Welcome to the ICM Forum.
Check out our Magazine

If you notice any issues please post in the Q&A thread. Email issue should be fixed. If you encounter this issue, contact PeacefulAnarchy
Podcast: Talking Images (Episode 56 released August 1st: Is Found Footage the Worst Thing to Happen to Cinema?)
iCinema Magazine: WE ARE LIVE! (We just need more content)
ICMForum Film Festival 2022: Mon Nov 14 - Dec 12
Polls: Swan Songs (Results), Germany (May 30th), New Zealand (Jul 3rd), 1962 (Jul 30th), Performers (Jul 31st), Unofficial Checks (Jul 31st), Brazil (Jul 31st), Philippines (Aug 31st)
Challenges: Canadian, Unofficial Movies, Personal Toplists
About: Welcome All New Members, Terms of Use, Q&A

Rank a Country's Directors

User avatar
St. Gloede
Moderator
Posts: 14053
Joined: May 6th, 2011, 6:00 am
Contact:

#81

Post by St. Gloede »

Can't believe we let this topic die, but to revitalize it, let's try a country that no longer exists:

Czechoslovakia (+ Czech Republic & Slovakia)

Czechoslovakia is a country I could see myself making a lot of rather controversial statements some may find inflated, including that they, at least from the 60s, were a stronger cinema nation than the Soviet Union and the greatest cinema country of the old Eastern Block. Hell, I can take this one step further and say that late-60s Czechoslovakia had a larger quantity of exciting and interesting directors than France. Their new wave may not have produced the same number of all-time great masters or individual masterpieces, but at the same time, it was stomped out by the Soviet Union after the Prague Spring, leading key filmmakers to emigrate, relocated to TV productions or simply be blacklisted and end up on a decade long hiatus.

Looking at the output, at least in terms of the directors and films I have come to love, you can see an explosion in the 60s, near radio-silence in the 70s, before a strong aftershock came in the early 80s. The classic era of Czechoslovakian film is also intriguing in its similarity to the Weimar era (and indeed there were some German co-productions) and Hollywood, with Martin Fric standing as their master of screwball and slapstick comedies with a simply insane output. The often sly comedies of Otakar Vavra is perhaps the greatest standout, and his presence is perhaps also one of the most important in film history as he was the teacher/mentor of some of the key new wavers and intriguingly also had a career renewal at the same time with a style as vibrant as his students.

Note: My viewings are heavily skewed towards the 60s, and I have sadly not kept up with the cinematic output of the Czech Republic and Slovakia, so hoping to pick up some solid recommendations here.

Amongst my top 100 directors:

Juraj Jakubisko
Karel Kachyna
Jan Svankmajer
Vera Chytilová
Frantisek Vlácil
Otakar Vávra

Other great directors:

Jaromil Jires
Juraj Herz
Martin Fric
Stefan Uher
Vojtech Jasný

Good directors/directors I'm mixed on:

Jirí Krejcík
Milos Forman
Zdenek Podskalský
Karel Zeman
Oldrich Lipský
Jirí Trnka
Peter Solan
Dusan Hanák
Gustav Machatý

Decent directors:

Jirí Menzel
Evald Schorm
Jaroslav Papousek
User avatar
brokenface
Donator
Posts: 14046
Joined: December 29th, 2011, 7:00 am
Contact:

#82

Post by brokenface »

Czech got some of my favouritests. A quick top 10:

1. Jan Svankmajer
2. Milos Forman
3. Juraj Herz
4. Karel Zeman
5. Vera Chytilová
6. Karel Kachyna
7. Oldrich Lipský
8. Jirí Menzel
9. Václav Vorlícek
10. Jaromil Jires
User avatar
peeptoad
Posts: 4021
Joined: February 4th, 2017, 7:00 am
Contact:

#83

Post by peeptoad »

...so far (lots to see yet)-

1. Juraj Herz
2. Vera Chytilova
3. Jiri Barta
4. Jan Svankmajer
5. Jaromil Jires
User avatar
RolandKirkSunglasses
Posts: 530
Joined: January 15th, 2021, 12:54 pm
Contact:

#84

Post by RolandKirkSunglasses »

1. Karel Zeman
2. Jan Svankmajer
3. Frantisek Vlacil
4. Jiri Trnka
5. Oldrich Lipsky
6. Milos Forman
7. Juraj Herz

Need to see more from:

Jiri Menzel
Jaromil Jires
Vojtech Jasny
Karel Kachyna
Gustav Machaty
Jiri Barta
Martin Fric
User avatar
cinewest
Posts: 2818
Joined: February 15th, 2017, 7:00 am
Contact:

#85

Post by cinewest »

Not only a good topic, but a good choice of country/region. I have only seen scattered films from this group of filmmakers, and want to see more from Eastern Europe in general, if only because what I have seen has been surprisingly good.

Am curious why St.Gloede has Menzel near the bottom of his list. I have enjoyed everything I have seen by him, most recently: I Served the King of England
User avatar
St. Gloede
Moderator
Posts: 14053
Joined: May 6th, 2011, 6:00 am
Contact:

#86

Post by St. Gloede »

cinewest wrote: June 10th, 2022, 1:52 am Not only a good topic, but a good choice of country/region. I have only seen scattered films from this group of filmmakers, and want to see more from Eastern Europe in general, if only because what I have seen has been surprisingly good.

