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A perfectly executed film can be magical. Which modern directors do you think have the skills of the greats--John Ford, Victor Fleming, Howard Hawks, etc.?

 

I recently saw LOST IN TRANSLATION. Most of my friends said it was slow. I liked it a lot. Sofia Coppola uses an understated approach to create classic movie moments. Then there are the Coen brothers. Whether delving into a new feel for film noir or screwball comedy this director/producer team understands film making. Who would be on your list?

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Best modern directors? You are right on target with the COEN brothers, Phillygl24. What a career they are having. 'Miller's Crossing' is probably my favorite from their vast, brilliant body of work. Other personal favorites are HAL HARTLEY (Simple Men, Amateur, Henry Fool), PEDRO ALMODVAR (Talk to Her, The Flower of My Secret), and ATOM EGOYAN (The Sweet Hereafter, Exotica, Speaking Parts). All three directors can tell a story in a completely original way. Their films are in a class of their own.

 

Creeping up on them is Mexican director ALEJANDRO GONZALEZ INARRITU, who directed the amazing 'Amores Perros' and last years '21 Grams.'

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When I think of current directors, the only ones that come to mind are the ones still making films since the 70's. I really like the Coen Brothers movies (I'm just a bandwagon-jumper) but I loved Pulp Fiction and maybe would check out another Quentin Tarantino film. Since I've never taken any film courses, I don't really see the nuances between directors. I'm just a film lover and most of the time I don't really know who directs what. I guess I'm showing my ignorance here.

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To name a few of the current directors I would say Steven Soderberge ("Erin Brockovich) who has a couple of films currently in production. Also Frank Darabont who proved himself with "The Shawshank Redemption" and "The Green Mile".

 

Mongo

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My favorite current director is Quentin Tarantino. I know many of you may not like him, but he is simply a genius at filmmaking. He never went to school for it, yet he has this incredible way of telling a story, and creating an air of suspense with great comedy mixed in. His movies are very well done - great camera angles, and just a real in-your-face kind of style that puts you on the edge of your seat. I also love the way he jumps around with the timeline of events. He'll show you something early on in the film, and you'll say "what the hell is that about" and then a half hour later you find out, and it all fits together. I don't know how to describe it - I just think he's awesome - and granted, he is a little twisted, but brilliant nonetheless. He also has a GREAT love of old movies, and basically learned from them, so I respect him for that too. I remember seeing an interview that he did, and he started talking about and old Irene Dunne movie from the early 30's called "Back Street" (was remade in the 60's with Susan Hayward) and it surprised me that he even knew who Irene Dunne was! It shows that he really knows his stuff.

 

And I have to agree with the Coen Brothers - I LOVE "Fargo" and "Raising Arizona" but my favorite of theirs is "The Big Lebowski" - awesome movie, and I love the dream sequence that was a homage to Busby Berkeley's dancing numbers of the 30's. And John Goodman steals the whole movie - I crack up every time I see it, especially when he destroys the car.

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I think one of my favorite directors would have to be Richard Lester. He directed movies like The Three Musketeers (1973), A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum, A Hard Day's Night, Help!, and How I Won The War.

 

I think he's got the greatest sense of humor in the way he films scenes. Often the humor comes from the writer; or the way the actor interprets a line, a facial expression, or a scene... but he's one of the main ones that sticks out in my mind as a director who loved to incorporate as much of his own humor into it.

 

And one of my favorite quotes by him, when MTV called him the "Godfather of MTV" (because he directed the Beatles' movies) --- He said: "But I've demanded a blood test."

 

:P

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Yes Bansi, Frank Darabont definitely proved himself with THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION. That movie had a perfect rhythm to the plot. What about Jon Avnet? He directed Fried Green Tomatoes and is working on SKY CAPTAIN, a movie someone mentioned wanting to see in another post.

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For a straightforward drama, I think Peter Weir, Curtis Hanson and Michael Mann are very good (I find media darlings Spielberg and Mendes, by contrast, to be extremely pretentious). Quentin Tarantino is great when I'm looking for stylish, inspired escapism. I love the Fellini-like spirit of Tim Burton, and feel that he's unfairly maligned by critics. His "visual style" is, IMO, far more sincere and heartfelt than Spielberg's. But my favorite current director of all is Terry Gilliam. He shares many great traits of Orson Welles: inspired visual composition, childlike enthusiasm and sense of mischief, great performances from his casts, and (again, just like Welles), after more struggles over the decades than probably any other director in terms of financing and getting projects off the ground, Gilliam (amazingly) still seems to love filmmaking more than anyone else around, and that love is projected on screen. When a Gilliam movie begins, I feel like I'm being pulled (by the throat) into a Hans Christian Andersen-like world, with no turning back, and I honestly love that feeling of helplessness. :P

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I know I'll take some lumps for this, but Robert Redford as a director has not let me down. Of his 6 films I've seen 5 (not The Horse Whisperer) and added them to my collection. I feel he tells a great story.

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There's not a lot of modern directors I care much about. Steven Soderbergh and Paul Thomas Anderson are extremely annoying to me. QT and Sam Mendes can be good, but their status as innovators is overblown. The hokey screenplay of Virgin Suicides got me biased against Sofia Coppola.

 

I do love Terry Zwigoff; Crumb and Ghost World were really sincere and beautiful. And I love Jim Jarmusch; he's got a great natural deadpan style.

