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ICM Forum's Favourite directors 2019

500<400, Favourite 1001 movies, Doubling the Canon, Film World Cup and many other votes
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ICM Forum's Favourite directors 2019

#1

Post by PeacefulAnarchy » November 30th, 2019, 7:28 pm

It's time to make out favourite directors list again. Submit an imdb list, or a list of imdb urls if you can't make an imdb list, with as many directors as you like. You have until end of day Tuesday Dec 31st to submit your lists.

Half life will be 29, like last year.

I will assume your list is ranked unless you specify otherwise.
Other than a ranked list you can submit your list in one of the following ways:
- Unranked: All directors get the same number of points.
- Partially ranked: Top X is ranked, rest is unranked
- Group ranked: You have to specify the groups that go together, all films in the group get the same number of points. (eg: 11-20, 21-30, 31-50, 51-100)


I want to try to be consistent with directorial teams so we'll pick a director to represent each pair, the first one alphabetically. If there are any pairs that I missed let me know and I'll update this list:

Coen Bros: Ethan Coen
Powell & Pressburger: Michael Powell
Dardenne Bros: Jean-Pierre Dardenne
Maysles Bros:Albert Maysles
Huillet & Straub: Danièle Huillet
Wachowskis: Lana Wachowski
Farrelly Bros: Bobby Farrelly
Duplass Bros: Jay Duplass
Hughes Bros: Albert Hughes
Neveldine & Taylor: Mark Neveldine
Quay Bros: Stephen Quay
Taviani Bros: Paolo Taviani
Yervant Gianikian & Angela Ricci Lucchi:Yervant Gianikian
Margarida Cordeiro & António Reis: Margarida Cordeiro
Geronimi, Jackson, & Luske: Clyde Geronimi
Trousdale & Wise: Gary Trousdale
Clements & Musker: Ron Clements
Dayton & Faris: Jonathan Dayton
DeBlois & Sanders Dean DeBlois
Gilliam & Jones Terry Gilliam
Weitz Brothers Chris Weitz
Nicole Rittenmeyer & Seth Skundrick - Nicole Rittenmeyer
Ben Hecht, Charles MacArthur & Lee Garmes (optional)- Ben Hecht
Wilhelm Hein & Birgit Hein (w&b hein) - Birgit Hein
Hélène Cattet & Bruno Forzani - Hélène Cattet
Lucien Castain-Taylor & Verena Paravel - Lucien Castain-Taylor
Lucas Leyva & Jillian Mayer - Lucas Leyva


Previous years' Top directors:
Dec 2018
Dec 2017
Dec2016
Dec 2015
Dec2014
Dec 2013
Dec 2012
Dec 2011
A couple of other directors lists to look at: From the book 501 Directors
From TSPDT: Top 250 Directors

Don't forget the women!
1 Lists:Show


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#3

Post by Carmel1379 » November 30th, 2019, 7:31 pm

IMDb, letterboxd, tumblr
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whom shall we find
Sufficient? who shall tempt with wand’ring feet
The dark unbottom’d infinite Abyss,
And through the palpable obscure find out
His uncouth way, or spread his aerie flight,
Upborn with indefatigable wings,
Over the vast abrupt, ere he arrive
The happy Ile?

Nur dein Auge – ungeheuer / Blickt michs an, Unendlichkeit!
Close the world. ʇxǝu ǝɥʇ uǝdO.
t o B e c o n t i n u e d

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#4

Post by joachimt » November 30th, 2019, 8:31 pm

https://www.imdb.com/list/ls047031687/

My list from last year. Other years I made it from scratch every time, because it's fun, but I don't feel like it and I'm happy with the list as it is.
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#5

Post by zzzorf » November 30th, 2019, 9:24 pm

My ranked list https://www.imdb.com/list/ls047348641/

Is the list going to be a top 200 like last year or will it go back to 150 like the previous? I cap my lists at the size of the final list so just trying to work out if I am adding an extra 50 names or not.



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#8

Post by PeacefulAnarchy » November 30th, 2019, 10:48 pm

zzzorf wrote:
November 30th, 2019, 9:24 pm
My ranked list https://www.imdb.com/list/ls047348641/

Is the list going to be a top 200 like last year or will it go back to 150 like the previous? I cap my lists at the size of the final list so just trying to work out if I am adding an extra 50 names or not.
Depends on the number of submissions. Ideally 200, though.

