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rank a director

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OldAle1
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#1401

Post by OldAle1 »

I put Wyler in the category of "highly competent studio directors capable of doing almost any kind of commercial picture well, but without TOO much personality". In other words, people who can be counted on to deliver nearly always, no matter what they're making, but who perhaps lack just a bit of spark; not quite unique auteurs, at least not in comparison with somebody like the otherwise similar Howard Hawks. Richard Fleischer and Robert Wise are two other prime examples, and Michael Curtiz is probably the supreme one. Anyway, I have liked him more as I've seen more, generally.

The only films here that I've seen more than once (I think) are 1 & 4, and 4 is the only one I've seen in the cinema.

PLATINUM
1. The Best Years of Our Lives

GOLD
2. Dodsworth
3. The Westerner

SILVER
4. Ben-Hur
5. The Heiress
6. The Big Country
7. The Children's Hour
8. Wuthering Heights
9. The Little Foxes
10. Jezebel

BRONZE
11. Funny Girl
13. Roman Holiday
14. Friendly Persuasion
15. Carrie
16. Mrs. Miniver
17. These Three
18. The Letter
19. Dead End

COPPER
20. How to Steal a Million
21. Detective Story
22. The Desperate Hours

Not gonna count Raffles or The Barbary Coast where he was an uncredited second director; I don't think he really had that much to do with either and in any case they'd be near the bottom of the list.

A great many of these badly need to be seen again - many were seen when I lived with a girlfriend who was a pretty hardcore classic Hollywood junkie, and that relationship ended 26 years ago. In particular #s 5, 8-10, 13 and 18-19 are dim in my memory and those rankings more guesswork than most.
It was the truth, vivid and monstrous, that all the while he had waited the wait was itself his portion..
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#1402

Post by beavis »

1. The Best Years of Our Lives (1946) 4 -
2. Jezebel (1938) 4 - 8
3. The Good Fairy (1935) 4 - 8
4. Ben-Hur (1959) 4 -
5. Wuthering Heights (1939) 3,5 - 7,5
6. Funny Girl (1968) 3,5 - 7,5
7. Dodsworth (1936) 3,5 -
8. The Letter (1940) 3,5 - 7
9. Roman Holiday (1953) 3 - 6,5
10. Dead End (1937) 3 - 6,5

ratings out of 5 (followed by out of 10 if I have those)
A very fine Hollywood director of whom I still need to see a few of the heavy hitters... I'll get to them... eventually...
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#1403

Post by Torgo »

GOLD
1. Roman Holiday (1953)
2. The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)

SILVER
3. The Heiress (1949)
4. Ben-Hur (1959)
5. The Letter (1940)
6. Detective Story (1951)

SOME SORT OF SILVERISH ALLOY
7. Wuthering Heights (1939)
8. The Little Foxes (1941)

BRONZE
9. Dodsworth (1936)
10. Mrs. Miniver (1942)


Some of these would need a rewatch. Overall I enjoy Wyler and there's the chance of some really neat classic stuff; I don't expect that for Funny Girl though .. :satstunned:
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#1404

Post by Lonewolf2003 »

My take on Wyler is about the same as OldAle, so lots in the good and fine rank.

Masterpiece
-

Excellent
-

Good
1. The Heiress (1949): 8.2
2. The Best Years of Our Lives (1946): 8.0
3. Detective Story (1951): 8.0
4. Mrs. Miniver (1942): 8.0
5. Roman Holiday (1953): 7.8
6. Dead End (1937): 7.8

Fine
7. The Collector (1965): 7.5
8. Ben-Hur (1959): 7.0
9. Funny Girl (1968): 7.0
10. Thunderbolt (1947) Short: 7.0
11. The Memphis Belle: A Story of a Flying Fortress (1944) Short: 6.8

Okay
12. The Big Country (1958): 6.5
13. Jezebel (1938): 6.2

Mediocre
-
Poor
-
Bad
-
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#1405

Post by Silga »

William Wyler

1. The Best Years of Our Lives - 10 (One of the best films ever made)
2. Funny Girl - 8
3. Ben-Hur - 8
4. How to Steal a Million - 8
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#1406

Post by AB537 »

Generally agree with others here who suggested Wyler was a solid but unspectacular classic Holly wood director. Rankings are somewhat tentative due to most viewings being a while ago but quite possibly some of the 6-10 ranked "above average" films could move up with a subsequent viewing. Detective Story stands out as a notable omission for me so far, hopefully it will turn up on TCM at some point. Also recently recorded Jezebel but haven't had a chance to watch it yet.