Am curious why St.Gloede has Menzel near the bottom of his list. I have enjoyed everything I have seen by him, most recently: I Served the King of England
He is mostly there because the quality of the films I have seen (from the directors I have seen the most of) is as high as it is. I have liked essentially every film I have seen from him, with I Served the King of England is my favourite so far, the dark comedy aspects really worked well there. With his older films, the slightly quirky comedy rarely won me completely over. He is not as visually focused as most of his contemporaries, which is probably one of the main reasons why I did not get as absorbed. While his contemporaries were making visually hypnotic films, often seeped in utter terror and melancholy in every frame, he was doing more quirky/off beat comedies, without the edge and surrealist overtones of say Herz as well. However, he employs a kind of minimalism, often focusing on large groups of people, such as families and communities, that is interesting, and it is possible I'll connect with some of these films more today than I did when I first saw them.
User avatar
Fergenaprido
Donator
Posts: 7388
Joined: June 3rd, 2014, 6:00 am
Location: Canada
Contact:

#87

Post by Fergenaprido »

Haven't seen more than one film from many Czech or Slovak directors, and I've seen very little of their output since the velvet divorce. I do need to rectify that.

Below is based on Czech/Slovak films only, with a minimum of 2 such films seen.
List is not ranked, and includes their name, # of Czech/Slovak films seen, and my favourite such film from each.

František Vláčil - 2 - The Devil's Trap (1962)
Jiří Menzel - 2 - Closely Watched Trains (1966)

Directors with only a single film so far that I've enjoyed are Miloš Forman, Jan Hřebejk, Karel Kachyňa, Ján Kadár & Elmar Klos, and Jan Svěrák.
Cinematic Omnivore 🧚‍♂️🦫
User avatar
OldAle1
Donator
Posts: 7567
Joined: February 9th, 2017, 7:00 am
Location: Dairyland, USA
Contact:

#88

Post by OldAle1 »

Very poor on Eastern Europe in general, and on Czechoslovakia and it's successor nations in particular. I've actually seen a fair number of films but for some reason I've never really focused on any directors hard except these two fantasists -

1. Jan Svankmajer
2. Karel Zeman

From whom I've seen respectively 3 features and many shorts, and most of the features. I like them both though I wouldn't call Zeman a favorite.

And that's really it I'm afraid as far as being comfortable ranking. I've seen 1-2 films each (in the case of Forman, it's 2 Czech films though I've seen some of his American work) from these folks, and like them enough that I have some confidence in getting to more work, but to really rank them is pointless. But this is roughly the order in which I'd probably explore a bit more of their work in an ideal world -

Vera Chytilová
Otakar Vávra
Jan Nemec
Oldrich Lipský
Frantisek Vlácil
Jaromil Jires
Jiri Trnka
Karel Kachyna
Milos Forman
Václav Vorlícek

That's really it. There are some other directors I've seen a film or two from that just haven't impressed me enough yet to warrant thinking about too much. I really need to focus on this country sometime, but...well, you know how it goes.
It was the truth, vivid and monstrous, that all the while he had waited the wait was itself his portion..
User avatar
St. Gloede
Moderator
Posts: 14053
Joined: May 6th, 2011, 6:00 am
Contact:

#89

Post by St. Gloede »

I certainly envy the position you are in there, OldAle. Like I said in my first post on Czeckoslovakia, it really is (was) one of the richest film countries for me, and I would be happy to place Hungary on that list too, with Poland, Romania and Yugoslavia also having a lot to offer (I have not seen that much from Bulgaria and Albania yet - East Germany was solid, but pales in comparison to West Germany).

I don't quite know who I would recommend to you the most, though your top-ranked Vera Chytilová may just keep winning you over if she has already. Arguably the boldest director of this set,. My favourite film of hers is The Very Late Afternoon of a Faun, which is a near-grotesque look at an aging playboy, with all the whimsy and creativity of her first films, but with a more deliberate/less extreme pace.

The safest pick and the director I feel I can easily recommend to everyone, would be Karel Kachyna, whose Carriage to Vienna is of course a massive forum favourite and one of the greatest examples of the melancholic yet beautiful Eastern-Bloc war films, and Ucho being one of the most claustrophobic not to mention braved films ever made (banned for 20 years). If these are the ones you have seen already, other key films would be the bleak The Nun's Night (1967), the visually striking child protagonist war film Long Live the Republic (1965) and the often mentioned and unusual adaptation of The Little Mermaid (1976). Personally, I have the more unusual 3rd favourite of Love between the Raindrops (1980) but I'm not sure how properly that represents his style or how much you'd like it, so good to play it safe.

-

As for Zeman, this is a director (and fantasist) that has been growing on me more and more as the years have gone by. I think it comes from originally struggling with many forms of minimalism and just not warming up to his unique blend of animation and live-action (indeed, his pure animation efforts have a much greater success rate) but in my recent viewings I have responded to it with far more delight than before, so I fully suspect I will now love Baron Munchhausen, which I just liked the first time, and other early Zeman viewings.
User avatar
OldAle1
Donator
Posts: 7567
Joined: February 9th, 2017, 7:00 am
Location: Dairyland, USA
Contact:

#90

Post by OldAle1 »

OK it's been a few days and I think Czechoslovakia has run it's course. A reminder that you can discuss/submit lists for any countries already discussed if you want, and a list of them is in the first post.