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#9

Post by Cocoa » December 1st, 2019, 1:21 am

Ranked:
https://www.imdb.com/list/ls054144625/

I'm keeping my length the same size as the year before, which resulted in me replacing eight directors and three new potential directors not making the list. The rest of the list stayed mostly consistent.
SpoilerShow
Christian Petzold is the biggest rise this year after seeing Transit (2018). [71 to 16] I have access to two other films of his I might watch before the deadline.
Takashi Miike is the biggest fall because I saw a lot of his non-horror films this year. [48 to 97]

New entries:
Scott McGehee & David Siegel
Yuen Chor
George Milton
Rachid Bouchareb
Elliot Diviney
Ana Kokkinos
Anna Biller
Andreas Marschall

Cut from last year's list:
Lukas Moodysson
Jan Svankmajer
Adam Elliot
Jean-Gabriel Albicocco
Konrad Wolf
Luigi Bazzoni
Wes Anderson
Andrew Adamson

Barely missed the cut from being added to the list this year:
Alex Garland
Paul Powell
Darren Stein

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#10

Post by Traveller » December 1st, 2019, 7:23 am

ICM
December Challenge: Image
But at the bottom, the immanent philosopher sees in the entire universe only the deepest longing for absolute annihilation, and it is as if he clearly hears the call that permeates all spheres of heaven: Redemption! Redemption! Death to our life! and the comforting answer: you will all find annihilation and be redeemed!



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#13

Post by Jimi Antiloop » December 3rd, 2019, 12:55 am

https://www.imdb.com/list/ls066900804/

group ranks
#77 to #139
#158 to 177
#201 to 283
#306 to 349
:ICM: :letbxd: :Crtiticker: Reality Checks on :imdb:

“Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.”― Philip K. Dick

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#14

Post by Obgeoff » December 3rd, 2019, 9:52 am

How are people coming up with their rankings? Is it purely qualitative or are you taking a quantitative approach to it?

I've done initial work on my ratings. If you asked me who my favourite director is, I would instinctively say Ozu. However, on a straight-line average for directors that I've seen 5 or more films, then Murnau comes out on top. Comparing rankings on just the top rated of them both then Ozu comes back up.

My thoughts were restrict to directors that I have seen at least 5 of their works. Average of their top 5 ranked films (personal rankings).

Problem then is that Woody Allen, Soderbergh and other more prolific directors don't get penalised for the films that were distinctively average. It also overvalued consistent excellence rather than filmmakers who had moments of transcendent genius.

Curious on thoughts of others, particularly those of you working with much larger datasets than me.
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#15

Post by Onderhond » December 3rd, 2019, 10:57 am

My list is based on every director appearing in my Top 525, who has 3 or more 4* or higher ratings in his oeuvre.
After that, putting them in order is just manual work.

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#16

Post by albajos » December 3rd, 2019, 11:04 am

Obgeoff wrote:
December 3rd, 2019, 9:52 am
How are people coming up with their rankings?
Strictly average rating on whole body of work.

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#17

Post by Teproc » December 3rd, 2019, 12:18 pm

It's quantitative for me: I give points for films I rate or higher (1 point for 7/10, 2 for 8/10, 3 for 9/10 and 5 for 10/10), and break ties with the average rating on their whole oeuvre.

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#18

Post by joachimt » December 3rd, 2019, 12:31 pm

Average rating. Then I add points for directors I've seen quite a few movies of. The more seen, the more points I add, because it's harder to maintain a high average if you go through a complete filmography instead of just sticking with the acclaimed ones. Then it's just a matter of sorting. I do some finetuning manually in the top 25 or so. Below that, it's math only.
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#19

Post by Obgeoff » December 3rd, 2019, 2:06 pm

Teproc wrote:
December 3rd, 2019, 12:18 pm
It's quantitative for me: I give points for films I rate or higher (1 point for 7/10, 2 for 8/10, 3 for 9/10 and 5 for 10/10), and break ties with the average rating on their whole oeuvre.
Do you normalise for number of films? If so, do you include number of films that were 6 or less?
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#20