Great

Very Good

1. The Collector (1965)

Good

2. Roman Holiday (1953)
3. The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)
4. Ben-Hur (1959)
5. The Children's Hour (1961)

Above Average

6. Wuthering Heights (1939)
7. How to Steal a Million (1966)
8. Friendly Persuasion (1956)
9. The Big Country (1958)
10. The Heiress (1949)
11. The Memphis Belle: A Story of a Flying Fortress (1944)
12. The Letter (1940)
13. Mrs. Miniver (1942)
14. Dodsworth (1936)

Okay

15. The Westerner (1940)
16. The Little Foxes (1941)
17. Dead End (1937)

Not Good

Don't Remember Enough to Rate

The Desperate Hours (1955)
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#1407

Post by Fergenaprido »

1. 8.0 - The Children's Hour (1961)
2. 8.0 - The Little Foxes (1941)
3. 8.0 - Mrs. Miniver (1942)
4. 8.0 - The Heiress (1949)
5. 8.0 - Dodsworth (1936)

6. 7.8 - The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)
7. 7.8 - Jezebel (1938)

8. 7.6 - Ben-Hur (1959)
9. 7.6 - Roman Holiday (1953)

Ben-Hur was the first Wyler I saw in my early 20s (I don't have a date recorded) and is the only one that warrants a rewatch. There are plenty of other Wylers still left for me to explore, and so far he's been consistently good in my books.
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#1408

Post by Y U M E »

William Wyler

Maybe ‘just’ a decent sudio director, but one of my favourites of the golden Hollywood era(s). I prefer him over Wilder, Hawks, Ford etc., and therefore ranked #124 in my favourite directors Top List. I think the reason is because of his excellent leading ladies like Bette Davis, Olivia de Havilland, Miriam Hopkins, Merle Oberon and last-but-not-least Audrey Hepburn in the latter half of his career.

★★★★¼ | 8.8
01. The Letter

★★★★ | 8.4
02. The Little Foxes
03. These Three
04. Roman Holiday
05. Dodsworth

★★★¾ | 8.0
06. The Collector
07. Dead End

★★★½ | 7.6
08. Jezebel
09. The Heiress
10. Counsellor-at-Law

★★★¼ | 7.2
11. The Best Years of Our Lives
12. Ben-Hur
13. Detective Story
14. The Children’s Hour

★★★ | 6.8
15. The Desperate Hours
16. The Big Country
17. Friendly Persuasion
18. Come and Get It
19. Wuthering Heights
20. The Westerner

★★¾ | 6.4
21. The Liberation of LB Jones
22. Funny Girl
23. How to Steal a Million

★★½ | 6.0
24. Carrie

★★ | 5.0
25. Mrs. Miniver

There's not a single Wyler-title left on my wish-/watchlist. Maybe I should add The Good Fairy as I study your lists...
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#1409

Post by OldAle1 »

Time for a new pick I think. In honor of our Canadian challenge, and Canada Day yesterday, how's about we rate and rank and talk about

Denys Arcand

Likely the best-known and perhaps the most important Québécois filmmaker, at least before Xavier Dolan came along, Arcand's career stretches over 60 years now, beginning with several shorts and documentaries (some co-directed with other directors who would attain significant status as well), then moving into features by the early 1970s; he's also done a bit of acting along the way. I called him a "talky, mordant chronicler of the way we live now" when I watched a few of his films for the run the director challenge two years ago, and I haven't seen anything since so that assessment still seems correct to me. My feelings are overall mixed but generally at least slightly positive, and the one real standout also happens to be the one film I saw in the cinema and that I've seen twice, so there's hope he'll go up in my estimation.

