Hollywood may be as crippled as ever nowadays, but the art of cinema is possibly at its highest- and this is down to a few key people. Most directors have their ups and down and some directors just seem to bubble out over time but these few have thrived and survived. Among the glitz and glamour of Hollywood’s main stars, sometimes the directors are under cut and kept in the background- Since I believe they are the most influential in films, this upsets me deeply. Although I suppose you can’t really compare directors to actors- they are some what of a different breed. However, this list I have created is entirely based on their overall output so far, and their overall likability- we aren’t talking about favorite films- this is favorite directors.
Now, before you go assuming that Quentin Tarantino is number 1, I have decided to leave him out of this post. I have already gained a rather solid reputation on WordPress for my devotion to Quentin Tarantino, so instead- I have created a list of my 5 favorite directors excluding Mr Tarantino, as much heartbreak as this gives me.
5)Francis Ford Coppola
I think the sad thing about Francis Ford Coppola is that he has created four of the greatest movies of all time, however, they were chucked in among a handful of not-so-great movies. The four genius films make this director more than an icon, but the bad ones bring him down slightly. I suppose the real problem is is that the other movies are nothing in comparison to The Godfather, Apocalypse now or The Conversation, but once standing alone- they are quite good. I think the real beauty of Coppola is that he went from making Dementia 13 to a huge film like The Godfather and then to a small gem like Rumble Fish. I suppose what I am trying to say is that he isn’t generic, you can’t put him under one category like you can with, lets say, Stephen Spielberg. Coppola stands alone but still spits out some of the best movies Hollywood has ever seen, and that is what makes him such a great director.
With a career spanning over half a century, why wouldn’t Martin Scorsese make it onto this list, or anyone’s list in fact. Mr Scorsese has amassed a filmography rife with some of contemporary cinema’s most ineffaceable characters and films. Scorsese has tried his hand at literally any genre imaginable and he cannot be branded to one genre. No one captures alienated men on the edge quite like Martin Scorsese. I don’t really think that any living director comes close to his cocktail mix of actor-supported, technique saturated and cinema-scholarship films. His movie style is the main cause for many aspiring directors today as countless numbers of directors attempt to shadow him. Some may argue that he is loosing his punch, I will argue back that this is not the end of Mr Scorsese.
Alfred Hitchcock is cinema. With each film he spat out, be it dark and demented, thrilling or wicked- he would grow as a director and grew more innovative each time. It seemed that Hitchcock would just throw classic by classic at Hollywood- surprising even those who has utter faith in his early work and devoted their lives to him. Yes, watching Hitchcock movies now you may be disappointed, and it may feel like watching the skills of a dinosaur, not that impressive nowadays(OK, I need to stop using bad analogies), but putting the films into context they are way ahead of their time- ridiculously ahead of their time, and without Alfred Hitchcock I would be surprised if half of the directors on this list were even making films. Hitchcock was the first to properly set the bar, and man did he set it high. His flair and style may go unmatched forever. Hitchcock may be long gone, but his influences will live on. (as cheesy as it sounds)
2) David Lynch
The next two decisions were really difficult for me (it was like Sophie’s Choice), but I hope I have made the right one. Nobody makes films like David Lynch, he is our well needed tour guide through a disturbing world of dancing dwarves and unknown boxes. Initially the places he transports us in his films are places that we would never dream of going and are petrified of, but he somehow makes them feel homely, hell, he makes me want to live there. David Lynch’s films seem like you have been plonked straight into his idea and mind- no cutting, acting and producing needed- and I think this is what makes them so believable and so beautiful. Blue Velvet is stunning- and it shows exactly what a dream weaver David Lynch is. He is easily one of the most stylized and atmospheric directors ever. If you watch one of his movies you may just fall in love.
The master of dazzling and unique cinematography. Stanley Kubrick is one of Americas most talented film-makers, if not the most talented. Kubrick managed to make stunning and artful films whilst still aiming them at the audience he desired, with the backing of the studio team and the attention of general cinema-goers. So basically- he made the most expensive art films ever. His masterpieces were not throw around and were neatly lined up like the perfectionist he is. He created real horror and unease like no other director has done before- but he was subtle. Little things like taking away a chair in the background to show the audience that something isn’t quite right. Kubrick used scores in a different way to anything I have seen a director do before. Kubrick himself is a compressed team of film-makers, he can produce beautifully, create stunning cinematography, think up original ideas and direct the actors to a T, he really is the ‘all in one movie man’. Stanley Kubrick is demanding, unique and completely and utterly devoted to films.
Well that concludes this blog post, apologies that my blog posts have been consistently ‘5’, I suppose it is just a bit of an OCD thing I have. I would love to know what anyone thinks of this post, so leave a comment!
Sorry Quentin Tarantino, I love you.