Next up, I'm going to do a region rather than one country - because I don't think many of us (any of us?) could actually come up with meaningful favorite directors lists for any of the countries in the region besides the largest. The region:

Oceania

Including Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, and various small island nations that for the most part have minimal cinema histories thus far. As with many smaller (and even some not so small) nations or cinemas, so to have many of the directors from these countries sought fame, fortune and larger budgets elsewhere, and many of the films that have been made in these countries have had lots of international money. There is also some significant overlap between NZ and Australia, another reason for putting these countries together. And don't forget Ferg's New Zealand poll if you have a list for it.

Directors I've seen enough good stuff from to make them worth ranking, and my favorite Oceanic or part-Oceanic film from each:

1. Jane Campion (NZ/AUS) - Sweetie
2. Peter Weir (AUS) - Picnic at Hanging Rock
3. George "Mad Max" Miller (AUS) - Mad Max II
4. Rolf de Heer (AUS) - Ten Canoes
5. Peter Jackson (NZ) - Heavenly Creatures
6. Brian Trenchard-Smith (AUS) - Dead-End Drive-In
7. Mark Hartley (AUS) - Not Quite Hollywood: The Wild, Untold Story of Ozploitation!
8. Fred Schepisi (AUS) - The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith

That's really all I can manage at this point. Some other directors that I've seen several films from, but have overall fairly mixed feelings about:

Baz Luhrmann (AUS)
Alex Proyas (AUS)
Taika Waititi (NZ)
Vincent Ward (NZ)
Leigh Whannell (AUS)
Simon Wincer (AUS) - I've seen 3 of his Aussie films and felt they were all so-so, but I *love* his American mini-series Lonesome Dove. So...hard to know where to put him

And some directors that I haven't seen much from, but that look at least a bit promising:

Bruce Beresford (AUS)
Tim Burstall (AUS)
Paul Cox (AUS)
Colin Eggleston (AUS)
Jennifer Kent (AUS)
George "Snow River" Miller (AUS)
Geoff Murphy (NZ)
It was the truth, vivid and monstrous, that all the while he had waited the wait was itself his portion..
User avatar
St. Gloede
Moderator
Posts: 14053
Joined: May 6th, 2011, 6:00 am
Contact:

#91

Post by St. Gloede »

Don't feel like I have seen enough from Oceania to even make a list, with Peter Weir, Rolf de Heer, George Miller, Jane Campion and Peter Jackson being the only directors I think I have seen 4+ Oceanian films from. In terms of exploring further, I would say Rolf de Heer would be my top priority as I have still not seen Ten Canoes.
User avatar
RolandKirkSunglasses
Posts: 530
Joined: January 15th, 2021, 12:54 pm
Contact:

#92

Post by RolandKirkSunglasses »

Only seen films from the better known Australian directors, a lot of whom made their way to America. Only director I like is Jane Campion for "Angel at my Table" and "The Piano".
Only seen the Mad Max movies from George Miller and outside the first two Lord of the Rings movies I haven't liked anything Peter Jackson has done. Out of Peter Weir's films "Picnic at Hanging Rock" was very good, need to explore more of his Australian output and hope it's not as cheesy as "Dead Poet's Society".
User avatar
Y U M E
Posts: 183
Joined: July 24th, 2014, 6:00 am
Location: Netherlands
Contact:

#93

Post by Y U M E »

Some catching up to do...
edit: I forgot Derek Jarman as leader of the board in my UK list... tehe

UK
01. Jarman (08)*
02. P&P (41)
03. Arnold (68)
04. Ramsay (109)
05. Leigh (141)
06. Lean (146)
07. Russell (167)
08. Fisher (168)

GERMANY
01. RWF (01)
02. Herzog (14)
03. Kelemen (72)
04. Wolf (107)
05. Lang (114)
06. Petzold (118)
07. Ade (143)

FRANCE
01. Denis (18)
02. Pialat (33)
03. Bresson (35)
04. Hansen-Løve (54)
05. Truffaut (64)
06. Varda (70)
07. Green (95)
08. Resnais (123)
09. Tavernier (125)
10. Sautet (129)
11. Grandrieux (145)
12. Rohmer (170)

JAPAN
01. Ozu (02)
02. Imamura (04)
03. Kore'Eda (07)
04. Yoshida (13)
05. Tsukamoto (22)
06. Matsui (24)
07. Wakamatsu (29)
08. (K) Kurosawa (34)
09. Kawase (45)
10. Iwai (46)
11. (S) Suzuki (49)
12. Aoyama (59)
13. Miyazaki (61)
14. Hashiguchi (63)
15. Oshima (65)
16. Terayama (67)
17. Kitano (73)
18. Anno (74)
19. Mochizuki (83)
20. Lee (85)
21. (Y) Nakamura (93)
22. Hiroki (102)
23. Teshigahara (104)
24. Shinkai (119)
25. (T) Toyoda (127)
26. Oshii (130)
27. Naruse (151)
28. Honda (152)
29. Miike (156)

ITALY
01. Antonioni (16)
02. Visconti (31)
03. Petri (55)
04. Zurlini (87)
05. Fellini (89)
06. Rohrwacher (94)
07. Sorrentino (113)
08. Argento (120)
09. Guadagnino (131)
10. Piavoli (136)
11. Martino (137)
12. Costanzo (144)
13. Olmi (149)

IRAN
01. Kiarostami (27)
02. Panahi (99)

CZECHOSLOVAKIA +
01. Kachyna (62)
02. Zelenka (100)
03. Vlacil (158)

OCEANIA incl AUS, NZ
? (maybe John Duigan, with 3,083/5 stars the highest rated Australian director, just a breath ahead of Peter Weir (3,038) and George Miller...)