PLATINUM
-
GOLD
1. Jésus de Montréal (1989)

SILVER
2. Gina (1975)

BRONZE
3. Réjeanne Padovani (1973)
4. Le déclin de l'empire américain (1986)
5. Seul ou avec d'autres (1962) (co-dir w/Denis Héroux, Stéphane Venne)
6. Les invasions barbares (2003)
7. Love & Human Remains (1993)
8. Samuel de Champlain: Québec 1603 (1964) (short)

COPPER
9. Le règne de la beauté (2014)
10. L'âge des ténèbres (2007)
It was the truth, vivid and monstrous, that all the while he had waited the wait was itself his portion..
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#1410

Post by Fergenaprido »

Wyler Footnote: Just saw The Big Country this week because it was expiring on kanopy (didn't realize it was a Wyler film, watched it because it's on a bunch of lists I'm working on) - It jumps to #1 on my list with a rating of 8.2

- - - -

I'd argue Claude Jutra was the best-known & most important Québécois filmmaker before Arcand - after all the provincial film awards were named after him before his scandal.

1. 8.6 - Les invasions barbares [The Barbarian Invasions] (2003)
2. 8.2 - Le déclin de l'empire américain [The Decline of the American Empire] (1986)
3. 8.0 - Jésus de Montréal [Jesus of Montreal] (1989)
4. 7.8 - Réjeanne Padovani (1973)

5. 7.6 - L'âge des ténèbres [Days of Darkness] (2007)
5. 7.6 - La chute de l'empire américain [The Fall of the American Empire] (2018) - just watched this this week too because it was expiring on Netflix

It's been quite a while since I saw the first three, so they may warrant a rewatch, but I'd rather continue exploring his earlier films - will try to get to a few of them this month.
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#1411

Post by Lonewolf2003 »

I only seen two, too little to form a real opinion on him.
Fine
1. The Barbarian Invasions (2003): 7.2

Okay
2. The Decline of the American Empire (1986): 6.0
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#1412

Post by blocho »

Regarding Arcand, I've only seen one movie, and I wasn't impressed.

Superlative

Very Good

Good

OK

Misfires
The Decline of the American Empire
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#1413

Post by Torgo »

I couldn't even link the name Denys Arcand to anything on my own. :facepalm:
It's no surprise I've only seen Barbarians then, which was fantastic and one of my go-to recommended indie films of the time: warm, intelligent, funny. (Be sure not to miss the review from my favorite ICM user mysteryfan on this.)
I'll probably come to experience the Decline of the American Empire sometime soon .. the film, of course ..
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#1414

Post by AB537 »

With Arcand being Canadian, I want to really like him but just haven't been blown away so far. Since I've seen his three most well-known/acclaimed films, this seems unlikely to happen.

Great

Very Good

Good

Above Average

Le déclin de l'empire américain - The Decline of the American Empire (1986)
Les invasions barbares - The Barbarian Invasions (2003)

Okay

Jésus de Montréal (1989)

Not Good
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#1415

Post by Fergenaprido »

For those who haven't seen any or many of his films, I'd suggest starting with Jesus of Montreal. It's not connected to the others and probably has the broadest appeal.

General consensus is that Invasions is better than Decline, but I can understand if people don't want to sit through the original film before watching the better sequel.

If you've already seen the "big three", I'd suggest Réjeanne Padovani of the others I've seen so far - it's also unconnected to the others and I think works more as a satirical drama than as a comedy/drama list many of this later films.
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#1416

Post by Y U M E »

Denys Arcand

★★★★ | 8.4
01. Jésus de Montréal

★★★½ | 7.6
02. Les Invasions Barbares

★★★ | 6.8
03. Le Déclin de l'Empire Américan

★★½ | 6.0
04. Love & Human Remains

★¼ | 3.5
05. Stardom


Maybe the third installment of the decline-series will follow someday...
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#1417

Post by Arkantos »

I've only seen 2 of Denys Arcand's films so far:

Jésus de Montréal - 5/5
Réjeanne Padovani - 3/5
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#1418

