, 2020, 12:49 am

matthewscott8 wrote:
May 9th, 2020, 2:31 pm
I think, and I hope I didn't say the same thing those many years ago tehe that comedy films are a lot harder to do successfully, it's a higher bar, if a joke falls flat it's pretty bad. You can see how worried Pasolini is at the start of Hawks and Sparrows where it contains a mediaeval style preface craving the indulgence of the viewer. And it's not funny either lol. Jokes also date very quicly and badly, whereas it's not the same with aesthetics. I don't necessarily know who to recommend, as this is a directors' thread. Dumont has tried it with mixed results. Pagnol is pretty undeniably great, and his films are funny as fuck, Marseilles Trilogy means Pagnol lives forever. In terms of individual films "Panique au village / A Town Called Panic" (2009 - Stéphane Aubier & Vincent Patar) is my highest rated funny. It's energy levels and laughs are through the roof. Blake Edwards is another thought, A Shot in the Dark (1964) the second Clouseau movie, is pretty damned funny.

I actually had the same comment, although on my top movie list, when I posted in on CFB many years back, I think from Cat, I'm still working on it, it's hard! My top comedy list is very short.

Senso is great, especially with some red wine, I just think Ludwig is a massive movie, and A Conversation Piece personally hit me like a brick although lower key.

Welt am draht doesn't feel like a cinematographer's movie, them circular dollys ain't easy prod!! I think I read an interview with Ballhaus saying he had a lot more credit for that one than usual.

With Major Dundee, there's basically versions with two different soundtracks, and I actually love the tv version that Peckinpah hated. The TV one feels more formal because it has this eerie trill every time some statement is made that means they are basically getting in deeper schtuck.
Ah yeah, The Hawks and the Sparrows did not tickle my funny bone at all, haha. I remember Seinfeld saying on Comedians and Cars that funny's funny so comedy ages better than anything else, and then a while later realizing I totally disagreed. I agree some humor is timeless but I don't know why some just isn't -- eg why Gilbert and Sullivan's Ruler of the Queen's Navy still makes me laugh out loud when Chaplin's Modern Times makes me want to hit my head on a wall, and the humor in both is so based on repetition.

I know P'tit Quinquin is supposed to be funny, but the Dumonts I've seen have been pretty damn humorless so far. I've liked the couple Pagnol's I've seen, especially when he's paired with Raimu, talk about a naturally funny dude. Is the Marseilles trilogy the one with Fanny/Cesar/etc.? I've gotta see that if only to get Chez Panisse's namesake. Renoir has some pretty damn funny stuff himself, Boudu Saved from Drowning is some of the hardest I've laughed in a theater (a great audience helped). Ditto Sternberg's The King Steps Out from around the same time, of whom I seem to be the world's only fan. Thanks for the Town Called Panic rec, I'll check it out. I found Edwards' The Party pretty funny, but not laugh out loud.

Ah okay, camera movement's always been a tough one to know where to assign credit between director and cinematographer, I mean Fassbinder made some pretty prodigious use of dollies in films he dp'd himself. I can buy Ballhaus' take though, World on a Wire definitely looks different and more polished than a lot of his other stuff.

Haha, that tv version of Major Dundee with whatever the dramatic version of a laugh track is sounds delightful.

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#45

Post by cinewest » May 10th, 2020, 1:06 am

prodigalgodson wrote:
May 10th, 2020, 12:30 am
cinewest wrote:
May 9th, 2020, 2:13 pm
Random responses to some of the responses

I thought of submitting a list of my own, but realized part way through making it that it was pretty much just a variation on the existing universal critical assessment, at least until the 1990's or 2000's, and that there are also some holes in terms of what I have seen from among the most lauded (none from Murnau or Dreyer, and only a few from Bresson and Ozu, for example).

Though I have often considered my own film taste pretty eclectic, my own list doesn't approach the variety or esoterica present in the lists by prodigal, Oldale, St.Gloede, and Tobias, for example. It also doesn't include what I might call "among the better B-level studio directors."

Prodigal, if you are going to dismiss top tier genre filmmakers like Ford (admittedly not a favorite of mine), Hitchcock, Kurosawa, and others, it's hard for me to swallow Jacques Tourneur, Raoul Walsh, and Anthony Mann, among others.
Kurosawa vs. Anthony Mann, for example, really isn't much of a contest. Kurosawa's Samurai films are among the best Westerns ever, and his noir films are also comparable with the best in their class. He also made a bunch of very good, classic dramas, and in his later period, he made some others that really stand out as unique. And his films are full of cinematic wonder, even those operating within genre types. I can still remember the first time I saw Seven Samurai (never mind that Magnificent Seven was one of my favorite westerns as a kid), the luscious black and white, the final battle scene in the pouring rain. How many filmmakers have gone on to copy his Samurai stories and characters, or play off of them?

As I was making my list, I realized that one common factor of every choice I was making had to do with the number of "outstanding" films I had seen by a given director (realizing, of course, that my own limited number of viewings had a very clear influence). In addition, I noticed that those I was putting near the top seemed to have the longest uninterrupted run of very high quality films. There are quite a few filmmakers who reach the "magic 3 essentials" for me, but very few that go too far beyond that.

Bergman has probably made the greatest number of high quality films that I have seen, and for that he would have to be my number 1, but quite recently Michael Haneke has had an amazing streak if his own, and up until recently I might have said the same about Von Trier.

Moving along to some of the filmmakers that have been mentioned:

I agree that Oshima's filmography deserves a lot more attention, as does Ophuls'

As for Angeloupolos, I absolutely loved Eternity and a Day, and Landscape in the Mist.

