Top 5 (or so) directors

With all this movie talk I think it’s about time for a list of your favorite films. But I always find that tricky, so how about your top 5 (or so) directors. Here’s mine:

My top five (not in order):

Akira Kurosawa
Takeshi Kitano
Wong Kar Wai
Eric Rohmer
Hal Hartley

and then a second five of

Mike Leigh
Wim Wenders
Whit Stilman
Krystof Kieslowski
(wassisname?) Renoir

how about another five of

Kenichi (?) Ozu
John Woo (pre-Hollywood only)
Peter Jackson
Lee Ang
Lars Von Trier

I’m sure there’s some that I can’t remember. My Feminist Film Studies lecturer would kill me for not including a single woman too.

Anyone else?


I’m a huge Kubrick fan, Eyes Wide Shut excepted.
Paul Thomas Anderson - but only 2 movies to date: Magnolia and Boogie Nights.
Billy Wilder
Jean Renoir
David Lean

Francis Cappola
Woody Allen
Tim Burton
Peter Weir
Ron Howard

SDB if you’re talking about the guy who did tokyo story et al., the guy’s name is yasujiro ozu

And on a completely unrelated note, here’s an addendum to this thread. Please select one of the responses below to this question:

What do you think of Lars Von Trier?

a) He’s a really great director.
b) He’s a madman. And I don’t really get his movies.
c) Isn’t he the leader of a hideous cult called dogshit 95?
d) Who’s Lars Von Trier?
e) Who cares.
f) Yeah, Matrix was a really good movie. Reloaded too. Can’t wait for Revolutions!
g) The classic DVDs thread is really pretentious.
h) None of the above.
i) All of the above.
j) Some of the above.

Werner von Herzog (sp?) - some weird movies like Aguirre Wrath of God. obscure but compelling

Bergman, swedish guy, B&W films mostly: helped launch Max von Sydow: my favorite movie of his is: The Seventh Seal.

already mentioned (Kurosawa: Ran was amazing, enthralling; Dreams was majestic, and terrifying, Kubrick)

also Ford

Spielberg/Lucas (more mainstream, but still brought us some cool/classic stuff)

Oliver Stone (who wrote one of the original scripts for Conan, a much underrated film, which apart from Arnie, is a film with surprisingly cohesive themes and underlying use of mythology)

Of course since my user name is Jackburton, have to include Big Trouble in Little China by John Carpenter, the man who brought us the Thing. If u see the DVD for Little China, comes with a horrible 80s music video of Carpenter singing. so terrible it’s funny. plus the cut scenes were very funny. shame they were cut out. Lords of Death!!

If we include cartoons, then Miyazaki (sp?) the man responsible for Studio Ghibli (spirited away, castle in the sky, princess mononoke) and the guy who did Ghost in the Shell. a great animator.

Del Lord: Directed many of the best “Three Stooges” shorts back in the 1930s. Classics like “Pardon My Scotch”, “Three Little Beers” and “Wee Wee Monsieur”.

Michael Curtiz: “Casablanca”, “The Adventures of Robin Hood”.

Raoul Walsh: “They Died With Their Boots On”, “Objective, Burma!” and “Battle Cry”.

Robert Wise: “The Sand Pebbles”, “The Day The Earth Stood Still”, “The Haunting” and “The Andromeda Strain”.

Stanley Kubrick: “Paths of Glory”, “Dr. Strangelove”, “2001”, “Barry Lyndon” and “Full Metal Jacket”.

Joel Coen fave film: Fargo, Big Lebowski, O Brother Where Art Thou, Raising Arizona, bla bla bla
Alfred Hitchcock fave films: Rope, Strangers on a Train, Rear Window, bla bla bla
Billy Wilder fave film: Double Indemnity, Witness for the Prosecution, bla bla bla
Spike Jonze faves: Being John Malkovich, Adaptation
Christopher Guest: Waiting for Guffman, This is Spinal Tap, Best in Show

Abbas Kiarostami (sp) the iranian bloke who did Close Up & Taste of Cherry (?). Elia Kazan - Streetcar (my fav film?), Waterfront, etc.