Post by St. Gloede »

I don't know how but I have still only seen Jésus de Montréal and The Decline of the American Empire - both thoroughly great films, but both are also films I saw a long, long time ago. Each time the director challenge rolls around I think about using it as an excuse, but it has not happened yet. I am not participating in the Canadian challenge, if I were he would be my top priority.
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#1419

Post by 1SO »

1. Jesus of Montreal
2. The Decline of the American Empire

3. The Barbarian Invasions
4. Dirty Money

5. Love & Human Remains
6. Gina



Gina started as a doc about the exploitation of textile workers, only to see it banned by the government that bankrolled the project. Arcand then folded his key points into this fictional exploitation film made in the wake of Straw Dogs. So, there’s a lot of social drama until the final third introduces rape and revenge. Unique to the genre, Gina calls in outside muscle to carry out most of her street justice, but the look on her face while she watches the revenge is a memorable image.
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#1420

Post by beavis »

I also only have seen two! also a while ago, I rated them identically and in my mind they are very good, but not so remarkable that I need to seek his work out asap. Jesus of Montreal has been on my watchlist and in my DVD collection for ages now...

1. Les invasions barbares (2003) - 8
2. Le déclin de l'empire américain (1986) - 8
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#1421

Post by St. Gloede »

I see I forgot to add my voice on Wyler, which is a shame as there I definitely have more to contribute.

William Wyler was one of my first big director favourites. If I recall correctly, one of the very first classic Hollywood films I saw as a teenager was Jezebel. It was on TV, I had seen and loved Casablanca, and not knowing who Wyler was I believe I wanted to see how consistently great "these films" could be. Not seen it since, but I recall being just smitten by Bette Davis and caught up in the beautiful-looking melodrama. I really wonder how I would react to this one today.

One thing that makes Wyler stand out from most of the other big directors for hire in the studio system, including other favourites of mine like Curtiz, Hawks and in my opinion even Ford (though here I'm sure many will disagree) is that he continued to evolve and change with the time rather than clinging to past glories or just fading a little.

The fact that he ended his career with a rough and strong film on racism like The Liberation of L.B. Jones (somewhat comparable to In the Heat of the Night, but a bit darker), says quite a lot.

Similarly, look at his 10 last films - with the exception of the back-to-back releases of Friendly Persuasion and the Big Country, two quite unusual more character-focused westerns rather than shoot-em-ups or traditional western formula films - all of his films here were extremely different. He went from the charming romance Roman Holiday to the more gritty late-Bogie home invasion noir The Desperate Hours to the mentioned westerns to Ben-Hur, to The Children's Hour (highlighting homophobia and finally making the adaptation he wanted after having to compromise on These Three) to the ugly and unnerving The Collector about a kidnapper and his victim, then to a charming heist movie How to Steal a Million, one of the biggest musicals of the 60s, Funny Girl (not for me) and then The Liberation of L.B. Jones.

I just have to say: wow. He kept making his hugely successful and acclaimed work until the end, and not only that, snuck in less likeable seedier films for me to love and adore.

At his very height, I think it is clear that he was a master of the middle and upper-class family drama, but he approach them in different and often very bleak ways. Films like The Little Foxes and Jezebel are gleefully bleak/tragic in their splendour, while a film like The Heiress is just straight-up psychological torture. But then, he could flip it and make something as charming and endearing as Mrs. Miniver and The Best Years of Our Lives.

Almost no matter what he did, he worked with exciting actors and got wonderful performances out of them. Many of the best performances in classic Hollywood are undoubtedly directed by him. Looking it up I realized that he holds the record for having directed the most actors to Academy Award nominations. 36 nominations in all, 14 winning. Utterly insane numbers, especially when you are someone who is consistently moving from genre to genre.

The fact that when he did jump on westerns, crime/noir, etc. he would also big stories that usually felt different and he would do them differently is another major reason to cheer this man on. Just look at a noir like The Letter for instance. Acting heavy, elegant, epic - far from the gritty, often low-budget films we associate with the genre. A film like The Desperate Hours also feels really different from the rest of what noir had to offer, and again acting and characters played a part in that. The same goes for his westerns. Only his comedies, while strong, are a little more interchangeable with others.