* rank in my Favourite Director's Top 170 (not the number of movies seen :blink: )
Last edited by Y U M E on June 22nd, 2022, 8:39 am, edited 6 times in total.
User avatar
Onderhond
Posts: 8846
Joined: December 23rd, 2012, 7:00 am
Contact:

#94

Post by Onderhond »

Y U M E wrote: June 21st, 2022, 4:33 pm JAPAN
You're lucky you didn't have any Ishiis.
User avatar
Fergenaprido
Donator
Posts: 7388
Joined: June 3rd, 2014, 6:00 am
Location: Canada
Contact:

#95

Post by Fergenaprido »

I've only seen films from Australia, New Zealand, and Papua New Guinea so far, though I do have some films from the smaller islands that I never seen to get around to watching.

Below is based on Oceanian films only, with a minimum of 3 such films seen.
List is not ranked, and includes their name, # of Oceanian films seen, and my favourite such film from each.

Anderson & Connolly - 3 - Black Harvest (1992)
Jane Campion - 3 - The Piano (1993)
Rolf de Heer - 3 - Ten Canoes (2006)
George Miller (I) - 6 - Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)
Taika Waititi - 3 - Hunt for the Wilderpeople (2016)

Directors with only 2 films so far that I've enjoyed are Gillian Armstrong, Peter Jackson, Baz Luhrmann, & Chris Owen.

Still plenty of films and directors to catch up on, but I'm content with the foundation I've got so far.
Cinematic Omnivore 🧚‍♂️🦫
User avatar
St. Gloede
Moderator
Posts: 14053
Joined: May 6th, 2011, 6:00 am
Contact:

#96

Post by St. Gloede »

Thanks OldAle for keeping the countries we have run up to date in the OP made this much easier. How about we try the arguably most cinematically rich country in South America?

Brazil
Just as with essentially any country with a new wave the majority of my viewings are from that period (in this case the 60s and 70s), though Brazil is a country that has stayed relevant and amongst the extended key filmmaking countries for decades. My biggest gaps are pre-50s, with only 3 Humberto Mauro +Limite seen from the 20s and 30s, with none from the 40s. The 90s is another surprising weak spot, which should be easy to correct, and it is a country with a lot of 21st-century greatness and promise.

I have no Brazilian filmmakers amongst my top 100, but one stands out as a favourite or near-favourite. For the purposes of this list I have gone with a 3 film minimum.


Favourite

Rogério Sganzerla

Other great directors

Joaquim Pedro de Andrade
Hector Babenco

Interesting/good directors I am somewhat mixed on

Júlio Bressane
Carlos Diegues
Glauber Rocha
Humberto Mauro
Arnaldo Jabor
Ruy Guerra
Nelson Pereira dos Santos
José Padilha
Walter Hugo Khouri

Disliked director

José Mojica Marins
User avatar
OldAle1
Donator
Posts: 7567
Joined: February 9th, 2017, 7:00 am
Location: Dairyland, USA
Contact:

#97

Post by OldAle1 »

Afraid I can't contribute to this one at all. I continue to be very weak on Latin America in general, though I've improved a fair bit in Mexican cinema over the past 5 years, and made slight inroads with Argentina lately. But Brazil, still very few seen, with only a couple of directors (Babenco, Rocha) that I've seen even 2 films from - and in Babenco's case, those two a long time ago. Rocha seems to have the best rep overall, and the two I've seen (the western duology, his most famous films) were pretty darn good, so looking forward to more there, but the rest is still a mystery to me. I may get to more before Ferg does his upcoming Brazil poll - I hope to, anyway - but as for now it's a big gap, perhaps the biggest, in my cinema-nation education.
It was the truth, vivid and monstrous, that all the while he had waited the wait was itself his portion..
User avatar
Fergenaprido
Donator
Posts: 7388
Joined: June 3rd, 2014, 6:00 am
Location: Canada
Contact:

#98

Post by Fergenaprido »

Good pick Gloede, as Brazil will be the next country poll this month. :thumbsup:

I've seen 35 Brazilian features, but I was surprised to discover I've only seen multiple films from 2 directors/pairs (I've seen a disproportionate number of films with directing pairs... I guess it's more common in Brazil than elsewhere).

Below is based on Brazilian films only, with a minimum of 2 such films seen.
List is not ranked, and includes their name, # of Brazilian films seen, and my favourite such film from each.

