Top 30 Directors
by Tommy Burton

1. David Lynch -- David wins every time for me.  I think a lot of it has to do with when I was first really paying attention to film and what spoke to me.  The phenomenon of Twin Peaks and the movies that he made leading up to it awakened my cinematic senses.  Since then, each of his films have opened new worlds full of mystery and wonder.  First film to see: Blue Velvet.

2. Stanley Kubrick -- Like Lynch, Kubrick’s films enabled me to see the world in a different light.  Plus, his movies are just plain awesome to look at.  First film to see: 2001: A Space Odyssey.

3. Sam Peckinpah -- My love for Bloody Sam is documented in another article here, but let’s just say that he was one manly son of a bitch.  First film to see: The Wild Bunch.

4. P.T. Anderson -- It makes me hurt sometimes to think about how much this man cares.  Is it possible to care too much?  First film to see: There Will Be Blood.

5. Walt Disney -- More a filmmaker than a director, but Walt made some of most magical films of the last century.  In addition, he built a lasting empire of some America’s most beloved characters.  First film to see: Fantasia.

6. George Lucas -- There was a time I would have put George Lucas in the same league as Walt Disney.  I thought he might have been America’s greatest imagineer and storyteller.  Plus, he seemed keen on pushing the boundaries of what technology could do to tell those stories.  I still think he’s pretty great and enjoy all of his films on some level.  First film to see: Star Wars (the original 1977 version).

7. Quentin Tarantino -- Every once in a while, a director will come along and turn heads and change the face of movie making.  Not that Tarantino did anything really new or different, he just took all the elements of violent, dialogue-driven filmmaking and combined them to remind us that movies can be ridiculous and great.  He is a total geek and that’s all right with me.  His movies are still pretty fun.  First film to see: Reservoir Dogs.

8. Woody Allen -- I’m still wading through his movies through Netflix.  The man is prolific, if anything.  However, the greatest of his films that I’ve seen, I can count as some of my very favorite films.  The sheer volume of his work can be overwhelming, but it’s a rich reward when you see his best movies.  First film to see: Manhattan.

9. Wes Anderson -- He’s an easy target for the hipsters, but I still fall for his whimsical style.  His movies look like a nice version of the 1960s sometimes.  First film to see: Rushmore.

10. Errol Morris -- I suppose that making documentaries may not be considered real filmmaking to some, but those people have likely never seen one of Morris’s films.  They all take a serious look at their subjects and give the viewer all angles of the situation.  They are all also interesting to the eyes.  First film to see: The Thin Blue Line.

The Rest:


11. Lars Von Trier

12. Michael Mann

13. Cameron Crowe

14. Samuel Fuller

15. Steven Spielberg

16. Alfred Hitchcock

17. Orson Welles

18. Martin Scorsese

19. Joel and Ethan Coen

20. Ingmar Bergman

21. Francis Ford Coppola

22. Federico Fellini

23. Robert Altman

24. Max and Dave Fleischer

25. Alan Parker

26. Billy Wilder

27. John Patrick Shanley

28. Jim Jarmusch

29. Werner Herzog

30. D.A. Pennebaker

Copyright 25 Nov 2009 We Like Media.
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