Incredible career and incredible quality.

Anyhow, let me get to my, likely, very outdated rankings.

Favourites:

The Collector (1965)
The Little Foxes (1941)
The Children’s Hour (1961)
The Letter (1940)
Mrs. Miniver (1942)

Great films;

Dead End (1937)
Dodsworth (1936)
Jezebel (1938)
The Liberation of L.B. Jones (1970)
The Big Country (1958)
The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)
Friendly Persuasion (1956)
The Desperate Hours (1955)
Counsellor at Law (1933)
How to Steal a Million (1966)
The Heiress (1949)
The Good Fairy (1935)
Wuthering Heights (1939)

Very good films:

Carrie (1952)
These Three (1936)
Roman Holiday (1953)
Detective Story (1951)
Ben-Hur (1959)
Come and Get It (1936)

Good films

Funny Girl (1968)
The Westerner (1940)

Mediocre:

The Memphis Belle: A Story of a Flying Fortress (1944)
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#1422

Post by cinewest »

OldAle1 wrote: June 8th, 2022, 3:38 pm Hey it's been a few days so time for another...and I'm gonna pick

Terence Davies

Davies is my favorite living British director and one of my top 5 or so living directors, period, and as he is probably the most consistent of all of them - in part due to his fairly narrow focus, and to his relatively short filmography over a 40+ year career - there isn't anybody whose name excites me more when I see "new film by xxxx" in the news. I wasted much of yesterday in a futile attempt (I fucked up the directions somehow) to see Benediction in the cinema on it's last day within striking range, both because I'm not sure of where to place it after just one viewing of a screener online, and because, well, he just brings out a singular obsessive quality in me.

* cinema + multiple viewings

PLATINUM PLUS (top 50 all-time)
1. Distant Voices, Still Lives *+

PLATINUM
2. A Quiet Passion *+
3. The Long Day Closes *+
4. Benediction*+
5. Sunset Song *
6. Of Time and the City
7. The Terence Davies Trilogy *

GOLD
8. The House of Mirth *
9. The Neon Bible *

BRONZE
10. The Deep Blue Sea *
I haven't looked at this thread in a while, but your comments about Davies remind me of one of my own contemporary favorites: Andrey Zvyagintsev, who gets even less love, perhaps because his films aren't in English.
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#1423

Post by Torgo »

cinewest wrote: July 5th, 2022, 7:56 am your comments about Davies remind me of one of my own contemporary favorites: Andrey Zvyagintsev, who gets even less love, perhaps because his films aren't in English.
You continue branding him as some kind of overlooked, underrated director. It's just not true.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Retur ... ominations
-> IMDb 7.9 @43k https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0376968/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leviathan ... #Accolades
-> IMDb 7.6 @53k https://www.imdb.com/title/tt2802154/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loveless_(film)
-> IMDb 7.6 @33k https://www.imdb.com/title/tt6304162/

This is as popular as this kind of film gets. The IMDb voting numbers with 33k-53k are actually many for that, and two consecutive nominations for the fOrEiGn Academy Award .. what more do you want. :shrug:
I've never read a bad word about The Return or Loveless here in the Forum either.
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#1424

Post by cinewest »

Torgo wrote: July 5th, 2022, 2:02 pm
cinewest wrote: July 5th, 2022, 7:56 am your comments about Davies remind me of one of my own contemporary favorites: Andrey Zvyagintsev, who gets even less love, perhaps because his films aren't in English.
You continue branding him as some kind of overlooked, underrated director. It's just not true.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Retur ... ominations
-> IMDb 7.9 @43k https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0376968/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leviathan ... #Accolades
-> IMDb 7.6 @53k https://www.imdb.com/title/tt2802154/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loveless_(film)
-> IMDb 7.6 @33k https://www.imdb.com/title/tt6304162/