Gabril Mascaro - 3 - Divine Love (2019)
Priscilla & Goifman - 2 - Tranny Fag (2018)

Directors with only 1 film so far that I'vand e enjoyed and want to explore ore of include Aluizio Abranches, Alê Abreu, Hector Babenco, Eduardo Coutinho, Marcelo Gomes, Fernando Meirelles, Anna Muylaert, Daniel Ribeiro, Rojas & Dutra, Walter Salles, Ian SBF.
Cinematic Omnivore 🧚‍♂️🦫
User avatar
Y U M E
Posts: 183
Joined: July 24th, 2014, 6:00 am
Location: Netherlands
Contact:

#99

Post by Y U M E »

I listed only one Brazilian director in my favourite directors toplist:

01. Glauber Rocha (#37)

If I look at my average ratings Rocha is also the highest ranked (not surprising) Brazilian director: 3.833/5 (with six films seen). But four recently (last decade or so) emerged directors are doing nicely also when I look at the average rating. So I will rank these at #2 to #5 in this country's director toplist
- Karim Aïnouz (3.750/5 - 4 films seen)
- Marcelo Gomes (3.750/5 - 4 films)
- Gabriel Mascaro (3.667/5 - 3 films)
- Kleber Mendonca Filho (3.583/5 - 3 films)
User avatar
beavis
Posts: 3749
Joined: June 20th, 2011, 6:00 am
Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Contact:

#100

Post by beavis »

I have 141 watched features from Brazil rated on MovieMeter.nl and 209 entries for Brazil on Letterboxd (the difference being shorts, co-productions and the MM database not being up-to-date on a lot of my more obscure watches)

Based on my rating and favorites It is clear who is the best for me

1. Marcelo Gomes (Era uma vez eu, Verônica, Viajo Porque Preciso, Volto Porque Te Amo, O homem das multidões, Cinema, Aspirinas e Urubus)

his collaborators are close behind for me

2. Cao Guimarães (O homem das multidões, A Alma do Osso, Andarilho, Ex Isto)
3. Karim Aïnouz (A Vida Invisível, Viajo Porque Preciso, Volto Porque Te Amo)

Then you can't deny that status and originality of
4. Glauber Rocha

I do also like Ruy Guerra from the Glauber Rocha times, but his recent work has been a let down for me, so I am in doubt if I should include him
There are so many great other names to include, although I often have seen only 1 movie of them, or their output is very hit-or-miss... but I do very much need to include

5. Gabriel Mascaro (Boi Neon, Ventos de Agosto)

shout out to a few of those unique filmakers (mostly from the Cinema Marginal) of whom I saw only 1 incredible effort:

A Margem (1967) - Ozualdo Ribeiro Candeias
Iracema - Uma Transa Amazônica (1976) - Jorge Bodanzky and Orlando Senna
Prata Palomares (1972) - André Faria
Orgia ou o Homem Que Deu Cria (1970) - João Silvério Trevisan
Sudoeste (2012) - Eduardo Nunes
User avatar
cinewest
Posts: 2818
Joined: February 15th, 2017, 7:00 am
Contact:

#101

Post by cinewest »

Does anyone know how to search by country of film Origen on IMDb? It used to be an east to find option, but no longer.

I have had a love affair with Brazil since my late teens, initially because of their music, and then literature, but I have delved further and further into their culture since the late 70's, and even lived and worked there for a couple of years not too long ago, so I'd like to add to this conversation if I can figure out an easy way to locate the Brazilian films that I've seen.
Last edited by cinewest on July 4th, 2022, 1:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
St. Gloede
Moderator
Posts: 14053
Joined: May 6th, 2011, 6:00 am
Contact:

#102

Post by St. Gloede »

cinewest wrote: July 4th, 2022, 10:29 am Does anyone know how to search by country of film Origen on IMDb? It used to be an east to find option, but no longer.

I have had a love affair with Brazil since my late teens, initially because of their music, but I have delved further and further into their culture since the late 70's, and even lived and worked there for a couple of years not too long ago, so I'd like to add to this conversation if I can figure out an easy way to locate the Brazilian films that I've seen.
Here's the search link for Brazil: https://www.imdb.com/search/title/?titl ... &count=250

Advanced Title Search: https://www.imdb.com/search/title/ (Good to have this one bookmarked)

Looking forward to seeing your list.
User avatar
cinewest
Posts: 2818
Joined: February 15th, 2017, 7:00 am
Contact:

#103

Post by cinewest »

Awesome, Saint. According to link #1, I've rated about 75 features from Brazil (there are at least a couple I wouldn't call Brazilian, too).

And oddly enough, I still haven't seen the two famous films from the late 60's by Glauber Rocha, nor anything by St. Gloede's favorite Brazilian filmmaker, but I would like to start out by mentioning Nelson Pereira dos Santos, who is from the same generation as Rocha, Ruy Guerra, Arnaldo Jabor, and Joaquim Pedro de Andrade who first made their mark in the 60's, though his influences were a little different.

From the next generation that first gained attention in the mid 70's and 80's, Hector Babenco probably stands out the most for me, and seems like a descendent of dos Santos

But Brazilian Cinema really took off again in the late 90's, early 2000's with Walter Salles and Fernando Meirelles (who both made a few very successful socially relevant films) and has been further invigorated by a movement from the Northeast of Brazil (Salles made a couple of his best films there), beginning with Andrucha Waddington, Marcelo Gomes, Karim Ainouz, Gabriel Mascaro, and the symbolic leader, Kleber Mendonça Filho

I've seen a few standouts by other filmmakers, as well (some of which I've tried to pump through various film polls on this board)*, but not more than 1 or 2 films by anyone not listed above.