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I was a fan of Jonathan Demme until I heard him open his mouth concerning his new Manchurian Candidate remake. "The first Manchurian Candidate is practically forgotten, so I'm not worried that people will try to compare the two". Talk about pompous, does this guy think he can even hold a candle to John Frankenheimer! Tarantino was fine until he started messing around with that Karate stuff, in which I detest immensly. Kevin Smith has sold out pretty royally. The only guy I kinda like is Eli Roth, who directed Cabin Fever.

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The Big Lebowski!

 

I saw that mentioned and could not resist the opportunity to add a comment. One scene in The Big Lebowski is on my short list of great comedy moments (I won't give away the 'pay off').

 

The Dude (Jeff Bridges) sneaks a peak at Jackie Treehorn's (Ben Gazzara) telephone pad. Jackie had just answered a call and jotted down something on the paper. He tears off the note and leaves the room. This might be important to solving the case--The Dude brings up the impression using graphite as highlighter. What is revealed to The Dude (and the audience) is a comedy gem, but what makes the scene transcendant is The Dude's turn to the camera (us) and that expression! Oh man.

 

I count at least three ways this scene is funny--making it one of my all time greats. Thanks for mentioning The Big Lebowski. If you have not, see the movie.

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I think that Italy's Giuseppe Tornatore is far more talented, genuine and sensitive than most of his American counterparts, and I wish he could make more movies. Spain's Pedro Almodovar is also adept at warmth and sensitivity without the calculated maudlin of Spielberg and his many American imitators.

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> I guess it's a bit declasse, but Stanley Kubrick.

> "Paths of Glory", "A Clockwork Orange", "2001", "Dr.

> Strangelove", "Full Metal Jacket": No matter where

> Stanley took ya...ya BELIEVED you were there.

 

 

...And don't forget "The Shining"!! ;)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

REDRUMREDRUMREDRUM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

LOL

 

 

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i love Martin Scoresse work "Raging Bull" most recent

"The gangs of new york"i think he shoul've gotten the

directors oscar this surprised me that he didn't for this

masterpiece of a movie!.....Also the late John Frankenheimer all his movies i don't have a favorite

loved them all miss him & his work very much i feel the cinema is lost without him.....

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I know a lot of people were not happy when Polanski won the Oscar for "The Pianist" but I thought it was a great movie and can see why it won. I, however, have not seen "Gangs of New York" so I will reserve judgement in comparison. I do like Scorcese's films, though.

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I did see Gangs of New York and was very disappointed. I can see why it didn't win. (you all can jump all over me now). I thought it started out with a lot of promise then fizzled out. I think this might have been a case of expecting more (based off of previews and hype) before I even sat in the seat. I did like Day Lewis' work in this film.

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Gangs of New York had some of the best production and sets ever, but the story/acting/etc left something to be desired. If it weren't for the personal controversy about Polanski, Pianist probably would've swept everything without question.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Limiting my classification of "new" filmmakers strictly to those who started making films professionally after 1980 (no Scorsese or Gilliam!), here are a few who rate tops with me. In no particular order:

 

Whit Stillman (Metropolitan, Barcelona)

Bobby and Peter Farrelly (There's Something About Mary, Kingpin)

Zhang Yimou (Raise the Red Lantern, To Live)

Chen Kaige (Farewell My Concubine)

Lars von Trier (Breaking the Waves, Dogville, Zentropa)

Paul Thomas Anderson (Magnolia, Boogie Nights)

Stephen Daldry (Billy Elliott, The Hours)

Tim Burton

Pedro Almodovar

Maggie Greenwald (The Ballad of Little Jo, Songcatcher)

Ang Lee (The Ice Storm, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon)

David Fincher (Seven, Fight Club)

Spike Lee

Richard Linklater (Before Sunrise, Dazed and Confused)

Neil Jordan (The Crying Game, Michael Collins)

John Woo

Joel Coen

Jim Jarmusch

Michael Mann

Stephen Frears (The Grifters, Dangerous Liaisons)

Peter Jackson (Heavenly Creatures and some lesser known movies about "Rings" or something)

Neil Labute (In the Company of Men, Your Friends & Neighbors)

Hector Babenco (Pixote, Ironweed)

Cameron Crowe (Say Anything..., Almost Famous)

Quentin Tarantino

Luc Besson (La Femme Nikita, Leon)

Atom Egoyan (The Sweet Hereafter, Exotica)

James Cameron

 

As far as talented journeymen, I am a big supporter of John McTiernan (Die Hard, Predator), Jonathan Mostow (U-571, Breakdown) and Gregory Hoblit (Primal Fear, Frequency).

 

Some of my favorite pre-1980 but post-Classic Era guys are Scorsese, Spielberg, Oliver Stone, Woody Allen, Paul Schrader, Alan J. Pakula, Mike Nichols, Louis Malle, Shohei Imamura, Robert Zemeckis (pre-Gump), Francis Ford Coppola, Walter Hill, Sidney Lumet, Peter Weir, Ridley Scott, Terry Gilliam, John Boorman (Hope and Glory, Point Blank), Peter Medak (The Ruling Class, Let Him Have It), Peter Bogdanovich, Gillian Armstrong (My Brilliant Career, Little Women), Robert Altman, John Frankenheimer, Werner Herzog, Mike Leigh, Roman Polanski.

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