Top 30 Directors
Creating this list was very difficult for me. I definitely consider myself to be more a fan of specific directors than of actors. That said, there are also films that are some of my very favorites of all time, yet I'd have a hard time even coming up with other films that person has directed.
I also have a hard time with directors such as Dario Argento. The first two-thirds of his output is remarkable while his later work is remarkably bad. Do I add him because he's directed some of my very favorite horror movies and not take films, such as Phantom of the Opera starring Julian Sands, into consideration? Do I come up with some sort of "average"?
Whatever... here's my list with a bunch of honorable mentions underneath.
Top 10 Directors
1. Stanley Kubrick -- Overall he is my favorite. I don't think he ever made a "bad" film. I also appreciate his variety of subject matter... horror, science fiction, period pieces, heists, war, literary adaptations, etc. What couldn't he pull off?
2. Alfred Hitchcock -- Very easily could have been my number one choice. Fifty years on and his films still look and feel fresh. The Trouble with Harry is one of his more less-known films that I just love.
3. Federico Fellini -- 8 1/2, Nights of Cabiria, La Dolce Vita and Juliet of the Spirits are my favorite films, with Giulietta Masina's performance in Cabiria being unforgettable.
4. David Cronenberg -- The master of weirdness. I'm actually glad to see his more varied work lately... probably starting with Spider. It's also nice to see him being taken as a serious and competent director, but I know him more as being the man behind The Brood and Shivers.
5. Akira Kurosawa -- Surely the best director who shares my birthday. Should make the top 10 for Ran and Seven Samurai alone.
6. Hal Ashby -- Nothing puts me in a good mood like Hal. Every film has that personal touch that's hard to put a finger on. Like a comfortable pair of shoes... they just feel right. Harold and Maude and Being There will obviously be most anyone's top picks. Being There should have been how Peter Sellers went out and not The Fiendish Plot of Dr. Fu Manchu.
7. Orson Welles -- He probably modernized cinema more than anyone with Citizen Kane. That film had so many firsts. I'd recommend F for Fake to anyone who hasn't seen it.
8. Jean-Luc Godard -- If I had to choose just one director from the French New Wave it would be Godard, with Truffaut close behind. He's created some of the most lasting impressions and memorable scenes of any director. The driving scenes from Weekend, the dance sequence from Band of Outsiders, Michel and Patricia's strolls in Breathless, etc.
9. Dario Argento -- The Hitchcock of horror and master of the giallo. His innovative camera work and bold use of color puts him ahead of everyone else in the genre. Too bad the last decade is filled with putrid stinkers. What happened, Dario? Get back to the basics and make some more classics.
10. Ken Russell -- Definitely a love-him or hate-him kind of director, and it's obvious which side I'm taking. He's apparently directing off-Broadway plays now, but I'm hoping his film days are not over. I think he has the potential to "pull a Cronenberg" and direct a little more accessible than normal film to get some recognition he deserves.
11. Michel Gondry -- Be Kind Rewind left a very nasty taste in my mouth.
12. Terry Gilliam
13. Ridley Scott -- For Blade Runner and Alien.
14. David Lynch -- For being David Lynch.
15. Francois Truffaut
16. Sam Raimi -- Excluding Spider-Man.
17. Robert Altman
18. Christopher Guest
19. Sergio Leone
20. John Waters
21. Mario Bava
22. Alejandro Jodorowsky -- Holy Mountain is my "go to" movie to freak out people who come over to watch a flick.
23. Luis Buñuel -- The Exterminating Angel.
24. Bruce Robinson -- Withnail & I and How to Get Ahead in Advertising... I'm crossing my fingers for The Rum Diary.
25. Tim Burton
26. Lindsay Anderson
27. Ron Fricke-Baraka
28. Lucio Fulci
29. Jean-Pierre Jeunet
30. John Frankenheimer
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