1. Stanley Kubrick
Full Metal Jacket??? Clockwork Orange??? The Shining??? “My droogs…this is my rifle, this is my gun…”…the pacing, the structure, the overall VIBES of his movies are so totally his own…each is determined in a way that is almost preternatural…
2. Sidney Lumet
From 12 Angry Men to Dog Day Afternoon to The Wiz…he succeeded with every type of film…all the while, his films seem to represent the conflict between man and the oppressive and evil world he is caught in…
3. Martin Scorsese
Film student auteur, before Tarentino, there was Scorsese, who knew the ins and outs of every film made up to the point he made his…quintessential “student of the game”
4. Francis Ford Coppola
Followed up the Godfather 1 & 2 (herein to be referenced as “GF” and “Part 2” respectively) with Apocalypse Now…if for Part 2 alone, he belongs here. 3 never happened. You hear me? IT…NEVER…HAPPENED.
5. Spike Lee
Absolutely ROBBED of that 1992 Best Director Oscar…wasn’t even NOMINATED, for what was easily the best picture of the year…frightening thing was, its not even Spike’s best film…Do The Right Thing was such an amazing film, but that was the year Driving Miss Daisy won for best picture…suprising? Um, not exactly. Never fails to touch the toughest, most uncomfortable topics, and never fails to include that one weird dolly shot where the actor’s feet don’t move as he glides along…
6. Kevin Smith
“Try not to suck any dicks on your way to the parking lot!” Need I say more? Ok. “You are the ones who are the ball lickers!” or “He LOVES the cock.” And we will leave it at that.
7. The Coen Brothers
Joel or Ethan, every movie has its own unique connection with the world and its own way of documenting that relationship these brother’s have with our society…darkly comic, moving at their own pace, depending on the message and the messengers…no matter what, they just aren’t similar to anyone else. The Big Lebowski is my favorite, but I love them all…
8. Elia Kazan
my goodness, what a fine director…too bad he sold everyone out in front of HUAC…so he was a rat fink, so what? On The Waterfront is still one of the top movies ever made, and its not all Brando, baby…
9. Norman Jewison
one of my top 5…everything he touched was magical, and deeply effecting. In The Heat of the Night, A Soldier’s Story, The Hurricane. A lot of his films seemed to me to be about the strength of human dignity. But what do I know? I am obvioulsy no film student.
10. Alfred Hitchcock
Nothing I need to say about him. My favorite is Rear Window
11. David Lynch
Not that many people are really feeling his work like I do, I think, it may have something to do with just liking artists who go their own way, I know I am weird, though, because I really really liked Dune, and that just makes ME strange…
12. Robert Rodriguez
A ballet of violence in his movies, and beneath the bullets, lies an emotional connection to the participants. Killing and comedy never worked so well. See El Mariachi.
13. Orson Welles
Citizen Kane. ‘Nuff said.
14. Akira Kurosawa
Seven Samurai, Yojimbo, Throne of Blood…the basis for half a dozen+ great westerns, but the originals are so much tighter, so much more alive, and so much deeper.
15. Stanley Kramer
Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner is definitely a fav, but check out the timing and pacing of High Noon and The Wild One. He lets the actors ACT for chrissakes…
16. Tim Burton
Worked as an animator on Fox & The Hound, but soon made his way to directing…Pee Wee’s Big Adventure, Batman, Edward Scissorhands, Beetlejuice, etc…dark, comic (see Coens, above)…the man just seems to have a gift for working with actors who are a little off…Depp, Herman, Keaton…think he needs to see Mr. Buscemi’s agent, pronto…
I will do the best actors at a later date…again, these aren’t in order, though the first 2 are probably my two favs…