Post by Teproc » December 3rd, 2019, 2:42 pm

Obgeoff wrote:
December 3rd, 2019, 2:06 pm
Teproc wrote:
December 3rd, 2019, 12:18 pm
It's quantitative for me: I give points for films I rate or higher (1 point for 7/10, 2 for 8/10, 3 for 9/10 and 5 for 10/10), and break ties with the average rating on their whole oeuvre.
Do you normalise for number of films? If so, do you include number of films that were 6 or less?
Not sure what you mean. The whole point of this method is for not penalizing directors whose filmography I explored more deeply by not taking their bad or average films into account. Well, they are taken into account in the average rating, but that's just a tiebreaker. I think if a filmmaker directed 3 great films and 15 terrible films, the terrible films don't matter all that much to me: I don't have to watch them again, whereas the great ones will always be there.

I guess you might be asking if I have a minimum number of films seen for a director to make the list ? I don't, I cut it off at 6 points, so George Romero is in even though I've only seen two of his films (5 points for Dawn of the Dead, 1 for Night of the Living Dead). I might put the cutoff higher if the list gets too long, but right now it's much shorter than most people's around here (who admittedly have seen many more films than I have).

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#21

Post by zuma » December 3rd, 2019, 3:29 pm

Teproc wrote:
December 3rd, 2019, 2:42 pm
Obgeoff wrote:
December 3rd, 2019, 2:06 pm
Teproc wrote:
December 3rd, 2019, 12:18 pm
It's quantitative for me: I give points for films I rate or higher (1 point for 7/10, 2 for 8/10, 3 for 9/10 and 5 for 10/10), and break ties with the average rating on their whole oeuvre.
Do you normalise for number of films? If so, do you include number of films that were 6 or less?
I think if a filmmaker directed 3 great films and 15 terrible films, the terrible films don't matter all that much to me: I don't have to watch them again, whereas the great ones will always be there.
That is the opposite of the way I approach it. To me that gives way to much credit to really bad directors who happen to make a good film. There is one awful director who is the epitome of this IMO, but I won't mention the name.

The people who are using an average of all their ratings makes sense to me, but I am using less mathematical approach. I like directors whose films I have favourited the most, but also taking into account if the favourites occurred late in their career, early, or spread out. Also will consider(mainly for fine tuning of ranking) if they have a distinct style and focus or, conversely, if they were adventurous and unpredictable.

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#22

Post by Fergenaprido » December 3rd, 2019, 5:42 pm

Obgeoff wrote:
December 3rd, 2019, 9:52 am
How are people coming up with their rankings? Is it purely qualitative or are you taking a quantitative approach to it?
[...]
Curious on thoughts of others, particularly those of you working with much larger datasets than me.
I struggled with this the first few years, but now I have an imperfect system that I'm more or less content with.

I wasn't happy with any individual metric, nor was I happy with just going with a gut feeling. So I combined some different metrics based on input from other users.
My MethodologyShow
Feature-length Films

For everything, I'll use Nolan as my example
Nolan's FilmsShow
9.2 Inception
8.8 Memento
8.6 Dunkirk
8.4 The Prestige
8.4 The Dark Knight
8.2 Interstellar
8.2 The Dark Knight Rises
7.8 Batman Begins
unseen: Following, Insomnia
Metric 1 - Points
For each film I rate, it gets 0.5 points if it's rated 7.0 or above, 1 point if it's rated 7.6 or above, and 2 points if it's rated 8.4 or above. These ratings correspond to tiers 4, 8, and 10 on Criticker from about two years ago (my tiers have shifted a little since then due more ratings), and (the old) Tier 10 equals my favourites on icm. These points are cumulative, so a film rated 7.8 gets 1.5 points (0.5 + 1), and a film rated 8.6 gets 3.5 points (0.5 + 1 + 2). Point totals are then added up for all films from a director, to get the director's total points. In order to make my list, a director generally needs to accumulate at least 5 points across at least 4 films (with a few exceptions for directors I really love their work - example: I've seen all three of Sarah Polley's films and I love them all [average of 8.13 with 6.5 total points] so she gets added to my list even though she's below the 4-film cutoff).