* Lavoura Arcaica
Vazante
Bye Bye Brazil
Estomago
A Festa de Margarette
O Que é Isso, Companheiro?
Vinicius
Ônibus 174
Casa Grande
User avatar
RolandKirkSunglasses
Posts: 530
Joined: January 15th, 2021, 12:54 pm
Contact:

#104

Post by RolandKirkSunglasses »

Back to Europe and a country featuring some co-productions and one major director who spent most of his career outside the country:

SPAIN



1. Luis Garcia Berlanga
2. Victor Erice
3. Carlos Saura

Need to see more from:

Pedro Almodovar
Marco Ferreri
Luis Bunuel

Haven't explored much beyond a few major names but I love Berlanga, his films are difficult for subtitlers (multiple characters speaking over each other at 400mph) but thankfully more of his films have been getting subtitled. "Spirit of the Beehive" is an all-time top 5 favourite for me and the rest of his films ain't bad either. The 3 films I've seen from Carlos Saura have all been good with a dark atmosphere to them.

Almodovar and Bunuel have dropped down my estimation over the years for different reasons, while two of Marco Ferreri's black comedies in Spain "El Pisito" and "El Cochecito" are both good.
User avatar
Fergenaprido
Donator
Posts: 7388
Joined: June 3rd, 2014, 6:00 am
Location: Canada
Contact:

#105

Post by Fergenaprido »

I've seen 54 Spanish features, but I was surprised to discover how dominant Almodóvar has been in my viewings, with the rest spread out over a wide array of directors. Ventura Pons is the only other director with more than two seen, with 7 directors at two.

Below is based on Spanish films only, with a minimum of 2 such films seen.
List is not ranked, and includes their name, # of Spanish films seen, and my favourite such film from each.

Pedro Almodóvar - 11 - All about My Mother (1999)
Alejandro Amenábar - 2 - The Sea Inside (2004)
Pablo Berger - 2 - Torremolinos 73 (2003)
Víctor Erice - 2 - Spirit of the Beehive (1973)

Directors with only 1 film so far that I've seen and enjoyed and want to explore ore of include Miguel Albaladejo, Jun Flahn, Cesc Gay, Pepón Montero, Daniel Monzón, Oriol Paulo, Alberto Rodríguez.
Cinematic Omnivore 🧚‍♂️🦫
User avatar
St. Gloede
Moderator
Posts: 14053
Joined: May 6th, 2011, 6:00 am
Contact:

#106

Post by St. Gloede »

Spain is a country I have not explored that well, beyond seeing 10+ films by Almodóvar and Saura, and frustratingly neither of which has the consistency (IMO) to enter my all-time favourite directors. I have more favourites from Almodóvar, but more films I consider great from Saura, and he also directed the best film by either, Cría cuervos.

I was very tempted to join you in agreement with you Roland in selecting Luis García Berlanga as the best Spanish director, but then I have only seen 7 of his films (some less impressive) and as I have seen more great films by Saura and Almodóvar it would just seem a little unfair. Fernando Fernán Gómez is another I'd love to throw into this conversation, and interestingly they are of the same generation (born the same year, 1921), peaked around the same time and had somewhat similar profiles.

I'll add these 4 together as a tie:

Carlos Saura
Pedro Almodóvar
Luis García Berlanga
Fernando Fernán Gómez

I think these are the only other Spanish directors/directors of Spanish films I have seen 3+ films from:

Ladislao Vajda
Juan Antonio Bardem
Pere Portabella
Víctor Erice
Marco Ferreri

While almost all of the above directors started their careers more than 50 years ago, and most are debased, with all but Almodóvar being above 80, Spain is actually one of the cinema countries I'm most excited about in terms of their current productions.

My favourite Spanish film is likely Summer 1993 (2017) and Carla Simón's new Golden Bear winning Alcarràsis my most anticipated film of the year. As mentioned elsewhere I'm also really excited about the activities in Galician, with films such as Endless Night and Fire Will Come being big highlights. I expect to see new favourite Spanish directors solidifying themselves over the next decade or so.
User avatar
RolandKirkSunglasses
Posts: 530
Joined: January 15th, 2021, 12:54 pm
Contact:

#107

Post by RolandKirkSunglasses »

St. Gloede wrote: July 21st, 2022, 11:13 pm
I was very tempted to join you in agreement with you Roland in selecting Luis García Berlanga as the best Spanish director, but then I have only seen 7 of his films (some less impressive) and as I have seen more great films by Saura and Almodóvar it would just seem a little unfair.
My Berlanga love is carried by his 3 best known films and "Los Jueves Milagro", I can forgive some of his childishly vulgar films but I'm more impressed by his longtakes, subversive social commentary and the way he choreographs large groups of actors within a scene.

If weird fetish movies aren't your thing I'd avoid "Grandeur Nature", Michel Piccoli had to do things in that movie I wish I could unsee...
User avatar
OldAle1
Donator
Posts: 7567
Joined: February 9th, 2017, 7:00 am
Location: Dairyland, USA
Contact:

#108

Post by OldAle1 »

Can't contribute much to this one I'm afraid. The only director that I've seen enough from - besides Buñuel, whose work in Spain is certainly not insignificant, but is only a tiny bit of his overall output, is -

Pedro Almodóvar, who I like quite a lot, but is not one of my very favorites.