This is as popular as this kind of film gets. The IMDb voting numbers with 33k-53k are actually many for that, and two consecutive nominations for the fOrEiGn Academy Award .. what more do you want. :shrug:
I've never read a bad word about The Return or Loveless here in the Forum either.
I haven't heard anyone talk about him, here, especially not in the way that Ale spoke about Davies, which is what my comparison was. "Overlooked" is a relative term, and not actually the expression I used, though I do think it fits, given that I have yet to see anyone on this board count him among the top 5 or top 10 contemporary filmmakers.
On a separate note, I just read that he almost died last year from COVID complications, and a coma had to be induced to save him whilst he was mid production on his first English Language film.
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#1425

Post by St. Gloede »

Maybe we should do Andrey Zvyagintsev next?

I think you're both right. Zvyagintsev is undoubtedly the most renowned Russian director to come in the post-USSR era (Sokurov just being a few years too early to get that honour) and he is one of the most renowned world directors as well but at the same time, I'm not sure how much he has been discussed here.

-

He has actually been mentioned in more posts than Sciamma (793 posts vs 762), which surprised me - but then most entries for both are from challenges. "Davies" has been mentioned 2699 times, but this can also include mentions of other people with the same last name.

Looking solely at General Film Discussion Sciamma has been mentioned 165 times, with Zvyagintsev being mentioned in 123 posts and "Davies" being mentioned in 165 posts (tied with Sciamma).

Loving stats like I do, here's a few contemporary directors with fairly unique last names ranked based on number of posts they are mentioned in within this subforum:

Sono: 447
Villeneuve: 349
Weerasethakul: 235
Koreeda: 232
Farhadi: 209
Aronofsky: 199
Sokurov: 194
Lanthimos: 192
Martel: 153
Jude: 143
Petzold: 115
Östlund: 108 (including "Ostlund" as well)

As a reference point, Godard has been mentioned in 1392 posts, Hitchcock in 922, Scorsese in 857 posts and Kubrick in 710.
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#1426

Post by OldAle1 »

I personally wouldn't have thought to pick Zvyagintsev because a) I've just seen 2 films so far, and b) his filmography is still quite small. I realize other people have picked a few filmmakers with similarly small outputs, but I find that less interesting personally in the context of this thread, and so far Davies - with either 10 features or 9 features and 3 shorts, depending on how you count the "Trilogy" - is the person with the smallest output that I've chosen. Zvyagintsev is also a filmmaker with one standout film (his first) that has received much more attention than all his subsequent work; I suspect a great many people here have only seen The Return, so I'm not sure how interesting a ranking would be, and discussion...well, sometimes that happens, sometimes it doesn't.
Last edited by OldAle1 on July 5th, 2022, 8:02 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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#1427

Post by Torgo »

cinewest wrote: July 5th, 2022, 3:59 pm especially not in the way that Ale spoke about Davies, which is what my comparison was. "Overlooked" is a relative term
St. Gloede wrote: July 5th, 2022, 7:26 pm I think you're both right.

Looking solely at General Film Discussion Sciamma has been mentioned 165 times, with Zvyagintsev being mentioned in 123 posts and "Davies" being mentioned in 165 posts (tied with Sciamma).
I'll accept that.
Thanks for the numbers, always interesting.
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#1428

Post by St. Gloede »

OldAle1 wrote: July 5th, 2022, 7:42 pm I personally wouldn't have thought to pick Zvyagintsev because a) b)
Yeah, fair point. We did Sciamma already, but I think she's the only one polled with a smaller/similarly sized filmography. Zvyagintsev at present has done 5 feature films, 1 mini-series and 2 shorts + his unreleased English language film.

I have only seen his 3 biggest (the ones highlighted by Torgo) myself but been meaning to see The Banishment and Elena forever. Think I saw The Return before any of his other films came out so I'm surprised I did not stay with him more actively.Anyhow, The Return, Leviathan and Loveless would all be more or less tied for me, or in that order.
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#1429

Post by Silga »

I've only seen three films from Andrey Zvyagintsev, but it's enough for me to call him one of the best contemporary directors. If only for Leviathan, which I need to see again, but already consider a close-call to a modern masterpiece.