Example: Based on my ratings, Nolan gets 22 points (3.5+3.5+3.5+3.5+3.5+1.5+1.5+1.5)

Metric 2 - Average Points
For each director, I also take the average number of points per film. I do this to counterbalance directors who I've seen a lot of their work, but nothing's really stood out. Eventually, I might establish a cutoff of 1.5 AvPts if my list starts to get too long.

Example: Nolan's average is 2.75

Metric 3 - Average Rating
For each director, I also include my average rating of their films. This causes some directors to be pulled down by films I disliked, but the reason that I use both average point and average rating is that I don't want to penalize those directors too much if they've directed some amazing films too (Kubrick is an example for me: his films range from 4.8 to 8.4, and there's a big difference between a 4.8 and a 7.4 [both of which get 0 points using my system] which I wanted to reflect somehow). Anything I rate 5.4 or below is marked as a dislike for me (since 5.5 is the midpoint between 1 and 10). I may establish a cutoff of 7.50 average rating in the future.

Example: My average rating for Nolan's films is 8.45

Metric 4 - Toro's Weighted Average
A few years ago Toro shared how he weights the average rating for directors based on the number of films he's seen by that director. I liked the idea a lot, and tweaked his formula for my own purposes, since on average I'd seen way less films by any given director than he had (until last year, I only had 2 directors with more than 10 films seen: Spielberg & Hitchcock). So I use

Code: Select all

=EC2*IF(EA2>6,1,IF(EA2>5,0.985,IF(EA2>4,0.955,IF(EA2>3,0.91,IF(EA2>2,0.85,IF(EA2>1,0.775,0.685))))))
which essentially says if I've seen 7+ films by the director, use the straight average; if I've seen fewer films, multiply the average by a modifier that decreases from 0.985 down to 0.685 based on the number of films seen. The serves to prevent prolific directors from being penalized simply because I've taken the time to explore more of their filmography (that may not always resonate with me), and to ensure that I don't stop seeking out films by a great director for fear that they will drop in my director ranking.

Example: My weighted average rating for Nolan is 8.45, since I've seen 8 of his films (above the 7 threshold). Sarah Polley, from above, had an average of 8.13 but a weighted average of only 6.91.

The final ranking
As mentioned above, to make the list most directors need to hit 5 points and 4 films seen. I then add any exceptional cases of directors where I've seen 3 films and really loved them, especially if they've only made 3 or 4 films. I did have 2-film directors on my list before, but I've taken them off for now. In future years, I may increase the cutoff for points and/films, but for now it works.

Then, I rank each director for each individual metric, and take an average rank.

Example: Right now, Nolan ranks 2nd for Points, 5th for Average Points, 3rd for Average Rating, and 1st for Toro's Weighted Average. This ends up with an average rank of 2.75, which is good enough for the top spot on my list.

Then, I sort my list based on the Average Rank. Last year I had 80 directors on my list I've added 11 more since then, and will probably have a few more join them before the month is over. Because of the way I set this up, directors can drop in rank even if I don't watch a film from them, simply by having new directors added to the list since adding a new director recalculates all of the rankings (i.e. I only include directors in this when calculating rankings, I don't use the list of all directors that I've seen a film from).

Short Films
I then do a similar exercise for short films with similar cutoffs (and exceptions for directors already on my list) and do some calculations there. I may adjust some directors up based on their work in short films, and I'll add a few directors to the bottom of my list who do exclusively/primarily short films.

If anyone is interested, I can share the breakdown of my list (either now where it currently stands or at the end of the month after I've updated and submitted it) should you care to delve deeper into its construction.
So yes, that may seem overly complicated, but I'm rather happy with my methodology and the result. It satisfies my inherent need for structure, logic, and data-driven decisions, while still giving me some leeway to move directors around a little if I feel like they're not quite at the right spot (though in reality I rarely bother changing the order).

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#23

Post by russa03 » December 3rd, 2019, 5:59 pm

https://www.imdb.com/list/ls091602324/ ranked

I think there's going to be problems no matter how you judge. Going the quantitative way has me placing a director highly (due to two of his films I rank among my favourites) even though his overall work doesn't do much for me.

If i went the average route then i'd end with a problem like below. After the director's name i've put the average rating, then in brackets the number of films I've seen and then how many films i've given a rating of 7 or more. I've seen all of Nolan's film (excluding shorts) and i am still to watch 11 of Hitchcock's. Seeing as the remaining Hitchcock films are generally considered his weakest it's likely my average for him will fall. So, ranking by average means I think Nolan is a better director than Hitchcock but that doesn't seem right when you look at the top ratings.