Fredericka - see Guest has a new flick out now… A Mighty Wind, i think, i love all his and will watch any at the drop of a hat.

Ghettostyle - Have a copy of LVT’s Element of Crime on DVD. Totally uncomprehensible brilliance; loved it.

I love documentaries so i’ve got to add;

Maylses brothers - Salesman, Gimme Shelter (best music docu ever? Watched it a half dozen times the first week i got it and was disturbed for quite a while!)

Nick Broomfield - Hiedi Fliess/Hollywood Madam, Biggie & Tupac, The Leader, His Driver and the Driver’s Wife (superb docu about AWB’s leader Eugene Terreblanche(SP), can’t find it anywhere any help would be gratefully etcetered)

Pennebaker - War Room, Don’t look Back

Nobody’s mentioned Welles?

I don’t really have favorite directors, although I do like everything Lars Von Trier has put on film. Breaking the Waves was stunning, in the literal sense


I looked at AI a little bit last night on HBO and couldn’t help but wonder what it would have been like as a Kubrick film. I think it would have been less a PG feel-good special effects eye-candy flick and more an edgy, sexy, and dark work of art.

Ozu is a good director if you know Zen. It’s about making the same picture over and over, but each one has a subtle difference.

Breaking the Waves was stunning, in the literal sense[/quote]

Me too, Alleycat. When I saw breaking the waves in the theatre, I was just numb after. I mean, I was in a daze for a few hours. It is definitely not for the weak-hearted.


Are you willing to part with element of crime? Temporarily? Premanently? Name your price.

fredericka —

two words : BARTON FINK!

You could certainly borrow it but you’ll have to pop by the office to pick it up. PM me if you want to do this.

You know what?

Robert Redford is really underrated as a director. He almost never comes up as anyone’s faves but I would say he is one of the better ones out there. Actors (former or otherwise) tend to turn out to be great directors.
Sean Penn seems to be getting there. A couple others come to mind too.

But yeah, Robbie Red deserves props!

Terry Gilliam–

I know about “A Mighty Wind”,another mockumentary. This one about the Folksmen, and other washed-up folk singers reuniting for a concert to pay tribute to a departed member of their clique.
The Folksmen have opened for Spinal Tap in concert several times, LA, NY, etc. Meaning, opening for themselves: Harry Shearer, Guest, and Michael Mckean.
I never get tired of this genre. Consistently amused by the enormous talent of their improv style. The entire group makes me piss myself EVERY time I watch one of those films.

I watched Un Homme et Une Fille last night by Claude Lalouche. When you also watch the “making of” and realize it was written, shot and edited in 10 weeks using a single hand-held camera and a crew of about five people, you realize just what he actually accomplished.

The switching back and forth between color and black and white in Un homme et une femme (which I think works OK) drove critics into coming up with all sorts of explanations of the deep meaning behind this … except the real one, which is that the director ran out of money in mid production and so couldn’t buy enough color stock to finish the film in color… :laughing:

You obviously saw that DVD too! Some of those other snippets I found absolutely fascinating, such as the b/w vs. colour explanation, plus the explanation for the long shots on the beach – they hired a fancier camera for the day for those parts, but it was so noisy they had to wrap it in a blanket and shoot with a telephoto from far away – presto… another of the key looks of the film explained. And what about sitting with the camera for the entire Monte Carlo rally in the back of a souped up Mustang so he could capture the growing exhaustion and stubble of the drivers?

I remember watching the boat scene and thinking “why on earth didn’t he give the lens a wipe” until I saw the actual shooting and realized just what he was up against.

All in all, that is IMO one of the most interesting “making ofs” I’ve seen. You reading this, Poagao? Rent the DVD. You won’t be disappointed.

And what about Luc Besson? Maybe not one of the greats, but surely getting on up there. Anyone who can build a film round free diving – surely one of the world’s most boring spectator sports – must have something going for him. And – think about it – he managed to make Christophe Lambert NOT look like a prick in Subway, which, when you look at Lambert’s other work, is also quite some feat.