Other filmmakers that I've seen at least a couple of films from that are worth mentioning would include

Nacho Vigalondo - I LOVE the two features I've seen, and like the one short
Alejandro Amenábar - Like two of the three films I've seen, dislike the third, not a lot of interest in exploring further

Seen one film each from Berlanga, Edgar Neville, and Julio Medem, and all three really fine films, but I just haven't gotten around to any more, yet.
It was the truth, vivid and monstrous, that all the while he had waited the wait was itself his portion..
User avatar
beavis
Posts: 3749
Joined: June 20th, 2011, 6:00 am
Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Contact:

#109

Post by beavis »

When I check the MM database I see that I have rated 257 features which have Spain as their first production country
On LB the country ranks 8th in my all-time-stats with 464 movies (so this includes shorts and more tangential co-productions too)

Also, with 35 movies seen from Jess Franco he ranks 4th among directors in my all-time LB stats.... but there is only one 4-star movie among those (necronomicon)...

Other directors I've seen a lot of are Almodovar (14) and Saura (10) and they have made a few very good movies
And there are directors with smaller filmographies, but everything I saw from them is gold, like Jacinto Esteva (Lejos de los Árboles), Luis López Carrasco (El Año del Descubrimiento), Eloy Enciso (Longa Noite), Oliver Laxe (Mimosas), Jonas Trueba (La Virgen de Agosto)

There is some very good experimental cinema made in Spain, for example in the Barcelona School (with Portabella as a main example), in the Galego new wave (Enciso and Laxe mentioned above), but also some (Bressonian) extreme minimalism from Paulino Viota and Albert Serra, some idiosyncratic lo-fi work from Adolfo Arrieta and Antoni Padrós, some abstract animation from José Antonio Sistiaga, one of the most intriguing filmmakers in Iván Zulueta and also "mainstream" art-house can get pretty abstract with directors like Víctor Erice, Luis Miñarro, Jaime Rosales or José Luis Guerín... and there is so much more to explore even then!

For genre fans it is one of the main euro-trash countries (together with Italy and France) and especially good for westerns, sexploitation, horror and people who are a genre onto themselfs like Franco and Naschy. Sometimes there is cross-over with the experimental folks (Jorge Grau started in the Barcelona School but became more famous for exploitation work for instance) and a sexual frankness/weirdness can be seen even in more mainstream/arthouse fare from people like Almodovar, Bigas Luna, Julia Medem, Luis García Berlanga or Vicente Aranda. Also, a special shout-out for Nacho Cerdà who has made some remarkable genre shorts.

This combo makes it a very interesting cinematic country for me, but also a bit hard to rank...I'll give it a try anyway:

1. Albert Serra (5 seen)
2. Agustí Villaronga (3)
3. Jacinto Esteva (3)
4. Jonas Trueba (3)
5. José Luis Guerín (4)
6. Luis López Carrasco (2)
7. Luis García Berlanga (4)
8. Oliver Laxe (2)
9. Eloy Enciso (2)
10. Alejandro Amenábar (4)

Like I said, hard to choose, but these 10 haven't made any bad pictures from what I've seen and most of them were either just very very good or masterpieces, the caviat is that from most of them I saw only 2 or 3 movies... directors with a bigger output seem to be more "hit or mis" with me, maybe...
User avatar
Y U M E
Posts: 183
Joined: July 24th, 2014, 6:00 am
Location: Netherlands
Contact:

#110

Post by Y U M E »

There's no Spanish director in my directors-toplist, but when I base a short list on average ratings - which obviously comes close to my toplist of my favourite Spanish directors:

01. Jaime Rosales (5 films seen)
- un largo silencio -

02. Fernando Arrabal (3)
03. Jonás Trueba (4)
04. Albert Serra (5)
05. Luis G. Berlanga (3)

I have difficulties in completing a Top 10:
Pedro Almodovar (22)
Luis Buñuel (25)
José Luis Guerin (4)
Agustí Villaronga (5)
.... ? maybe Marcal Fores (only seen two of his films, a little bit too few to call it a favourite).

I'm looking forward to see Carla Simón's price winning second feature later this month... And I'm exploring some Spanish genre/exploitation of the Seventies these months, but it's maybe two films by one director... Apart from Rosales, Spain is not my favourite film country (+/- 160 features seen ) - so I've never felt exploring too deep or too many..
User avatar
OldAle1
Donator
Posts: 7567
Joined: February 9th, 2017, 7:00 am
Location: Dairyland, USA
Contact:

#111

Post by OldAle1 »

Been a week since the last response, so time to re-energize this, and why not go with the country some of us have been challenging ourselves with for this month?

Canada

I've seen more from this country than any other besides the USA, France and the UK - yes, more than from Japan. But I've lived "next door" nearly all my life and spent a good deal of time there in the 00s, and have always had a fascination with the subtly different English Canadian culture, and the much more different one in Québec. And IMO Canada has produced an awful lot of great cinema for a relatively "small" country, industry-wise. Three of my top 10 made only short films, and most of the others have made a few also - those uninterested in the short film (or animation, or documentaries for that matter) will find Canadian cinema a bit less entrancing, I think.

Directors I feel comfortable putting in my own personal pantheon:

1. Guy Maddin - The Forbidden Room

2. Michael Snow - *Corpus Callosum
3. David Cronenberg - Naked Lunch
4. Xavier Dolan - Laurence Anyways

5. Atom Egoyan - Calendar
6. Norman McLaren - Neighbours
7. Sarah Polley - Stories We Tell
8. Frédéric Back - L'homme qui plantait des arbres
9. Caroline Leaf - The Owl Who Married a Goose: An Eskimo Legend
10. Denys Arcand - Jésus de Montréal

Director that seems deserving but only has 2 films seen so far, the rest being... ???