I Also loved Andrei Rublev, Last Year at Marienbad, L'aventura, Stellet Licht, and McCabe and Mrs. Miller is probably my favorite American Western (Dead Man is also top 5)

Add me to the growing list of Maddin Fans. And Kieslowski would definitely be high on my list.

I also share Mathew Scott's love for Llewyn Davis.

Share quite a few of St. Gloede's favorites, and think you might really like Nicholas Roeg (another filmmaker who deserves more attention. Kim Ki-duk is another)
This list is definitely highly personal and subjective, if I was gauging by impact and influence I'd have to include Griffith, Kurosawa, Ozu, Ford, Hitchcock, and Fellini at least. I don't think there's anything inherently absurd in including Tourneur, Walsh, and Mann instead of bigger names though -- it's kind of like Farber's termite vs. elephant art. If I had to take a chance on a random film from a director, I'd prefer something scrappy and rough-around-the-edges from one of them than an immaculate but cloying film from Ford. I think everyone on my list brings a unique personal energy and vision to their projects that's lacking in bigger name studio assembly-line overseers like Mankiewizc, Curtiz, or Wyler.

Kurosawa is definitely a one-of-a-kind maverick who pioneered a kind of dynamic filmmaking that's inspired some of the best craftsmen in the business (I think he'd have to be a favorite of many cinematographers and editors), but my appreciation for him has remained pretty scholarly over the years -- of the 11 I've seen, only Ran is a major favorite.

Oshima is a good example of what makes this list so personal -- he's the first director I saw a retrospective of on film, and his approach to the medium absolutely blew my mind as a high schooler, opening the doors to a wider world than I'd dreamed possible.

I'd like to see Eternity and a Day -- I definitely liked Landscape in the Mist more than The Traveling Players.

I've enjoyed what I've seen from Roeg so far, which I think is only Don't Look Now, Performance, and Eureka. I got super stoned before a showing of The Man Who Fell to Earth and fell asleep halfway though, which at the meta level seems like the perfect way to see a film about an alien who comes to earth only to have earthly indulgences distract him from his mission, but I'd still like to watch it properly. ;)
I see what you're saying, and actually have similar feelings about most pre-50's cinema (including Ford, and to a lesser extent Hitchcock), with some exceptions, i.e. I can appreciate older films more in the context of influence, and how the medium has evolved more than as particular cinematic inspirations. As for Kurosawa, I may consider him the king of the genre film, and I also like what he did in later years. I think you hit on something when alluded to his spectacular visual sense, which is something I really prize in filmmakers.
Oshima was a "bad boy" filmmaker, but also quite cinematic, as was Roeg

Certainly, there is nothing wrong with appreciating a wide variety of anything, from great noodles, or a hamburger to 5* cuisine, and I've always been of that mind, myself, though I'm not really a junk food eater, not because I have anything against it per se. It just doesn't appeal.

I loved P'tit Quinquin, by the way, which I saw as a mini-series. kind of like Inspector Clouseau wanders into a David Lynch film set in rural Normandy, but without all the pretty people.

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#46

Post by We Are One » May 10th, 2020, 5:15 am


Certainly, there is nothing wrong with appreciating a wide variety of anything, from great noodles, or a hamburger to 5* cuisine, and I've always been of that mind, myself, though I'm not really a junk food eater, not because I have anything against it per se. It just doesn't appeal.
I agree. Some movies are just bubblegum for the brain. And there's wrong with that, just as long you don't try to tell me that it's filet mignon.

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#47

Post by matthewscott8 » May 10th, 2020, 7:31 am

prodigalgodson wrote:
May 10th, 2020, 12:49 am
I've liked the couple Pagnol's I've seen, especially when he's paired with Raimu, talk about a naturally funny dude. Is the Marseilles trilogy the one with Fanny/Cesar/etc.?
Yes it's those three films. They stand out way above Pagnol's other stuff. He himself was aware whilst producing this suite, that it was his legacy, and everything else was peripheral.
prodigalgodson wrote:
May 10th, 2020, 12:49 am
Renoir has some pretty damn funny stuff himself, Boudu Saved from Drowning is some of the hardest I've laughed in a theater (a great audience helped). Ditto Sternberg's The King Steps Out from around the same time, of whom I seem to be the world's only fan.
Haha I saw The King Steps out in the cinema years ago, safe to say you are the world's only fan yes, hehe. Sternberg reputedly asked it to be excluded from Sternberg retrospectives, although the BFI definitely ignored him hehe. I gave it an 8/10.

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#48

Post by Lakigigar » May 29th, 2020, 7:47 pm

Right now:

1. Stanley Kubrick
2. Ki-duk Kim
3. Felix van Groeningen
4. Alexander Payne
5. Asghar Farhadi
6. David Fincher
7. Martin Scorsese
8. Alfred Hitchcock
9. Jean-Pierre Dardenne & Luc Dardenne
10. Gaspar Noé

Need to watch more movies from: Nicolas Winding Refn, Sion Sono, Hirokazu Koreeda, the Safdie brothers, Ji-Woon Kim, Joon-ho Bong, Werner Herzog, Denis Villeneuve, Lukas Moodysson, Dario Argento, David Cronenberg, Quentin Tarantino, Werner Herzog

Want to explore: Takeshi Kitano, Takashi Miike, Hayao Miyazaki, Fabrice du Welz, Naomi Kawase, Hsiain-hsien Hou, Sang-soo Hong, the Coen brothers (only did saw 2 movies from), Tetsuyo Nakashima, maybe trying Tarkovsky already once.

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