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Old May 14th, 2007, 11:24 AM   #1
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Who is the best director of all time?

I'm curious who the fine people of this board consider to be the best director and why. I'll go ahead and start. I think Akira Kurosawa is the greatest director to have ever lived because he tackled so many disparate themes from modern tokyo to Samurai Epics to arty, futuristic sci-fi with an knowing, non-cheesy, existential force that has still not been repeated. His tracking shots still amaze me with their thoughtfullness and his stories always flow with the power and inevitability of a river.
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Old May 14th, 2007, 12:41 PM   #2
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Steven Spielberg for me.
The man has just an instinct for making films and shoots them in a way that as an audience, you are drawn in the movie immediately and makes the scenes as exiting as they possibly can be or as emotional.
Many people hate his emotional manipulation, but I love it.
I love both his popcorn blockbusters (E.T., Indiana Jones, Close Encounters, Jaws, Jurassic Park) and his movies with a more serious subject matter (Schindler's List, Saving Private Ryan, Munich)
If I think MOVIE MAGIC, I think: Spielberg.
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Old May 14th, 2007, 12:55 PM   #3
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My favorite: Woody Allen

My objective choice (and second favorite): Alfred Hitchcock

Greater explanation to come once I have the time. I just couldn't let this thread pass without tossing out my choices.

(Edit: I should also mention Stan Brakhage, who is a major influence of mine, even if I haven't produced anything close to Brakhage-esq)

Last edited by Matthew Craggs; May 14th, 2007 at 03:14 PM. Reason: Forgot to mention a director
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Old May 14th, 2007, 02:31 PM   #4
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Kurosawa is my favorite, followed by Kubrick, Lean, Welles, Hitchcock, Spielberg probably.

I'm also a fan of Lubitch, Wilder, John Boorman, Michael Powell, Scorsese, Fellini, Bergman, Ozu, Michael Curtiz, William Wyler, Preston Struges, Buster Keaton, Malick

Just the modern directors: Spielberg, Fincher, Cuaron, Wes Anderson, Coen Brothers, Scorsese, Boorman, Malick... off the top of my head...

It's too bad Juzo Itami died -- he probably had some great films left to make.
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Old May 14th, 2007, 06:00 PM   #5
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Kurosawa is my favorite, followed by Kubrick, Lean, Welles, Hitchcock, Spielberg probably.

I'm also a fan of Lubitch, Wilder, John Boorman, Michael Powell, Scorsese, Fellini, Bergman, Ozu, Michael Curtiz, William Wyler, Preston Struges, Buster Keaton, Malick

Just the modern directors: Spielberg, Fincher, Cuaron, Wes Anderson, Coen Brothers, Scorsese, Boorman, Malick... off the top of my head...

It's too bad Juzo Itami died -- he probably had some great films left to make.
David, you've pretty much nailed the list I would have wrote. But I'd probably add Peter Weir, Clint Eastwood and Aki Kaurismaki to the modern directors list and replace John Boorman with either John Cassavetes, John Huston or even John Ford.

Also Sam Peckinpah, Sergio Leone, Roman Polanski and Hal Ashby have got to be in there somewhere.

All coming soon to a Blu-Ray device near you...

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Old May 14th, 2007, 06:34 PM   #6
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Okay all you young whippersnappers...
There is one film director who is generally acknowledged by all those in the know (or at least in the media) to be the greatest of all time.
Hint - he's from Sweden.
And most people haven't even heard of him these days...
LOL!!
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Old May 14th, 2007, 06:59 PM   #7
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Ingmar Bergman of course

Persona... Wild Strawberries... Seventh Seal... Scenes From A Marriage... all excellent.

Unless you're thinking of another Swedish director. I can only think of one other Swedish director, and his name actually escapes me at the moment, but the title of his first film is F---ing Amal (Or "Show Me Love" for English audiences).
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Old May 14th, 2007, 07:00 PM   #8
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LMAO!!! Very funny!
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Old May 14th, 2007, 10:36 PM   #9
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Missing...

I just want to add some names that I think should be considered: Peter Greenaway, Andrei Tarkovsky, Sergei Eisenstein and Krzysztof Kieslowski.
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Old May 14th, 2007, 10:47 PM   #10
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Well, there's also Swedish director Roy Andersson ("Songs from the Second Floor")

How could I have forgotten John Ford, another favorite of mine!
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Old May 15th, 2007, 03:21 AM   #11
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Well, there's also Swedish director Roy Andersson ("Songs from the Second Floor")

How could I have forgotten John Ford, another favorite of mine!
I love that movie, Songs from the Second Floor!
I haven't seen anything else by him, though.

Spielberg is on top, but other favorites of mine are:
Kubrick, Sergio Leone, Lars Von Trier, Buster Keaton.
Glad you named Buster Keaton, David, he was a genius!
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Old May 15th, 2007, 05:20 AM   #12
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David Mullen's list covers most of mine (and it was good to see the often-overlooked Michael Curtiz get some recognition).

Another "often-overlooked" one I would add to the list is Howard Hawks. He was good in many, many genres. And, if I might broaden my post towards "best director in a particular genre", I think Hawks staked a claim to best direction in the private detective genre with The Big Sleep, and in the western genre with Rio Bravo.

Also (in addition to Wilder, Lubitsch, Keaton, Sturges, etc.) amongst the modern comedy directors I think the Farrelly Brothers are very underrated. They really have their own style and, when they are "on-song", they belong right up there with the Wilders, etc.

But, to get back to the topic, my favourite all-time director (best) would probably be Hitchcock. Foremost, I like a director who is a great storyteller, but when he is also a great visual stylist (camera movement, framing, etc.) you have a pretty much unbeatable combination as far as I'm concerned.

And a modern director who seems to have been overlooked (so far on this list) is Tarantino. I am a particular fan of Jackie Brown and Pulp Fiction.
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Old May 16th, 2007, 08:31 AM   #13
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Quote:
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How could I have forgotten John Ford, another favorite of mine!
I didn't, he's in my list.

Quote:
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But, to get back to the topic, my favourite all-time director (best) would probably be Hitchcock. Foremost, I like a director who is a great storyteller, but when he is also a great visual stylist (camera movement, framing, etc.) you have a pretty much unbeatable combination as far as I'm concerned.
I'd have thought Hitchcock would be in most people's top ten, but Bergman refered to him as an infantile - no pleasing some people.

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Old May 16th, 2007, 12:23 PM   #14
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I've always thought that Ridley Scott was one of the best contemporary directors. To me, he makes you want to see a movie on a big screen. Sort of a flair for the epic. He even made Thelma and Louise a grand spectacle.

Also Woody Allen, and Robert Altman.
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Old May 17th, 2007, 08:22 PM   #15
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David Lean. Lawrence of Arabia, Bridge on the River Kwai, Dr. Zhivago, Oliver Twist, Great Expectaions, and on and on. Writer, Director, Editor...genius.
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