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The Anti-Director


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Here's a mildly interesting exercise: try and think of two (major) directors who are the exact opposites of each other. For a start, consider John Ford and Stanley Kubrick. The first, unbelievably productive, the second taking more and more time to complete a film. The first, the proud soldier, the second maker of three movies the US army probably wishes never existed. The first full of (somewhat facile) optimism, the second full of (somewhat facile?) pessimism. The first the ostenatious Irish-American patriot, the second the saracastic Bronx Jew who made most of his features in Britain. The first honored four times as best Director, the second stood up by them four times. The first filled his movies with favored actors and cronies, the second, with the exceptions of Sterling Hayden, Kirk Douglas and Peter Sellers, made sure not to repeat this major actors. One could say that Kubrick was the Anti-Ford.


And could there be two directors less alike in tone than Yasujiro Ozu and James Cameron? Not simply are there the obvious differences in subject matter, but note how in movies like "The Terminator" and "Titantic" the romances are at a fever pitch. One could not imagine Cameron doing a picture about ordinary life, or about ordinary people. Everything has to be spectacle.

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