Jack Chambers

Directors whose Canadian work is generally fine, but perhaps not enough to gain them high status - when their American work has generally been much less interesting to me

Jean-Marc Vallée
Denis Villeneuve

Directors that I'm interested in, but either haven't seen quite enough from, or whose filmographies are just a might too chaotic (see Jutra in particular)

Michel Brault
Gilles Groulx
Claude Jutra
Allan King
Ryan Larkin
Robert Lepage
Bruce McDonald
Don McKellar
John Paizs
Léa Pool
Patricia Rozema
It was the truth, vivid and monstrous, that all the while he had waited the wait was itself his portion..
User avatar
peeptoad
Posts: 4021
Joined: February 4th, 2017, 7:00 am
Contact:

#112

Post by peeptoad »

From what I've seen so far...

Spain-

Luis Bunuel (15)
Jose Ramon Larraz (9)
Fernando Arrabal (6)
Eloy de la Iglesia (3)
Carlos Saura (3)
Alejandro Amenabar (3)
Pedro Almodovar (6)
Alex de la Iglesia (5)
Victor Erice (2)


Canada-

William Fruet (9)
David Cronenberg (13)
Denis Villeneuve (6)
Jack Chambers (2)
Bob Clark (5)
Brandon Cronenberg (2)
Panos Cosmatos (2)
User avatar
OldAle1
Donator
Posts: 7567
Joined: February 9th, 2017, 7:00 am
Location: Dairyland, USA
Contact:

#113

Post by OldAle1 »

peeptoad wrote: July 31st, 2022, 10:48 pm
Canada-

William Fruet (9)
David Cronenberg (13)
Denis Villeneuve (6)
Jack Chambers (2)
Bob Clark (5)
Brandon Cronenberg (2)
Panos Cosmatos (2)
Interesting. I knew that with all the horror interest on this forum some less-familiar names would surface. I've only seen one of Fruet's films, Trapped, but I liked it, and his first two films have been on my to-see list for a long time. Clark I didn't even think of as he was American, but all of his best and best-known films were made while he was in Canada so perhaps I should reconsider. Hmm. Have yet to see anything from Cronenberg fils and I feel like I'm the only person around who doesn't like either of Cosmatos' films.
It was the truth, vivid and monstrous, that all the while he had waited the wait was itself his portion..
User avatar
Y U M E
Posts: 183
Joined: July 24th, 2014, 6:00 am
Location: Netherlands
Contact:

#114

Post by Y U M E »

A lot of usual suspects for me, but Canada is a very interesting country. I've seen exactly the same amount of Canadian films as I have seen Spanish films, but a lot more of higher ratings on the scoreboard!!

01. David Cronenberg (#20) - seen 22
02. Xavier Dolan (#59) - seen 7
03. Guy Maddin (#86) - seen 12 and a lot of shorts

Other favourites by average ratings (alphabetical):
Denys Arcand
Atom Egoyan (but certainly not his output of the 21st century)
Philippe Falardeau
Thom Fitzgerald
John Greyson
Allan King
Bill Morrison
Patricia Rozema

The sons of legends (Panos C. & Brandon C.) are on their way, but two features is too little to include them in a toplist. Same goes for Sean Durkin.

Need to see more of: Denis Cote, Michel Brault, Bruce LaBruce, Sarah Polley

Dislikes: Denis Villeneuve
User avatar
cinewest
Posts: 2818
Joined: February 15th, 2017, 7:00 am
Contact:

#115

Post by cinewest »

A lot of good films made in Canada, especially documentaries, and the government steps into to help. Love The Sweet Hereafter, Stories We Tell, Leolo, and various films by Guy MAddin

One of my very favorite Canadian films is Far side of the Moon, by Robert Lepage, and what about that Inuit classic Atnarguat: The Fast Runner?
User avatar
peeptoad
Posts: 4021
Joined: February 4th, 2017, 7:00 am
Contact:

#116

Post by peeptoad »

OldAle1 wrote: July 31st, 2022, 11:32 pm
peeptoad wrote: July 31st, 2022, 10:48 pm
Canada-

William Fruet (9)
David Cronenberg (13)
Denis Villeneuve (6)
Jack Chambers (2)
Bob Clark (5)
Brandon Cronenberg (2)
Panos Cosmatos (2)
Interesting. I knew that with all the horror interest on this forum some less-familiar names would surface. I've only seen one of Fruet's films, Trapped, but I liked it, and his first two films have been on my to-see list for a long time. Clark I didn't even think of as he was American, but all of his best and best-known films were made while he was in Canada so perhaps I should reconsider. Hmm. Have yet to see anything from Cronenberg fils and I feel like I'm the only person around who doesn't like either of Cosmatos' films.
You're right. Bob Clark prob shouldn't be on there; I always think of him as Canadian, for some reason...
Trapped might have been the first Fruet I saw too and it's one of my favorites, the other probably being Death Weekend. IMHO all of his films have something to offer, even some of the more lowly regarded like Blue Monkey and Killer Party. They have a unique charm to them, and they are all different enough from each other (tone, style, content) that he keeps you guessing... just a little.
Post Reply