Nolan 5.6 (10) 9 8
Hitchcock 5.58 (43) 10 10 9 9 8 8 8 8 7 7 7 7 7 7

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#24

Post by Teproc » December 3rd, 2019, 6:24 pm

zuma wrote:
December 3rd, 2019, 3:29 pm
Teproc wrote:
December 3rd, 2019, 2:42 pm
Obgeoff wrote:
December 3rd, 2019, 2:06 pm


Do you normalise for number of films? If so, do you include number of films that were 6 or less?
I think if a filmmaker directed 3 great films and 15 terrible films, the terrible films don't matter all that much to me: I don't have to watch them again, whereas the great ones will always be there.
That is the opposite of the way I approach it. To me that gives way to much credit to really bad directors who happen to make a good film. There is one awful director who is the epitome of this IMO, but I won't mention the name.

The people who are using an average of all their ratings makes sense to me, but I am using less mathematical approach. I like directors whose films I have favourited the most, but also taking into account if the favourites occurred late in their career, early, or spread out. Also will consider(mainly for fine tuning of ranking) if they have a distinct style and focus or, conversely, if they were adventurous and unpredictable.
FWIW, "one good film" is not enough with my method, you need at least two. But can they be "really awful" if they made one or two great films ? I'd argue no.

But I guess that's a general approach: I don't get complaining that "this summer was terrible" because such and such blockbuster was bad for example. Bad movies are irrelevant: they will be forgotten anyway. Botticelli probably did hundreds of paintings, but how many do we know today ? Does it matter if he did a bunch of soulless portraits or whatever, when he made The Birth of Venus ?

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#25

Post by jvv » December 3rd, 2019, 7:35 pm


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#26

Post by Gorro » December 3rd, 2019, 8:05 pm

Ranked: https://www.imdb.com/list/ls047749983/

Same methodology as last year: My ranking is done purely statistics based. I took my ratings for all movies by directors of which I've seen at least 5 movies and calculated the average rating. However, this punishes directors I took the effort to watch complete filmographies, since their duds drag the average down. So, the final score is calculated by the following z-score based formula:

score = mean(rating) + (# films - mean(# films) / 4 * standard_dev(# films))

This gives directors a push if I've seen more films from them.

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#27

Post by zuma » December 3rd, 2019, 8:06 pm

Teproc wrote:
December 3rd, 2019, 6:24 pm
zuma wrote:
December 3rd, 2019, 3:29 pm
Teproc wrote:
December 3rd, 2019, 2:42 pm

I think if a filmmaker directed 3 great films and 15 terrible films, the terrible films don't matter all that much to me: I don't have to watch them again, whereas the great ones will always be there.
That is the opposite of the way I approach it. To me that gives way to much credit to really bad directors who happen to make a good film. There is one awful director who is the epitome of this IMO, but I won't mention the name.

The people who are using an average of all their ratings makes sense to me, but I am using less mathematical approach. I like directors whose films I have favourited the most, but also taking into account if the favourites occurred late in their career, early, or spread out. Also will consider(mainly for fine tuning of ranking) if they have a distinct style and focus or, conversely, if they were adventurous and unpredictable.
FWIW, "one good film" is not enough with my method, you need at least two. But can they be "really awful" if they made one or two great films ? I'd argue no.

But I guess that's a general approach: I don't get complaining that "this summer was terrible" because such and such blockbuster was bad for example. Bad movies are irrelevant: they will be forgotten anyway. Botticelli probably did hundreds of paintings, but how many do we know today ? Does it matter if he did a bunch of soulless portraits or whatever, when he made The Birth of Venus ?
That is fine for a best film list, but I personally don't know how you can apply that to a best director list. Can a person who made 3 good films and 15 terrible films be classified as a great director? Not to me.

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#28

Post by GruesomeTwosome » December 3rd, 2019, 8:20 pm

zuma wrote:
December 3rd, 2019, 3:29 pm
There is one awful director who is the epitome of this IMO, but I won't mention the name.
Aw come on...name names, dammit! :D
I’m to remember every man I've seen fall into a plate of spaghetti???