1. Leviathan - 9,5/10
2. Elena - 8/10
3. Loveless - 7/10

I plan to watch The Return and The Banishment someday. Just not in the mood for Russian cinema at the present war-time moment.
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#1430

Post by Fergenaprido »

Since we're already talking about him, I'll nominate him officially.

And for the record, I have championed Zvyagintsev and his films on here before as well, and he's #5 on my director's list (at the time of the last poll, he's since slipped to #6).

1. 8.4 - Vozvrashcheniye [The Return] (2003)
2. 8.0 - Leviafan [Leviathan] (2014)
3. 8.0 - Nelyubov [Loveless] (2017)
4. 8.0 - Izgnaniye [The Banishment] (2007)
5. 7.8 - Elena (2011)

Interestingly, I just noticed that my ranking is the same order as imdb (when listed by rating and then number of votes), though I rate all of his features higher than the imdb average.

Shorts
1. 7.4 - Apocrypha (2009)
2. 6.6 - Tayna [Mystery] (2011)

I'm interested in his upcoming English-language debut, but I'm probably more interested in whatever his next Russian-language film will be.
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#1431

Post by Torgo »

Return 8,5 Leviathan 7,5 Loveless 7,5
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#1432

Post by blocho »

I've only seen two Zvyagintsev movies. They didn't seem like anything special. That being said, I intend to see Leviathan some day.

Superlative

Very Good

Good

OK
The Return
Elena

Misfires
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#1433

Post by Onderhond »

01. 3.5* - Vozvrashchenie (2003)
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#1434

Post by AB537 »

Like some others here, I'm a fan of Zvyagintsev and consider him one of the best directors working right now (and was actually considering nominating him at some point). I don't think I've discussed him in any detail either, not really for any particular reason, but more because he just hasn't come up in discussion. Hoping to get to his two remaining films sooner rather than later.

Great

Very Good

1. Nelyubov - Loveless (2017)
2. Vozvrashchenie - The Return (2003)

Good

3. Leviafan - Leviathan (2014) ... needs a rewatch, but comfortable putting it here for now

Above Average

Okay

Not Good
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#1435

Post by cinewest »

St. Gloede wrote: July 5th, 2022, 7:26 pm Maybe we should do Andrey Zvyagintsev next?

I think you're both right. Zvyagintsev is undoubtedly the most renowned Russian director to come in the post-USSR era (Sokurov just being a few years too early to get that honour) and he is one of the most renowned world directors as well but at the same time, I'm not sure how much he has been discussed here.

-

He has actually been mentioned in more posts than Sciamma (793 posts vs 762), which surprised me - but then most entries for both are from challenges. "Davies" has been mentioned 2699 times, but this can also include mentions of other people with the same last name.

Looking solely at General Film Discussion Sciamma has been mentioned 165 times, with Zvyagintsev being mentioned in 123 posts and "Davies" being mentioned in 165 posts (tied with Sciamma).

Loving stats like I do, here's a few contemporary directors with fairly unique last names ranked based on number of posts they are mentioned in within this subforum:

Sono: 447
Villeneuve: 349
Weerasethakul: 235
Koreeda: 232
Farhadi: 209
Aronofsky: 199
Sokurov: 194
Lanthimos: 192
Martel: 153
Jude: 143
Petzold: 115
Östlund: 108 (including "Ostlund" as well)

As a reference point, Godard has been mentioned in 1392 posts, Hitchcock in 922, Scorsese in 857 posts and Kubrick in 710.
Interesting stats /names, thanks, though a couple of the comparatives have been making films for longer (pre-2000's), and made a few more, like Sokurov (has he been given the treatment yet?). I still haven't been able to track down Jude's films in China, but I have been meaning to get to him for as long as the Romanian New Wave has been flourishing. Of the rest, I think our own personal preferences probably differentiates the nature of our taste pretty clearly.

As for Zvyagintsev, his name popped up for me because I just saw The Banishment on Plex (one of those free streaming services with ads), and was fairly impressed (aside from the ending), especially as it has been his least regarded, and so difficult to find over the years. Now, I want to find Loveless (the only copy I came across didn't have English subtitles). Here's how I regard the other 4:

Masterpiece

The Return

Great.
Leviafan
Elena

Very Good

The Banishment


Good

For me, Zvyagintsev is very comparable with Faradi (both are brilliant scriptwriters for starters) and perhaps Rasoulof, though I hold him slightly above for his visuals and soundscapes The Turkish director, Ceylan, might actually be the best comparison.
Last edited by cinewest on July 7th, 2022, 3:20 am, edited 2 times in total.
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#1436

Post by beavis »

There is a clear winner for me here, but even that one didn't blew my mind. Very solid director, I am just not sure I like what he has to say... maybe because of a conservative political side, but I am not sure about that (I mean Sokurov certainly has that going, but I still like his work)... Russian politics are very hard to understand for an outsider like me anyway. I thought his much praised debut was quite overrated actually, didn't like the heavy handed metafore... but I might need to rewatch that one, as it seems a lifetime ago now.

1. Izgnanie (2007) 8,5 - 4
2. Elena (2011) 8 - 4
3. Nelyubov (2017) 8 - 4
4. Leviafan (2014) 7,5 - 3,5
5. Vozvrashchenie (2003) 7 - 3,5
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#1437

Post by Y U M E »

Andrej Zvyagintsev


★★★★ | 8.4
01. The Banishment

★★★¾ | 8.0
02. Leviathan

★★★½ | 7.6
03. The Return

★★★¼ | 7.2
04. Loveless

★★½ | 6.0
05. Elena


A solid, but not my favourite, contemporary Russian director
Last edited by Y U M E on July 7th, 2022, 8:41 am, edited 1 time in total.
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#1438

Post by OldAle1 »

I've just seen two, as mentioned above, though both of them absolutely knocked me out and are easily top 10 of their respective years. I saw Leviathan when it was new (on video) and it impressed me quite a bit, though I'd have to go back and re-watch it now to refresh myself to be able to discuss it; then I saw The Return four years ago which was even greater - it is probably my favorite post-Soviet Russian film (admittedly from a fairly small sampling). It's one of those films that hits a lot of personal sweet spots or obsessions and it's one that comes to mind often and that I'll undoubtedly go back to again. Given his small output so far I'm not sure why I haven't gotten to the rest yet, I guess it's just that as great as those two are they haven't impressed me quite as much as the work of a few other contemporary filmmakers that I do keep up with more. Also their particular kind of bleakness isn't something I necessarily want to experience often (it took me a very long time to finish off Béla Tarr's filmography for much the same reason).
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#1439

Post by cinewest »

beavis wrote: July 6th, 2022, 6:51 am There is a clear winner for me here, but even that one didn't blew my mind. Very solid director, I am just not sure I like what he has to say... maybe because of a conservative political side, but I am not sure about that (I mean Sokurov certainly has that going, but I still like his work)... Russian politics are very hard to understand for an outsider like me anyway. I thought his much praised debut was quite overrated actually, didn't like the heavy handed metafore... but I might need to rewatch that one, as it seems a lifetime ago now.

1. Izgnanie (2007) 8,5 - 4
2. Elena (2011) 8 - 4
3. Nelyubov (2017) 8 - 4
4. Leviafan (2014) 7,5 - 3,5
5. Vozvrashchenie (2003) 7 - 3,5
It's not clear to me how you interpret Z's politics or his metaphors, but I'm not convinced from what you have said that you are on the right track.
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#1440

Post by Caracortada »

Andrey Zvyagintsev
1. Leviafan 6/10
2. Izgnanie 5/10
3. Nelyubov 4/10
4. Vozvrashchenie 4/10

William Wyler
1. The Children's Hour 10/10
2. Ben-Hur 9/10
3. The Heiress 9/10
4. Roman Holiday 8/10
5. Mrs. Miniver 8/10
6. How to Steal a Million 7/10
7. The Letter 7/10
8. The Little Foxes 7/10
9. Funny Girl 7/10
10. The Big Country 7/10
11. Dead End 7/10
12. Jezebel 7/10
13. The Best Years of Our Lives 6/10
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