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#29

Post by zuma » December 3rd, 2019, 8:27 pm

GruesomeTwosome wrote:
December 3rd, 2019, 8:20 pm
zuma wrote:
December 3rd, 2019, 3:29 pm
There is one awful director who is the epitome of this IMO, but I won't mention the name.
Aw come on...name names, dammit! :D
Nope. It is a famous name and fav of many people so I don't want to receive the scorn of a large portion of the user base. ;)

EDIT: Just looked at the list from last year. You can rest knowing it is not someone you voted for.

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#30

Post by maxwelldeux » December 3rd, 2019, 8:50 pm

Count me in the quantitative crowd...

I use a lower threshold (I have to have seen at least 3 films), calculate the average rating for each director, and only include directors whose average is above my global average (currently 6.18). Then, I compute a Bayesian/weighted average by averaging in five "average" films along with the director's individual average; this gives more weight to directors for whom I've seen more films. Ties I break with my gut reaction.

I'm going to play around with Gorro's formula as well as some parameters for mine before submitting a list, but I'm generally pretty happy with the list I come up with.

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#31

Post by jeff_v » December 3rd, 2019, 9:19 pm

I sort by average rating, then boost by 5 spots if the director sports an eyepatch.

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#32

Post by blocho » December 3rd, 2019, 9:41 pm

jeff_v wrote:
December 3rd, 2019, 9:19 pm
I sort by average rating, then boost by 5 spots if the director sports an eyepatch.
Andre de Toth for the win!!!

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#33

Post by AB537 » December 4th, 2019, 12:59 am

How should we handle directors who have significant solo careers in addition to collaborations? For example, Michael Powell and Terry Gilliam.

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#34

Post by albajos » December 4th, 2019, 9:37 am

I would handle it:
For Gilliam movies - Use Gilliam
For Jones movies - Use Jones
For Gilliam & Jones movies - Use Michael Palin (he never directed anything himself)

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#35

Post by Onderhond » December 4th, 2019, 10:01 pm

https://www.imdb.com/list/ls027762524/ (RANKed)

Added three this year:
- Wen Jiang
- Ye Lou
- Mamoru Hosoda

Go Oshii :party:

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#36

Post by PeacefulAnarchy » December 5th, 2019, 6:28 am

AB537 wrote:
December 4th, 2019, 12:59 am
How should we handle directors who have significant solo careers in addition to collaborations? For example, Michael Powell and Terry Gilliam.
Just vote for them because making the distinction is silly and no one is voting for Jones or Pressburger. Powell's votes include both and Pressburger gets a bit of a boost for whatever extra Powell did on his own.

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#37

Post by albajos » December 5th, 2019, 12:27 pm

But why, when it's so easy to solve and not skew the results.

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#38

Post by PeacefulAnarchy » December 5th, 2019, 4:23 pm

albajos wrote:
December 5th, 2019, 12:27 pm
But why, when it's so easy to solve and not skew the results.
Because then I (as a voter) have to consider Powell with Pressburger and Powell without as two different people, which is absurd. He has one body of work, some of it co-directed and some of it not. Or I can consider everything for Powell and only 3/4 of it for Pressburger and the same films and directing end up affecting the list twice. Which is awkward and not really fair.

If there were a directing pair where both had significant solo careers then I don't know what I'd consider the best solution.

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#39

Post by albajos » December 5th, 2019, 4:31 pm

PeacefulAnarchy wrote:
December 5th, 2019, 4:23 pm
which is absurd
It is not

One is a solo career, the other is a duo career. It's pretty easy to put those two groups of movies into a list as different entites. Gilliam's career with and without Jones has been quite different. So three bodies of work in total.

A list where we recommend different constallations of directors will be way more informative than the current one.

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#40

Post by PeacefulAnarchy » December 5th, 2019, 4:48 pm

albajos wrote:
December 5th, 2019, 4:31 pm
Gilliam's career with and without Jones has been quite different.
There's a much clearer line from the Python films to Brazil and Munchausen, or The Red shoes to Peeping Tom, than from Jaws to The Color Purple, or Apocalypse Now to One from the Heart, or This is Spinal Tap to Stand by Me or...

People change over time and have different interests. In these cases some of that change is going from co-directing to working solo but they're still works from the same person.

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